Tag: <span>grace</span>

Traveling this week to Africa for missions trip. I will be gone for two weeks. Many thoughts accompany me as I prepare. I think of Moses famous line in Exodus 33:   “…If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.”  Exodus 33:15 Moses had the assuring Word of God’s presence from the previous verses, nevertheless, he repeated back to God how much His grace was desired and needed. Moses was seeing that to have found grace in God’s sight means that God would surely accompany them on the journey. Something undeserving to Moses could not be compromised — otherwise — not going! I wondered about how much of this sense formed my mindset. Did I expect this grace? Could I leave without it? Funny that I would compare my little adventure with the great Moses. Regardless, deeply worked into Moses psyche, appeared a desparation — “without…

Two brothers approached and offered God yield of their life occupations. One offered a sheep, the other fruit. God respected one offering, the other, He rejected. The Genesis story describes two men and their God, two men shaped in iniquity, two men born outside the presence of the Almighty, two men excluded from the ongoing fellowship which their parents had enjoyed. A similar state belongs to every human born of Adam, it includes us also. Question? How do we approach Him? Do we need to appease God, or do we simply present the “already accepted” offering of a Savior? Do we need to do anything? What reconnects man and his God? First simple observation — production alone will not appease Him. Why? Because God cannot accept any works, fruit, or outcomes which have been born, developed or perfected by a sin-infected soul, including motivation or handiwork. Sorry but any product…

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” 1Timothy 3:16 “Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.”  1 Timothy 3:9 “Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”  Colossians 1:26 – 27 Many are the mysteries. The gospel, the second coming of Christ, the rapture of the Church, partial blindness to Israel are some of these. Also there is the mystery of iniquity, which does already work in 2 Thessalonians 2:9. Though many mysteries abound,  many also are revealed to…

We meet a lot of precious people who hold high standards for their life. Many of these good people rely on their track record of goodness and good deeds to determine their self-image — its mostly a good one. Nevertheless, these fail at glorifying a holy standard which magnifies the only One to be exemplified, Jesus Christ. Yea, this “fine point” of discernment remains the most critical, indeed it divides the Christian from the world. Who was this Christ? Some Bible words which characterize Him: Meek and lowly of heart, having no place to lay His head, through His Poverty we are made rich. Didn’t He do many good works? Yes, as He followed His Father, Father led Him to work miracles, healing lepers, delivering children, even raising dead people. Friends, sadly our current secular culture demands “good” works — but these good works cannot compare to the deeds produced…

“…Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?” Genesis 3:8=9 Have you heard? God talks to sinners. “…And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? Genesis 4:5-6 God talks with angry men. He goes on to say much more to Cain, even after Abel’s slaying. To say it straightforwardly, if God never spoke to sinners, we’re all lost. Often the words are ignored. “…And forthwith he (Judas), came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him. And Jesus said unto him, ‘Friend, wherefore art thou come?’” We know the unfortunate ending for Judas. Matthew 26:49-50 But, Jesus, God incarnate, spoke to an adulteress in John 8: “When…

“In short, no one can purge him or herself from all faith assumptions, and assume an objective, belief-free, pure openness to objective evidence. Hume There is no “View from nowhere.” “…all reasoning is based on prior faith commitments to which one did not reason.” Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Merleau-Ponty. “…reason depends on the faith that our cognitive senses — our eyes and ears, our minds and memories, are not tricking us.” “…the declaration that science is the only arbiter of truth is not itself a scientific finding, it is a belief.” Evans All quotes taken from “Making Sense of God” by Timothy Keller So? Though a tough truth to swallow, reasoning requires faith. Let’s explore this farther. The Bible attributes to man a bearing-witness conscience. Romans 2:15 etc. A faculty for discerning, it accuses or excuses.  All men have this faculty of passing judgment on their actions. It acts according to the…

“The unjust conceives iniquity in his heart, there is no fear of God before his eyes. He is unwilling to see his sins forgiven, or to hate them. The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit, he is unwilling to do good. He devises mischief upon his bed, he walks in a way that is not good, that he may do evil.” Psalm 36:1-4 Lamsa translation .  Have you met him? How did it happen to him?  Easy, he simply followed the way of a human being. I saw this expression on a person’s sweatshirt: “Be better Human Beings.” Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha… Forgive me for laughing.  This person has likely adjusted their soul to our Psalm 36 man: alarm free-living “Consciousness of sin” free-living. “Hatred for sin” free-living. God free-living. Mischief > evil. These do not understand the concept of “weight.” First,…

Some precious friends struggle with failure. Paul, God’s apostle to the Gentiles, learned it — His secret? Contentment. Together with godlikeness, Paul found a sufficiency in God’s grace. He had solved the mystery — to be humbled or to be exalted; to be hungry or to be well fattened. No matter the accompanying, conditioning, determining event, Paul discovered an alternate solar system, with new definitions for success or failure. Frankly, in this configuration, both abasing and abounding are absorbed into the all-defining substance — grace!  See Philippians 4:11-12, 1Timothy 6:6, 2 Corinthians 9:8. How could Paul do that? He could manage it because he was filled with God’s Word of grace. In that indoctrination of the Eternal dimension, Paul learned to see harrowing happenings, planned shindigs, random competitions or happiness-determining encounters — all God-initiated, all God-allowed. Why? Because they comprise the tools of God’s forming work as Potter with Clay.…

Grace ain’t a leg to stand on — but comes running when all legs to stand on break. When all legs flounder, cannot hold up, fizzle and flop.. then comes grace. Grace exists the magic which changes hell to heaven, guilt to confidence, hurt to help, shame to innocence. Grace — “loves’ perfect transporter” — never fails. No not once! Yes, grace-upholden people fly without merit as a leg. If merit defined equals “the substance of a legal case apart from matters of jurisdiction, procedure, or form,” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ then the rational thinker feels this should be enough. For example, “Johnny kicked his brother, but because he is mostly a good boy, we will excuse him this time.” He was having a bad day, he was defending himself, etc. etc. That’s not grace. But, we must think in terms of “core:” That which determines composition, the conducting wire  in an electric…

Jean Valjean, a vagabond in the classic “Les Miserables” was a just released prisoner in midlife. “Nineteen years in French prison have left him rough and fearless. He walked for four days in the Alpine chill of nineteenth century southeastern France, only to find that no inn will take him, no tavern will feed him.” Max Lucado tells the story in “Grace.” “Finally he knocks on the door of a bishop’s house. Monseigneur Myriel is seventy five years old. Like Valjean he has lost much. The revolution took all the valuables from his family, except some silverware, a soup ladle, and two candlesticks.” “Valjean expects the religious man to turn him away. “ “But the Bishop is kind. He asks the visitor to sit near a fire.” “He explains, ‘This is not my house, but the house of Jesus Christ.’””…  They dine on soup and bread, figs, and cheese with…