Because sometimes, when I just have a bad day, I feel like I’m not being successful. In Vanuatu, things simply just don’t run as smoothly as they do in Australia, or the United States. I can’t pay bills online for starters. Queues often last for 40 minutes in the bank. Most government offices shut for lunch, usually for two hours. For example, it took me 6 hours, and 3 locations, just to get my drivers license. Most times it's fine. But occasionally, I find myself getting frustrated.
Usually on the way home, on a day like this, as I hit one of the many pothole indigenous to Vanuatu roads, my first thought is “I hope I’ve not shattered the axle on the SFC vehicle” closely followed by “I feel like I’ve got nothing done today”. When I get frustrated, I feel like I’ve not been successful.
The problem is, I use the wrong measure of success.
But the point is that while the cross was in human thinking a symbol of failure, in the mind of God, it was the ultimate symbol of success. Man looks at it as abject defeat, God looks at it as an all-encompassing victory. Man looks at the cross and declares “What a waste”. God looks at it and proclaims “No price too high”.
The cross was the ultimate measure of success for God. Colossians tells us this as well, because what looked like a defeat was turned into a triumph by what what achieved on the cross.
Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
So if the cross is the ultimate measure of success for God, then could it be that the cross should be the ultimate measure of success for us? The cross is central to the entire Bible, and everything we say and do, every thought and attitude, every mindset and belief, in every perceived failure, and in every hard fought victory, the cross must take center stage in our life, because the cross is central to having a right relationship with God.
The cross needs to be our ultimate measure of success, because the only way we will see the gospel preached to the entire world, is if we proclaim the victory that Jesus won on the cross. Yes, I need to get my drivers license. Yes, I need to patiently wait in queue to do the banking. Yes, I do need to swerve like a drunk driver just to avoid potholes, but through it all, as long as I am living my life centered on the cross of Jesus Christ, then I’m being successful.
Renyolds, D 2004, Teaching Methods of the Master, 2nd edn. Alpha Bible Publication, Gresham
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