Sunday, October 20, 2013

Walk the Cross


Last Sunday, we witnessed a video centered on the physical evidence of God's reality & nature (specifically God’s saving grace and restoration plan through the ark account).

Today we're going to focus on the spiritual evidence: a changed life - the greatest miracle this side of heaven.

In John 3, Nicodemus, a ruler and leader among the Jews and Pharisees, approaches Jesus and claims He must have come from God based on the signs and wonders worked through Him. In response, Jesus tells him: 

I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God.”

In other words, Jesus was challenging Nicodemus to change his worldview and belief system by “being born again.”

Consider the parallels:

Before you are born, you are conceived – an internal phenomenon which ultimately develops into an external presence.

Before you are born again, you are created, destined and pursued. And the point of surrender (accepting Christ as Lord and Savior) is likewise an internal transaction. But like a baby being born, growing into the likeness and image of Christ, there needs to be a real, tangible testimony (the proof of perpetual change) supporting the decision to accept God’s redemption.

What is our testimony? It’s the innate heartcry of humanity: Yahweh saves (Exodus 6:3 reveals Yahweh to be the redemptive name of God and is partly connected to the term, 'Hosanna', meaning “God saves”). 

In prior meetings, we've discussed how our thoughts, our beliefs and our actions are living proof to whether or not we've accepted salvation (using the 3-B & 3-D principles: our beliefs determine our behavior which determine our becoming + our decisions determine our direction which determines our destination) and opened ourselves to sanctification (the process of being made holy, of being made like Christ). Thus, the question is not IF God's redemption is real; it's if God's redemption is real in you and if it is at all meaningful in your life.

In order for Yahweh to be resonating in you, then God’s redemption must be an active experience. Often times, we inadvertently keep transformation at bay by keeping the cross locked within the mental cave of Christian history. We know it happened, but our perspective on it is completely oriented in the past. Yet, if we want to live with a Spirit-filled countenance and contagious faith, we have to look at our relationship with the cross differently.

Have you ever stopped to wonder: What maintains my transformation? Am I a true believer just because one day I decided to accept Jesus in my heart or is it based out of the lifestyle I choose to embrace? Although we could delve into a dense debate concerning eternal security, we can steer clear of it when believe the following: If you’re following after God, then will show…and you will know you’re perfectly secure in your salvation…in your eternal destination.

Truth is: Transformation is only transformation if it’s an on-going, transparently evident reality.  

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 – “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom). And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.”

Jesus often reminded his disciples how finding life required dying to ourselves. Paul summed this up beautifully in Philippians 1:21 - "To live is Christ and to die is gain." How do we bridge the gap? The cross. How do we know we’re “walking the cross”? If change is the one constant in our life. Why? Because it's our testimony – the real, tangible proof of God’s ongoing craftsmanship in our lives.

Power Up: We need to stop trying to walk the line. God didn’t create life to be a tightrope experience; He didn’t design us to think about how far we can go in terms of satisfying our own desires our way. He didn’t build this world for us just so we can define and chart our own course according to what makes us feel good about ourselves. There is a matrix out there, composed by a cunning enemy, seeking to deceive you, seeking to pollute your mind into believe you’re the center of your reality. The “matrix” wants you to walk the line, and surely doesn’t want you to believe the truth: we were made to "walk the cross" as the roadmap and pathway to enduring change.

The question is: Will we walk through the door? Will we allow God’s work to be evident in our life? Or will we take the “blue pill” and keep it in the closet, the rear-view mirror and on the backburner? If you’ve accepted Christ a long time ago, but the cross is nothing more than history to you, then so will be the change you’re desperately looking for. But if you take the “red pill” and make the decision to “walk the cross”, then you’ll start to understand why we’re called to be like Christ.



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