Category: Law – Grace

  As we watched and talked and grieved for our final support grouping, a theme emerged as central –pain and joy can co-exist, yes, must co-exist, and often. Moving on from a season, long or short, of grieving may require determined will in the midst of a lot of pain. This hard lesson will be repeated throughout our Christian life as we move past obstacles of failures, sin, regrets, loss, sickness; hurts of all kinds. Matthew 18:8  Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. Matthew 18:9  And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye… Snares and…

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So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. James 2:12 What is this perfect Law of Liberty?”…the genuine ability of a living creature to manifest its whole nature, to do and be itself — most unrestrainedly.” Where resides this Perfect Law of Liberty? “…the law of liberty is that which issues from the tendencies of a man’s own nature inwardly filled with God.” “Look at Christ, and see it in perfection. His was the freest life man that ever lived. Nothing could ever bind Him. He walked across old Jewish traditions, and they snapped like cobwebs.” Phillips Brooks, The Candle of the Lord. Likewise, the Spirit-filled believer looks into “the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein — ” (James 1:25). He keeps the free posture, he operates freely. “He has a little mirror in his soul that keeps reflecting the nature of…

Read More Predictions and Faith; they Work Together

  “His mercy is judgment”; “His judgment is mercy.” — Preacher’s Homiletic. Psalm 62:12 tells us “Also unto Thee, O Lord, belongs mercy…” On the subject of mercy, John Chrysostom speaks. “She has silver wings like the dove, and feathers of gold, and soars aloft, and is clothed with Divine glory, and stands by the throne of God; when we are in danger of being condemned, she rises up and pleads for us, and covers us with her defense, and enfolds us in her wings. God loves mercy more than sacrifice.” (Matthew 9:13). Have you ever read James 2:13 where it is said, “mercy rejoices against judgment?” Can this be demonstrated? From Dr. Carl H. Stevens, “In word and deed I love them (others), beyond my understanding, not operating in morality which would legislate ‘an eye for an eye’ in revenge. It’s beyond turning the other cheek, it’s turning my…

Read More Mercy Rejoices Against Intellectual Judgment

  We learn that we must not pre-Judge any man. We must be sensitive to their every neediness. A simple expression could be a cry for help. an affirmation could be a struggle to self-justify; a cry for acceptance, a groping for hope. A “sophisticated” person dares not ask for help, for grace, for our mercy; we must encourage them to not fear, to know they are safe. Unmerited-acceptance is our sensitivity to them, so that humble, uninhibited beseeching to be loved can be their free response. Similarly, we cannot run roughshod over God’s initiations.  Like with men, sensitivity is required. God cannot probe a mini-obstinate attitude. A mere quirk of resistance sends The Spirit awry. Our tiny peevings dismiss His healing penetrations, our entitlements quench the Spirit — betimes.  God will not over-ride my emotion-driven free volition. But, we ask, do not our wounds cause instantaneous defense-mechanized reactions? and…

Read More Mephibosheth

  Today I need Him, again, I can’t do it myself. Some folks are intellectually brilliant, they depend on this. Some are physically endowed, this helps them. A third group have wealth, they turn to it. Others cope well. I have also had the traits of mental skill, some muscle, too — some savvy;  a good income. — great wife. Problem: The famous verse — “God helps those who help themselves,” Cannot be found in the Bible, even with a diligent search. The roots of such sayings can be strange. From “The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals” comes some thoughts by Donny Friederichsen.  About our above phrase, he says, “…the form in which it usually appears today most likely originated with the Reformed and Puritan Bible commentator, Matthew Henry–yep, that Matthew Henry.” Henry’s commentary on Joshua 5:13-15 reads, “God will help those who help themselves.” Duncan speculates that one reason people think this phrase is…

Read More I Need Him

  Through many failures, unconditional love grows — Through much weakness this love slowly emerges — In our personal sins the nature of His love finds a manifestation — In our frequent besettings He showers us with love — In our embarrassments, His glory shines –in humiliations His strength empowers — In utter weakness, His enablement finds perfection in us — In disgrace we find His grace. Unconditional Love? We have heard of it. It’s absolute, unqualified, clean, complete, consummate, etc. etc His love is all-out — flat out — straight-out –love. His love is pure — perfect — profound — Love. His love is stark — clean — sheer — love. His Love is total — plumb — complete — love. Ezekiel 16:6-8 speaks of this love: “I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood…”  “Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time…

Read More Unconditional Love versus The Blush of Shame

  “And Saul armed David with his armor, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. And David girded his sword upon his armor, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.” 1 Samuel 17:38-39 “Then said David to the Philistine, Thou come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.” 1 Samuel 17:45 David put off the bulky, over-weighted hindering armor of fleshly wisdom, but, put on the name (nature) of the Lord! He slew Goliath with five (grace) pebbles and a sling. Clothing often…

Read More Consciousness of War

We get a picture of true grace when we examine the counterfeits. Fyodor Dostoyevsky helps us see some of these in “The Grand Inquisitor,” a segment from “The Brothers Karamazov” Dostoyevsky sites “freedom of conscience” as man’s greatest seduction, and for this is offered three false graces: miracle, mystery, authority. All of these appeal to the masses of humanity who flee the responsibility which comes with true freedom — The grace offered all men through Christ. In short, our miracle could be a free food handout, a lottery hit, a long lost uncle’s death and inheritance. As men followed Jesus for the bread of a miraculous multiplication, so men seek the peace of full stomachs. Selling of one’s body for gain finds justification in a hopeless “waiting for my miracle” existence. Mystery and its mesmerizing allows folks to have purpose, though the purpose has no ultimate fulfilling, it provides enough…

Read More Miracle, Mystery, Authority.

Many things we do and don’t do because of unwritten rules. Brian Dozier wrote in an article on “unwritten rules” at espn.com: he lists a few used in Baseball: “Don’t yell ‘Ha!’ right when we’re about to catch a popup because that would startle us and we might drop it.” I’m sure it would! “Don’t bunt 10 times at our pitcher who has the yips, (can’t pitch accurate) because he’ll probably mess up and you’ll get on base.” “Don’t quick pitch — I’m not ready!”(pitching before the batters ready). Also, don’t steal bases in a blowout, (game is out of reach) , because then we have to keep trying to make sure you don’t. And no hustle-doubles (running very fast to extend a one-base-hit to a two) in blowouts. Take it eaaaasy.” For those who don’t grasp the game of baseball, lets just say, these unwritten rules are about fair play,…

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  “Lighten my eyes.” “The prayer from Psalm 13 rests upon the profound conviction that Jehovah is the fountain of life, and that only by His continual pouring of fresh vitality into a man can any eyes be kept from death.” comment from “Expositors Dictionary”. Fresh vitality? From the fountain of life? Meaning? I’m a realist and fresh vitality means stimulating, invigorating, exciting, gushing, energizing stuff; my best picture stands me under a waterfall of delicious and fresh spring for drinking and bathing, playing and splashing. Does the psalmist have this in mind? Yes, but: The eyes create the problem, they need brightened. They might die. Matthew 6:22 tells us, “The light of the body is the eye, if that eye be single, thy whole body is full of light! Okay? What’s single eye? liberal, generous, and bountiful, simple, clear, not looking two ways. Contrasts the evil eye or “Bad” eye. John…

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