SIGNS FOR LIFE:
Gal 2:20 (p824) May 6, 2012
Rick Rusaw is the lead minister at Lifebridge C.C. in Littleton, Co. He’s the President of N.A.C.C that’s upcoming, a graduate of Cincinnati C. U. and author of some great books, ”The Externally Focused Church” and “Living your Life on Loan.”
In that later book he has a chapter entitled “Intersections” and he writes…
“I don’t remember much about my driver’s education class in high school but I do remember my teacher’s uninsured technique for preparing us future drivers for the upcoming test.
As we approached an intersection he would scream at the top of his lungs…”Look out for that stop sign!!! Ricks says…”His roar startled me so much that I accidentally hit the gas pedal instead of the brake and flew through that intersection…”fortunately, my teacher didn’t yell at me very much after that!!!”
Rick Rusaw says the one quote he remembers from driver’s education class is…”always watch out for the intersections”…good things and bad things can happen at intersections.
I believe that is exactly God’s message for us when it some to our lives. “Pay attention at the intersections…keeps your eyes open…this is a place where you are going to meet God or meet others on the road of life…
That’s what this series of messages is all about…life is a journey…scripture often describes it in that way…
Proverbs 20:24 says “A man’s steps are directed by the Lord…How can anyone understand his own way?”…Jesus describes two paths in Matt chapter 7…two roads, one narrow…one wide…one leads to life one to death….Each person walks on one or the other…Every person chooses the path…the road they travel on in this life! But none of us travel outside the knowledge of God…Many of us walk outside the will of God…but none outside the knowledge of God.
Hebrews 4: 13 says “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight…everything is uncovered and laid back before the eyes of him to whom we must give an account.”
I share this truth because we can either make this journey in our own plans…or make the journey of life within God’s plan…
This is the very reason Gal 2:20 is the apostle Paul’s’ “MapQuest”…
I OUR JOURNEY ENDS AND GOD’S BEGINS AT THE CROSS
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live…”
The cross is an intersection…in fact it’s not just an intersection….it is the intersection.
The Bible begins with creation in the book of Genesis….It ends with Jesus, victorious and almighty on the throne in the final book “Revelation.”
But God’s plan…from beginning till end has at its very core…an intersection…and that intersection of all history is the cross. Rom 5: 6 records…”You see at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly….Verse 8 continues…”But God demonstrates his own love for us in this; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Everything pointed toward the cross…and the cross changed everything which was to come…It was God’s right, he invaded his creation…and while we were still sinners…Christ died for us….”
The cross is the intersection of God demonstrating who He really is to all mankind.
What happened there took care of the past, the present and the future. All sin…every sin, even those nailing Jesus to that cross, and the sin that was yet to happen through you and I…was paid for…totally, completely.
Romans 5:19 says “Through the disobedience of Adam the many were made sinners…so also through the obedience of Jesus the many will be made righteous.”
The apostle Paul came to understand…He was rushing down the road of life…one he had planned…God was even a part of it…or at least the God he thought he knew….Violently, aggressively he blasted through towns, tore through road sings, ran over pedestrians..and striped undeserving people…his destination was firmly fixed in his mind and heart…there was only one problem…SIN….His sin and selfishness drove the car…and then he slammed into God’s intersection…the Cross
Acts 9: 1-6 (p 777)
God threw up a road block…and a risen Jesus brought Saul’s life to a crashing halt.
You do not receive Jesus into your heart by saying a prayer…you do not become a disciple of Christ by simply “getting baptized.” Nowhere in scripture does that occur.
The only way…show me if it’s not….that someone, anyone becomes a disciple of Jesus Christ is…”they die at the cross…and are reborn to work anew in the Holy Spirit.
Saul couldn’t continue as Saul anymore…He came to the cross…the intersection of all life and sand…
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live”
[I’m not sure what journey you’ve been on…or who you’ve run over…I cannot comprehend what plans you have for your life…but Jesus isn’t just payment for your toll so you can continue on your trip].
There comes a day when we all collide with God…He arranges the encounter…He shows us the carnage we’ve created…and then he directs us to the cross.
Will you die? Will you surrender your life…your sin at the cross? Will you continue to live it your way?... or will you be reborn with my Spirit living in you and through you….
Listen…please! To Rom 6: 1-7
Romans 6: 1-7 (p 799)
When did we die…when we were buried in Christ…united with him at his death.
Baptism isn’t a ritual..it isn’t a onetime thing you do to fulfill a demand…it’s not an emotional ticket at the end of camp…or something church people do to please their parents or grandparents…it’s not a bath that washes you clean…
This action doesn’t save you…It’s the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus that saves you…and you cannot enter and exit this intersection as the same man or woman.
The old you dies…Saul was crucified and no longer lives…Paul did… because of Christ. I died on January 17, 1978…I knew exactly what that meant…and the Holy Spirit has been sanctifying me in Christ since that day…and until the day of my complete renewal…
Folks, that’s why
II THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS ONE OF FAITH.
“The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself up for me.”
Ownership of your life is transferred at the cross…
1) It’s no longer…where do I want to go anymore…Its where do you want me to go Lord?
2) It’s not longer…Let me accumulate a lot of stuff so I can be comfortable and happy…but “Lord, what do you want me to do with the stuff you’ve loaned to me?
3) It’s no longer…”My life is in crisis and I don’t deserve all this bad stuff…it’s “God your power is made perfect in my weakness”…and “Faith in your plan is the victory.”
By the way did you know that the Chinese Symbol for “Crisis” at its root means “Dangerous opportunity?”
Have you ever noticed scriptural where Christ is most glorified in Paul’s life, or almost everyone’s else life in scripture…here’s a hint…It’s not on the beach…it’s not during a winning streak…it’s not right after things go exactly as they planned…
It’s in Prison…it’s after they’ve been beaten…it’s after things change radically…it’s when they come to an intersection….One God planned in advance…One we’re tempted to blast right through..
You know what faith is? It’s the assurance of things hoped for it’s a conviction about things we cannot see” (Heb 11: 1)
It’s the exact opposite of how the world says we should travel…Tim Broadway sent me this road sign…check it out…
[Good luck sign]
Good luck finding your way…Good luck creates the way to go...if you’re on the right road it will be good…you’ll be Lucky!
Folks, a Christian’s life isn’t determined by luck. Our journey is designed by God Quest…God directs our steps….
And sometimes we won’t understand why He’s leading us here…and what he has in mind with this “dangerous opportunity”…It doesn’t mean we put on a fake smile and say everything’s “great”.
But it does mean we live by faith and not by sight…we fix our eyes on things external and not things that are temporary.
We are God’s children…under His care…not one thing will touch us that doesn’t pass through the nail scarred hands of Jesus…you know…
“The one who loved me and gave himself up for me.”
Nothing happens for the reborn child of God that happens by accident…those intersections are planned.
My wife was working a few weeks ago. As part of her job she has to take pictures of the displays she sets up for Bob Evans in Kroger stores. As she was taking the picture a woman asks, “What are you doing?” And they started talking. Her name is Kathy Teeson. She and Kari discover they have a lot in common. Kathy goes to Southeast CC and she was organizing a women’s tea for Necole’s Place and A Woman’s Choice Resource Center. Kari told Kathy her story and Karissa’s story. To make a long story short they recorded Kari and Karissa’s testimony for this women’s tea where 500 ladies and girls came. Here it is:
Invitation: Christ cannot live in you and through you until you crucify self. But once you die, once you stop traveling your own self-centered, self-destructive path God can live. He can redeem. History becomes His story.
It has for me, and for my house. All because of an intersection shaped like the cross.