Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thirstin' for the Word Thursday

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"If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink." (John 7:37b)

Feeling a bit parched? Searching to quench that thirst with an iced tea or Diet Coke? Dive into the Word for real refreshment!

I try to be diligent in my Bible reading and am often rewarded by God's speaking to my heart through particular scriptures. I pause and sometimes even write them down. The reflection usually ends there, however. This year, I would like to pursue the verses that God lays on my heart by pondering how He wants me to apply these verses in my life.

Here is what spoke to me this week:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
(Galatians 2:20)
In the afterglow of the tumult of emotions that Easter effects in me, this verse has special poignancy for me this week, beginning with the last phrases. Last week's celebration was all about these words: "The Son of God loved me and gave himself for me." Although it was Paul writing these words, that "me" stands for each of us, individually and personally. I can know, without a doubt, that Jesus hung on that cross so that I could experience eternity with God. For many years of my life, I believed the doctrines of the church but never really thought that theyapplied specifically to me. I thought that I was simply lumped in with everyone else and that I had better try really hard to be good so that I wouldn't catch God's attention and be found out as not quite good enough to be His chosen. One day, a very perceptive woman said to me, "Celeste, Jesus died on the cross for you, and He still would have died on the cross if you were the only person on earth." Those words changed my perception and my relationship with God forever, and they apply to you, too. Just put your name in place of mine and declare that statement aloud!

What do we do with this awesome knowledge, with this wellspring of gratitude? We "live by faith." If Jesus loved us enough to undergo beatings, torture, death in the most humiliating way, separation from God, so that we wouldn't have to endure these things, He certainly "works for the good of those who love him" (Romans 8:28). We can live in confidence knowing that God wants the best for us.

What, then, do we do with the first part of the verse, "I have been crucified with Christ"? Wasn't the crucifixion substitutionary? Didn't Jesus die on the cross so that we didn't have to? In a sense, yes. But Jesus said, ""If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Matthew 16:24). What is our cross? How must we be crucified? We must "deny ourselves." "We no longer live" in our own desires and will. Our cross to bear is submitting our will to God's perfect will. The good news is that Jesus lives in us through the Holy Spirit, who will equip us daily to submit ourselves to God's authority.

So, what verses have spoken to you this week? Post those verses on your own blog, along with how you see that God wants you to apply them in your life. Then, provide your link below so that we can drink from one another's wells of scripture.

1 comment:

Kysha said...

Wonderful post! This goes so well with mine that it's just confirmation of the Lord's call. Thank you for sharing. Sorry it appears as if I'm chiming in late but I usually post the night before so I was looking for your Mr. Linky this morning but didn't see him. :(