The road to Christ is paved in a heap full of grace and a mighty splash of mercy. He to us and us to others. For we cannot display to the world the ultimate riches and glory of the cross until we live out it’s true meaning. The cross is the portrait of the ultimate sacrifice- a life laid down so another could live. And while I have taken up my cross, the truth is I am not showing the world what a life lived in Christ looks like when I am not displaying grace and mercy to those around me. I am also not able to enjoy Christ’s life in me to the fullest, when I am not relying on him to do what he died to do—be the Grace & Mercy I need to show grace and mercy to others. This is where it is proven to my heart and the world how much better his ways are than mine; and how much more amazing his love, joy and peace is when it surpasses our understanding. He laid down his life for us, so we could lay down our lives for one another. It is a sacrifice to lay down our lives in the form of laying down our human nature. The nature of:
justice and revenge
and ultimately unforgiveness
It is a sacrifice to lay these down, but the price has been paid so we can pick up love, joy, peace, patience kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control by taking up the cross. By daily being filled with his spirit, washed in his Word, and overflowing with his praise.
So when I face the screaming child that makes me want to scream, the work-relationship that is just not working, the friendship that is failing, the customer “service” experience that is not quite service, the hardship that is hard, or the marriage that needs mending —I can cry out,
“Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Mark 14:36
Your will, not mine. These words prayed by Jesus just before he truly took up the cross and died a horrific death for me. But God was with Jesus and he is with us too. And if he chooses to take us through it, He will give us what we need to get to the other side. It’s my choice whether I get there battered, bruised and crushed in spirit or stronger, kinder, gentler, and more secure. And that is what the world will see—how we, his children, respond in our perceived calamities.
We are a light to a dark and dying world. So let us be just that—a Light. No matter the cost, no matter the sacrifice, let his grace and mercy reign.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.a Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” Hebrews 12:1-3
Worship: I love music & I love to share it. Each song is for each post. Listen and Enjoy! Legacy
Gratitude: Give thanks— “Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Mark 14:36
Grow: Read Hebrews 12:1-3 (Quoted Above). How does this resonate with you? How does this convict you? What do you need to throw off to be able to run the race well that God has set before you?
Give: What difficult situation can you thank God for today? How will you live out the fruits of the spirit this week in lieu of the “bad fruits” of our human nature?
Each LSLW post includes three areas of reflection in hopes to offer a chance for us to give thanks, grow in our personal faith and find ways to pour out from our lives what Christ has poured into us.
Artwork Credit: Kelly Angle
© Tamara Gurley 2014