What do we really want?

April 13, 2012

Psalm 119: 9-16 NIV

9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity? 
By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
12 Praise be to you, LORD;
teach me your decrees.
13 With my lips I recount
all the laws that come from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches.
15 I meditate on your precepts
and consider your ways.
16 I delight in your decrees;
I will not neglect your word.

What do I really want?  Do I really want success?  Do I really want lots of friends?  Do I want a perfect family and a life without problems?  What do I really want?  Of course I want these things.  Who doesn’t.  There is nothing wrong with that.  But what do I want the most?

I tell people I really want to have a relationship with Jesus but sometimes my life really doesn’t reflect it.  These verses from Psalm 119 are my true heart.  It is what I strive for daily.  Sometimes I fall short but I love Jesus and I am truly striving to know him.

Jesus has given me so many great things.  A loving family, a good career, a place to live, enough money to get by.  I cannot ask for anything more.  I have what I need.

Here is what I want.  I want a loving, deepening relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ.  I want that with all my heart, soul and body.  I feel the Holy Spirit pull on my heart so hard sometimes I think it is going to come out of my chest.

I LOVE JESUS!  He is my best friend.  All else flows from that fact.  What I want also is to have my life reflect my heart.  I want others to see my love for Jesus and be attracted to him.

Jesus please forgive me for not always living the way I want to so others see your greatness in me.  I want to know you and live for you.  Help me achieve to be the person you want me to be.  It is time for me to go to work for you.  I your name, Amen.

 

6 words changed my life for eternity.  They are:

1. It is finished 

2.  He is risen.

As I think about what Good Friday and Easter mean to me, I keep going back to those 6 powerful words written in Scripture that have had such an eternal impact on my life. 

What if those words didn’t exist in Scripture?  What would my life be like?  I would still be lost wandering around searching for truth and a purposeful meaning to my existence.  My sins and all of the terrible things that I have done in my life would not have been forgiven.  I would not have a secure place in Heaven.  I would not have met all of the amazing people Jesus put into my life to help shape me as a person and as a disciple of His.  I would not have found true peace wrapped up in the arms of a loving God.

I would not have been able to share this beautiful Gospel of hope with others who so desperately needed Jesus in their lives.  I would not have seen some of them give their lives over to Jesus and change their eternal destiny.  I would not have been able to witness my daughter be baptized.  I would not have been able to stand in the pulpit and preach the Good News.

Without those 6 words my life would not have the meaning it does now.  What do those 6 words mean to you?  How have they changed your life? 

It is finished.  He has risen indeed.

It was Thursday.  The day before Jesus was betrayed and sentenced to die on the cross.  What was on his mind?  Was he worried?  Was he begging for his life?  Did he run away? 

No.  Jesus first thought was that his time was short and he had so much yet to teach his disciples.  Humility was next.  Read this beautiful passage of love and humility.  Jesus truly understood what it meant to be a servant leader.  His love for us is never ending.

John 13

Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet

 1It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

 2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

 6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

 7Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

 8“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

   Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

 9“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

 10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

 12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

What is the Cross of Christ?  Is it art?  Is it a cool tatoo?  Is it a medieval image of torture?  Is it a rugged image of humility and love showing how far Jesus went to show us his love for us? Is the cross an image of hope and forgiveness leading to eternal life with Jesus in Heaven?  As we move through the Holy Week leading to Good Friday and Easter I thought I would look at the Bible to see what God says about the Cross of Christ. 

Looking at the verses below, the Bible says the Cross of Christ is many things.  Most are taken completely out of context today or are just completely ignored.  As 1 Corinthians 1:18 says it is foolishness to those who are perishing but it is the power of God for those who are being saved.

Matthew 16:24
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

Mark 15:21
[ The Crucifixion of Jesus ] A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross.

Luke 14:27
And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

John 19:17
Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha).

John 19:19
Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Acts 2:23
This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.

Acts 10:39
“We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross,

1 Corinthians 1:17
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

1 Corinthians 1:18
[ Christ Crucified Is God’s Power and Wisdom ] For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Galatians 5:11
Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished.

Galatians 6:14
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Philippians 2:8
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

Philippians 3:18
For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.

Colossians 2:14
having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.

Colossians 2:15
And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Hebrews 12:2
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

1 Peter 2:24
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

The cross is a sign of God’s power, it is a sign of ultimate obedience, it is an image of death, it is a symbol of forgiveness, it is a messenger of hope, it is Jesus’ sign of his extravagant love for us.  When I look on a cross, it makes me feel incredibly humble and grateful.  It also makes me full thankful that Jesus paid my price and I never have to hang from that humiliating apparatus to pay for my sins.  The cross is a sign of finality.  It is indeed finished.  Jesus said so.