The Grace of the Cross

Today I want to spend a few moments meditating upon the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ and its wonderful impact upon our lives.  Everything about us is changed when we encounter the Lord Jesus Christ crucified.  In 1 Corinthians the Apostle Paul writes about the message of the cross as the solution to the brokenness which had come upon the Church in Corinth as a consequence of their sin.  Like them we too live lives which are constantly in need of the grace of the cross of Christ.  Today I came across this prayer which is part of a collection of Puritan Prayers published by the Banner of Truth Trust in a book entitled Valley of Vision.  It speaks to us about the grace of the cross of Christ.  Let this be our prayer today.

O my Saviour,

I thank thee from the depths of my being

for thy wondrous grace and love

in bearing my sin in thine own body on the tree.

May thy cross be to me

as the tree that sweetens my bitter Marahs,

as the rod that blossoms with life and beauty,

as the brazen serpent that calls forth

the look of faith.

By thy cross crucify my every sin;

Use it to increase my intimacy with thyself;

Make it the ground of all my comfort,

the liveliness of all my duties,

the sum of all thy gospel promises,

the comfort of all my afflictions,

the vigour of my love, thankfulness, graces,

the very essence of my religion;

And by it give me that rest without rest,

the rest of ceaseless praise.

O my Lord and Saviour,

Thou hast also appointed a cross for me

to take up and carry,

a cross before thou givest me a crown.

Thou hast appointed it to be my portion,

but self-love hates it,

carnal reason is unreconciled to it;

without the grace of patience I cannot bear it,

walk with it, profit by it.

O blessed cross, what mercies dost thou bring

with thee!

Thou art only esteemed hateful by my rebel will,

heavy because I shirk thy load.

Teach me, gracious Lord and Saviour,

that with my cross thou sendest promised grace

so that I may bear it patiently,

that my cross is thy yoke which is easy,

and thy burden which is light.