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TESTIMONY

 I grew up in a Christian family and I'm glad I did. I accepted Christ when I was young. One thing I've learned in my 38 years is that accepting Christ is just the beginning. We are all works in progress and I'm no different. I'm so grateful for God's mercy which is new every day because like I said, I'm a work in progress.

Paul said in  Romans 7 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. (Romans 7:15, 18, 19, 24, 25 NKJV)


Kody Rinehart,                Blue Mountain, MS

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(Oct. 16)


NEW Center Gate Story– A visual look at the importance of prayer, Part 1 of 2


NEW Testimony–World Champion NFR bareback rider Bobby Mote shares an encouraging story

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ABOUT US: Welcome to Cowboys of the Cross: your resource for Christian cowboys. Cowboys of the Cross is the new home for Riding for Christ Ministries, providing cowboy church and outreach to the rodeo and cowboy community for more than 10 years. The new web site is your source for stories of faith and encouragement as well as devotions and news and information affecting cowboys of faith. Cowboys of the Cross also serves to minister to rodeo cowboys and bull riders by traveling to rodeos, bull ridings and equine events across Canada and the United States. Learn more about us here:   MORE ABOUT US HERE

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By Jesse Horton/Cowboys of the Cross

All rodeo participants know there is a code of ethics, written or unwritten, when we are competing: Respect the judges and the arena directors, no foul language or “hissy fits” in the arena, cowboy attire only in the arena and back chutes…the list goes on.  All of these rules and more apply to those who participate while they are at the event or in the arena, but before the show and after you leave you are not bound by these rules.

Biblically speaking, we are supposed to view the old covenant of the law and the new covenant of grace through Christ Jesus in the same respect.  Romans 7:1 penned by the apostle Paul reads, “Do you not know, brothers…that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives?”  He gives the example of marriage.

As long as your spouse is alive you are bound to the rules and regulations of marriage, but once they are dead you are free to marry another.  Likewise, when we accept Christ’s gift of grace and give our lives over to His leadership, we are dead to the law (symbolized by baptism) and raised to newness of life in Jesus.  Either way, we are slaves to sin under the law or to righteousness under grace.

Yes, I said that under the law we are slaves to sin.  Why?  Because without the law, there are no transgressions.  The first command God gave to Adam and Eve was that they should not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or they would surely die.

Romans 7:11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.”  With no rules, there is no opportunity to break the rules and thus no transgression.

I remember as a kid coming home from school to the smell of fresh baked brownies (makes my mouth water just thinking about it).  I was raised right, so I knew you didn’t eat junk food until after supper, so I was fine to wait a little while.  But then the law came: “Don’t touch those brownies!  They’re for the new neighbors.”  That did it.  All I can think about is how badly I want a brownie…and sin was born!

And so it goes with toddlers all around the world.  The first time mom or dad tells them, “No,” and they understand and do it anyway, that child becomes a slave to sin.  

But hopefully they will hear the gospel – That Jesus, God in the flesh, came to earth, lived a sinless life, laid his life down on the cross to accept the righteous punishment due for sin (Romans 6:23 “the wages of sin is death”); but He didn’t rot there in that tomb; He arose, defeating death once and for all for those that would accept the trade He offers: He takes your death, you live His life; He took your sin, you get His righteousness.  IT’S THAT SIMPLE!  

Die to sin and the covenant of the law and live now under grace as a slave to the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

Our culture across the world – especially here in America – is doing its best to tell us that there is no such thing as sin – only different ways of doing things.  And here’s the kicker: if you won’t accept that, you’re intolerant and a bigot.  I want to stress that there is a difference between tolerance and acceptance.  You can accept people right where they are, warts and all, and not condone the things they do to get those warts! (Isn’t that what God has done for us Christians?  Just like an old fisherman – catch ‘em, then clean ‘em!)  God has very clearly spelled out right and wrong in the Bible.  Wrong is sin; it’s not a difference of opinion.  

As our culture tries to eradicate the line between right & wrong and any personal accountability, I can just hear the words of that old serpent: “Did God really say…?” (Gen.3:1) and, “You will not surely die…” (Gen. 3:4).

Loved ones, we are being deceived.  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but the truth (of God’s word) will stand.  It is extremely important that we study our Bibles and know God’s heart behind the commands so that we know that serpent for exactly what he is when we see him: a liar, a thief, and a murderer who has come to steal, kill, and destroy us.  My challenge to you today is to study your Bible this week, even if only two or three times through the week and for only a chapter each time…but seek out God’s commands with this in mind:

 1. Who does the command benefit?

 2. Who is the command directed toward?

 3. Is the command applicable to me in the same context?

If you will ask and answer those questions, you’ll be able to understand the difference between old and new covenant commands and commands that lead to obedience to God versus commands that lead to self-righteousness, which is really no righteousness at all.  Isaiah 64:6 “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags…”  Live today in the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ as a slave to righteousness.


When we understand the rules and break them, we are slaves to sin;

Jesus frees us

World Champion Bareback Rider Bobby Mote, Huckabay, TX

Philippians 4:6-7

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.


7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Psalms 145:18

 The Lord is nigh unto all

them that call upon him, to

all that call upon him in truth