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40 Day Spiritual Journey – April 4
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Day 4

Wednesday, April 4

Scripture for the Day: 2 Timothy 1 

As a young child growing up in church I always looked forward to the time they would take song requests from the congregation.  I couldn’t wait to request my favorite hymn, “The Old Rugged Cross”.

The Old Rugged Cross

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,

The emblem of suffering and shame;

And I love that old cross where the dearest and best

For a world of lost sinners was slain.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,

Till my trophies at last I lay down;

I will cling to the old rugged cross,

And exchange it some day for a crown.

O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,

Has a wondrous attraction for me;

For the dear Lamb of God left his glory above

To bear it to dark Calvary.

In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,

A wondrous beauty I see,

For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,

To pardon and sanctify me.

To that old rugged cross I will ever be true,

Its shame and reproach gladly bear;

Then he’ll call me some day to my home far away,

Where his glory forever I’ll share.

This hymn has always had a very special place in my heart, but the older I get the more special it becomes.  When I think of the cross and what it means to me, I think of how Jesus acted on my behalf without regard for his own comfort or well-being. Because of his selflessness, that wall that separated me from God was torn in half and I can now approach him without fear of being cast away.  One of the final statements that Jesus spoke to the Father, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” Luke 23:34.  In the midst of his excruciating suffering, the heart of Jesus was focused on others rather than himself. Here we see the nature of His love—unconditional and divine.

Without the cross we would have no good news to share with others. We would have no message of salvation. Missionaries would have nothing to say that could help lost men. The cross is at the very heart of the gospel 1 Cor. 15:3–”Christ died for our sins.” What message did Paul know (1 Cor. 2:2)?  The cross is one thing that the devil does not want us to talk to people about. We can talk about prophecy or many other subjects, but the devil does not want us talk about THE CROSS–God’s only way of salvation.

Nan M. Payne, Director of Student Accounts

Prayer

Thank you Father for what the cross symbolizes- your unconditional and divine love for us.  Thank you for the true meaning of real love.  Father, please help us to love others as you love us.  Thank you for the good news of salvation that we have to share with others because of the cross.  Father, give us the boldness to share the good news with all that we come in contact with each day. 

Amen.