"Cross-Centered Life"

I finished reading C.J. Mahaney's Living the Cross-Centered Life a few weeks ago. If you have not read it, I highly recommend it. It reminds us of the centrality of the cross in all that we are and do as followers of Christ. It encourages us to daily focus on the greatness and amazement of the gospel and what Christ has accomplished for believers on the cross. Below are a few excerpts from the final chapter.

But the "more" you need as a follower of Christ won't be found apart from the cross. The gospel isn't one class among many that you'll attend during your life as a Christian--the gospel is the whole building where all the classes take place! Rightly approached, all the topics you'll study and focus on as a believer will be offered to you "within the walls" of the glorious gospel.

Quoting Jim Elliff, "One is taken aback by the emphasis upon the cross in Revelation. Heaven does not 'get over' the cross, as if there are better things to think about "; heaven is not only Christ-centered, Elliff observes, but cross-centered--'and quite blaring about it."

Students in the school of prayer never graduate from the school of the gospel.

Your pride and sinufl self-sufficiency will tell you, "Okay, this material about the gospel has been great. But now it's time to put all the grace aside and get down to work. It's time to make some change happen and get holy!" That's not going to work...Only grace sustains lasting change and sanctification. Through the cross we overcome not only the guilt of sin, but the power of sin as well.

What about the practical stuff? Surely there comes a time when we move on from the gospel just a little so we can focus on the everyday issues of our relationships with other people. This is tempting to believe, but it's just not true. Regardless of your relationship with others, whether you're single or married, a husband or a wife, a father, a mother or a grandparent, your faithfulness and effectiveness in your relationships are directly tired to your understanding of the cross.

I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I do know this: Because of the cross, I'll be doing better than I deserve.

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