Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thanks C.J.

Today I want to thank a man who has shaped the way I do things and the way I think about life in general. I have never personally met C.J. Mahaney but he has influenced my life more than I could ever say thank you. The Lord has used C.J.'s passion for the gospel to shape the way I look at the cross. Dwelling upon his messages he has preached on both the cup and the cross have flooded my mind with great affections for what took place in the Savior's life. I have had the privilege to read The Cross-Centered Life, Christ our Mediator, Humility and Living the Cross-Centered Life on more than one occasion. I am tempted to say those books have shaped my life significantly more than any other books besides the Bible. But what I love most about C.J. is his genuine life that reflects what he preaches and writes.

I've watched C.J. preach on video and I've heard him on radio and from what I have heard and seen in his life is nothing but sheer humility which is only given by the grace of God. The testimonies I have read from his closest friends also affirm his life is genuine. C.J. loves the gospel and in loving the gospel he has learned humility from his Savior. Instead of thinking he has got to do something to make himself humble he instead goes to the gospel which brings about humility. Humility is not a strong point for me so to see C.J. love the gospel with his whole being reminds me that humility can only come from clinging to the cross of Christ. Humility comes from seeing the substitutionary work of Christ as sufficient and resting in his promise that sinners are saved by grace through faith. This is how humility is cultivated in a life and this is what C.J. has taught me more than any other human and for that I am grateful for this man.

Let me leave you with some practical ways on living The Cross-Centered Life. C.J. says, "A cross centered life is made up of cross centered days." Here are some good ways to have cross centered days:

1. Memorize the Gospel

Isaiah 53:3-6
Romans 3:23-26
Romans 5:6-11
Romans 8:32-39
I Corinthians 15:3-4
2 Corinthians 5:21
Galatians 2:21

2. Pray the Gospel
3. Sing the Gospel
4. Review how the Gospel has Changed you
5. Study the Gospel

Learn terms such as: atonement, substitution, propitiation, justification, redemption, reconciliation and salvation.

"Sometimes the most obvious truths are the ones we need to be reminded of the most." This is exactly the way God has used C.J. as his servant for so many years. For that C.J. I just want to say thanks!

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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