Oh the Wonderful Cross

When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer (hanged 64 years ago today.)

Oh the wonderful cross
Bids me come and die and find
that I may truly live

The enemy is a liar.  One lie he wants us to believe is that life–satisfaction, happiness, joy– exists in our possessions–our homes, our cars, our toys, our stuff.  But that’s not true!  True life is found in Jesus and Jesus alone–in loving Him and in loving others.  Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. Luke 12:15

Carol, an orphan sponsored in 2007

Carol, an orphan sponsored in 2007 (photo 2007)

I was reading through an old blog post I wrote in February of 2008, and it’s even more true today:

If I could summarize our experience over the last 6 (now 20!) months, I would use just one word…JOY!  I am left without words that adequately describe what God has done for us in changing our perspective on money and “stuff”.  He has set us free from the bondage we were in, and we are SO grateful.  His grace is amazing.

We’ve been going through (and will continue to) a process of surrender.  And what I’d like to share is that it hasn’t been painful, but joyful!  I think when we look at surrender from the outside, pressing our noses against the glass to “look in” and figure out how we might feel if we did surrender or give up those favorite possessions of ours, it looks “icky“.

Satan is the father of lies, and he wants to deceive us into thinking that what is joyful is actually icky.  Isn’t that mean?!  I want to share my new-found perspective, that it is not in fact “icky“.  The truth is, it is full of delight.  And the truth sets us free.  Every act of obedience is followed by blessing, and nothing is better than being blessed by God.  It is truly delightful!

Carol- April of 2009--recently shared with Esther her desire to become a nurse.  She is growing in maturity and in her walk with the Lord.

Carol- April of 2009--recently shared with Esther (Mugabi) her desire to become a nurse. She is growing in maturity and in her walk with the Lord.~ Brother John

Jesus vividly described what it’s like when we discover true wealth:  The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field.  When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.  (Matthew 13:44) …Having seen the value of this great treasure…, he sold all he had to obtain it.  Did the sacrifice pain him?  Should we feel sorry for him that the treasure cost him everything?  No!  “In his joy,” he sold all to obtain the treasure. Money, Possessions & Eternity– pg 94/95

The cross is laid on every Christian. The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world. It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ…

Thus it begins; the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die… It is the same death every time… the death of the old man at his call. ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24

Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all

And he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. 2 Corinthians 5:15

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