“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”
When the guest speaker Aric Smith spoke two Sundays ago, his message was the message of the cross: simple, effective, and powerful. God wants relationship with us: his creation. He really, really loves us!
He came into our reality and went above and beyond to show his love through great, great sacrifice: his Son, Jesus. Jesus gave his life to cover our mess, our brokenness, our shame, so we can be with a most perfect and holy God. Through the cross, we can truly know that we are safe in the arms of a really good, really perfect, really holy Dad.
Does a good Dad abandon his Son? No, the story did not end with death on the cross. God raised Jesus from the dead, placed Him on the throne, and gave Him all authority in Heaven and on earth. Salvation through the cross, then, is really simple:
“If you declare with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
When we know the name of the Lord is Jesus, we know the way, the truth and the life; we know the one who saves us from our own inability to be good enough to encounter God.
The point, however, is not simply for us to know in our minds that Jesus is Lord. What God wants is relationship with us. It’s all about the relationship, the daily in and out of knowing him. And we can never fully love someone if that knowledge is all in our heads. We have to know it in our hearts and with every part of our being.
How can we know that the love of God is worth having? We experience God, we see His goodness and faithfulness manifested in the lives of people around us. He supernaturally touches our hearts and overwhelms us. He demonstrates how merciful he is by forgiving us for everything that we’ve done in the past, present and future. He opens our minds to the truth of who he is. He shows us all manner of kindness, even when we think (and know) we don’t deserve it.
God is doing the work to show us how much he loves us. That’s the kind of Dad he is; that’s how good he is. All we have to do is bring our mess to him and lay it at the cross. We can lay all our messiness, all our brokenness before Jesus, and he takes it, and makes us whole and new.
And yes, that takes a little faith on our part. But God can take our little bit of faith and move mountains with it. Or what we think are mountains in our lives.
What do we need to bring before Jesus? What have we been withholding from Him that is hindering us from living life to the fullest? What ways is our pride keeping us from submitting to God and receiving the fullness of his love for us? How can we believe God for impossible things?
If you are wondering if you can truly be forgiven, if you can truly come clean, here is some truth: God is meeting you right where you are. He is patient, kind, and cares about you tremendously. God loves you. He really, really loves you! And wherever you feel that you are, you can turn to him and he will run to you.
A simple prayer is this:
“Search me, oh God, and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
As we begin to trust God more and more, and grow in our relationship with Him, as we begin to say yes to what he calls us to, we will discover more and more abundance beyond what we could imagine, for ourselves and for the people around us. The gospel is simple, but incredibly powerful. That is the message of the cross.
About the Author: Gabby hails from Waco, Tx where she received her undergraduate degree in social work. She calls herself a Michigander now, and is excited for the next adventure with God in Ann Arbor and Detroit! Geography is her favorite subject, and as the American daughter of Filipino immigrants, she is no stranger to a diversity of food, culture and travel. You can often find her at the local rock wall, hitting the pavement around Ypsi/A2 or, her favorite, getting quality time with good friends.