As I was studying the book of Acts this past week, Peter's sermon in the second chapter really captured my attention. There is a lot of good truth in those verses and a lot of encouragement. And then you get to verse 36.
"Therefore let all the house of Israel
know assuredly, that God hath made
that same Jesus, whom ye have
crucified, both Lord and Christ"
Whom ye have crucified. Peter was making a bold statement here. Who has crucified Jesus? The House of Israel? Not just them, but me, too. I read the next verses, but I kept going back to that one. There was something that just drew me back to it and my attention was focused on those 4 words. Whom ye have crucified. My flesh wanted to utter "oh, no, Lord, not me.... I would never crucify you like they did." But my spirit knew that wasn't true. In fact, in the margin of my bible, I penned these very words.
"Do we crucify?"
And the moment the words hit the page, I knew the answer. I knew it before that actually but I just didn't want to give voice to what my spirit was groaning inside.
Do I crucify my Lord daily? Sadly, the answer to this question is yes. There are so many ways that I do this and it just breaks my heart as I realized how many times I put things before Jesus. How could anything be more important than him? How could I fail him day after day when I know who He is and who I am in Him?
The Lord began to show me all the ways we crucify Him and it hurt...
* When we neglect His precious WORD.
* When we fail to see Him in the beauty of HIS creation.
* When we rush through our quiet time with Him because we have 'things' to do.
* When we don't hit our knees (or faces) first thing in the morning and whisper our awestruck thanks for another day to serve Him.
* When we see a need in someone we come in contact with but fail to do anything because we are busy and don't want to be bothered.
*When we fill our minds with those things that aren't pure and certainly aren't lovely.
* When we promise to pray for another person and then forget or neglect to follow through.
* When unkind words are spoken or even thought.
* When our actions don't edify but instead nullify.
* When we invalidate others with our words.
As I began to see the list that the Lord had placed on my heart, I saw so many areas that I needed to repent of. Areas that needed some attention and renovation. We tend to think that crucifying is an act of commission when it is also an act of omission. Those things we fail to do in His name are just as hindering as those things we do that tear down His name.
Have we been merciful? Kind? Gracious? Are we angry or apathetic? Arrogant or prideful? This powerful word from Peter has caused me to take a closer look at myself. It has made me more determined to make sure that nothing is put before Him in my life. I want to be more mindful of His majesty. His power. His authority. I want to give myself continually to Him in prayer and the ministry of the Word. I want to sit in His presence and just let Him refresh me...
"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your
sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing
shall come from the presence of the Lord"
Refresh me, Oh, Lord. May I bask in the wonder of you, all the days of my life.