Wednesday Wanderings with Dr. Sherri is biweekly and a time we set aside to wander in the Presence of Jesus and ponder His truths. When you are ready, prepare your mind, body, and soul to have a transformational encounter with Jesus.
Watch the Wednesday Wanderings Welcome for this week.
Now that we have cleared our minds of the clutter, we can wander on the journey with our Holy Jesus.
PREPARATION: In our last Wandering with Dr. Sherri, we responded to God’s mercy and might. This week we will consider the Old Rugged Cross. When you are ready, you may begin the dialogue with Jesus and state: “Jesus, I invite you to help me to leisurely wander into your Presence. Prepare my heart to receive, and illuminate my spiritual senses to encounter you.”
PROMISE: Matthew 5:44-45 The Message
43-45 “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does.
The Old Rugged Cross reminds us of the overflowing consuming love of God that helps you to love the world that may despise you.
PSALM: The Old Rugged Cross was written by 1912 by Evangelist and song leader George Bennard who was a native of Youngstown, Ohio.
Oh that old rugged cross so despised by the world
Has a wondrous attraction for me
For the dear Lamb of God
Left His glory above to bear it to dark calvary
So I’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 one day for a crown
Evangelist George Bennard, a native of Youngstown, Ohio wrote the popular hymn The Old Rugged Cross. It was written after receiving ridicule following a revival meeting. He was despised for doing what he believed was the will of God. The image reminds us that even when we are despised by the world, we are being held by and can cling to the arms of Jesus.
PARABLE: We cannot always articulate to others the choices we make to bear our own cross. As they misunderstand us, they may grow to despise us and ridicule our choices. Being despised or ridiculed for what you believe God has told you to do is challenging. Yet, the cross is a reminder that it is worth it. The cross represents the power of Jesus. The cross represents:
- The power to set men free (1 Peter 2:24)
- The power to create in me a desire to be righteous (Romans 7:5-6)
- The power to convince me that I am loved (John 3:16; Romans 5:6-8)
As we weep for our injustices, we can let the old rugged cross attract us to the truths of Jesus. The cross represents the truth that Jesus has already shed tears for our hurts and His love is bottling our tears. The truth we can see in the symbolism of the cross is that we are free from sin and condemnation. It replaces our natural cravings for perfection with the the supernatural desire to serve our perfect God. The cross directions our attention and affection to Jesus and it reestablishes our identity and worth in who Christ says we are in Him. Because of the cross, our life and perspective is changed.
PONDER and WANDER: If you choose, Ponder the question: When is the last time you were despised for doing what God called you to do?
Not everyone will love you for loving God. You will face ridicule and opposition. It is the sole career of the Evil One to kill, steal, and destroy your trust of who God is and your belief of who you are in Christ. Satan will use friend or foe to wipe out your purpose. The cross is a reminder that the victory is already won but it doesn’t always prevent us from experiencing the battle.
Soul care training exercise: Since we know we will experience opposition on our path to serving Jesus, we must recognize that we will be despised and learn to pray for those who persecute us.
If you choose, complete this week’s soul training exercise by setting aside time to think about a person who has or is persecuting you.
- When you are ready, clear your mind and focus on the healing love of the cross.
- Next, allow the Holy Spirit to bring the image of the person to your mind.
- Begin to pray for them. Pray for their unhealed hurts and trauma. Pray for them to know Jesus more closely. Pray for them to let go of stronghold that drives them to despise and persecute you.
- Then, consider searching your heart to see if you have despised and persecuted them in any way.
- Lastly, ask God to forgive you and pray for yourself.
PRAYER: Daddy Jesus, thank you for the symbolism of the cross. Thank you that it reminds me that your love is a consuming fire that can burn away all the residue of ridicule and persecution. Help me to see the cross and remember to love those who persecute me. Help others to see the cross and remember to love me when I persecute them. I love you and I need you Jesus. In your loving name I pray, Amen.
PRAISE: Now that you have emptied your mind of the clutter and wandered with Jesus, take a closing moment to thank our loving God for the Old Rugged Cross. Let the work of your wandering fill you with the love of Christ.
Then take the mindfulness of God’s presence cultivated in these last few minutes of wandering into the next ones and beyond.
Until next time, be Resonant.
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