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James Merritt - Casting a Long Shadow

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    James Merritt - Casting a Long Shadow
TOPICS: From Here To Eternity

We are thrilled to have you here in the building today. It is a beautiful day. I wanna go back to a date, before I was born, July the 16th, 1945. The place was Alamogordo, New Mexico. Something happened on that day that affects all of us, everybody around the world to this day, and most probably will affect the human race as long as this world exists. Because beginning on that day, the entire world was thrown under a nuclear shadow. The first atomic bomb was exploded. And even today, that one bomb affects our foreign policy, affects our spending. It affects our United States military more than any other thing that's ever happened in the history of this nation. And it doesn't matter where you go in the world, you live under that shadow. You cannot go anywhere in this planet where some countries, some way somehow cannot blow you away with a nuclear bomb.

But there's another shadow that looms large over this world, though the vast majority of the world doesn't even realize they're living under it. It's a shadow that every follower of Jesus Christ lives under and should willingly live under every single day and it is the shadow of the cross of Jesus. Think about this. From the time that little baby was laid in that manger to the day that he died, every single moment he lived in that shadow. Every day of his life, the cross was never absent from his mind, never far from his soul. It was never out of his heart. You know, he spent three years with 12 men called disciples. Have you ever thought about the very first thing he ever taught those men?

First thing, what was lesson? What was the first day of class? The first time they sat under his teaching, what did he teach them? Listen to this. "He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again". Think about that. All the things he could have started out teaching, predestination, salvation, sanctification, heaven, hell. No, the first thing he says is, "You guys need to understand something. I'm living under a shadow of the cross. It's on my mind every single day". Every morning when Jesus woke up, he woke up in the shadow of the cross. Every night when he would lay down to sleep, he would sleep under the shadow of the cross. Every time he would sit under the shade of a tree just to get some relaxation, he rested under the shadow of the cross. And ever since he came out of that tomb, you and I, if we follow Jesus, we live under the shadow of the cross.

Now, that's just not unusual to think about. Every religion in the world, every major ideology in the world has some kind of a symbol, a visual symbol, which signalizes why it's such an important thing and the history behind his beliefs. For example, Buddhism is symbolized by the lotus flower. That's the symbol of Buddhism because its wheel shape depicts the cycle of death and birth and reincarnation. That's what they believe. You're born, you die, you come back as something else. You're born, you die, you come back as something else. Judaism, we all know what the symbol of Judaism is, right? It is the Star of David. That star represents God's covenant with David that one day there would be a messiah that would come from him and would sit on the throne of the world forever. And we all know what this symbol represents. That's the symbol of Islam. It's a crescent.

In ancient times, it was a symbol of sovereignty and of power. But we can leave the world of religion. We can go to the world of politics. You know this symbol. This is the symbol of communism. It is the hammer and the sickle. Sickle which symbolizes industry on the one hand and agriculture on the other. Some of you will remember, and some of you military men will know this is a symbol of Nazism. You may not realize this, some of you younger people may not, but that's actually a cross that is bent clockwise. Why did they do that? Because that symbolizes the four seasons of the world. Summer, fall, spring and winter. And it symbolizes the fact that Nazism should control everything, everywhere all the time. But then there's this one symbol, and it doesn't matter whether you're an atheist or a believer.

It doesn't matter whether you are a Buddhist or a Muslim or a Jew, when you see this symbol, you know exactly what it stands for and it's so simple. It's just a cross. But here's the problem and it is a problem with the average believer. It is the problem with many of you watching me right now who love Jesus. It's a problem with many of you right now who are Christians and you really are, but there's something you still don't get. I want you to hear this. If you don't hear anything else I say, this is my sermon in a sentence this morning. The cross of Jesus Christ is not just a symbol of the Christian faith, it is the secret of the Christian life. The cross of Jesus Christ is not just a symbol of the Christian faith, it is the secret of the Christian life.

As a matter of fact, you're gonna find out this morning, our entire lives ought to be lived in the shadow of the cross. It ought to be built around the truth of the cross. And you say, where do you get that idea? I get it from one single statement, one single sentence that a man by the name of Paul wrote over 2000 years ago and it perfectly captures completely and totally how the cross ought to affect every single moment of your life and my life. It is an absolutely incredible statement and you're gonna see why. Listen to what Paul said. Paul said, "May I never boast". I don't wanna brag about anything. I don't wanna boast about anything, Paul said, "Except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world".

