Posts Tagged ‘Cross’

Comfort or the cross?

Posted: August 3, 2010 in Christianity
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Has the American church traded in obedience for comfort?  I believe  we have. One needs to look no further than the average church budget. You will find that a majority of churches spend far more money on buildings and facilities maintenance than they do on evangelism and missions. I believe what has happened is that we are living like an old testament church in a new testament age. We are trying to build our churches (temples) bigger and more fabulous in order to draw more people. However, the new post-Pentecost church is not called to see how many people we can fit in a building. We are called to send out as many people as possible. Matthew 16:24 tells us that we are to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Christ. But what we see throughout the American church is self-indulgence and comfort. We must get back to a place where we embrace sacrifice and suffering for the sake of Jesus. The presence of God no longer dwells in a building. Every believer is a temple with Christ dwelling in us. The time is now for us to stop waiting for the lost to come to our building. With Christ in us we need to be going out and reaching the lost. Now is the time to go to Jerusalem and Judea and to Samaria and to the end of the Earth. To do so we must forget about our comfort and embrace the cross.

Think of the Christmas story in your head.  How much of it is according to the Bible? We have a song sang at Christmas called We Three Kings. It was most definitely not kings who visited Jesus. It was magi or wise men who came. They would have been magicians, astrologers and other counsel of the king. While we do not know exactly where they came from, we do know that they came from the East. Interesting side note, Daniel was chief of the magi while in Babylon. So some scholars believe they may have come from that area. The number of magi is also never mentioned in the Bible. No where is it stated that there were three.  The number was more likely higher than that. If you think about the distance they had to travel, they would have had more than 3 for security purposes. They also didn’t visit Jesus in the manger as normally depicted. By the time they visited Him he was in a home.

Lastly, I want to look at one verse in Matthew that usually gets overlooked in the story. Matthew 1:21 – “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” I love this verse. Already before the birth pointing to the cross. He will save His people from their sins. Even the Christmas story is about the cross. We should celebrate his birth not because of the birth, but because of what He did with His death. This Christmas celebrate His birth, but remember the big picture. Jesus was born in order to die, to die for us. He died to save us, His people, from our sins. Take time to read the story of His birth this year from the Bible.