The Application of the Cross

Sometimes I am wanting to find the application of this word into my life, but I’ve got no aptitude for it.  To that I would say, “God give me a mind for what you think, so I could be effective as your disciple.”  I came across this scripture  the other day taken from Isaiah 50 which says; “The Lord has given Me the tongue of disciples, that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word.  He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.” Often, we look for ways to apply this word in our lives only to find the simple truth is not merely conveyed with great oration or vivid illustration.  The truth however is best understood by what Jesus said in Luke 14, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” While men often go here and there to find great preaching looking for that one great illustration, nothing connects me to Jesus like the cross.  Jesus is affirming the cross as a means of application but more importantly as a means of identity.  When by taking up our cross we deny ourselves, we are saying no our thinking and to our own reasoning and even our own cause.  When we do that, we are identifying with the thinking that had Him at the cross for us in the first place.  Taking up my cross aligns my life with the cause and thinking of Christ.  Presently, most Christians know more about God than they are able to apply for lack of the cross.  All of us have a cross to be sure, but is yours currently out for repairs?  Paul said in Galatians 2:20; “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.” Paul saw himself as crucified with Christ because He’d taken up His cross.  There was with Paul a death to this world and its thinking, but also the applied ability to actually live as Christ would because he had nothing else to live for.  Full faith in Jesus had taken over his mind to actually comprehend the height and depth of Christ’s love for him.  That is ultimately what Jesus is saying in Luke 14, namely this:  that as long as you have something else your living for, you won’t carry your cross.  Jesus is saying, ‘nothing can come ahead of me, so get square with me and I will order your thoughts aright and connect your head with your heart and you will live and speak as my disciple.’

The Anointing of God

1 Jn 2:27 says, ‘You have an anointing you have received from the Father which abides in you.’ Think with me…this is the single most powerful concept that John reminds us of to combat the work of deception which daily presents itself to you. Just think, an anointing that instructs, promotes, and supports the work of your salvation in this present hour.  What are you doing with the anointing? How are you treating it?  Recently someone gave me an article entitled, “The Man God Uses” (He most surely has an anointing).  You have an anointing, I urge you draw near to its application by the power of the Holy Spirit in your life and find a balm which can sooth, heal and restore your life exchanging your weakness for His strength.  To every true believer there is given this anointing.  It is an anointing that activates truth by informing me of His thoughts toward me.  It elevates my relationship with the Father by seeing myself as a son with a rightful place at His table.  It covers my life with His power to conform me to His image and enables me to practice victory rather than defeat.  It is an anointing that actuates love in my life identifying me as His disciple.  The Word says, by this love all men will come to understand that you are identifiably changed and uniquely His.  I don’t know about you, but I need such an anointing that can take my  feeble “want to” and make it a living reality for His glory to the restoration of others.  You want the anointing?  Ask for it and don’t stop asking until He gives what He has promised to every son who believes.

Are You Saved?

“Are you saved?” I can remember as child a Baptist preacher saying every week without fail the words; ‘Are You saved?’ I believe those 3 words are possibly Baptist’s greatest contribution to the faith. You may know a lot about Him, but do you know Him?  If there is no grieving or sorrow over your sinful condition…no witness of the Spirit, then you don’t know Him. For Jesus to truly save you, you must believe you are drowning and in need of saving—otherwise the broken cry for a savior is not heard and He cannot save.  It is a matter of need…do you need Him?  Do you see your very real need of His love and forgiveness?  Or, do you see yourself ‘pretty good’– never considering that one sin…it’s rebellion like witchcraft that has you under a spell of deception never considering yourself that bad; it is your only weak link, but it is powerful enough to destroy your whole life with that one unredeemed failure. I see God is not mocked and sin must be atoned for.  What are you doing and where are you taking your sin for atonement? Because what He takes, He covers–what He covers, He redeems, what He redeems He changes, and what He changes He keeps for Himself with a movement of the Spirit that directs my steps to increase as His disciple and witness.  So, I ask you again, “Are You Saved…Are You Really Saved?”

The Power of the Resurrection

Jesus is resurrection life. In the story of Lazarus, the point to Mary and Martha was not merely to bring them to an understanding of Jesus as savior and Lord. That they had already confessed. But that their experience could believe Him to be the savior for that day, that hour, that moment in order to resurrect their Lazarus. You see they loved their brother Lazarus, but Jesus loved him too. It is important that although Jesus knew what he had come to do and that the outcome would be to raise the dead, still He wept. Why? The word gives clear indication Jesus understood how it would all turn out. He wept over the condition of men’s souls and their faithlessness; He wept over their hardness to heart to believe; He wept over their grief and sorrow. I believe He wept in response over what the enemy meant for evil. All because Jesus is moved with compassion to care not just for Martha and Mary, but He cares for you. This familiar story makes a greater point of relevance to your life, that today, Jesus seeks to resurrect your Lazarus, but with power. Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead to bear much fruit as the word says, ‘bringing many souls to Jesus.’ Many more can be brought to the Savior by the power of His resurrection in what you thought was dead, or of what you had stop believing Him to do, touch or redeem. Do you realize Jesus has wept over your condition? He weeps for what the enemy has done and wants to redeem your dead condition to raise up a powerfully able witness to deliver men from their state of denial and unbelief. He waits for you to believe Him for today, saying to you like Martha, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Do you believe this? I am the power to raise you where I live and move to do the unbelievable’. Jesus commands new life to your current state of condition saying, ‘come forth as my living testimony, I will raise you up to bring many others to Me’. Read John 12:9-11 and see many were brought to Jesus all because He cares to resurrect those He’s wept for. He cares for you and says, ‘Just believe.’