Saturday, November 28, 2009

Brought to the Cross

"Abide hard by the cross and search the mystery of His wounds." Charles Spurgeon

I have thoroughly enjoyed my vacation at the beach, and it saddens me that I have to leave tomorrow. Oh boy, do I have a lot to do when I get back to Oxford (decorating for Christmas)! One thing I have loved while being here is that I have had the opportunity to do lots of reading. This is good because I just realized there will be many books from my 2009 list that will have to carry over to my 2010 list. Today, I finished Living the Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney. Simply put this book is phenomenal!!! No book has ever drawn me closer to the Cross or radically transformed my mind like this one. Every chapter brought me to a deeper level of gratitude and understanding of the Cross. Mahaney takes you from why the cross is important in our lives, to the garden of Gethsemane, to the Savior's torment, to breaking through legalism, and ends with practical ways to focus on the Cross daily. I could write a book on everything the Lord taught me in each chapter. I was brought to the depths of seeing the weight of my sin, and at the same time seeing how immensely greater is His grace. Indeed this is the mystery of the gospel! Mahaney said, "He's forsaken so that we might be forgiven. Please don't ever grow overfamiliar with forgiveness. What a miracle it is!" I also realized that no matter how great my sufferings in life may be, they will never compare to His suffering. "Our suffering does not truly compare to His. You and I will never be given this cup to drink. Moreover, you and I have never been, and will never be abandoned by God." This definitely brought things into perspective for me. Mahaney challenged his readers to never move on - "put this book on the shelf but not its message!" This is certainly what I will do. Mahaney said, "Let there never be a lengthy period of time where you aren't receiving inspiration and instruction related directly to the cross, since that's where we find a fresh, sustaining conviction of His personal love." I challenge you to read this book to bring you directly to the cross. If you read one book in 2010 let it be this one. As Albert Mohler said, "this book is a manifesto for turning your world upside down." This book has moved me to the depths of emotion and instilled in me a desire to have a life that is centered in the cross. I will "abide hard by the cross and search the mystery of His wounds."

Other outstanding books that have been written about the Cross:
  • The Gospel for Real Life by Jerry Bridges
  • The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges
  • The Cross of Christ by John Stott
  • Saved from What? by R.C. Sproul
  • The Passion of Jesus Christ by John Piper
  • The Message of Salvation by Philip Ryken
"Never be content with your current grasp of the gospel. The gospel is life-permeating, world-altering, universe-changing truth. It has more facets than any diamond. We will never exhaust its depths."

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