Cross Pointe Church

Address

1800 Satellite Boulevard
Duluth, GA 30097

More Info

Service Times

Sunday 9:15 AM

Sunday 11:00 AM

Contact

678-812-4500

A Fresh Start

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“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  2 Corinthians 5:17

Have you ever wished that you could have a do-over?  Or maybe that you could turn back time and start over?  Regret is one of the worst feelings in the world.  And most of us, if we were honest, would admit to having regrets over past actions and mistakes.

Paul says, “the old has gone, and the new has come?”  What “old”?  The old life, the lost life, the condemned life, the life that was separated from God has passed away.  “Passed away” here is used most commonly as a reference to time passing.  Just like time passes and is gone, never to come again, so is the old life without Christ once we are born again.  This old life was full of guilt, shame, pride, selfishness, and condemnation…and was destined for the wrath of God.

So what does Paul mean by “new”?  The meaning of this word is just wonderful!  It means, “unused or unworn.”  We don’t receive a recycled life in Christ.  We receive a brand new life!  It’s as if the old life never existed at all.  This is good news! 

In 2 Corinthians 5:17 is a wonderful reminder of the newness that we have in Christ.  God’s grace is bigger than our regrets.  And even though the consequences of past mistakes may linger, the old has gone and the new has come.  While this verse is directly related to the one-time gift of salvation, God’s grace is certainly also experienced daily.  Lamentations 3:23 tells us that God’s mercies are new every morning.  His grace and mercy is new, fresh every day.

This gives us reason for great joy.  There is no reason to look back and regret.  In Christ, we have been given the ultimate do-over.  Each day is a gift, a new opportunity to live a life that pleases God in His strength, not our own.  Are you carrying the burden of regret?  If so, lay it at the foot of the cross and embrace the newness of God’s great mercy for you today.

Father, thank You for the gift of this day.  I want to live for Your sake, and leave my old life where it belongs…in the past.  Please help me to trust You to use even my mistakes for my good and Your glory, just as You have promised to do.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.  

Every Christian's Goal

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“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:14

If Paul already has Jesus through faith, should he still “press on” towards Him as Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians?  Here in verse 14 Paul reiterates that he is pressing on, “toward the goal to win the prize.” 

Isn’t salvation the prize?  Apparently it is not.  In fact, salvation is not the goal or the prize.  Salvation is what comes as a result of pursuing the prize.  The prize is Christ.  The goal is to know Him.  He is the author, finisher and the subject of our faith.  This perspective changes everything.  If we make salvation or heaven our goal, once our eternity is secured what motivation have we to “press on,” as Paul wrote?  I am not suggesting that Christians shouldn’t long for heaven…quite the opposite is true.  We should long for heaven because it is there that we will finally see Jesus face to face. 

Paul’s goal was to know Christ and his prize was to be with Him forever.  Matthew Henry once said, “Wherever there is true grace, there is a desire for more grace.”  We run hard after Christ in order to know Him more.  Such desire and pursuit proves that we have experienced His true saving grace.  We “press on” because God has adopted us as His own children.  What child doesn’t want to know His earthly father?  It delights a son to commune with his father.  How much more, then, should it delight us to grow in relationship with our perfect Heavenly Father?

How, then, do we run hard after Jesus?  First, by forgetting what is behind.  This doesn’t mean that we never look back.  It means that we should only look back only for the sake of pressing forward.  Then, we strain towards what is ahead.  We must set our hearts on the True Goal and then order all else around Him instead of squeezing Him in to an already-full calendar. 

None of this is possible without an attitude of dissatisfaction.  Paul began this passage by acknowledging that he had not “arrived” spiritually.  Despite the mighty ways God was using him, the souls he had seen converted, the churches he had planted or his suffering for the sake of the gospel, he wanted more…more Jesus.  What about you?  Are you comfortable where you are, or does your heart long to know Him more? 

Father, Please develop a holy dissatisfaction in my soul that drives me to chase after Your Son.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Denial

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“Then Jesus said to them all:  ‘If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.’” Luke 9:23

Self-denial.  This is what Christ demands.  And more importantly, it is what He deserves.  Jesus isn’t asking His followers to hate themselves; he is asking them to adore Him.  Just as the old hymn says:

Jesus paid it all.
All to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain.
He washed it white as snow.

The choice to deny self is born out of adoration and gratitude, not obligation.  It is the response of a heart that is ever-conscience of Christ’s sacrifice, and always thankful for His grace.

To deny yourself means to disregard your own interests for the sake of Christ and His glory.  Following Jesus is not easy.  There are times when He leads us to places that we do not want to go.  He leads to places that are unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and even undesirable.  I mean this both literally and figuratively.  Loving our enemies is not comfortable. Forgiveness is not always easy.  Putting others needs ahead of our own desires is tough.  All of these are examples of how Jesus asks us to deny ourselves.

But, when we hold these acts of self-denial up to the cross… they don’t seem so hard, do they?  When we choose to consider Christ’s sacrifice, we realize that He has the right to ask for whatever He desires from our lives.  After all, we wouldn’t even have life if it weren’t for Him… physically or spiritually.

And as if what He has already given us isn’t enough, He continues to lavish His grace upon us.  Whatever He asks us to give up He will replace with His abundant life.  What we find is that the more we sacrifice, the more He gives.  In God’s kingdom, death to self is the only way to truly live.

Jesus, You have shown me what self-denial really is.  Thank You for dying so that I may live.  Please help me to deny myself and follow You today.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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