Have you “lost” your cross? -I Corinthians 1:18

Today I was working with my friend Bruce. As I arrived he was very excited, “I have a pretty cool story to tell you,” he said. I had come over to help him paint his bathroom. “Years ago, when I was a young dad we took our children to the aquarium. It was so crowded that day that I actually was carrying my son. I clutched him tightly to my chest as we made our way down the crowded corridor. It was so packed that there was literally no way I was putting a toddler on the floor. At that time in my life I had a simple gold cross that I used to wear. It was very special to me.”( He went on to explain that he knew many had conflicting beliefs about wearring crosses, but at that time in his life it held great significance.)

“Well,” he said, ” as we were walking down that crowded hall my son saw the shiny cross, hanging from my neck, and playfully he grabbed at it. As he grasped it pulling it towards himself it broke free from my neck and flew from his grasp. Without knowing it he had flung it across the hallway somewhere in the midst of the slow moving line of visitors. The crowd kept inching forward. There was no way to even stop and look for it; it was lost.” Bruce went on to tell the story, “Later that day the crowd had thinned. I didn’t even realize we were standing in that same hall. We were looking at the beautiful fish through the thick glass and I happened to glance down at the floor. There between my shoes was my cross.

I stood in that bathroom unaware of where Bruce was standing or what he was looking at, or why he was telling me the story about the aquarium. He continued, “I brought the cross home and wore it for many years. Sometime later the cross disappeared again. Once again, it was lost. I never knew what happened to it.” Then Bruce pointed to the electrical outlet. There hanging from a screw on the exposed outlet was a beautiful gold cross. “Today when I removed the mirror the cross fell and caught there. I don’t ever remember putting it up there, but one day I must have placed it atop the mirror as I prepared to shower.”

We both rejoiced, “God is so good”, I said laughing. “That is a really cool story.

I do think it’s an amazing story and I do think God was good to Bruce TWICE and helped him find something that was lost. I think we overlook it but God delights in showing us His goodness every day. It’s why we stop and “say “Grace”; a simple prayer reminds us daily that our God is good to us….Soooo good.

But as I stood there this simple story reminded me of something more powerful. “Have any of us “lost our cross?” Maybe it slipped from our grasp in the midst of a crowded time in our life. Maybe somehow it got lost or misplaced in the midst of our daily routine. Obviously I am not referring to a physical cross that you wear around your neck.

In I Corinthians 1:18, Paul speaks about this. He says, “now you and I know the message of the cross is important and powerful, in fact to those if us who are believers, it is the MOST important thing of all.” When we become believers the message of the cross, what our Saviour did there for us, and the power that flows from that cross to change our lives is unparalleled. The cross changes everything, and our lives reflect that.

We walk about “wearing” the cross, displaying “The Cross”, and stopping anyone we can to tell them “our Cross Story”. But as important and valuable as it is, sometimes in the business of our life…it gets lost or misplaced and although we know it’s missing, somehow life goes on. We start living again without “wearing our cross”.

With the glorious season of Resurrection approaching let’s all “find our Cross”….and wear it proudly. It is a beautifully horrific symbol and the love story it represents is matchless . When properly worn the cross is not a small trinket. It isn’t light. Its symbolism is powerful and to recall the Story is disturbing, unsettling, and life changing. It is meant to evoke such response. In 2 Corinthians 4:10 Paul says we are “Always to Bear About, the body of our Dying Lord Jesus”, in other words carry the message and story of His cross with us, daily, wherever we go. Be ABOUT the cross. We are called to be “cross-bearers”. Not sure how you are going to do it. Pray about it and as he says in Roman’s 1:16 let’s not be ashamed of His most beautiful story

Find it,brush it off and proudly wear your cross.

PS: Pray about it. Ask God to show you how to tell others this Spring. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you opportunity cities to talk with others about the Cross. Feel free to post your stories here. Resurrection Challenge 2019

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Watch “God Provides Lyric Video” on YouTube

Sorry to forego a formal post today, but I just had to share this song. I was lower than a snake’s belly yesterday (in my Spirit). It is not the lack or the delay in God’s answer to my prayers that get me down, but seeing the affect that this all has on my family that gets to me. Anyhow, I just thought I would share that. As a man, you feel like it is “your” job to provide. When you can’t…you feel helpless. I am learning perhaps instead we should be teaching our families that it is ALWAYS HIS job to provide…and He is good at it. Tough times are an opportunity to teach your family about Jehivah Jireh. It’s a punch in the gut, for sure, but remember the illusion that we are “providing” for our families, even in good time, is just that, an illusion. In good or in lean times He alone is always our SOLE provider.

This song was just “perfectly” starting to play when I turned the key to drive to my first job yesterday. (WMBW Moody Radio 88.9) Wow…what a Word of God for me. Had to share it with you. Let’s EXTOL Him (upcoming post tease).

Genesis 22:14 is the ONLY time this name for God is used in the Bible. Stop and read this familiar story and be reminded of His “resume” of provision.

PS: Got to my ABF at 6:30 (Brainerd Hills Baptust Church…Chattanooga, if you are looking for an awesome weekly, Bible study) and a visitor was explaining how he lost his “best” job, how God provided, and then how that loss opened the door for an even better job. Hmmm, and my son called me in the morning to pray for me. Sounds like “angels” and The Holy Ghost were working OT time to get a message to me yesterday.

If you are “waiting” for something…listen to this beautiful song…while you wait on Him. GOD PROVIDES…He has to…that is His name.

-PJ

Needed: Friend for Tough Job! Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

#vivavideo

Today a friend asked me to help him remove a popcorn ceiling. Together we worked at it for 4 hours. We got it done. I can honestly say I am not sure I could have completed it alone. I know it would have taken more than 8 hours.

Solomon explains this in Ecclesiastes chapter 4. He says, “Two are better than one. You will get a better return on your employment investment…if you hire two (my translation). He explains the power of mutual assistance, encouragement, and…when needed… even rescue.

In short Solomon teaches, “Life is hard…full of popcorn ceilings, don’t attempt it alone. Use friends. Today I was thankful for my friend Bruce. We did a very tough job, all day, and itbwasn’t even hard, or unpleasant…because…we worked at it “together”. We commented at the end that we didn’t even use a radio.

Thank God for your friends today. Give one a call and tell them how they have “helped you on a journey or a job”. Be a friend and be sure to call one, when you need a hand.

-Pastor Jim