Sunday, June 1, 2014

When the World and Its Temptations Wither Away

“Look to the cross, think of the cross, meditate on the cross, and then go and set your affections on the world if you can.”
— J.C. Ryle (1816–1900)
Long before the world there was Christ Jesus, hung on a cross for the sins of the world (and each one of us), a history of redemption hatched in the Godhead from eternity – to a ‘land before time’. Notwithstanding the vital completion of the Gospel’s work – the resurrection and ascension of the Lord – there is something unparalleled in the work of the cross.
The cross is love,
Inspired from above,
Jesus overcame our defeat,
His mission, complete.
As we ponder that cross,
Jesus dealing with our dross,
With his love we connect,
Every moment we reflect.
That’s the Spirit’s power,
In the perplexing hour,
He is our hope,
Our strength in weakness to cope.
Contemplate the Cross – and the World Doesn’t Stand a Chance
Reconciling the work done in its entirety – Jesus on the cross for our sins and for our salvation (one and the same, so far as the affect is concerned) – we merely need to embark on a work of enjoying the power of the cross.
Such a power as the cross works all the more effectively as we contemplate it. Sure, we have great power of the Spirit – the resurrection power of God. But this power for focus on the cross of Christ is power for the simple and salient reason that the world can’t get in if we have made room only for the marvellous reality of the cross.
This is why worship is so vital if we wish at all to be transformed, in any way, by God’s prevailing Spirit. What we focus on we, of an essence, become.
In the practical workings of life, we merely need to construct for ourselves a safe bubble within which to continually see and acknowledge the fullness of the cross.
What we spend our time on, that is the direction of our lives.
The cross and what it means is superior to anything we could think of. Could the world truly have anything attractive to offer us when the fullness of the glory of God – the love of the Lord who went to the cross for each one of us – is compared?
We wear crosses but we don’t focus on the cross. When we do, seeing the love of Jesus Christ in gaping fullness, we cannot help but respond. Our Lord’s Passion effuses passion in any of us who partake in something of what he went through – for you and me.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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