As a U.S. citizen who has lived outside the U.S. and returned, there is a glaring difference in our culture. The “American Dream” tells us that you can be anything and do anything. You can go to school, get a degree, read books, watch videos, and before you know it, you are on your way. Anything that I want to do, I can do it. There really is no need of God. Maybe in the beginning when it is a little scary or just before the final exam, but other than that I can do it. The danger of this mentality, because we all have it to some degree, has trickled into the church as well. It is easy for a church to be run, great plans made, community outreaches developed all through research of how others have done it, reading books, listening to podcasts, etc…. Even in ministry, there is a huge temptation to “pull yourself up by your bootstraps and make it happen.” We don’t need God. If we do, we will let HIM know when.
This reality should push us to reexamine our own hearts and motives. Are we desperate for the LORD? Do we recognize that they only reason we take the next breath is because of God’s grace? The Bible is clear that apart from HIM we can do NOTHING! So why do we try, with all that we are, to do good things without the source of power, strength, and direction that comes from GOD? It’s the same reason we can decorate our houses with crosses and forget the meaning of it all together. Just as we look back at when we surrendered our lives to Christ and tremble at what we would be today without HIM, we need to pause and look back at the cross and think about what life would be like had it never come to pass. Join me today as dive into a two part series on the cross. – Jeff