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.
In case you didn’t know, those are the lyrics to The Old Rugged Cross–a favorite hymn of many, including me; written about the instrument of the crucifixion of Jesus, it celebrates one of the greatest symbols of Christianity.
“God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.'” – Billy Graham
Some years ago, I received a phone call from a friend who was rather upset.
“Rhonda, I need your advice. With the passing of my husband, I have been blessed financially and would like to make a donation to the church. I offered $50,000 if they would agree to put a large cross on the platform. It’s really important to me, but they said they couldn’t do that. It is so upsetting to me–I’m thinking of leaving!”
The enemy hates the cross…
“My friend, you recently told me that this church has transformed your life. You even said, ‘I see Jesus in a completely different way.’ What if the enemy of this world is using the cross as a tool to keep you from the place that is causing such growth within you–the place you are drawing closer to Jesus?”
I added, “Obviously, the church also loves the cross. I would imagine that it is probably due to the contempory atmosphere that they are choosing not to put up a cross. However, it’s not my place to speak for them; I don’t think this is about the church anyway. There seems to be a battle raging around you. Wouldn’t it be just like the enemy to use the cross to cause you to leave the church?”
Tears could be heard.
She said, “I never thought of that…I love this church; I have even been talking to some people about starting a Grief Share Ministry for those that have recently lost a loved one.”
The father of lies was working on one of his more clever one’s in order to cause division between her and the church; and, in doing so, would keep her from helping others in their grief.
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1Peter 5:8
With great clarity she made the donation, and today, is still serving others who are grieving.
Jesus said, “…now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” John 12:32
That is the good news…