• Jill Jarrell Newsome

What Does The Cross Mean For You

In February Mike and I went on a trip of a lifetime to the Holy Land! I had been advised years ago by an extra special minister not to go as a tourist but as a pilgrim. I took that advice and went on a pilgrimage with other friends from church.

So what do I do with this trip of a lifetime? Leave it in my picture book and look at it occasionally or use it? I do not believe we went to the Holy Land by coincidence. I believe it was part of God's plan for each of us. I believe it was a time for renewal and a time to fall deeper in love with Him. Twenty-two years ago I went on the Walk to Emmaus, a 72 hour spiritual retreat, where I got a glimpse of how much God loves me! For the first time ever I gave myself 100%, not 99%, to God. I began doing things that I never thought possible and have continued to say yes even when He pushes me out of my comfort zone.

I think the Holy Land showed me how much Jesus sacrificed for ME! I won't take the time to list all of the things like the Rock of Agony (where Jesus prayed before His arrest) that broke my heart but the pit (where Jesus was held after his arrest) crushed me. I could not stop crying. The picture below cannot tell the story. It was just a hole in rock with a small hole in the ceiling where He was dropped down. It tears me up to write about it. Jesus knows all of our emotions. We will not experience anything that He did not go through. He was willing to do all of that for me. He was willing to do all of that for you.

We are here for one purpose and that is to further His Kingdom. Are we enriching His Kingdom? We need to be spiritually discerning what God wants us to do. We have an awesome privilege to be on mission for God. We have a responsibility to use our Spiritual gifts.

By doing a Bible study on the heels of the Holy Land, I felt God nudging me about what I want to do. I want a job I am passionate about. My spiritual gifts are faith, mercy and leadership and I know He can find how I can best use them. Every day I tell Him I trust Him to get me to where I need to be....(and this is the hard part) when I need to be! I want to find my will in His Will.

I have stood in the Mount of Olives where Jesus' feet will first touch down and He will cross the Kidron Valley to the East Gate. I have been to the Valley of the Armageddon where He will win the final battle. This isn't some famous athlete or celebrity. This is our Lord and Savior. The King of Kings! And He loves ME and He loves YOU! He wants to proper us and give us hope and a future.

If we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior and asked Him into our hearts then He is living in us. Now we need to love Him back. That is worship. We were made to worship. How can we not worship Him every day? So as the Christmas hymn goes, "Oh, come let us adore Him!" And as my minister, Tim, says, "let us be changed, challenged and never forget it!"

The Sacred Pit where Jesus was held after His arrest.

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