Category: Liberty – Redemption

In 1 Corinthians 15:10. Paul proclaims: “I am what I am by the grace of God. “There is nothing that will bend a man’s will like the recognition of divine love which is blessedness to come in contact with, and to obey.” “You may try to sway him by motives of advantage and self-interest, and to thunder into his ears the pealing words of duty and right and ‘ought,’ and there is no adequate response.” “You cannot soften a heart by the hammers of the law. You cannot force a man to do right by brandishing before him the whip that punishes doing wrong.” “You cannot sway the will by anything but the heart; and when you can touch the deepest spring it moves the whole mass.” Maclaren biblehub.com “You have seen some ponderous piece of machinery, which resists all attempts of a puny hand laid upon it to make it…

Read More A Touch of Grace

  In 1976 I got saved. I was not seeking it, I was not looking for it. I don’t remember making a decision per se. No, He found me and the message He brought was irresistible. I was so ready, I was so lost. I just had never allowed myself to see the full extent of my empty, lonely, wretched state. He put a light on it and the need became apparent, then the glorious remedy appeared. I received Him so gladly. Today I revisit the day of my salvation. It happened on day-shift at the mill, a sunny day. Men fished off the sea wall; myself and others started in on bag lunches.  A blond haired man, about my age, approached me. He creatively shared with me how Jesus had walked on the water, how Peter (in the Bible), had done so also, and maybe we can do this…

Read More I’m Saved

My childhood highlighted Easter. Not as ecstatic as Christmas, but carrying its own mixture of excitement, Easter differed from Christmas, much like death opposes birth, accentuating two poles of a man’s existence. Indeed, all the candy and gifts were affected by those Bible stories, most importantly, the one of cruel death. Memories include the emotions and guilt which filled my Childhood as I longed for release. Christmas gave a few days of solace, but Easter did not. The pre-Easter season of Lent featured the imposed fast– abstaining from certain pleasures. It was not yet a voluntary give-up for me. It lasted 40 days. Following that came the hideous picture of suffering death — we didn’t know how much blame we were supposed to assume, but we were told our sins were the reason for Jesus’ death. The Resurrection story did little to undo that mental pain — a basket full of…

Read More Easter Memories

  David spoke, “I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O Lord.” Psalm 26:6  David desired and sought the presence of God. However, Cain didn’t, much earlier in history. “Then Cain left Adonai’s presence and dwelled in the Land of Wandering, east of Eden.” Genesis 4:16   Our life presents these two choices; we can wander or we can seek the presence of God . “When thou saidst, seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.”  Psalm 27:8   “Who may go up on the mountain of Adonai? `Who may stand in His holy place? One with clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted his soul in vain, nor sworn deceitfully.” Psalm 24:3-4 Job_17:9 teaches: “The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.” But Cain, built a city.…

Read More Innocence

  “Not one time will the believer ever face condemnation.” “Don’t Ever let Satan detach your self-image from the kingdom of God’s finished work.” God says, “I’ve not only taken care of everything you’ve done, but I’ve taken care of everything people have done to you. I’ve taken care of everything you are …I’ve taken care of everything Satan has done.” Dr. Carl H. Stevens This year we must know who we are in Christ. This year we must draw nigh the mercy seat. This year we will be challenged to doubt, to question, to fall into “second-rate citizen” status. Steve Gruber, conservative talk show host, comments on 2019: “This will be a political war like you have never seen because in the end it is really about the heart and soul of America … about the future of the republic and whether America will be a nation of individuals…

Read More No Condemnation

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

  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 shout for acceptance, a groping for hope. A “sophisticated” person dares not ask for help, grace, our mercy; we must plead with them to not fear, to know they are safe in asking. Unmerited-acceptance is our sensitivity to them, enabling their humble, uninhibited beseeching to be loved — a free response. Similarly, we cannot run roughshod over God’s initiations to us.  Like with men, sensitivity is required. God cannot penetrate through a mini-obstinate attitude. A mere quirk of resistance sends The Spirit awry. Our tiny peevings dismiss His healing, 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…

Read More Mephibosheth

  I’m learning “speed reading” by a self-taught course. Requirements include expanding peripheral vision since time wastes when eyes have to dart back and forth on the page. So, we focus, like a magnifying glass focuses light, on the exact center of the column, then we move down the page without losing our fire-point. I’m reading several books now, (5), and getting through them quickly; but do I know what I’m chewing on? Not yet. But, because we can theoretically read 3 times as fast, we can go over the same book 3 times in the same time frame which it took us to read it once — theoretically. After reading it two or three times we ought to get some understanding. What reads have my fire point found? “The Vanishing American Adult,” Ben Sasse; “Crisis of Responsibility,” David  Bahnsen; “Jeremiah and Lamentations,”J. Vernon McGee; “The Book of Jeremiah,”Jerusalem Bible;…

Read More Fire Point

  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

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.