November 2015: An Exciting Time For Believers

To all serious believers in Jesus Christ !  These are wonderfully, exciting times for any and all true Christians. No matter how you found this Crossroads’ website, please know that you can feel at home here.

Independent of your emotional state – independent of any discouragement you may be feeling – and independent of what brought you here – know that you have found a safe harbor. And know, too, that you will find a clear answer to the root motivation that brought you here. More importantly!  You will discover a biblically sound answer that can meet you where you are at this very moment in space and time.

For the next few minutes — get your mind off the truly decadent nature of the culture. AND !!  Set aside any personal problem that may be attempting to convince you that things are hopeless.

To begin … please understand: those of us who minister through this ministry undoubtedly see our culture through spectacles nearly identical to yours.

How can these be exciting times ????
The Sovereign, Creator and Sustainer God is – even as we think together – raising up an unmistakable answer to this question. Please read and reread this next sentence.  The answer is found – and only found – in Jesus Christ.  No matter how many times you’ve heard this statement, don’t stop here!!  We want you to believe the simple, yet profound nature of that Truth and want you to witness this on your own, independent of us.

At this juncture,  I want to insert a link that opens up a very powerful testimony which vividly illustrates the nature of what God is doing in November of 2015.  This link will connect you with a YouTube interview with Dr. Rosaria Butterfield, a former, tenured professor at Syracuse University.  Her book,  “Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert”, is exploding and being read even as we are thinking here and now. Here is the link.  Please take the time to view this link !!

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQ_YI6INTQU

Go to the Patrick Henry web site that contains the Olasky interview with Rosaria. If you find this interview challenging, continue: find any of the several interviews that Rosaria has done. When you are personally convinced of the integrity of what you have discovered …. know that God is at work doing the same thing to believers the country over.  And He is doing it in serious believers of every denominational or traditional background.  You can read the 2013 CT article using this link:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/january-february/my-train-wreck-conversion.html

Once your interest has been ignited, please read on.  I would recommend that you follow the outline that we have included at the end of the next section of this web site..

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The FRUIT of the Presence of Jesus Christ in a believer’s life

To appropriate the genuine fruit of the Life of Jesus Christ in any believer is not difficul. But!!  For anyone beginning to prayerfully pursue this Life,  there are a few undergirding truths that help facilitate the reality of this Life.

For most of us … to even get started on this Christ-centered lifestyle … we need to recognize that there is a great deal of built-in wrong thinking that we must confront.

Think about the following: no matter how much we try to deny it, most of us have unknowingly developed a mind-set that starts with us … that is …. we automatically think about ourselves.  I’ll illustrate: most of us have many times said

     “I know that there are things I need to do if I am serious about growing my everyday
life in Christ”.

Stop !! Don’t go one step further.  PLEASE recognize that you are not alone; you are thinking like most  genuine believers think.  But!!!  We need to shift gears.   Bear with me and continue …… Our Loving Heavenly Father has done EVERYTHING … say that aloud, HE HAS DONE EVERYTHING, that is needed for us to fully enjoy the fruit that we started thinking about above.

When Jesus Christ came forth from the tomb, 2000 years ago, He put His resurrected Life in every believer, past, present, and furure. That was a sovereign act that our Father built into His Plan to ignite a “NEW CREATION” in every true believer. (Most of us can quote II CO 5:17; but most of us never enjoy that Truth and allow it to flood our everyday lives.)  For several decades, even truth-seeking believers in this country have missed the experiential underpinnings of this verse.

When Jesus uttered those words … words that we all love to quote,

    “ …I am the way, the truth, and the life …”   We miss the “…. " I AM THE LIFE" ….
portion of this magnificent life-changing Truth. John 14:6

But let’s move on …. when we truly discover the applicable intent of the entire “Upper Room Discourse” AND …..  we begin to embrace it …. we discover the JOY and PEACE that Jesus so clearly articulated in this passage:  John 13-17.   At this point I want to insert a short excursus ….
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As you continue to read …. please know that what you are reading … in absolutely no way minimizes the need to have our lives built upon solid biblical doctrine. The truths that you will read on this Crossroads’ website are derived from scripture and scripture alone.  So!  Before you become too overcome with questions please continue to read.

