Look to the Cross

These are crazy, stressful days. A world-wide pandemic, police brutality, social upheaval, riots, looting, angry words, bitter disagreements, competing narratives, racial divisions, and misunderstandings driven by different world views have ripped the fabric of our country into a thousand pieces.

Our nation has become so divided that people are suspicious of anyone with a skin color that is different from theirs; of actions that they can’t explain; of words that seem to have hidden meanings; of the possible unspoken intentions that words might or might not carry.

One of the sad parts of the world in which we find ourselves is that it doesn’t matter if you are in the church or out of the church it’s the same. It shouldn’t be that way but it is, at least for some people.

Is there an answer? For the church that is. Do we have an answer for how we should think about these things and how we respond to them?

There is. It’s the Cross. The Cross is the starting point for everything in the Christian experience.

The Cross changed it all, and it continues to be the compass for our lives.

It was at the Cross that anger met calmness. At the Cross hatred met love. At the Cross blame met forgiveness. At the Cross suspicion met trust. At the Cross guilt met innocence. At the Cross hostility met unity. At the Cross accusation met acceptance. At the Cross aggression met kindness. At the Cross violence met peace. At the Cross sin met holiness.

And the Cross won every time.

As Christians we are people of the Cross. We have been changed by the man of the Cross. We have been soaked in the blood of the Cross. And we have been sent with the message of the Cross.

Allow your mind, how you think about the issues we are facing to be controlled by the Cross. Make sure your words, whether written, spoken or simply thought are directed by the Cross. Let your life be a reflection of the Cross.

The Power to live the Christian life is intimately tied to the Cross.

For the word of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us, who are being saved it is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18).

Stay in the Word,
Pastor Steve

When All Else Fails

One of the standard jokes about men is that they only read instructions (when assembling something) when all else fails. Sort of like how they read maps – or don’t! Not totally fair, but sometimes true. Men often look at directions as a necessary evil.

On one end of the spectrum ignoring instructions can be dangerous and simply dumb at the other end.

Directions are given to us for a reason, which is to make the job and therefore life easier. Following directions can save you time and frustration, not to mention peace of mind for your wife.

As Christians we have been given directions for life, which we often ignore. To our peril. Of course, I’m referring to the Word of God.

Too often, even Christians look at the Bible as something that cramps their style. A book of do’s but mostly don’ts. That’s not entirely accurate. Yes, there are a lot of things in the Bible that God says we shouldn’t do, but there are a lot more do’s – things God wants us to do.

Remember that the don’ts were given to us for our benefit (2 Timothy 3:16). Think of it like this – you’re driving on a dark, winding road in the rain. On the side of the road is a sign advising you to slow down because a sharp curve is up ahead. You’d be thankful for the warning.

God’s don’ts are often warnings given to us for our protection and they are ignored at our peril. Accept them as blessings from a loving heavenly father who has your best interests in mind and you will find that there is value in those don’ts.

Which brings me back to reading the instructions.

Maybe if we read the instruction manual (Bible) more, we would complain about it less. Becoming familiar with the Bible is the first step to understanding it. Once you begin to understand it, you become more in tune with it. As you get in tune with it, you begin to see the value in it. Once you see it’s value, you’ll begin to follow it’s instructions. All to your benefit.

So when all else fails in life – when you have tried everything you can think of to solve your problems and nothing has worked, read the instructions. I think that you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the information and value you find there.

Stay in the Word,
Pastor Steve