Focus on the Cross by Focusing on the Word.

18 Jan

Sometimes we just need to stop and think about the Cross.

I know. That sounds like a cliche. Something you’d expect to hear in church or from a Pastor.

But I wonder how many of us really get the significance of the Cross?

How many of us don’t tune out the preacher the minute he starts talking about that?

“Yeah, yeah! I’ve heard it, preacher!”

And because we’ve heard it. We focus on other things during the message. We mentally balance our checkbook. We get out our phones and get on Facebook or play a game. We text. We look at how the Pastor is dressed.

We are so easily distracted.

But the Cross is something that deserves our full attention.

It represents the single greatest event that ever occurred and was brought about by the greatest Being to ever walk the earth.

We talk about Jesus all the time.

We sing about Him.

We pray to Him.

We yell his name as a curse word.

We talk about Him but we don’t really know Him.

We tell people that they need to have a relationship with Jesus. We say that is the mission of the church.

Yet do we really have a relationship with Him? Do we know Him?

Oh, I know .  Most of us know about the fact that He was born of a virgin.

Why is that even significant?

Basically , Jesus could not have a Mortal farther because a Son was born with thy Fathers “Sin”,
And ALL men have sinned.
And the son of God could have no sin.
And being born to a Virgin would assure that Jesus Was born with no sin.

And so Jesus was born sinless. And walked through this world sinless.

And when the time came that the penalty for our sins had to be paid, only Jesus could make that payment.

Because, we are all sinners. If you have ever lied, stolen, lusted, said the name of God in vain, or got jealous of someone’s stuff, then you are a sinner. Everybody who has ever lived (except for Jesus) has sinned at one point or another in their life. The Bible says that sin separates us from God, and so everybody deserves to go to Hell. There HAD to be some kind of punishment for sin. Even in the Old Testament, there was always some kind of punishment for sin. Jesus took the punishment for all of us, so now if we will repent from our sins and trust in Him then we can go to Heaven and be reconciled with God.

John 3:16 makes that clear.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

So far, you probably haven’t heard anything you don’t know.

But we are told to model our lives after Him so that we can live for Him.

But most of us only have the basic knowledge that i just mentioned.

“Isn’t that enough?”

Not really.

If we are to pattern our lives after Him, shouldn’t we know more than that?

So many things get pinned on Jesus that are contrary to who He actually was.

I hear it all the time.

“My Jesus would not have a problem with that. He wants everyone to be happy with someone they love.”

My Jesus would not want a young woman to go through a unwanted pregnancy.”

“My Jesus would understand why I can’t forgive that person.”

Jesus would really not want nothing to do with me. I’ve made too many screw ups. My life is too messed up.”

And everyone of those statements is wrong.

How do we know that? Because those understandings of Jesus do not match up with the Jesus of scripture.

All through the New Testament, Jesus affirmed scripture. He did not want us to just focus on His Words, but to look at the writings of the entire canon of Scripture.

That is why you constantly heard Him say “It is written”. That is why He referred to the characters of the Old Testament such as Abraham, Moses, and Jonah.

To know Jesus and His teachings, one has to study scripture.

Check out Psalms 119:11.

Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.

Yet most of us don’t.

We carry it in here as a decoration.  Or we lamely tell the preacher that we have it on our phones.

But the truth is that it is our most unopened app.

The Word of God lies unopened in our home, on our phone, and in our lives.

And so we have no grounding in our faith.

We don’t understand the will of God because we don’t read His Word.

We don’t understand about His position on any issues because we never read His Word and what it has to say.

We don’t really know Him.

So our understanding of Jesus never increases.

Our understanding of the will of God never increases.

And so we never truly live for Him because we don’t really know Him.

And we don’t know Him because we never read His Word.

And since we don’t know what it says, we can’t stand on it!

We can’t defend it.

We can’t live by it.

And our world gets further and further away from it and is allowed to redefine Christianity and what Jesus stands for.

Because those who claim to know Him don’t know His Word.

This is a challenge.

When was the last time you seriously read your Bible?

I don’t mean when someone asked you to open it and read a verse in church. I mean taking time and getting alone by yourself and gleaning from His Word?

Don’t understand it? Get a better translation.

Still don’t understand it? There is a myriad of resources out there to help you do that.

But our world is crying out for a change. And true change can only come from the Word of God.

And in order to change the world, we must know the Word.

We can’t understand the power of the Cross unless we understand human nature and the very nature of God. And we can’t understand God unless we understand His Word.

And we can’t understand His Word unless we read it.

This week I challenge you.

Honor what Jesus did on the Cross.

By seeking His will… in His Word.cross

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