Lemme just unpack that for just a moment. If you'd been living in the early church and you'd gotten this letter from Galatians and you knew about this man named Paul, and you read that statement where Paul said, "The only thing I have to brag about, the only thing I ever wanna boast about is the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ," you would've said, Wait a minute, Paul, wait a minute". If there is anybody that has a lot to brag about, it's you". I mean, for example, take your pick. Greatest preacher in the world, check. Greatest missionary in the church, check. Greatest teacher of the Christian faith, check. Greatest theologian of any school, check. Greatest religious author of any writer, check. You do understand he wrote more books in the Bible than anybody. You do understand he wrote over half of the New Testament.

And you would've said, "Paul, you have a lot to brag about," and yet Paul would've said, "No, there's only one thing I will ever brag about. There's only one thing I will ever show pride in. There's only one thing that makes my heart swell and it doesn't make my head big at all and it is the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ". Now, you may not understand just how weird that is and how strange that is and how unbelievably just out of sight that statement would've been 2000 years ago. But let me tell you why that's really just kind of almost bizarre. Because to every major culture in the world, back in that day, the cross was not something to brag about. It was grossly offensive.

Lemme give an example. To the Romans, the cross was so despicable, it was considered obscene. As a matter of fact, Cicero, the great Roman orator wrote this, "Even the mere word 'cross' must remain far not only from the lips of the citizens of Rome, but also from their thoughts, their eyes and their ears". If you were a Roman citizen and you were dignified and you were civilized and you had any modicum of good manners about you, you would never talk about the cross. You would tell your kids, "Don't mention the cross, don't talk to your friends about the cross. Don't ever look at a cross. Don't think about a cross. Don't hear anything about a cross". To them it was obscene. To the Jews, it was just a form of hanging somebody.

As a matter of fact, the Jews called the cross a curse because the only people that ever got crucified on a cross were murderers and rapists and thieves and the lowest class of criminals. And then to the Greeks, they laughed at the cross, 'cause the Greeks, they thought, "This is the most foolish thing I've ever heard in my life. You mean you actually believe a man who claimed to be the son of God would allow himself to be nailed to a piece of wood"? They thought it was a joke. They didn't take it seriously and they just not could not get in their mind, they couldn't understand. You're educated, you got a level head about you and you're following some guy that claim not only to be God, but that is crucified and not just crucified, but between two thieves, two robbers, two terrorists, two murderers. Have you lost your mind?

And then Paul comes along and says, "The only thing I'll boast about, the only thing I brag about. The one thing that drives my life is the shadow of the cross". And so I wanna say to you this morning, if you are a follower of Jesus, God wants you to live your life every single day under the shadow of the cross. But that raises a question. What does that mean? Well, what does it mean to live in the shadow of the cross? I was going over my message early this morning, and I got to thinking, and I really do mean this and I hope you'll see this. This is where my passion comes from. This is where my fire comes from. From the day that I gave my life to Jesus as a nine year old boy and walked outta that movie theater, my life has been lived under the shadow of the cross. I don't know about you. There's never been a day in my life yet that goes by, not one day in over five decades, I do not think about the cross of Jesus Christ.

So what does that mean? Well, Paul says it ought to mean three things. Number one, we should take pride in the cross. We should take pride in the cross. Now listen, let's get into these words, Paul said, "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ". Now let me just stop right there and I want you to notice something 'cause this is so very, very important. It is not the cross that makes Jesus Christ so special. It is Jesus Christ that makes the cross so special. Yeah. Amen. It's not the cross that makes Jesus Christ so special. It is Jesus Christ that makes the cross. Listen, we don't have to be proud just of the cross. Paul said, "My pride, our pride is in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ," because remember, crucifixion was just a common form of execution back in that day. It was not a big deal to see people crucified.

