“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). “You have also given me the shield of your salvation” (2 Samuel 22:36).
Here in Pennsylvania, as in many states, for many years we had a major health insurance provider known as Blue Cross/Blue Shield. In fact it was our health insurance for most of the time when we lived in Pennsylvania from 1977 to 1993. In 2001Blue Cross/Blue Shield experienced some financial difficulties and split off to become two separate companies, which is the case to this day in our state. We have Highmark Blue Shield (which happens to be our present health insurance provider) and Capital Blue Cross and now they compete against each other! For 2019 I am leaning to using Capital Blue Cross.
Back in 2001 when they were having problems a rival company used an interesting slogan to advertise for new customers. One large highway billboard ad declared, “NO CROSS, NO SHIELD, NO PROBLEM”.
Well that sure got me thinking. That seems to me to be the attitude of many to a vitally more important cross and shield.
The cross is the historic Christian symbol, reminding us of what really happened on an old wooden cross nearly 2,000 years ago, when Jesus Christ died as a substitute for our sins. But to many at that time, to many throughout the ages, and to a multitude of people today it’s a message of foolishness. They scoff at the notion. But for those of us who are being saved it is indeed the power of God! “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18)
The shield, although not as common as the symbol of the cross, is nevertheless used in Scripture to describe our salvation. David wrote in one of his songs to the Lord, “You have also given me the shield of your salvation”. It’s interesting to me that the root Hebrew word used in this passage for salvation is “yesha'”, which is also the root word for the Name of Jesus.
The world may indeed believe “no cross, no shield, no problem”. But from the perspective of “the redeemed” man’s failure to glory in the cross and to appropriate the shield of salvation is a very big problem. Today join me in thanking God for what took place on the cross and for the shield of our salvation.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we are grateful for Jesus who provided the answer for the sin problem for all time. Without the cross there would be no redemption; no forgiveness for our sins; no hope for this life or the next; no sin-free eternity for the redeemed. That which was man’s greatest problem had no earthly fix, but You sent Jesus to be born in a hallowed manger to be the solution to our desperate condition. To those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior it is a joyous walk. The weight of sin is lifted and the shield of salvation empowers us, for Jesus is our Master. But to those who reject Jesus the weight of sin continues to dominate their lives and enslave them to the schemes of Satan who is their master. We lift high the banner of the cross of Jesus as we walk in His resurrected power, and it is also in His name that we pray. Amen.
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- Yesterday I mentioned not feeling well but missed a word and stated “frankly I have been feeling well”. Well, Mel, a long-time friend picked this up! I am feeling better today but still a bit nauseous and stayed home. Brooksyne is making our customary Tuesday chaplain visits solo. I told her I wasn’t back to 100% and she informed me I am never at 100%!
- A photo was shown that we thought were hay bales but Donald observed they were actually baled corn stalks. I don’t know Donald but I wonder if he is a farmer!