14 Feb 2010
February 14, 2010
Luke 23: 26
The Cross...Now That's Love
As they led Jesus away, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country just then, was forced to follow Jesus and carry his cross.
Love....Jesus was love....is love still today. Happy Valentine's Day. Every day should be a day to give and receive love. As Christ loved us, he showed us how to love him and others.
Jesus is handed the cross. Simon, or Simeon of Cyrene, as he was called in some texts, takes it to carry it for him....the burden is too great for Jesus. He was beaten, spit on and scourged. He was weakened by the beatings and burden of our sins...the pain of his sorrow...knowing that he was to die a sinners death and why he was going to the cross...for you and for me. Often times we bear the cross, the sins of others, that are not ours to bear. You must carry your own cross. Let others carry theirs. And yet, here was Simon forced to carry Jesus' cross. A cross Jesus wouldn't have had to bear had we not sinned. What was the cross that Jesus had to bear? Our sins....the sins of the world. Our life of sinning is the cross that we need to bear and atone for to set him free from the sins of the world. He died for our sins, but he gives us the opportunity to be forgiven, renew our lives, and renew his faith in us...salvation. Aren't we forced, like Simon, to carry Jesus' cross every moment we sin? Jesus wants us to be freed from that burden.
Life is a learning journey and Jesus' dealt with all of our sins, trying to teach us and to help us to learn how to overcome sin. Every reference from his teaching was about how to live our lives and how to overcome sin...how to make better choices. What have you learned? Are you still sinning? Are you still taking upon you the sins of others as well? Are you still casting your sins on to others? Why? Christ took on our sins. We don't have to carry the sins of others. And we shouldn't be casting sins onto others. The sooner we realize what our sins did and caused for Jesus...carrying our sins...his death on the cross....the sooner we will feel his pain that we caused and have an inkling of the pain we are causing others and ourselves.
Every moment that we are not breathing in Jesus, embracing him, bowing down to him, lifting him up, honoring him, respecting him, we are keeping him nailed to a cross. We are breaking down the doors of the temples of God in which God lives....inside the hearts of all who accept him as the one true God and Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We kill him again and again and again. We are saying we don't care about ourselves, or others, also.
Have you ever loved someone so much that you were willing to take on the punishment from their sins? I see it all the time in my counseling practice. Dick is married and sins by having an affair. Jane gets sick. Jane doesn't know Dick is sinning, but because of her love for him and oneness with him in marriage, she receives the pain and suffering, so he doesn't have to suffer more. There is a tie that binds when we marry with Christ in our midst. That is marriage by the way. A coming together with Christ's ordination. Jane can't understand why she is suffering, and Dick has an excuse (so he decides, tho' there is NO excuse or justification to sin) to sin more and the cycle begins. Don't think I am male bashing, women commit adultery, too. Dick is clearly sinning, but so is Jane. It is not her job to take on his punishment. Some would call her a martyr, but is she? She doesn't know he is sinning, but she is suffering anyway. So is he...he's losing the bond with his wife, but more importantly he is out of being one with Christ. It doesn't matter whether they are Bible thumping grounded and founded Christians or not. The Lord calls all of us and died for us all.
Jesus was human just like us. And he bore ALL the sins of the world. Jane can barely hang in there with her sickness. Can you imagine the sins on Jesus and what he went through, is going through still? We can see why Simon needed to carry Jesus' cross, but we do not have to carry the cross of another. We have to carry our own cross and go to Jesus, so he doesn't need to carry the cross and burden of our sins. He was the only one appointed to carry the sins of another...ours. Today...this moment...we need to go to Jesus and ask him to forgive us. We need to tell him how sorry we are that we have sinned...are sinning. We need to ask him for forgive us for getting in the way of others coming to him because we have been taking on their sins. We need to realize we are NOT the Savior of the world or Lord over anybody or any thing. That only Jesus is the Lord and Savior sent to die for the sins of the world. AND to teach us to make better choices for ourselves and others. You cannot be someone else's Holy Spirit...only Holy Spirit can be that for you and for others. How in the world can anyone learn who Jesus is, if you keep sinning and taking on their sins? You ruin your testimony, and, if Jesus is supposed to be in you, what in the world do you think the world is seeing when they see you.....certainly not Jesus! Oh woops! Lousy example you are...but hey, I'm not bashing again....I'm no saint either. All fall short of the glory of God., But we MUST strive! We must! For Jesus, for us, for those we love. Every day is a new day. Begin anew.
