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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

"It's Still The Cross"

Message summary: Today join us in proclaiming, "I love that old cross".

Listen to this message on your audio player.

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:18).

It’s still the cross,
It’s still the blood of Calvary;
That cleanses sins,
And sets the captives free.
It’s still the Name,
The Name of Jesus,
That has power to save the lost;
It’s still the cross.

Yesterday I read an article by Joel Abbott, who contends the American church has been sick for a long time.
  • She's been infected with the prosperity gospel and materialism.
  • She's been focused on seeker sensitivity and tolerance – at the expense of the offending message of Christ crucified.
  • She's become enthralled by the lure of Marxist ideals of equity.
  • She's been too busy measuring what's right by the world's standards rather than God's.
  • She's been too afraid to speak the truth.
To many the message of the cross is foolishness but we who have Biblical belief and have experienced saving grace rejoice in the Cross, which is the ultimate demonstration of the love, wisdom and power of a holy God! The simple, yet profound words of the daily text are so wonderful this passion week when we remember what Christ did for us.

"The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing". Indeed to so many the message of the cross is foolishness. It’s mocked and ridiculed.  Our Savior is cursed and blasphemed. Apostasy (which means a falling away from the faith) is growing. Sadly even so many in the visible church want to do away with the cross. There are those who feel it might offend someone or not be "seeker sensitive".

Many also see the notion of the cross as a theological relic having gone so far as to assert the message of the cross is unneeded in our "enlightened" age. They are ignoring the redemption plan offered by God in the Bible and attempting to devise another one.

Daniel Kirk comments, “It is the cross that is foolishness and weakness to outsiders. Because Christ crucified is the way that God has acted to save the world, Paul insists that our normal ways of assessing smart practices and displays of power are prone to deceive us. Is the work of God powerful? Yes, Paul insists, but this power will only be seen as foolishness and weakness to others.”

“But to us who are being saved it (the cross) is the power of God.” We rejoice in the cross, which is a demonstration of the love, wisdom and power of God! Its power continues to break the heavy chains of sin and bondage. Today I am especially blessed by the three words, "But to us". Initially that would have been Paul and the Corinthian believers. But as a part of Scripture we can all say it!

Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is final and absolutely adequate to provide forgiveness for sins. Christ died once for all on Calvary’s Cross to redeem fallen mankind. No better plan is needed. No revised, customized or modified version of the original account should even be suggested. The mission of the faithful church and faithful Christian is to steadfastly proclaim the salvation message of the cross for “Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit” (1 Peter 3:18).

The apostle Paul said, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14). Today join us in proclaiming, "I love that old cross".

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross,
Where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Jesus, we consider everything that You went through was for our benefit. Your tender response to betrayal and cruelty serves as an example to us when we are treated unjustly. Your obedience in life and especially Your death on the cross shows us how to remain steadfast in the face of tremendous opposition. You embodied the very teaching You delivered to Your followers as You carried out the will of the Father no matter the cost. Each wound that tore Your flesh brought us spiritual and physical healing.  You were numbered with the transgressors so that we could be numbered with the saints. Because Your death was redemptive in power, the dark cross of Calvary has a wondrous attraction where we witness Your divine sacrifice on our own personal behalf. What wondrous, amazing love; it demands my soul, my life, my all. Amen.

Exposition quote from Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 by J.R. Daniel Kirk

“For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.’ Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:19-25).

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"It's Still the Cross"  Video  First Dallas Choir & Orchestra

"The Old Rugged Cross"  Video  Guy Penrod

"Power Of The Cross"  Video  Shane & Shane

"It's Still The Cross!"

(A selection of Scripture verses focusing on the Cross for personal, family or congregational reading.)

Worship leader: Here they crucified Him, and with Him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle. John 19:18

Congregation: This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross. Acts 2:23

Worship leader: For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

Congregation: May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14

Worship leader: By abolishing in His flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.  Ephesians 2:15-17

Congregation: He made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name.  Philippians 2:7-9 

Worship leader: For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross. Colossians 1:19,20

Congregation: When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:13,14

All: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  Hebrews 12:1-3

White Oak packing team
Yesterday afternoon I visited a team from White Oak Display who are doing contract work at the Weaber Saw Mill. They are packaging weathered wall boards. Curtis, in front facing me, is the team leader and like many of the employees we see year after year has become our friend.

First cut Weaber Lumber saw
One of the reasons I like my job is seeing how things are made. This is the first cut at the Weaber saw mill which cuts the logs into a square. The operator sits in the glass cab enclosure. I'm on a catwalk which surrounds the primary cutting area.

Second cut Weaber Lumber saw
This step cuts boards off the squared log, two boards at a time, which happens very fast!

Second cut Weaber Lumber saw
The log is moved onto a conveyor where the two cut boards fall off and move on for further processing. The squared log is run through the saw again till all the boards are cut.

Inspection Weaber Lumber saw
These workers are inspecting the cut boards as they move on for further processing such as the planer.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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