Cross [Live in the left half of the chart, click Cross-Centered life Chart ] Go to the Cross at the beginning of every day! Make a decision [see “?” below cross in the chart] Goal: Live on the left half of this chart– Chose to be Jesus-centered rather than self-centered and relate to God by His grace through the cross of Jesus rather than personal performance. This begins when a person has peace with God through salvation by His grace through faith. Click here for how to have that peace. For how to have a daily Cross-Centered and Spirit-filled life by God’s grace click here. Then you are prepared for the daily decisions of life. Cross-centered & Spirit Filled. Daily prayer: Heavenly Father reveal Your glory to others today in my life, at my expense and without expecting merit from You or others?
Heat–difficulty or Rain–blessing When heat or rain comes throughout the day make a decision (see “?” in the chart above at top)—go to the cross and reaffirm decision. God gives us everything we need to respond to life in godly ways 2 Peter 1:3. All believers are in the process of change to reflect the image of Jesus himself. God is employing every circumstance and relationship in your life to accomplish that goal.
Fruit Because of what Christ has done for us, we can respond to the pressures in a brand-new way from our heart. When blessed, we look for ways to bless others. In trouble, we run to God and not away from him. We don’t seek to avoid life but move toward it with courage and faith. We don’t take vengeance but entrust ourselves to the only wise Judge. This is the life the presence of God and the grace of Jesus make possible. These new behaviors produce good Fruit in our lives and in the lives of others.
Thorns are about “fleshly wisdom,” those foolish behaviors that come naturally to us when hard things happen. Someone speaks unkindly to us, so we let our bitterness grow. Something unexpected happens and we respond by denying, avoiding, blaming, or seeking to take control. Negative things come our way and we allow ourselves to doubt God and let our participation in worship and ministry wane. When trouble or suffering comes; it could be the results of a fallen world, the world system, Satan, persecution, pruning, testing, discipline/chastening because of sin or consequences of forgiven sin? These all can result in grumbling, complaining, bitterness, anger, and the fruit of the flesh. Click for more information here.
We are blessed with unexpected money and we spend it on ourselves. We don’t get the raise we thought we deserve, so we grumble. Scripture makes it clear that these behaviors are not forced upon us by the pressures of the situation. These behaviors flow out of the thoughts and motives of my heart. The things that happen to me will influence my behavior but never determine them.
Ask God daily for the grace and power to live in the left half of the chart. Click here Cross-Centered life Chart
Adapted from “How People Change” by Timothy Lane and Paul David Trippe pages 84, 92-93
Henry Luke 8/30/2010, Last Revision 6/3/2018