I am an odd person. No one knows how often I think on God in a single day. My thoughts constantly swirl around Him. When I'm online, I search for videos about Him. When I'm in the mood to read, I find books about Him. When I do my chores, I sing songs about Him. If I find a moment of peace, I'm praying to Him. When I go to sleep at night, I hope I dream of Him. He is my Magnificent Obsession.
No one I know "gets it." Maybe the folks I go to church with do. But there's nothing I think on more, nothing I'd rather learn, do, sing, dream of, praise, or glorify. God is my All in all. And it has always been this way for me. My entire Christian life, I have always been the odd man out. I've always been the strongest Christian I know. Perhaps that's due to the fact that I never had true church structure in my life, therefore, I was never surrounded by strong Christians. I cannot judge anyone else's walk with God, but it seems there is only a handful of people I know (if that) I can really dig deep into conversation about the meatier stuff of the Almighty.
For some, they aren't interested. For others, they don't feel they know enough to converse about it. Still others might feel uncomfortable or would rather talk about something else.
But for me, my entire world revolves around my Creator. He is the hub around which my life revolves. A lot of people know I'm really into God. But not a lot of people know just how much. But despite it all, despite my longing for Christ and my devotion to Him, my love for God is nothing more than a breath on the wind compared to HIS love for me. For you. For the world.
Everyday I marvel at the depths of His love. I am in awe at the height of it. The cross is a reminder of that love, of how far the Holy One of Israel was willing to go to purchase my soul from Hell. We all weep at movies like "Passion of the Christ", of what our Lord had to endure. We wipe tears and feel the sting of His death as if one of our own family members had died.
But what we too often forget, or perhaps don't even know, is that the cross itself was not God's wrath upon Christ's shoulders. The cross was God's plan for Christ's sacrifice, but it was a means to an end. In order for atonement for sin to be made, a pure sacrifice had to die, and that could have been accomplished a hundred different ways. The cross of Christ was the plan of God, but it was not the wrath of God.
Throughout the centuries since Christ, there have been many martyrs who have sung hymns on their way to die. Were they afraid? Probably. But how can we say a mere human believer can go joyfully to their death when our own Redeemer, God Himself, sweat blood before His death in the Garden of Gethsemane?
No, it was not the cross He was in agony over.
Christ knew He would have to endure the Father's wrath upon that cross. We might never know exactly what He had to go through. We don't know what it's like to have the burning weight of wrath upon our shoulders. We don't know what it's like to be completely forsaken by the Father when He turned His face away from Yeshua.
In those moments, those glimpses of what Christ endured SPIRITUALLY on that cross, I see the everlasting heart God has for His children. We are the "Body of Christ" and the collective "Church", and yet, when God calls us to salvation in Him, it is one by one. Salvation is very personal. And while God so loved the world, He loved YOU specifically to hang there on a wooden beam, slowly suffocating, in agony from a cat-o-nine-tails that shredded His back and nails that ripped through His feet and hands.
And if that wasn't enough, God poured out His wrath and anger for our sins upon His only Son, and Christ drank that cup to the very last drop. There is none left for you and me.
Christ had to die and blood had to be shed for our sins to be forgiven. But the price Yeshua paid for our salvation goes far beyond the cross itself. He hung there, slowly dying, while simultaneously suffering a literal Hell -- absolute separation from the glory He had as God Almighty.
God humbled Himself, came into this world as a perfect man, lived a sinless life, and chose to die a gruesome death while taking His Own wrath upon His Own shoulders, completing a work we had no hope of ever accomplishing for ourselves.
He endured Hell on the cross to rescue us from Hell eternally.
The God of Glory came down so that we might go up.
There is absolutely NOTHING in this world that can compare to this kind of love. And there is nothing that can separate us from Him. Christ loves us because He chooses to love us. He died because He chose to. He WANTS us with Him in Heaven. For no other reason than because it's His will.
When I think about what God did for me and the enormity of all it cost Him, how can I NOT want to learn of Him all the day long? Or sing to Him...loudly? Or pray continually? Or constantly think upon and ponder the One Who set my soul free?
Nothing, absolutely NOTHING is more important than this.
Yes, I'm an odd person for thinking the way I do. But if God loves me so much that He did all of this... FOR ME... then He deserves my praise every second of every hour of every single day I draw breath.
And that's what I intend to do, for however many days I have left.