Get to the Cross and Never Leave - [image: Get to the Cross and Never Leave] Christians, in theory, cling to an “old, old story” in an era freshly fixed on what’s new. As a society, we are i...
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But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name," Acts 9:15-16.This is the commissioning made by our Lord concerning Apostle Paul (or Saul) after his conversion on the road to Damascus. It is quite the burden that is placed on Paul at the start of his Christian walk with our Lord. He was to be shown 'how much he must suffer' for the sake of Christ. Reading on about the story of Paul in the New Testament, we see just how true this was for him as he disregarded everything of life for the joy of knowing God in Christ Jesus:
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things, I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of the resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:7-11And Paul suffered for Christ. He experienced insults, false accusation, imprisonment, floggings, stonings, hunger, destitution. Paul became absolutely nothing in the eyes of the world. This was his commissioning by the Lord of Love and Grace? You bet!
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.If we know Christ intimately and once we start growing in Him, we know that this life is not really about us. We know that all things point to God. He is the one to be gloried, not us.
"O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in -- behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me." (Ps. 139:1-5, NIV).This is because God has taken special creative freedom to make each one of us who we are,
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." (Ps. 139:13-14a, NIV).
The above is a song by the famous band U2. It was first released on their 2000 Album, All That You Can't Leave Behind. And it's a powerful piece because of the message and for pointing to the grace we experience from Jesus Christ.Grace
GraceShe takes the blameShe covers the shameRemoves the stainIt could be her nameGraceIt’s a name for a girlIt’s also a thought thatChanged the worldAnd when she walks on the streetYou can hear the stringsGrace finds goodnessIn everythingGraceShe’s got the walkNot on a ramp or on chalkShe’s got the time to talkShe travels outsideOf karma, karmaShe travels outsideOf karmaWhen she goes to workYou can hear the stringsGrace finds beautyIn everythingGraceShe carries a world on her hipsNo champagne flute on her lipsNo twirls or skipsBetween her fingertipsShe carries a pearlIn perfect conditionWhat once was hurtWhat once was frictionWhat left a markNo longer stingsBecause grace makes beautyOut of ugly thingsGrace finds beautyIn everthingGrace finds goodnessIn everything