A week or so ago, I posted the video to the song The Scandal of Grace by Hillsong. (If you’re curious about the song, it can be found here.) And it was just one more confirmation for me that the journey I’ve been on in 2018 has been to be more like Jesus and to follow Jesus wholeheartedly. But today, something from that song also hit me, it’s the line that says, “the cross has taught me to live.”
Is the cross teaching you to live like it’s teaching me to live? If so, in what ways? Let me share with you some of the ways the cross has taught me to live this last year and is teaching me to live in this current season.
Letting go of the opinions of others was a huge lesson for me this last year. Now that’s not to say that the words of others didn’t at time hurt because they did. But it does mean that I chose over and over again to follow the Way of the Cross which is to let Christ be my defender. I chose to leave people at the foot of the cross, trusting that the same God who was forgiving, loving, and changing me was able also to do that for others. I also learned how to ask for forgiveness when I blew it!
2018 also taught me to believe in God in new ways. You see the power of the cross is this: Jesus’ death and ressurection made a new way. It’s an entirely new way of living with supernatural resources available to us. It’s called forgiven and free and empowered. And in that forgiveness, freedom and empowerment, we are free to discover who we are and to live it fully – in every season. We are free to do things like share in another’s joy (Lk 1:58b); free to obey Christ and allow our heart to not harden (Heb 3:15); free to ask to for divine wisdom (Ja 1:5); free to make a decisive dedication of our bodies (Ro 12:1); free to accept Jesus’ invitation to follow him, allowing him to make us catchers of people (Mt 5:19 Msg).
The cross is teaching me to live. It’s teaching me about stewardship of call and gifting over title and position. It’s teaching me how to be present with God in the waiting, in the times when we don’t have clarity. (I’m writing a sermon on this very topic which will be preached December 30, 2018.) It’s teaching me about abiding in Jesus. This cross is also teaching me about love and pain and hope and joy.
The cross is teaching me how to live like Jesus, and friends, I long to be like Jesus. What about you?
Carmen, through teaching, speaking, pastoring, blogging, and podcasting, invests in others so they can lead and live better. She is the founder of LEAD Women Ministries, ordained with the PAOC, an Associate Pastor at Westside Pentecostal Church, holds an MA in Leadership & Management, and she can often be found collaborating with other leaders or organizations on projects where there are outcomes to grow people’s confidence, competence, and character.