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Cruciform: Living the Cross-Shaped Life Paperback – March 23, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
We need more cruciform churches today, says Davis. "Not lavish cathedrals but living communities of disciples being shaped by the cross into the shape of the cross for the glory of God and the good of our neighbors, the nations, and the next generation" (p. 8). That's why he's written Cruciform: Living the Cross-Shaped Life.
Many of us, particularly if we've come to faith as adults, struggle to clearly and practically define the Christian life. What does it look like? Is it a list of things we do or don't do or is there more to it than that? But the underlying question--the question behind the question as it were--is not simply what does it look like, but why do we exist in the first place? Davis offers a very insightful answer: "We exist to exalt the glory of God and to help other people and all of creation do the same" (p. 15).
This understanding is essential for all who seek to live a cross-shaped life. If we do not understand why we have been created and for what purpose we have been redeemed by faith in Christ, we will flounder rather than flourish.
So what do cruciform disciples? Davis sums it up in two key points:
Cruciform disciples (imperfectly) resemble Jesus the Son. "The more we become like Jesus, the Beloved Son, the more we will fill up by faith on the love of the Father through the gospel as his beloved sons" (p. 37).Read more ›
We were created to look away from ourselves toward God, other people, and all of creation and say, "You first." A person with a you-first heart recognizes that life is about using oneself to serve God, others, and all that God has made, thus living a life that takes the form of a cross. Can you see it? We were created to be cruciform (cruci = cross, form = shaped).
This insightful observation gives me pause to elaborate the beauty of his "You first" language. You see, I've not heard spiritual life put this way before. Many years ago I was given an "I'm third" award. A few years ago I got excited about the "I'm second" campaign. Yet, in both of these models, "I'm" still in the picture. The "You first" model is fresh to me and it is a perspective marked by true humility. With the cruciformed life, self is forgotten altogether and Christ takes center stage. Simply put, I deeply appreciate Davis's model of spiritual life.
Davis shares a number of endearing anecdotes from his own life, but none quite demonstrates the humility, patience, and enduring nature of living the cross-shaped life quite as clearly as the final story of how his wife suffered burns from a grease fire and endured a month of hospitalization and surgeries. This touching story is so impactful that the reader will assuredly glean the full value of purchasing Cruciform simply by reading this capstone final chapter.Read more ›
He describes the cross-shaped life in terms of servitude-- who doesn't need more of that? (serving, I mean! NOT being served) He also reminds readers that God has adopted us as his sons (and daughters). The love, the security that comes from this relationship reminds us that we are approved, we are forgiven, we are loved.... such encouragement.
By serving others, we learn to become "other-focused" and anticipate their needs. Early in the book, I was already looking around for servanthood opportunities. God will open a lot of eyes through this well-written book.
I will summarize these points.
* As children of God, we seek his kingdom and his righteousness first (Matthew 6:33). We desire to act like him, to love and think like him. We look to Jesus as our example for living well.
* "In relationship to other disciples," Davis writes, "the servant is a shepherd, one who encourages brothers and sisters in Christ, who loves and labors with them" for the kingdom (Colossians 3:12-16). There are caveats with this point, but generally speaking we love and work with each other keeping the abundant life of Christ in mind.
* To those who aren't disciples, we sow the gospel through actions and conversation. We have compassion for the crowds, like Jesus does (Matthew 9:37), praying for them and serving them for the sake of His kingdom.
* For everything in God's creation, we are stewards on His behalf of all the resources God has given us: "body, time, talents/gifts, money, head/heart/hands, words, work, creation" (Matthew 24:45-51).
We do this due to a focus on Christ's life, which is essentially cross-shaped, and out of the source of our spiritual strength, which is a cross-shaped spirit. Each of these roles intermingles with the community in which they serve, a give-and-take that makes Jesus' disciples interdependent.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In the middle ages churches were decorated with mosaics, stained glass windows and many other devices that were used to help the congregants learn about the gospel. Read morePublished on January 22, 2013 by David Shaw
We hear so much about the Gospel anymore. Go peruse the local Christian bookstore, or even the Christianity section at Barnes & Noble and you will find many titles about the... Read morePublished on September 1, 2012 by Todd
This book was great- it's humorous when it needs to be, but never distracts from the central challenges that it puts to believers to serve and live as Christ has lived. Read morePublished on June 10, 2012 by Erica Sheets
More than half a century ago, J.I. Packer observed that the church in his day had fumbled the gospel. Read morePublished on January 24, 2012 by Bob Lepine
What shape is your faith in?
Jimmy Davis's challenging little gem of a book invites us to consider living a cruciform life, that is, a life formed by the cross of Christ. Read more
Cruciform Press is a brand new publisher that seems to be on the cutting edge of publishing in the digital age. Read morePublished on June 6, 2011 by Jared Totten