As a matter of fact, you may not be aware, I've told you this before, over 30,000 Jews were crucified. But here's what really strange. I challenge you to do this. I've done this in Israel many times. Go up to any Jew, just pick out... You can go to an orthodox, conservative, reformed Jew and ask them this question. 30,000 Jews were crucified. I'm gonna name one, you name one. I name Jesus. Who do you name? They can't tell you. We don't know. We don't know the name of one single Jew that was crucified except Jesus. That's why I wanna say it again. It is not the cross that makes Jesus so special. It is Jesus that makes the cross so special. It is Jesus that makes the cross so unique. It is Jesus that makes the the cross a reason to live a life every day that's praising God.

See, it's not the cross itself that's wonderful. Many of some of you right now, I guarantee you there are ladies, maybe some men in this room, you're wearing a cross and that's okay. But there was nothing special about the cross. 2000 years ago, crosses were a dime a dozen. 2000 years ago, people dying on the cross, they were a dime a dozen. Paul said, "It's not the cross. It is Christ on the cross that makes the cross so amazing". And that's why he asked three words. It's the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. He said that for a reason. Who died on that cross? It was Jesus, as Lord, Jesus is God. As Christ, He is the Jewish messiah. As Jesus, He is the savior of the world.

And what Paul was saying was when you just stop and realize who was crucified on that cross, and when you stop and realize why he was crucified on that cross, how can you not boast about the cross? Now lemme just get real personal for a moment and make some of you uncomfortable in this room. Why is it we have no problem bragging on our grandchildren? Why is it we have no problem bragging on our kids? Why is it we have no problem bragging on our football team or our baseball team? Why is it we have no problem with bragging on the house that we live in and the cars that we drive and the clothes that we wear and the jewelry that we own, but we never boast about the cross of Jesus Christ? This is why I tell you every day, who is your one? Who's that one person you're talking to? Why is it we can't just in our everyday life find some way somehow to point people to the cross?

I was in Florida on vacation and I'm trying to teach my grandchildren, my little granddaughter, Presley who's watching this right now. My little granddaughter, Presley, she's learned to pick this up. Fact, she always does it. So when we go to the restaurant to sit down, she'll always say, "Pop, can I ask the question"? And I say, "Sure, you can ask". She loves it. And it really works out better for her to do it. So we were in a restaurant and I'm not making this up, there was a lady that came up and we were eating actually with some former church members where I used to pastor. And so we were sitting there, this lady came up and I am not making this up and I'm not trying to make a joke. This lady looked like Tammy Faye Bakker. I am not joking you. I mean, she had the mascara. I mean, you know, up here and the big, you know, eyelashes and I said, "My Lord, that looks like Tammy Faye Bakker".

I'm not making this up. I said, "Excuse me, what is your name"? She said, "Tammy". I said, "You gotta be kidding me". I'm not making this up. No joke. I said, "I've got to ask you a question". She said, "I know. Yes, people tell me I look like Tammy Faye Bakker". I'm not making that up. I said, "No joke, you really do". Well, then my granddaughter said to her, I said, "My granddaughter has a question she'd like to ask". And she said, "Sure, what is it"? She said, "We're about to pray for our food. How can we pray for you"?

And I'm gonna tell you, Tammy Faye, the mascara began to go like a waterfall. Now I'm not being funny. She began to weep out loud. She said, "I can't believe you've asked me that question". She said, "My son," I won't even call his name, she said, "My son has just been sentenced to 30 years in prison for kidnapping and drug dealing. He could've gotten 250 years". And she said, "I am a crushed mother". And I got up and I walked over to her to put my arm around her. I got out one of my little Best News cards and I said, "Tammy, it is not a coincidence that you waited on me. And it's not a coincidence that we are here this afternoon". I said, "Let me tell you something. I know you think about your son right now. There's no hope for him, his life is over". I said, "I've got news for you because of the cross of Jesus Christ, life's not over. There's still hope for you and there's still hope for your son. Can you get this card to him"? She said, "Yes, I can".

Now, lemme tell you why I tell you that story. I didn't do that because I'm a pastor. I didn't do that because you pay me to do it 'cause you can't pay me to do that. I do it because I live under the shadow of the cross. And we need to be living under the shadow of the cross. So 29,999 Jews die on the cross and who did they die for? They died for themselves. One man dies on a cross. He didn't die for himself. He died for you. And He died for me. And He died for us and He died for the world. And that fact alone ought to tell me that no matter whatever the circumstances are in my life, maybe I'm unemployed, maybe I'm battling a difficult disease, maybe I'm going through a rough spot in my relationship but living in the shadow of the cross every day, my heart ought to burst with pride that Jesus died for me. We live in the shadow of the cross. We ought to take pride in the cross. But then Paul said this, we should find passion with the cross. We ought to find passion with the cross.

