Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Cross-Centered Life

One of the things I love about C. J. Mahaney’s little book is the way he speaks of the gospel and the cross. Maybe you were taught that the gospel is just “the ABC’s of how you get saved,” or that the cross is just the starting point for our journey of faith. Mahaney gently reminds us that the gospel, centered in the cross, is the key to fruitful, godly living every day.

As Paul said, "But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world (Gal. 6:14, ESV).

Maybe I can whet your appetite with some Mahaney quotes.

The Bible tells us that, while there are many different callings and many possible areas of service in the kingdom of God, one transcendent truth should define our lives. One simple truth should motivate our work and affect every part of who we are.

Christ died for our sins.

If there’s anything in life that we should be passionate about, it’s the gospel. And I don’t mean passionate only about sharing it with others. I mean passionate in thinking about it, dwelling on it, rejoicing in it, allowing it to color the way we look at the world. Only one thing can be of first importance to each of us. And only the gospel ought to be. (pp. 20-21)

When we look inward, we live by the subjective, the temporal, the ever-changing, the unreliable, the likely-to-be false. When we look outward, to the gospel, we live by the objective, the never changing, that which is perfectly reliable and always completely true. (p. 51)

Reminding ourselves of the gospel is the most important daily habit we can establish. If the gospel is the most vital news in the world, and if salvation by grace is the defining truth of our existence, we should create ways to immerse ourselves in these truths every day. No days off allowed. (p. 54)

It’s a matter of sitting yourself down, grabbing your own attention, and saying, “Hey, self, listen up! This is what matters most: You’re forgiven! You have hope! Your hope is based on the sacrifice of Jesus. So let’s not view this day any other way. Let this day be governed by this one defining truth.” (p.55)