Monday, March 27, 2017

Dial Daily Bread: Responding to Christ’s Love

Dear Friends of “Dial Daily Bread,”

If someone gave you a precious gift, your most natural response would be to say a fervent thank you. And, further, according to the value of the gift, your most natural response would be a desire to demonstrate your gratitude to the friend for what he did.

This capacity for glad, thankful response is built into your human nature, a part of the package that is you. It is almost instinctive. Dozens of times a day we will catch ourselves saying thank you for kindnesses done, and as often we find ourselves watching for opportunities to respond.

This simple, unaffected, uncomplicated response of our humanity is all that God has ever asked from anyone. Christ gave Himself for us on the cross. If we don’t see it, or can’t sense how there was any real gift or sacrifice involved, there will naturally be no response of loving sacrifice on our part, only the self-centered desire for our own personal security. Such a halfhearted, lukewarm response is inevitable from anyone’s heart when Satan succeeds in obscuring the reality of what Christ gave for us.

But when we see what happened at Calvary, something does begin to move us. “Through death [the second death]” Christ destroyed “him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and” thus released “those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb. 2:14, 15).

As we remember the cross, Satan will be defeated continually. Many people all around the world will respond exactly as Paul did:

“We are ruled by the love of Christ, now that we recognize that one Man died for everyone, which means that they all share in His death. He died for all, so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but only for Him who died and was raised to life for their sake” (2 Cor. 5:14, 15, Good News Bible).

It simply becomes almost impossible for anyone who sees it to live any longer unto himself! Talk about power. This must be what Paul meant when he said, “The message of the cross … is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18).

--Robert J. Wieland

From: In Search of the Cross, 1999.
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