From a Seedling to Salvation

A tree sprouts. Little by little branches form and strength occurs. Over the years God waters it with His mighty hand and He knows this is the tree that will be made into a cross for His Son. Yet He still waters it.

He grows it up big and strong only to be chopped down to humiliate and torment His Son on that fateful day. And He knows this! And Christ knows it, too. I wonder if the cross builder knew that he was fashioning this for the King of Kings. I wonder what Simon of Cyrene was thinking when he carried the cross behind Jesus. The criminals on either side; what were they thinking?

A Christian contemporary group called Third Day wrote a profound song called “Thief”. If you aren’t familiar with it you really need to listen to it, as it will impact you in a way you won’t forget.

As you celebrate the Risen King, remember all the thoughts that must have gone through people’s minds. Remember what was done for you and pass on the Greatest Story ever told with all your abilities!

~JULIE SCHULTZ

The Old Rugged Cross

“So l’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 someday for a crown” (Bennard).

“The emblem of suffering and shame… ” At the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, the cross was a shameful symbol. I tried to think of a present day equivalent, but there simply isn’t one. I once read a book where the author joked about Christians wearing crosses. He said that they might as well have a modern-day electric chair hanging around their necks. The thought sounds a little irreverent to me, but he kind of had a point.

‘‘I will cherish the old rugged cross… ” Why do we cherish an emblem of suffering and shame? What is it about the cross that draws us to it? How can something so notoriously ugly, be so beautiful?
While I write this, I am thinking about all the suffering and shame that I once carried. I could tell you some stories  I’m sure you could tell me some, too. Today when I think of the cross, I see Jesus. I see Him taking my suffering and shame and making them His own. I see Him declaring hope and healing over my failures and misery. Through a shameful cross, His blood has bought me a new life.
Why do we cling to and cherish this old, rugged cross? Because our Savior’s blood covered it, along with our sins. It has become an emblem not of shame, but of forgiveness and victory. I encourage you to spend some time recognizing the beauty of the cross, for it is the chosen instrument that God used to rescue us.
~PASTOR SUSAN B.


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Christmas is a beautiful time of year because of the collection of images this season creates. Lights illuminating the dark winter evenings, beautiful colors of red and gold, aroma of evergreen and citrus, your families special dishes are served and guests arrive for a great dinner together are all definitely part of the Christmas season. But what makes Christmas even more special is the very fact that . . .

“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

Pastor Rod in last week’s sermon spoke about God’s love for us.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.’’

Pastor Rod also spoke of a loving God who become one of us and went through all the aches and pains that we have on earth. There is nothing that we have experienced that God hasn’t already suffered and overcome. A loving merciful Father awaits for us to surrender our lives, so He can lead us with knowledge and understanding on earth so that we claim the prize of eternal life with Him.

I recommend listening to this song which is sung by the Ball Brothers: “lt’s About the Cross”. I selected some of the lyrics.

lt’s not just about the manger where the baby lay
lt’s not all about the angels who sing for him at day
lt’s not all about the shepherds or the bright and shining star

lt’s not all about the wise men who travelled from afar.
lt’s about the cross.
lt’s about my sin.
Its about how Jesus came to be born once so that we could be born again.
lt’s about the stone that was rolled away so that you and I could have real life someday.
It’s about the cross.
lt’s about God’s love nailed to a tree.
lt’s about every drop of blood that flowed from Him when it should have been me.
lt’s about the cross, so that you and I could have real life someday!

Rejoice and Let the Christmas Season Be Merry and Bright!

~KYLA FRAUTSCHY

The Cost of Our Salvation


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In our world of electronic banking and credit cards, it’s easy to ignore what things cost. The same is true with sin. Our culture enjoys temporary pleasures while disregarding what God says is the price of transgressions. (Romans 6:23 ” For the wages of sin is death…”)

The Bible tells what our sin cost Jesus.
For our sake, He suffered…

Physical Pain. During the hours leading up to His crucifixion. Jesus was mocked, beaten, and humiliated. In His weakened state, He was forced to carry on His shoulders the instrument of His death — the cross. Then He was nailed to it and hoisted up to die an excruciating death.

Man’s Sin. Jesus lived a perfect life on earth. But at the cross, the Father placed all of mankind’s sins upon the Savior. There, Christ experienced the fullness of our transgressions, guilt, and shame. “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21).

Abandonment. In the final hours, Jesus was separated from His Father, their fellowship broken for the only time since eternity past. Our sin became the barrier that kept them apart until Jesus Christ’s work of atonement was finished.

Divine Judgment. God’s wrath was poured out on Jesus because of Man’s sin. Christ experienced the judgment we deserved.

Our Savior suffered greatly on our behalf, shedding His blood so we might become part of God’s family. He calls us to a life of sacrificial service — doing the Father’s work and living to please Him.

In light of what our salvation cost, how can we do anything less?

Quoted from “In Touch Ministries.”
~KYLA FRAUTSCHY