This last week we were looking at "the cross" and what that meant to us."Following Jesus means following the way of the cross" (taken from the text in Luke 9:23) What did Jesus do for us on the cross? He gave up everything for us. We looked at John 13:1-17, the passage of Jesus' washing the disciples feet before he was crucified. We meditated on what that act meant in that culture and what is the equal to it for nowadays, and we contemplated the facts that Jesus had all power, he knew what was going to happen, and yet he chose to do the one thing that in that time frame spoke of utter service to someone. And he even washed the feet of the one who would betray him. (which btw He knew that also) How convicting to me. A quote from the workbook - "Christ's love for us, in his sacrificial giving of himself, is our model as we seek to live "a life of love". (I think that pretty much sums up this paragraph) The Cross should affect every aspect of our lives especially with how we deal with people in our daily/weekly lives - Humbly serving, sacrificial.
Then it moved onto looking to the cross for our acceptance. This was the best part for me because I can tend to feel guilty about what I do or don't do. How much I do or don't do - but none of that affects what the "cross" means for me. "We are accepted by God so that we might be free to follow the way of the cross" and we don't follow the way of the cross to be accepted. We are under "no condemnation" b/c of the cross - Jesus took our place. In talking in our small group, a friend mentioned she had heard that once we are saved we should never think about condemnation - we need to be convicted but never feel condemnation. How Freeing!!!!! "there is no need to earn approval, no need to prove yourself" C.J. Mahaney states, "God is glorified when we believe with all our hearts that those who trust in Christ can never be condemned". How wonderful and encouraging to read this.
And this love that Jesus had for us - that he died in our place before we had any good in us, when we were at our worst state before we did anything "good" - never changes, he has died and that will not change. He died for me - and that should give me confidence to take up my cross and follow him, to live in service to others and him, to be joyful and to praise him. Even in the mundane things that "us mothers" do daily. Cooking for family, cleaning, laundry, dressing toddlers, correcting/disciplining toddlers, helping neighbors and people we run into regularly - All of it needs to be seen through the lens of "the Cross".
I loved this chapter that we read. It was wonderful to meditate on. I pray that I never stray from the cross. I pray that it will often be in my mind and on my lips, that I will relish in the Cross and what that means for me, and then in turn my actions will also show that.
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