Now lemme tell you what I mean by that. We all know that God is a God of power. But have you ever thought about that? About the fact that God is a God of passion? 'Cause think again. Think about these seven words. "The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ". Now just think with me just a minute. Let's break this down. The cross is the what, Jesus is the who, but what is the why? What motivated God to send his son to die? And what motivated the son to come and to die? Well, lemme tell you this. The Bible's very plain. God had one big purpose in mind when he sent Jesus to die for us.

You said, "I know what it was. It was to save us". No, actually that was the second thing he was trying to do. Do you know the first thing God was wanting to do when he sent Jesus to die for you and me? He wanted us to see just how much he loves us, to see how valuable we are to him, to see how much he cares about us, to define what real love is all about. See, there are all kind of skeptics out there. They watch their televisions, they read their newspapers, they scan their magazines, they listen to the radio, they surf the internet and they see these earthquakes and stabbings and rapes and murders and assassinations and bombings. And you know what they'll say? They'll sneer and they'll look at you and me and they'll say, "So where is this God of love? And where is this love of God that you talk about"?

Do you know why they can't find the love of God? Because they're looking in the wrong place. I'll tell you how you find the love of God. You look at the cross. It is not without irony that Mel Gibson's magnificent depiction of the death of Jesus was called "The Passion of the Christ". Where did Mel Gibson get the word passion? Why do you think about passion? You know, the common definition of passion is a compelling emotion to desire that drives everything you do. Why did Mel Gibson and why should we refer to the death of Jesus as the passion? For one reason, listen to this. The cross of Jesus Christ points to everything God is passionate about. I don't know what you're passionate about, but if you wanna know what God is passionate about, you look at the cross.

Here's how passionate God is and here's what God is passionate about. God is so passionate that you and I spend eternity with him, He sent his son to die for us. God is so passionate. Jesus is so passionate that our sins be forgiven, that we be washed as white as snow, that we could have a relationship with God, that He willingly gave his life on the cross.

Lemme tell you something. You wanna know how passionate you are about something? Here's how you can tell. You tell me what you're willing to die for, I'll tell you how passionate you are about it. So lemme make this easy. It's gonna sound funny and I guess it is in a way. I am passionate about Georgia Bulldog football but read my lips, I ain't dying for Georgia football. But I'm telling you before God, I am passionate about my Lord Jesus Christ and I will die for Jesus Christ. You're passionate. You're passionate about what you will die for. So in the shadow of the cross, what do we see? We see God's passionate love for us. And in Jesus' death, we ought to show our passionate love for him. So we should take pride in the cross and we should have passion with the cross.

But now watch this third thing. We should receive power from the cross. Now I'm about to get real deep so stay with me 'cause this is a part of preaching most people have never, ever gotten or they haven't heard. There is a power that is found in living in the shadow of the cross. It is greater than nuclear power. It's greater than political power. It is greater than intellectual power. It is greater than financial power. It is greater than educational power. It is greater than physical power. And that power of the cross is found in the next statement of this verse because this is one of those verses that you read the first part, but you skip over the second part. Paul said, "I will not boast in anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ".

When Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross, you see, we don't get this. What happened when Jesus died on the cross? You say he was crucified. Well, Jesus wasn't the only thing crucified on that cross. So was the world. The world was crucified. So, what do you mean? I don't mean the physical world. I mean the moral world, the ethical world, the philosophical world and all the world has to offer us that would drag us down and trip us up. Paul said, "All of that was crucified on the cross". You say, "Well, I don't understand what that means".

Lemme tell you exactly what it means. Because of the cross, listen to me, because of the cross, if you're a follower of Jesus, because of the cross, we have the power to do something nobody else in the world has. We have the power to overcome the world. We have the power to overcome the flesh. We have the power to overcome the devil. We have the power to overcome temptation. We have the power to overcome sin. So I wanna give you an exercise. I'm gonna make this very practical. There are a lot of us out there and by the way, if you don't think you're in a spiritual battle, it's just 'cause you don't know there's a war going on. You're sleeping in the barracks. We're all in a spiritual battle. I promise you, every one of us is battling something. You're fighting something.

