Thank You for The Cross

by Rebecca Olmstead on April 2, 2012

in Meat & Potatoes

Blessings Friends,

Ephesians 2:4-10:

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

It’s so easy to get caught up in the eggs hunts, chocolate bunnies, Easter dinner, even Easter programs and forget that the true miracle of Christ’s resurrection wasn’t a dead man coming back to life. Jesus brought several dead people back to life, probably more than we know. And I’m talking about physical death, here.

The true miracle is mentioned in the above scripture. He raised ME from the dead as well. Spiritual death. From the moment I believed, I was seated in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. I may be in the world, but I’m not OF the world. By His death and resurrection, Jesus made me God’s kid, too.

Romans 8:16-18:

“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”

He announced this to Mary at the tomb in John 20:17 as well:

“Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’”

To deny this is to deny Christ and His great gift. To accept, and live it is to glorify God, as He says to the world, “Look! See what I have done!” This is the truth that breaks me, brings me to my knees. And only when I accept this awesome truth, knowing that it was all His doing, and not because I earned it, but because He loves me, am I capable of fulfilling the command of Colossians 3:12-17:

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Pride and self-delusion are stripped from me in the light of His grace, just as it was when He turned my cancer into “a lump of inflamed tissue.” This is what makes me so eager and willing to be a servant. And it’s all by His hand. He makes it possible for me to live in The Spirit, so contrary to the world. What a God!

My prayer is that God will show you the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to you in Christ Jesus. My prayer is that you will all know His peace.  Jesus is with us. He hears us, he cares for us, and He alone can get us through. Don’t trust your eyes, or ears . . . or tail bone. Trust in The Giver of Life, and receive His life.

Lord,

It never ceases to amaze me and humble me that, even before You laid the foundations of the world, You knew me. My rebellion, my bullheadedness, my temper, my selfishness, my fear, my stupidity . . . everything I would do and fail to do. You knew I would constantly be falling short. And even then, You didn’t look on me with condemnation. You saw me as your child. You saw my desperate need for You, and You decided even then that You would rather die than see me perish. Because You are Love.

How could I ever repay such a debt, to the only Father I’ve ever known, except to offer up that which You have saved? A living sacrifice. It isn’t much, but it’s all I have, and I’m all Yours. You alone can bring forth beauty from desolation. You make the barren desert blossom with color. You make the frigid arctic team with life. Have Your way with me, oh Lord, and make me shine for You.

Thank You for loving me. Thank You for Your beautiful gift. Thank You for the cross.

 

God’s grace and peace be yours,

Rebecca

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