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March 17, 2014

Nailed to the Cross

It's one thing to wear a cross around your neck. It's another thing to nail yourself to it. 

"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and game Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).

Jesus told us that we cannot live for God and live for ourselves at the same time. I know the reality of this statement all too well. We can't serve two masters (Matthew 6:24).  

Yet, as men, this tends to be what we end up doing. While God calls us to build our lives upon Him, we too often build our lives around Him. We compartmentalize Jesus into one small area of our lives and miss out on the opportunity to having God impact every aspect of our lives.

Too many times, our faith is like the cross we wear around our necks. It is something we can put on or take off as we choose. If it's not convenient to wear our cross at the workplace or within our marriage, we can just remove it. Not so if you make a decision to nail yourself to it. Regardless of the circumstance or the relationship, when you nail yourself to the cross, you will become less and Christ will become more. This is where God does His greatest work in our lives.

"When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

In order to recalibrate our lives upon Jesus, we need to refocus on the cross of Christ and the true meaning of His love.

More than anything love is not an emotion but a vow of resolve.  God's love for us is delivered within a covenantal promise sealed with His sacrifice and His commitment. As a man of God, this is my model of love.  There can be no real love apart from sacrifice and commitment. For Christians, God's love was made most real at the cross.

As a husband and a father, my wife and kids know my love for them through my sacrifices and commitment. Anything less is not love and they know this. To say I love them and not be willing to put their interests before mine is not love. The same holds true for commitment. My love is only as real as I commit myself to their needs before God.  

"Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves" (Philippians 2:3).

Practically speaking, this means my wife and kids come before me. And this is key, I do it in a way that lets them know my delight in serving them. Our love for others is an act of worship before God (Romans 12:1). 

God knows I'll never attain perfection as a husband or a father. Yet, to love my family as God loves me is my life priority. It is my greatest life pursuit. I can no longer just wear a cross; I must nail myself to it.

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