So I wanna be very practical. If you're fighting a spiritual battle and you're discouraged. You feel like, you say, "You know, pastor, I am and I keep losing. I keep trying and I keep failing and I keep fighting and I keep losing. I just can't seem to get the victory". There's this particular type of temptation or there's this particular type of sin. Maybe it's bitterness, maybe it's anger, maybe it's jealousy, maybe it's pornography, I don't know what it is but there's this battle. And you say, "Man, how did you know"? 'Cause we all have that battle. It's just different battles. We're all in the same war. And you say, "Yeah, I just don't seem, it's just got a foothold in my life. I don't know what to do".

Let me help you. The next time you think about giving into that temptation, the next time you think about reaching for that pornographic magazine, or the next time you think about having that bitter thought towards someone, or the next time you get jealous of that brother or that sister that was more successful than you are or the next time you get upset because you didn't get that job that you wanted, you didn't get to go to the college that you wanted to go to and you just seem like I just can't win over this sin, here's what I want you to try. I want you to stop and take 10 seconds, just 10 seconds and what I want you to focus on is Jesus dying on that cross. And when you do, I want you to focus on three things. I would encourage you to write these down.

Number one, who's on that cross? Well, the Lord Jesus Christ is on that cross. Why is He on that cross? He's on that cross to show me He loved me, to show me He wants to live in me and to show me what He can do through me and what the cross has done for me. The cross has crucified the world to me. I don't have to give into you, you, Satan. I don't have to give into that temptation. I don't have to let that sin win. Because of the cross, the world has been crucified to me. And here's what you'll find. After 10 seconds of doing that, you can't be bitter. You can't be angry. You can't be jealous because you realize, huh, I'm dead to all of that.

The world has been crucified to me. I can't say what I wanted to say. I can't think what I wanted to think. I can't do what I wanted to do. I can't go where I wanted to go because there's something about the cross that does two things at the same time. It kills, but it gives life. It kills the power of sin but it gives you the power to overcome that sin. It kills the pleasure of doing the wrong thing. It gives life to the desire to be holy, to be godly and to be righteous. See, what Paul is saying is every day when you live your life in the shadow of the cross, you can live a life of power. And let's take pride in the cross. Let's get passion from the cross.

And then, here's the last thing and we'll be finished. Paul said we should give priority to the cross. Now listen to what he says. Paul says, "Not only has the world been crucified to me," he says, "I have been crucified to the world". Now let's just stop. Just think about that for a minute. So when Jesus died and I gave my life to Jesus, at that exact moment, two things happened, whether you realize it or not, doesn't matter. The world was crucified to me and I was crucified to the world.

Now lemme tell you why and how this works. Has it ever occurred to you that crucifixion is the one form of death you can't inflict upon yourself? There's a lot of things you can do to yourself. You can shoot yourself, you can hang yourself, you can stab yourself, you can drown yourself, you can poison yourself. And I wouldn't ask you to try this, it won't work. You can't crucify yourself. There's just absolutely no way. Crucifixion is the one thing that has to be done to you, that you have to surrender to. And that's why I've told you at the beginning, the cross is the key to the Christian life. The cross is not just the symbol of the Christian life. It is the secret to the Christian life because it's when you voluntarily surrender every day to be crucified to the world, to your ego, to your ambitions, to what you want, to what you think, when you surrender everything in the shadow of the cross to the God that loves you, to the Christ that died for you, to the spirit that wants to fill you, you get victory in your life but you gotta give priority to that cross.

Lemme give you a very practical example. I'm not fussing. I'm not trying to chase a rabbit and I'm not putting anybody on a guilt trip. But I was reading in Malachi this morning in my quiet time, and I read that passage that we've all heard, "Will a man rob God? But you've robbed me in tithes and offerings". Why would you rob me in tithes and offerings? And he says, "Bring your tithes to the storehouse and test me and see if I will not pour out blessings on you that are so big you can't store them up".

