Monday, February 14, 2011

RUNNING FOR THE CROSS

Every sermon should be running for the Cross!


Having been involved with Pastoral Ministry for over 30 years it is hard to imagine doing anything else with the same intensity and compassion.  Over the years I have worked a Substance Abuse Counselor with various agency in order to subsidies my income, but the compassion and love that I have for ministry over shadows my thinking of which I love more.

When God called me with a very clear heart felt call at the age of 13 years old, I never looked back preaching and ministry was all I could focus on.  My pastor as I grew up was Dr. Don Lougheed at the Flint Baptist Temple, in Burton, Michigan: His statement to all us preacher’s boys was:  “No matter where you start in the Bible in Genesis 11:1, Psalm 23, or Luke 10 your only priority is to run for the Cross!” Dr. Don said it with such compassion and he believed that the Cross was the central point of every conversation, every sermon, and every thought he had.

Why “running for the Cross” clearly the cross is the foundation point of all Christianity, and the pivotal point of our relationship with God. I once heard the illustration and don’t know who gave it. “Before the foundation of the earth the Triune Godhead was talking abut the creation of earth, mankind, and what this man should be like.  Should he have a free-will, be a robot, or just someone that is a yes man?  The agreement was reached he would have a Free Will to choose how he worshipped God, so the Godhead agreed that God the Father would create the world and mankind, the Son of God said since we know that a man with free will would ultimately make some bad choices HE agreed to pay the price for those bad choices (sin), and clearly the only way to do this was through the Shedding of Blood (thus have the Cross), and the Holy Spirit agreed he would lead them in the righteous path if they would listen.”

Because of these decisions so long ago we now understand the need for the Cross, Moses, Jacob, David, and all the other Patriarchs of the Old Testament, where looking for the blessed event to happen when there sins would be forgiven by the perfect lamb as discussed in Isaiah 53, the looking for the Cross to happen.  As Peter, Paul, James and others of the New Testament writes sit to pen their great words of wisdom, encouragement and the message of a redeeming, loving, caring, saving Lord they are looking back at the Cross. They realize that it is through this one event, one place, and one person that all mankind can come to a perfect salvation experience.

The scripture are full of great examples of people coming to a place of believing in the personal relationship with Christ. They sought a understanding of the Cross, its importance, and the personal sacrifice by Christ that it brought for each of us.

On a note found under his pillow, in prison, after his death, Watchman Nee had written “Christ is the Son of God. He died to atone for men's sin, and after three days rose again. This is the most important fact in the universe. I die believing in Christ.”  He had a understanding of the importance of the Cross, for his own personal salvation experience.