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Back to Jesus’ words quoted above: When He uttered the words,  ….  I AM THE LIFE …. , He was in effect saying, “This is the Life our Father wants to begin to develop in you, the reader.
Once you begin to digest this fact … the next question is obvious: “Ok! I get it, but how do I appropriate this spiritual truth in my life?”   Congrats !!!  That is precisely the right question !!! But to address this huge truth we need to think about a few other basic biblical truths. Let’s take them one-by-one: remember what the writer to the Hebrews commanded us,

    “ …. fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set
before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand
of the throne of God.”

It is more than a little interesting! This command has a negative implication that we need to be sure we understand.  If we study the context of this scripture passage it becomes clear, Jesus is saying,

    "Get your mind off yourself and your problems, and the problems of the culture.
In fact, get your mind off everything else but Jesus Christ.""

If anyone prayerfully meditates on this verse AND it’s powerful implications, the intended spiritual meaning of this verse, the profound truth will begin to emerge.

To properly unpack our response to this truth, we have to be willing to stop everything we are doing. And!  We need to find a place of solitude, silence, and serenity. To unpack the profundity of this concept of true surrender, we must engage our hearts: this is a heart venture.

If you have read this far, and you find your spiritual appetites hankering for more …. please stay tuned.  We are rebuilding this web site.  And we will add to what you have just read. The following web site material below is certainly solid, helpful material, but we want to add more to the prelude of what this indwelling Life of Christ looks like. Our passion is to unfold this magnificnt paradigm and help every genuine seeking believer to learn how to enjoy bit. So !!!  PLEASE stay tuned. There is more on the way.

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New  Addition: some thoughts to ponder ...
John Piper, the much loved pastor, author, and much in demand speaker has captured a relevant, life-impacting thought through his book, “Desiring God”.  Ponder his words for a moment:

      ”God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”

Piper has written many books highlighting the truth that the believers rightful inheritance is an experiential Peace and Joy. That is a weighty truth that serves us well if we rehearse it regularly as a measurement of our spiritual well being.

Another of Piper’s most helpful statements is this: “Submission is at the very heart of Christianity, because if it weren’t for Christ’s submission to death, we would not know salvation. Like Christ, once we submit and are willing to die to ourselves, we are resurrected to new life in him”.

Those two thoughts of dying to self and new life emphasize two of the three points of Paul’s words in Galatians 2:20.  Meditate for few minutes on this verse.

     “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
 The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me
and gave himself for me.”  (NIV)

Before we move on we need to mention the third AND most important phrase in this scripture.  In just 4 simple words, the apostle unpacks the key to appropriating the first two points highlighted above.  The words “I live by faith ..” are at the base of everything we are thinking about in this November article.

But!  Here again I suggest that you stop and plan to spend some time rethinking all that we’ve thought about in getting to this point.  For most of us, this thought of truly living by faith is debilitating. It is especially debilitating when we think about it in light of the first two points of Gal 2:20.  To die to self is not easy; some have called it impossible. To die to self requires a work of the Holy Spirit.

Shift gears once again !
We ended the opening part of this November article by mentioning that we need to find a place of solitude, silence, and serenity if we are serious about this pursuit. Given the business of everyone’s life today — including most Christians — we must recognize that pursuing this Christ in you lifestyle means that we must engage our hearts.  Remember!  We are talking about a lifestyle transformation; and, this can be a dramatic change for most of us.

At this juncture it maybe helpful to consider a few more extremely important truths:  When we use the words faith-life in the context of Gal 2:20, we are talking about the life of a person who is seeking to literally allow Jesus Christ to direct his or her life.  This is a reality; not a mystical leap of faith.

Furthermore, we must become convinced of the biblical reality of what we are doing.  And, we need to prayerfully be sure we don’t becoming discouraged. Our Heavenly Father is more committed in what we are doing than we can begin to grasp. We are talking about eternal truths that are at the basis of the incarnation.

At this juncture … don’t be deterred.  If this seems more reasonable … don’t feel bad in taking some time to discover more evidence of what our Father is doing in the lives of others.  This is not a problem.  His Spirit will be a part of anything that engages our heart in a desire to grow in Jesus Christ.  A genuine passion in seeking more of Him is the main essential. This may mean that we disengage for a bit and not hurry our search at this point. Perhaps you would benefit by reading more sound, biblically based, testimonies.  We can help here and we are anxious to do so.

See the sidebar; "Helpful Testimonies"

V.Raymond Edman
Charles Trumbull