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Stuck to the Cross

Last night Katie and I were blessed to attend a concert at CCU with some friends from church. Overall it was a very uplifting experience and was a great chance to enjoy quality Christian music and remember what was really important in this life.

The evening was sponsored by LiveLove who advocates for social justice globally. There was a 22 year old girl who spoke about her call to minister to girls in brothels in Greece, where women are regularly objectified and men are encouraged to visit brothels by peers and parents alike.

There were some other crazy empowering stories that people shared about getting muddy in the trenches of Christendom working with the impoverished and underprivileged, but you can check out those stories on their website if you want to learn more there.

The thing that I was really struck with while listening to the Christian artists was an overwhelming sense of forgiveness for my sins. I strive to live a life free of sin in my day-to-day routine that I frequently don't feel the power of God's grace and forgiveness regularly because I am not "dependent" on it regularly (in a very hypocritical tone, if you catch my drift).

The band Rush of Fools played a song "Nailed to the Cross" during which I was remembering past sins and felt an overwhelming sense of forgiveness as the words flashed by "my debt is nailed to the cross, it is long gone."

But as we sang through the chorus on repeat I was struck with how egocentric the song sounded. Yes, it is true that my sin is nailed to the cross and it is true that I am forgiven and that is a very good thing. #BUT, what about reaching others? What about a challenge for righteous living? What about a challenge to do more than think about myself and my own good-standing with God?

I fear that we tend to sing songs and like messages that talk about forgiveness, acceptance, and self-righteousness. Where are the songs that declare "I'm forgiven and therefore I can go tell other people about Your love"? Are we encouraging a culture in which we sin, repent, and stay clinging to the cross, ashamed or afraid to move forward into the world? Are we so stuck on singing songs about the cross that we forget to move forward from the cross into the world as a changed and renewed person?

Don't get me wrong, I am all about the cross. I am all about forgiveness. I am all about the message of redemption presented through Christ's suffering. But I am also all about living a life devoted to serving Him, following His leading, and reaching the world to meet their needs and to shine His light in the darkest places.

Christians need to realize that God is calling us beyond forgiveness into righteous living. Let's nail our debt to the cross and then live according to the same sacrificial spirit that put Jesus willingly on the cross. Let's not get stuck to the cross but rather get stuck with the notion of preaching the gospel of the cross.

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