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Doctrine: The Cross for the Believer

(weekly I write a five minute “doctrine talk” based on the doctrine in the passage of scripture we are studying in “People of the Promised Land 1 – Bible Study Fellowship”)

David’s life was at risk because he chose to obey God.  Jonathan put his position at risk to do what was right in God’s eyes.

Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David.  But Jonathan was very fond of David and warned him, “My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you.  Be on your guard in the morning; go into hiding and stay there…” 1Samuel 19:1-3

But David escaped 1 Samuel 19:9-10

Jonathan told David “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you” 1 Samuel 20:4

David gives him instructions of how to test Saul’s anger and inform him of the result at the end of chapter 20.  We know what happens, “Saul’s anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him ‘You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! …. Send and bring him to me, for he must die! 1 Samuel 20:31

Jonathan repeatedly defended David and God repeatedly protected David despite the many times Saul tried to kill him. 

What is the cross for the believer?

I gave each of you “steps to peace with God”.  This is the tool I used on my deployment to present the Gospel.  I would like for you to look at it as a believer because the same truth that saved you is the same truth that sanctifies you.

Step 1:  God’s purpose is peace and life (turn the page)

Step 2: The problem is separation from God (turn the page)

Our attempts to reach God look like this.

This is where I would like to pause.  We KNOW that all of our attempts to reach God fail.  Remember?  Look at the illustration on the right page. Are you still attempting to reach God? With your good works? Your service? Your morality? (turn the page)

Step 3: God’s Bridge is the Cross.  We KNOW the answer!  We have believed and accepted this gift of salvation…the cross that Jesus died on as a penalty for our sins so we can be forgiven and have relationship with God.  (turn the page)

Step 4: Where are you?  It’s a safe bet that you have “crossed over” but do you sometimes hang out mentally on the other side?  Did you forget the cross?  The cross you carry now.

It was Jesus who said  “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life[a]will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? Matthew 16:24-26

Quick story:  As a chaplain, Sandy and I, the other chaplain were sent to Lonnie’s house.  As the SP workers cleared trees and removed all the mold infested furniture from his home, we chatted.  In addition to the excessive damage to Lonnie’s house he was facing a recent Cancer diagnosis.  As Sandy continue to gently ask him questions and let him tell his story, I prayed.  The Holy spirit prompted me to share “steps to peace with God” with Lonnie.  However, as I turned the pages the Spirit spoke again and said, continue on, be obedient but He will reject me.  And that’s exactly what happened. I have shared this book with numerous people as the Spirit has led me and have left them uncommitted, or resistant to God’s love.  (take up your cross Tina, it’s not about you) Until the next day, I posted the story of Vanessa on the prayer channel.  It was the very next day, that the Holy Spirit would send me someone who would be receptive to the Gospel and would accept Him.  Regardless, I was sent to serve.  You are sent to serve, in your home, in your workplace, with your family, with your neighbors.  

Sisters, Jesus said to take up the cross and follow Him.  Not to work for your salvation…that price has been paid.  He wants us to deny ourselves so we can glorify Him.  Stop asking “what’s in it for me?” Self-denial is greater than any worldly gain because when we deny ourselves, we magnify God.

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