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Showing posts from January, 2014

This is for "Me", "Us"

Here’s the passage I get to teach this coming Sunday and a story from the trip I took this summer:
Romans 8:31-39 31  What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
32  He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
33  Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
34  Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
36  As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor thin…

Pascal's Heart

Blaise Pascal lived in the 17th century - in France.  He was a brillant man - a mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and philosopher...but, most of all, he became a Christian and that became his passion. He wrote the famous work "Pensees" - literally "thoughts" - which became his greatest work and demonstrated his love and commitment to Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord.
After Pascal's death in 1662, they found something strange - on the inside of his coat, sewn into the fabric of the coat, and therefore laying on his heart was a piece of paper - neatly folded and obviously not taken out before.   On it he recorded these words (and I'll add, there are different variations of these words)
Monday, 23 November…From about Half past Ten until about Half past Midnight. FIRE... "God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of the philosophers and scholars...  Certainty, Certainty,   Emotion, Joy, Peace, God of Jesus Christ.'  My God and Your God. Your …

Wisdom from an early Church Father - Humility

But now, Job, listen to my words; pay attention to everything I say. . . .I am the same as you in God’s sight; I too am a piece of clay. (Job 33:1, 6)
Arrogant teachers have this characteristic: they do not know how to teach humbly, and they cannot properly convey the things they understand. Their way of speaking betrays their teaching— they act as if they live on lofty heights, looking down disdainfully on their students. They regard their subjects as inferiors, to whom they do not condescend to listen; in fact, they barely talk with them at all — they simply lay down the law.
On the contrary true doctrine eliminates arrogance through reflection, because right teaching attacks arrogance in the teacher’s heart. It ensures that the humility it aims to instill in the listeners’ hearts is actually preached by a humble man. For humility, the mother of virtues, teaches by word and demonstrates by example. 
The goal of true doctrine is to express humility among disciples more by deeds than …

A New Year Promise

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

I am beginning to teach from Romans 8 this week, and I love this passage as much as any in scripture.  As I began to write on the opening verses of this chapter on Monday I found myself musing on this theme of "No Condemnation".  It's two very powerful words to hang on to.
Anyone who decides to follow Jesus is going to find themselves struggling at times.  Sin is our perpetual struggle and it's much easier to see that sin when we are earnestly seeking to be a disciple of Jesus.  But, we are not called to rules and following a recipe for goodness.  No, we are called to a relationship, and like all relationships there are ups and downs.  Try as we may we will never be perfect.

So, at the beginning of 2014, let's not make resolutions of grandeur that are destined for failure.  Instead, let's rest in a gracious, loving relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

On Su…