Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Wonderful Cross

Yesterday when I posted about the cross I couldn't help but to think about a quote from F.F. Bruce on the peace that comes from Christ that states:

"'Peace (shalom) be with you' was (and is) the usual Jewish greeting when friends met and parted. Jesus' farewell word of peace was different from that wich was current in the world. What he called 'my peace' was something deeper and more lasting, peace at heart which would banish anxiety and fear. Paul speaks to the same effect of the 'peace of Christ' which arbitrates in the hearts of his people, maintaining harmony among them (Col. 3:15), and of the 'peace of God' which stands sentry over their hearts and minds, preventing anxiety from gaining an entrace (Phil. 4:7). In these farewell discourses Jesus not only imparts to the disciples 'my peace' but also 'my love' (15:9, 10) and 'my joy' (15:11). When we recall that love, joy and peace are the first three graces in the fruit of the Spirit in Gal. 5:22, we may wonder if these three did not form a triad in primitive Christian thought comparable to faith, hope and love."

As I pondered the fruits of the Spirit and the privilege of the cross I realized how important the cross is in my relationship with Laura. Because I’ve been made free to love God by the cross I am now a recipient of love, joy and peace. What is the overflow of the reality of love, joy and peace, but the fruits of the spirit. Longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are all things that Christ manifested on the cross and they are all made possible in my life by the spirit working through me.

If I am to glorify God in my relationship with Laura and seek to serve her I need to daily be crying out for help because on my own I cannot walk by the fruits of the Spirit. I need to constantly be directing my gaze to the cross where Savior bled and died for me so that I can see the fruits of the spirit lived out to the fullest extent. I need to die with Him, so that I can live with Him and walk as He walked according to the Spirit. If I try to live on my own strength then it will be according to my flesh and denying the fruits that come from the cross.

He was longsuffering on the cross as He died for a people that didn’t show Him immediate praise and adoration.
He was kind on the cross as He didn’t treat those that crucified Him as they deserved.
He was good to us on the cross by giving up His life so that we can have life and have it to the full.
He was faithful to us on the cross by making the Lord’s mercy visible and providing atonement for our sin.
He was gentle to us on the cross by appeasing the Father’s wrath.
He used self control on the cross by not satisfying His flesh and coming down from the torture He faced on our behalf.

I need to daily come before the cross so that I can live more like my Savior everyday. At Calvary I meet the love, joy and peace that I was intended to have so that I can live the life I was made for.

“O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross
Bids me come and die and find
that I may truly live”

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