Beauty in Brokenness

"He has made everything Beautiful in it's time." Eccl. 3:11

What I am reading

on April 14, 2014

I said before that I am a recovering nonfiction hater.  It took awhile for me to admit that people had a point.  Nonfiction is worth reading.  I am just a little stubborn at times.  

It is great to have a job that encourages me to read and study for myself, as well as giving me time to do it.

One thing I have realized about myself over the years is that I tend to lean more towards legalism than grace.  It is not natural for me to remind myself of the Gospel throughout the day.  So I was recommend the book “Living the Cross Centered Life” by CJ Mahaney, and I thought I would give it a try.  Its a little book and didn’t seem to intimidating.

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I really liked this book.  It brought some good perspective, gentle reminders, and some practical steps to remember Jesus in my everyday life.  And it referenced one of my recent favorite books, “The Gospel for Real Life,” by Jerry Bridges.

 

A few take aways that I got from this book are:

 

We typically either approach the Lord is 1 of 3 ways… Subjectivism, Legalism, or Condemnation.

    • Subjectivism is experiencing Him through our own understanding, instead of the Biblical truth
    • Legalism is working for our salvation instead of accepting grace.
    • Condemnation is still living as though we are guilty and need to make up for our sins.

We will never understand the complete agony that Christ experienced in being seprated from the Father.  He literally experienced near death even before the cross.

 

He is not resentful of His own sacrafice, but willingly bore our sins.

 

Legalism, or acting in a way that will earn acceptance from God, will never build a relationship with Christ.  It will put you at odds with Him.

 

Condemnation, or low grade guilt, will not promote holiness or spiritual maturity.  It will just promote a barrier of unworthiness between you and Christ.  

 

Cross centered living is made of a lot of cross centered days.  The little thoughts and acts add up, and will either push you toward Christ or draw you farther away from Him.

I highly recommend this book.  The emphasis is on the simple fact that we can, and should, never move away from the Cross.  We can never mature in our faith beyond the cross to “more important things”.  Everything must find its root in the cross, or we are in danger of selfrighteousness and idolatry.

 

We must not move on from the cross, but dig deeper into it.  

The more mature we get in Christ the more we will see our need from the Cross, instead of our need to move beyond it.  

If my Savior saw the cross as necessary, so do I.

 

Do you?

 

Let go of the need to grow past the cross into Heaven, or to put yourself on the Cross with Jesus.  Just let yourself sit underneath and be with the Christ who chose to be there for you.

Look for the Book here: Cross Centered Life

More about Author CJ Mahaney here:  Sovereign Grace Ministries

 

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