Jesus said in Luke 23: 31, "For if these things are done when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?"
People, he was clearly telling us that, while alive as the tree of life, he was carrying your/our cross, sins, burdens, pain, suffering, sorrow, was attacked verbally, ostracized, lied to, tormented, negated, and physically beaten... and would die for you....for allof us.
Dry....dead....will it still go on after he's died for you? Will what he went through on earth as a man for you ever be enough? Will it ever be enough?
Even now that he is in heaven?
Turn from your sins and turn to him with sorrow...begging forgiveness for the sins against him, against others, and against yourself. Turn to the ever living ever loving God who takes away the sins of the world and plead your case before him today....now. See if it is not too late for you. And then ask him what you can do to prove to him that you have turned from your sins. Could it be getting to know him better? Yes. Could it be learning what real love is by getting to learn how wonderful he is and all he did for us....that we are to go and do for others....except carry their cross? Yes. Could it be that we are to start being a better example of who Christ is in us by how we live our lives? Absolutely. How God sees you should be 'way' more important than how others see you, but if Christ is living in you, then you have a responsibility to portray the real Jesus to the world through who you are, what you do, the choices you make, how you live your life. "Love is all you need" is how the song goes....in this case...Jesus is love.
Be redeemed by his love. Be redeemed because of all he did for you. Let him be redeemed by your gratitude, showing him all you are willing to do for him in thanks. Don't wait another moment...don't wait and gamble on 'the end time' coming before 'your' end time. You don't want to be lost either way. Bless him and receive his blessing. Breathe in Jesus now. Receive all he has to give. Love him fully today. Let him be able to say to you, "Now that's love."
Let Us Pray
God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, help me. Please, I beg of you, forgive me of my sins. The ones against you, others, and myself. All of them. Show me the right way to live for you and how best to prove to you that I am grateful. It is enough that you died for me. I am so sorry I have not been living my life in a way that fully pleases you. What you did for me....taking upon my sins, and being hurt by me, and all I've done....it was way more than enough. I am so sorry I've hurt you. Please, will you give me the opportunity to show you how much it has meant to me and how sorrowful I am that you suffered for me? I would be honored to tell others about you and all you've done for me. I would like very much to live a new life with you...for you...for myself and others. Please receive my prayers as an inspiration to your Holy Spirit to help me love you, worthily magnify you, and mightily give glory to you and your name in the world. Let me not be of the world while I am in the world. Set me apart for you and you only. Now Father, Lord, Holy Spirit, as you have been an example to me, let me be an example to others and bring others to a knowing of who you are, that you are, and how wonderful you are...and all you have done for me and for them....as Savior of the world. Thank you, God, Jesus and Holy Spirit. I love you.....really. Amen.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.
I'm redeemed, I'm redeemed, praise the Lord!
Let us hear from Paul as he prays:
When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resouces he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21 NLT
Scroll down to read Jesus' Prayer of Thanksgiving...'The Unforced Rythms of Grace'.
Definition of a Christian: Anyone who believes in God, Jesus and Holy Spirit, and accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior. Regardless of church name or religious affiliation.
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Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this:
I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Our Current Cause
I am very excited to share that The Gathering will be 'on the ground' soon in Tucson! I would sincerely appreciate all prayers focused for this cause and for those involved in the greater picture. As I attempt a new church plant here in the desert, may streams of prayers, love and financial support flow to achieve this cause. This is a mountain that I am going to climb, and, I expect all believers everywhere to rise up with me to support this endeavor and do the same. As I endeavor on this journey, I will be better prepared to help you on yours...to raise up a sanctuary for the ever living ever loving Lord God Almighty, Lord and Savior for the world Jesus Christ, and Comforter, Teacher, Indwelling Fire, Spirit Wind, the Holy Spirit. I pray you will join with me to provide prayer and financial support for this humbling and annointed journey. To God goes all the honor and glory! Alleluia! Amen.
Please accept my sincerest thanks....and may God bless you!
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One last thing....
Jesus' Prayer of Thanksgiving
'The Unforced Rythms of Grace'
"Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: "Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You've concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that's the way you like to work."
Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. "The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father - Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I'm not keeping it to myself; I'm ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen."
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn how to live freely and lightly.
Matthew 11: 25-30
And the people said,
I now write most prayers in the position of ' I ' (first person) because most people are sitting at their computer alone, not in groups, and it allows those reading and praying to personalize the prayer as coming from them going to God. Variations may appear on holidays when families may wish to use the prayer provided.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
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