The matchless love that Jesus displayed with His death on a cross, is one that we will never be able to fully understand or accept, but one that has eternally transformed our lives. We must embrace it with open arms and a posture of thankfulness- accepting the free gift of life that He willingly (and in love) gave for us. Part 6 of our 7 part Everyday Thanksgiving Series.
The Ultimate Reason To Be Thankful: The Cross
How would you feel if someone died in order that you would live? How would you even begin to thank someone for that? How would you able to accept that type of love and not feel guilty?
Think about the war stories you hear when one soldier sacrifices their life in order for someone else to live. How does that person even begin to express their gratitude? How do they go on living afterwards knowing they are alive because someone else is dead? Think about that.
If this were me, I would first experience shock and then probably guilt. I would question why did I survive when they didn’t? What makes my life more valuable than their’s? How am I to live knowing that I am alive because someone else died? I would be plagued by those thoughts, numb and unsure of how to move forward.
But after some time, I think I would the situation in a new light- a different perspective. The fact is, that I am still alive so what am I going to do about it? What am I going to do with this body that is still living and breathing? How am I going to make the most of my life now knowing that someone sacrificed their life for me?
Crazy thoughts right? Well… there is a man who did just that, and His name is Jesus. And to Him, on this Thanksgiving and everyday, He deserves the ultimate “thank you.”
He Died for You
Two-thousand some odd years ago, a man who knew no sin, who was blameless and perfect, died on a cross for you. When He hung there, taking the sin of the world upon His shoulders, your name and face flashed across His mind. He went through the pain, turmoil, torture, embarrassment, and ultimately the grave, simply because He loves you and wants to be able to spend eternity with you.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.“ – John 15:13
What This Means
This Thanksgiving, I challenge you to sit with the fact that Jesus died, and He died for YOU. He jumped in front of that bullet for you. He took the place of death and destroyed sin for YOU. Because of this, you now have the ability to be with him and commune with him each and every day, just as a daughter would with her father. And just as a dad cares for his daughter in ways she will never be able to understand, our Heavenly Father provides and gives us far more than we could ever repay Him. Think about it, he gave you life- there is nothing that you can do to repay that.
“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.” –Matthew 7:11
Because of Jesus’ sacrificial love, our lives are forever changed.
This past year has been filled with more happenings than I could have ever imagined- things that words will never be able to explain. From buying the livesalted.com domain last January, to launching this blog in February, to putting on our first conference in April, to graduating in May, moving to a new city in July, bringing on 10 plus people to the Live Salted team in September, holding a sold-out worship night in October, and launching our next conference tour to the PNW this November- the Lord has been working in ways far beyond my understanding. But, that is what He loves to do. He is our Father, and he wants to provide, take care of, and mature His children into their full potential. All of those things I just mentioned did not just happen, there was a lot of hard work and a lot of doubt and a lot of things I had to work through- but the #1 truth that got me through it all was that I am capable because of the cross. Alone, I could not do any of those things, but becuase I am stepping into my identity as a daughter, an identity possible because of the cross, I am able to live through the power of the Spirit and do things far beyond my wildest dreams.
This Thanksgiving, I don’t even have words to fully capture my thankfulness, so the best that I can do is sit with the face that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, to give me life to the full, and life eternal. It is a gift that I will never be able to repay, but it is a gift that I need to accept with the biggest, open arms possible.
What are you thankful for this year, and how has knowing your identity is in the Lord changed how you live your everyday? Let us know in the comments below, we would love to hear!
5 Reason’s Why Our Lives are Completely Changed Because of The Cross:
We are new creations:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” -2 Corinthians 5:17
2. We are able to love, because Jesus first loved us:
“We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
3. We live by faith:
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” -Galatians 2:20
4. We have a guide directing our steps:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight”–Proverbs 3:5-6
5. We get to have eternal life!:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” -John 3:16
Today’s challenge is a little different than our past ones have been, as this topic and truth is transformational- if you allow it to be.
- I would like for you to set aside 30 minutes, and find a quiet place to settle down and be still.
- When you get to that place, say out loud this prayer below and really sit with each of the individual statements.
- Journal through each and everyone of the sentences, and let their truth shake you. If you do this, you will be changed.
- Listen to the “Nothing is Holding Me Back” by Bryan and Katie Torwalt and just be still. Don’t think about the turkey you just ate or are about to eat, or the family drama or that one aunt who you are not that found of. Sit with the lyrics and let them wash over you. Refocus your mind on Jesus, and His matchless love that He displayed on the cross. It will be the most beautiful life giving thing you do today.
- Say a prayer of Thanksgiving. Authentically and in humility thank the Lord for all that He has given to you and all that He will give to you in the future. When you remain attached to the Lord through thankfulness, you will discover and experience blessings that you never thought possible.
- Go give your family some loving, and verbally tell them how much you love and appreciate them.
Thank you for the cross that You have carried. Thank you for Your blood that was shed. Thank you for taking the weight of sin upon Your shoulders. Thank you for sacrificing your life so I could live. Thank You for Your death and resurrection. Thank You for the power of Your blood. Thank You that we’re living in Your Kingdom. Thank you for the way you always love me.
Nothing Holding Me Back – Bryan and Katie Torwalt
What ever it is that you do, no matter if you are following the Lord closely, trying to get back to him, or are on a period of dryness- nothing will ever get between the love a Father has for you. Accept it, and be thankful for this eternal life (if you are a Christian) that you have been given.
“Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” –Romans 8:38-39