Today, my friend, Donna, is sharing with you her thoughts after watching the Jesus Cross video. I’ve included the video at the end of the post. When I read her post on FB, I knew I wanted to share it with you. I hope you’ll be blessed by it as I was. Blessings, Mimi
Thoughts on the Jesus Cross
I just watched and posted a video about a cedar tree being made into a cross. At first, I was sad because the tree they used was a beautiful, healthy cedar. I thought “why didn’t they use an old tree, a diseased tree, a dead tree? Then, God dawned on me….they DID use an old tree. How could a young tree hold up the weight of the cross? So, too, am I. When we are young in our faith, we can not b ear up to the pressures of God using us for His glory, we aren’t strong yet. I need to feel honored to be “old”. They DID use a tree with flaws or disease. Even though the diseased parts were cut away, they left patterns that brought out the beauty of the wood. So too am I. God’s love has grown around my sins and covered them. No tree is ever without it’s damage, that is what makes each one unique. I need to feel honored that I have scars that show I have survived despite the damage. And no, they did not use a dead tree. It remains alive, it’s roots drawing nourishment from the ground. So, too, am I. God’s word is my ground. I draw strength and nourishment from it. Like my friend, who passed this past week, said, “I’m not dead yet, so God is still using me to reach others.”
At the very end of the video, a verse pops up. It wasn’t one of the many verses about the tree of life, the branches, or the vines. No, the verse was 1 Corinthians 1:18.
“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.”
Reading that verse, I felt like God had just hit me between the eyes. (Something He usually has to do, because I don’t tend to pay attention to the subtle hints He gives me sometimes). I have been praying and worrying about Israel. I have been praying and worrying about all the really spiteful posts from those who profess to love God. It bothers me. Partially, because I, too, have had my faith attacked. But, I do not hate or wish ill on those who do not have the same beliefs as I do.
“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think,but to think with sober judgement, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned” – Romans 12:3.
“Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received mercy because of your disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that He may be merciful to all” – Romans 11:30-32
The Bible also talks about not passing judgement on others and even asks, “or do you despise the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” – Romans 2:4. This morning, God led me to Romans 12:9-21 and after reading, I believe this verse will become my goal through these troubled times. Read it. It’s good guidelines for everyone, not just “believers”.
Even those who do not share my beliefs, who do not believe Jesus was the son of God or that He was sent to Earth to pay for all our sins, the Bible can still help lead a person to a good life. It is my guide-book. I see kindness and mercy for all in it. I have never once read a verse where I am to condemn anyone else or judge them. Evil? Yes. People? No. I will do as my Lord says,
“do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” – Romans 12:21
God’s time is not ours. He will reach out to everyone when it is their time to be reached out to. I will keep trying to be the living tree that God uses to carve into an example of the cross that He wants to use to reach those He chooses to reach. Every time I judge, I am being cut from my roots. I am dying in my faith. God does not save the saints; He only wants to save the sinners.
As I was reading and looking for God to lead me to one more verse to finish this post, I opened the Bible to this verse,
“as it was commanded to leave the stump and roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be re-established for you from the time that you learn Heaven is sovereign.” Daniel 4:26.
Coincidence? I think not.
Donna Barnett is a true Southern woman who loves Jesus, raises chickens, and loves cooking good food for family and friends. Donna posts regularly at Divine Restorative.