I read that this morning. And so I thought to myself, Lord, that's pretty plain and you have so proven that in my own life but why don't most people get it? Why is it that over half of any church in America doesn't give a dime to the church they attend? Why is that? And it came right outta this text because you haven't yet been crucified to your greed. You've not been yet been crucified to your selfishness. 'Cause I've got news for you. Yeah, there are some things you have to die to if you're gonna give back to God. You may not get to buy the 2019 edition of that car. It may be a 2017. You may have to buy a 3000 square foot house, not a 5,000 square foot house. I get it, I understand. I've been there. I've done it all my life. But do you live under the shadow of the cross? That's just one area you will never ever get.

Lemme give you an example. When I met Teresa, we've been married 45 years, beautiful daughter, love my Teresa. You know, when she asked me and I agreed to marry her, Teresa, that's for you, I know you're watching this morning, but when we finally decided we're gonna get married, our whole outlook on life totally changed. From the moment that she agreed to marry me, we no longer talked about mine, we no longer talked about hers. Somebody tell me, what did we start talking about? Yeah, ours. We start talking about ours. Why? Because from the moment we decided to become one and we knew every decision we made for the rest of our life, every single one would always involve the other person.

So it's not the way I spend my money, or the way you spend your money, it's the way we spend our money. It's the plans we're going to make. It's the activities we're going to get involved in. And they were all governed by one simple thing, we were going to be married to each other. We were going to be man and wife. We were going to love each other exclusively. We would never again conceive of one without the other because we're no longer two, we are one. And that's why I can say to you today, to every one of us, if you live in the shadow of the cross and you get it, then no sacrifice is too great. If you live in the shadow of the cross, no amount of suffering you endure is too unbearable. No burden we carry is too heavy. No assignment that God gives us is too difficult.

So I wanna kind of wrap this up. Have you ever thought about the fact that the closer you get to a big object, the bigger the shadow becomes? You ever thought about that? That the closer you get to a big object, the bigger the shadow it casts. This is my prayer. My prayer is that we would be so close every day to the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, that that cross cast a shadow over every part of our life. And if I haven't said anything else yet that's motivating you to get under that shadow, I'm gonna close with this. As you get under the shadow of the cross, I want you to remember this. The one who created the world and the stars and the sun and the moon and the galaxies and the solar systems and the universe and the oceans decided I'd rather die for you than live without you. I'd rather die for you than to live without you. So let's live in the shadow of the cross. Let's die under the shadow of the cross so that one day we will live forever with the one who cast the greatest shadow from that cross.

Would you pray with me right now with heads bowed and eyes closed? I wanna ask you a question. You gotta answer it honestly and I'm talking to those in this room and those who are watching me right now online. You're either in the shadow of the cross or you're out from under the shadow of the cross. You're one way or the other. You're either living under the shadow or you're outside the shadow. Where are you? You say, "I don't know. How do you get under the shadow of the cross"? You have to go to the cross and not just any cross, you gotta go to the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. And you've got to be willing to confess you're a sinner that needs a savior. You've gotta be willing to die to you, to your ego, your ambition, what you want, where you want to go, what you want to do. And you've gotta give all of your life to Jesus Christ.

I wanna invite you to the greatest life you'll ever live. I wanna invite you today to get under the shadow of the cross. And if you'd like to do that today, if you would like to know for the rest of your life that you live under that shadow, that everything will be under the control of the one who died for you, who came back for you, and if you'd like to know that one day you'll spend eternity with the one that loves you more than anybody on this planet will ever love you, then just pray this prayer right now. Would you do it? Just say something like this.

Lord Jesus, you died on that cross for me and I needed you to die on that cross because I'm a sinner and I need a savior. Lord, I have lived under the shadow of this world too long. This world has nothing to offer me and I know it now. So today I repent of my sin. I confess my sin. I ask you to come into my heart to be my Lord and my savior, and I realize what I'm doing right now. I'm allowing you to crucify the world to me, and I'm allowing you to crucify me to this world. Thank you for hearing my prayer. Thank you for forgiving me of my sins. Thank you for giving me eternal life. And now by the power of the cross, help me not only to live with you and for you the rest of my life, but let me and allow me and empower me to bring others under the shadow of the cross.

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