Friday, April 11, 2014

My Deliberate Purpose


I've been known to over complicate things a time or two...or ten. But one thing is for sure, I don't want to complicate The Gospel. I like the way The Message Bible unpacks verse two. Here it is:

"I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who He is, then Jesus and what He did-Jesus crucified." 

First Jesus: Who He Is.
Then Jesus: What He Did.
Jesus Crucified.

The crucifixion, the most humiliating way to die, was not in vain. Everything The LORD does has a purpose, and when we realize that the power of the cross transforms lives, we can't help live a different way. 

This is the plan of redemption. The crucifixion is His testimony of love; the greatest love story in all of His-story. This testimony changes hearts; restores lives; brings prodigals back; provides hope.

I like to call that God's power.

I'm a huge fan of song lyrics and I especially love singer/songwriters because I feel more connected to the song knowing the person singing it, wrote it and lived it out. Here are a few examples:

"That's the power of the cross, see the chains fall off..." (Power Of The Cross by Natalie Grant)

"There is freedom in the power of the cross, let the world see..." (In The Mystery by Hillsong)

"Mighty is the power of the cross..." (Mighty Is The Power Of The Cross by Chris Tomlin)

"There is hope in the promise of the cross, You gave everything to save the world You love..." (Anchor by Hillsong)

The power of the cross. It changes lives. The Message Bible says, "God's Spirit and God's power did it, which made it clear that your life of faith is a response to God's power..." (v.4)

I'm fairly confident that I sound like a broken record, but I want to express that it is God's power that changes lives, redeems us and makes us whole.

Here's proof via a personal paraphrase of an Albert Barnes quote: 

"He converts sinners. He grants peace, joy, and happiness. He transforms lives, by making us different people: 

-drunkard sober
-the thief honest
-the licentious pure
-the profane reverent
-the harsh and unkind- gentle and kind
-the wretched happy

"And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart." Ezekiel 36:26 NLT

This is my response to God's power. He changed my heart and transformed my life when He took my place on my cross. We have to make the cross personal to us. Had it not been for Jesus... O Lord have mercy.

I respond to Him by living a transformed life. Because I love Him. He made me different from what I once was. I now "carry this precious message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives..." 2 Corinthians 4:7

Let's not rely on limited human knowledge. It's all about knowing Christ and making Him known.

"...to make Christ crucified the grand object of his attention, and seek always and everywhere to make Him known." Albert Barnes

The message of the cross is the power of God for those who are being saved. Remember to pray for those who think its message is foolishness because Jesus is not willing that any should perish. (2 Peter 3:9)

First Jesus.
Then Jesus.

"It was not a matter of accident, or chance, that I made Christ my great and constant theme, but it was my deliberate purpose." -Albert Barnes

Lord, let it be so.





3 comments:

  1. Yes and Amen sis

    Thanks for sharing !

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  2. "This is the plan of redemption. The crucifixion is His testimony of love; the greatest love story in all of His-story. This testimony changes hearts; restores lives; brings prodigals back; provides hope." I love that--His-story. You are so right! I literally had chills when I read about making the cross personal--but it so is! That was MY cross and He took it from me. It's about who He is as a loving Savior and what He did. Thanks for sharing!

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