The Old Rugged Cross

The Old Rugged CrossThe Apostle Paul traveled the known world preaching and teaching. Luke preserves some of his sermons for us in the Book of Acts, and Paul’s letters reveal the depth of and breadth of his Spirit-inspired thoughts. But of all the doctrines which this eminent apostle taught, there was one truth that stood out as the foundation for all others—

And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:1-2).

The work that Jesus Christ did on an old rugged Cross is absolutely the most central message of all others. Without the Cross, no other doctrine makes sense.

Sadly, we spend far too little time looking at the Cross.

Join me this Sunday as we take a long look at the Cross and the Lamb of God Who was sacrificed on it. Our series is simply called The Old Rugged Cross.

4 Notes On Haggai

(c) Laura Kranz at The Overview Bible Project (see my note below)

(c) Laura Kranz at The Overview Bible Project (see my note below)

The prophet Haggai wrote one of the shortest books in the Old Testament, and his recorded ministry only spans five months(!) in 520 B.C. But in this short book I find four really cool things—

(1) God uses His people at specific times for specific purposes. All of Haggai’s messages from God have a very precise date stamp on them, so we know exactly when  they were delivered. Also, most of his messages say something like, “The word of God came through Haggai to Zerubbabel [or to Joshua, or to the people, or to the priests].” If God used Haggai like this, isn’t it likely that He is using you or I at specific times and for specific purposes?

(2) God invites us to “give careful thought” to His messages. Five times God says, “Give careful thought to your ways” (1:5, 7; 2:15, 18). This phrase literally means to take a strong hold on each thought and examine it intensely. This thought process is always connected to another phrase: “This is what the Lord Almighty says….” In other words, we are to thoughtfully examine our lifestyle with God’s Word being the standard of measurement (cf. 2 Corinthians 10:5).

(3) Obeying God’s Word brings God’s “stirring.” When God says move and we move, His Spirit will energize our spirit, and empower our lives for action. God never calls us to do something without giving us the empowerment to do it.

(4) I need to act courageously. God calls us to “be strong” (three times in 2:4) “and work, for I am with you.” Courageous action after God has stirred us up drives out fear. On the flip side, inactivity because of fear almost always leads to more fear and more inactivity.

Don’t ever let the category “minor prophet” trick you into thinking God doesn’t have a major message to share with you. Just one word from God is more powerful than we can ever imagine!

(The portrait of Haggai in this post was created by Laura Kranz at The Overview Bible Project. She and her husband Jeffrey do some amazing things that will add insight to your Bible study time. Click here to read my review of their book The Illustrated Guide To The Authors Of The Bible. And while you’re on their website, subscribe to some of the cool guides that regularly get emailed out.)

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