Happy Wednesday, Friends!
And to those visiting, I say welcome! Susie Larson here...
I post every Wednesday and my sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way. Each month I give away a $10.00 Starbucks gift card to someone who posts on my blog. So share an insight, bless lots of people, and just maybe you'll win a jolt of java for you and a friend.
Now on to my topic...
Many of you know that my dad passed away last week. We're still reeling from the suddenness of it all, but we know he's with Jesus and for that, we're eternally grateful. My dad dealt with numerous health issues and rarely felt well, but that's not what all of his grandkids will remember about him. When they think of their grandpa they'll remember how funny and snarky he was, how much he loved them, and how important they were to him. When the grandkids were around, my dad focused on them, not on his suffering, which to me, was incredibly heroic of him.
When Jesus suffered on the cross, His thoughts were on those He came to save. Because of the joy set before Him (you and me), He endured the cross and scorned it's shame (see Hebrews 12). He could have complained about His immense, unfathomable pain, He could have shouted, "To hell with you all! You're not worth it!" But He did the exact opposite. He embraced our worth. He cherished the thought of us in Heaven with Him. The whole idea of eternity with us kept Him going. Thank you, Jesus.
Jesus came to save us, and in the process, He redefined the cross. Crucifixion was a horrific, public, painful humilation. It was the worst way to die, in pain, shame, and dishonor.
Jesus, our perfect, sinless, spotless Lamb, brought honor and dignity to the cross. He offered salvation to a lost and dying world, through the worst it had to offer, death on the cross. He triumphed over death on the cross that we might live free and powerful lives.
Even the way He lived redefined "religion" and challenged the religious legalist. They didn't know what to make of Him. Jesus just would not be bound by traditions and laws that boxed in His love and concern for those who needed Him.
When Jesus freely shared a meal with those the world despised, the scribes hated Him for it. Because Jesus lived and breathed love, honor, and dignity, He redefined every circumstance in His midst. Read what William MacDonald wrote regarding Jesus' meal with the tax collectors:
"The scribes thought they would ruin the Lord's reputation by calling Him a friend of sinners. But their intended insult has become an endearing tribute. All the redeemed gladly acknowledge Him as the friend of sinners, and will love Him eternally for it." (Believer's Commentary)
If you have surrendered your life to Christ and have accepted His sacrifice on the cross for your sins, you now live with the power and influence of Almighty God at work in and through you! You can bring dignity and honor to every situation. No person, no circumstance, so accusation can diminish your worth. No loss, no rejection, no misstep can separate you from God's love.
If you're walking through an especially difficult time right now, look up. Your circumstances do not define you. God does and has and you're worth everything to Him. Bring dignity and honor to your struggle with finances; bring holiness and humble confidence to your battle with health issues; bring power and influence to the pain of your broken relationships. Redefine your circumstances. You can because Jesus turned the tables on the enemy and won. The same power alive in Him is now alive in you. Overwhelming victory is yours! Walk forward with holy confidence.
~Until next week.