A few cross-centered quotes to encourage and embolden you to live the cruciform life:
“The Gospel is better than unconditional love. The Gospel says, “God accepts you just as Christ is. God has ‘contraconditional’ love for you.” Christ bears the curse you deserve. Christ is fully pleasing to the Father and gives you His own perfect goodness. Christ reigns in power, making you the Father’s child and coming close to you to begin to change what is unacceptable to God about you. God never accepts me “as I am.” He accepts me “as I am in Jesus Christ.” The center of gravity is different. The true Gospel does not allow God’s love to be sucked into the vortex of the soul’s lust for acceptability and worth in and of itself. Rather, it radically decenters people-what the Bible calls “fear of the Lord” and “faith”-to look outside themselves.”
~ David Powlison [HT: Blue Fish Project]
“Peacemakers are people who breathe grace,” Ken reminds us. The peace of God transcends all understanding and it fills their hearts like fountains bubbling over with mercy, kindness, genuine care, and abiding love. They are so filled with God’s grace that they splash it onto everyone around them. They could no more stop breathing grace than a person could stop breathing air-because grace is the air that they breathe. Their prayers sound something like this:
• Breathing grace in: The one true holy God sent his Son to die for me? I am saved from hell, from my sin; justified before this holy God; forgiven and adopted? What wondrous love is this! Thank you, God. Thank you for forgiving me all my sins and making the way for me to be at peace with you. I worship You!
• Breathing grace out: And now, dear Lord, as I head into my day-let the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ be the heartbeat of my life. Please, God, let every word I say, every action I take, the attitude of my heart, my desires and inclinations-let my life be used by You, for Your glory and the furtherance of Your Kingdom. Please help me to treat others not as they deserve-but as You treat me. May I be your image-bearer, your representative, your ambassador. Thank You, Lord.
Some Christians love to talk about the sins of Obama or gays or the mainstream media, but get really animated when I suggest we need to talk about our own, even if they are listed in the Bible dozens of times.
If the Gospel isn’t grabbing you by the real sins in your real life, just exactly what is the Gospel doing for you? Or you with it?
~ Michael Spencer [Read the rest of this one at Internet Monk.]
“What a wonderful open door God has placed before the church of today. A pagan world, weary and sick, often distrusting its own modern gods. A saving gospel strangely entrusted to us unworthy messengers. A divine Book with unused resources of glory and power. Ah, what a marvelous opportunity, my brethren!”
~ J. Gresham Machen, God Transcendent, page 154. [HT: Christ Is Deeper Still]