As Christians we are given tremendous liberty. In Christ we are free from condemnation and free from the perils facing unbelievers. This often leads people to the ditch opposite of legalism, which is the abuse of God’s grace. Romans 6: 1 says, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” The implication there is that we have been freed from the bondage of sin, and freed from its domination over us- so why do we continue to live as though we are still powerless over sin? Why do we live as though it still owns us? I would like you to think about this question- who owns you?You will quickly see the answer to this question as you reflect on the following:Do you want to glorify God with your life more than you want to breathe?What decides how you act? Is is the Word of God or how you feel today or in the moment?What is the motive for the things you do “for God?” Is it self or the glory of God? How you answer these questions is the beginning of determining where your heart is focused right now. Are you living for Him or for you? We have not been redeemed to be self-serving,...Read More
Not too long ago I was hit full in the face with the horrific nature of my sinful heart. I had a situation occur in which I was bitterly disappointed. The details are not as important as my actions which were initially not glorifying to God, but the situation is one that God used to reveal my heart. Over a period of years I had been working to extricate myself from a certain state of affairs that were like bondage to me. I had made progress but this time I had the solution all planned out. Part of the problem with my solution was that I was tempted to be temporarily dishonest. When I realized where that was headed I was in the moment – sorrowful. The solution meant freedom and I rationalized that any dishonesty would be only temporary. The scenario that I envisioned did not pan out the way I wanted it to and my expected freedom did not come to pass. Once again, God said “nope.” I did not understand this – not one bit. I was so angry at God that He continued to frustrate my attempts to gain my freedom from what felt like slavery to me. This enraged me and I gave full vent to my anger at God over how the situation had worked out. My tirade at not getting my way...Read More
God is interesting. The way He deals with me is always beyond my understanding, and I am grateful for that. He allows me to try to find every way possible out of a jam or situation and He just seemingly sits back, arms folded across His chest (I imagine a big smile on His face) and waits for me to be done exhausting my options… and myself. He already knows the answer, He has had the solution from eternity past. I continue to pray “Tell me what to do…” and as I pray… I try to figure it out myself. I fuss and fret and eventually come to terms that I am out of options and I must rely on nothing other than Him. I have nothing but prayer, and faith, and His faithfulness to me. What a wonderful place to be! I can trust Him because I know He has a plan, He is aware, and He is fully in charge of whatever the thing of the moment or day is. He reminds me that HE knows the end from the beginning and that no matter how it looks to me, He sees infinitely more than I do. He always wants me to remember that I need Him, that I am nothing without Him, and even though I may plan and strategize the “best” way ~ultimately my life...Read More
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. 1 Timothy 1: 12-17 A fitting place to begin this blog I think. This passage is always a part of my testimony when I am asked to give it. Paul’s words refer to his activities before he met Christ on that road to Damascus (Acts 9) say so much about me as well. Paul and I share the same disgrace- we were once blasphemers, persecutors, and violent aggressors- and ignorant of the truth. While I was raised in a religious home, I had no connection with the...Read More
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