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42 and easter reflections

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Today is Easter Sunday and also my bday. Woohoo, I turn 42! It is more special to reflect on the cross.

Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been asking myself, how has the cross changed my life?
There is one thing that is grappling with my heart. It asks me how the cross changed the way I live my life? When I look at Paul, the cross changed the way he lived.

Theological-wise, I know that the most important event on earth was Jesus dying on the cross and coming back to life three days later. I know my sins were paid on the cross by Jesus’ blood. I know that Jesus destroyed death, the end product of sins, once and for all.

But so what? Is every part of my life changed because of the cross? Does the cross make a difference in how I father my kids or even pay the bills? It should, and it must. Or else, the answer is that what Jesus did on the cross is not so important in my life.

I am still reflecting on this on and off through the days. One thing I can be sure of is that the cross causes me to be humble.

Humble in the sense that I can’t figure out life independently. I am not a self-made man, or I can rely on my strength to be ‘successful’ in life. It is only by the cross that my sins are dealt with. So there is nothing I can boast about. Nothing I can say, “Hey, look at me. Look at how good or successful I am.”

One thing I wish and continue to desire is that I will stay humble for the rest of my life. It is easy to say I am a good Christian because I did this or that. Or how much I sacrificed for the Lord or how much I gave up to follow Jesus. This is prideful as it is rooted in me.

The only way to do so is to continue asking the same question, “How does the cross affect how I live my life?” It can be something as trivial as paying bills or washing dishes. Or it can be a decision to go live in the mission field. If the cross is not central to my life, then Jesus is not central in my life either.

I fear that I may get so used to the cross one day that I will treat it as a religious activity. Just remember it every time Easter comes around. Take the attitude of, “oh, I heard this before.”

The goal is when people look at my life, they don’t see me but see God at work. What they see of me, whether good or bad, doesn’t matter. I can’t say I am there yet. I can feel some days; I want people to look at me instead of God. And so, I press on as Paul wrote in Philippians 3:12-15.

12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12-14 (NKJV)

42, here we go. Let’s continue to seek Jesus and put Him in the center of my life.

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