Sunday, November 7, 2010

Faith-focused & Cross-centered

We are creatures of habit, and our habits reflect our true selves because we all build our daily lives around our priorities and passions. We make time for what we truly value, building habits and routines around the things that really matter to us. As believers we should lead lives that are faith-focused and cross-centered. A faith-focused, cross-centered life is made of faith-focused, cross-centered days. How do you apply your faith in every area of life? The answer is to preach the Gospel – the unshakable faith foundation – to yourself. Here is what matters most: You’re forgiven! You have hope! Your hope is based on Jesus’ sacrifice. Let today – and every day – be governed by this one defining truth. Here are five practical ways to do that.

1. Memorize the Gospel – Store up God’s Word in your heart (Psalm 119:11). Then, no matter where you are or what you’re doing, you can pull them out and be strengthened by their truth. Not good at memorization? That’s no problem. Don’t give up. Work at it. God isn’t keeping score. It may take you longer than someone else, but it’s worth the effort. (2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 2:20-21; Romans 3:23-26; 5:6-11; 8:31-34; Isaiah 53:3-6)

2. Pray the Gospel – The Gospel should be at the center of our prayer life. We may boldly approach God only because we are accepted in God’s beloved Son, through His work on the cross. Thank God for forgiveness of sins. Be thankful that because of the cross you’re reconciled to God, and have been given the Holy Spirit to dwell in you, lead you, guide you, and empower you to follow after Christ.

3. Sing the Gospel – It doesn’t matter how well or how poorly you sing, a Christian’s heart should be overflowing every day with the song of Calvary. Not all worship songs are created equal. Many are more centered on ourselves than on Christ. Sing songs that focus more on what Jesus has already done than on what we need or want God to do. Here is an example of what I mean. It's the hymn Cross of Jesus by Keith and Kristyn Getty:

Cross of Jesus cross of sorrow
Where our sinfulness was laid
Perfect love on you was broken
As the way to God was paved

Cross of love - the scar of heaven
Cross of love - that heals my soul
Let me not forget such mercy
Let me give the life I owe

O what language shall I borrow
As I praise You faithful friend
How for us You bore our suffering
In Your love which has no end

Died that I might be forgiven
By a power not my own
With His glory set before me
Cross of Jesus lead me home

Make the Gospel the sound track of your day.

4. Review the Gospel – Always remember how the Gospel has changed you. Be reminded of how marvelous God’s salvation is. Remember and be encouraged that God is faithful! (Philippians 1:6)

5. Study the Gospel – To grow in your passion for Jesus has done, increase your understanding of what He has done. The Gospel is life-changing, world-altering truth. You’ll never exhaust its depths. Read the Bible with your eyes peeled for the Gospel. Camp out in the Gospels, Colossians, Romans, and Galatians. Read books like The Discipline of Grace and The Gospel for Real Life by Jerry Bridges and What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. A faith-full life is made of faith-filled days. Keep drawing near one day at a time by memorizing, praying, singing, reviewing, and studying the Gospel.

I've read all the above in the book The Cross-Centered Life. I'd encourage you to read that book as well. The contents of this post have been particularly helpful to me.

1 comment:

Greg Smith said...

No one should live too far away from these principles... Thx!