Daily Post

Given to All

This week I have been thinking about grace and the gift of mercy and salvation that we have. Also, I have been listened to the David Crowder Band. There are two lyrics from two of their songs that have just stuck with me all week.

The first is from Oh Happiness, a very fun and uplifting song. The song starts like this

Oh, happiness
There is grace enough for us and the whole human race

That’s pretty cool isn’t it!

The second comes from How He Loves. It’s just one part towards the end of a song full of pretty pithy and catchy phrases.

If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.

Wow, that’s a great description of the grace that we have been given because of the death and resurrection of the Christ.

14Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.

15But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. Romans 5:14-16 (New International Version)

If you have been given that much grace and mercy, how about sharing it with those around you? It’s a pretty cool thing!

Shine your light and let the whole world see.

Daily Post

Ashes, Weight, and Forgiveness

Its Ash Wednesday, a day that starts the traditional period of fasting called Lent that leads up to one of my favorites days  – Easter Sunday.  ( its not just Sunday, on which we remember Christ, but its the actual time of the year – around Passover that the event took place – bonus).

Anyway, I am not a big fan of some of these more traditional “Christian” observances, as to me it can complicate the true simplicity of the message.  However, this day has to do with repentance, and repentance leads to transformation and change – which I am a BIG fan of.

So, today as you “buffet your spiritual body”, maybe its time to repent, or to be broken by some of your deeds or thoughts, and then use today as a marker day to move forward, a new.  All of this things can be forgiven and you can be made new – the power of the sacrifice of Christ.

I love the song Forgiven by Sanctus Real,  in it says

I don’t have to carry the weight of who I’ve been, ’cause I’m forgiven.

Maybe today is that day for you.  The day to let go of the weight that holds you back, that holds you down, repent and move forward.  Its amazing how much better it is.

Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.
—Genesis 3:19
Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.
—Mark 1:15
Repent, and hear the good news.
—Mark 1:15
Daily Post

Not Good Enough?

I have a friend, that we will call Tennessee Jed.  ( This is not his real name, and it is not a reference to my real friend Pittsfield Jed, whom I refer to often) Anyway, I have a friend, and lets call him Tennessee Jed.  Tennessee Jed has been struggling.  He has had some hardships in his life, but mostly, his is struggling spiritually.  He feels that he is “Not Good Enough”, and that he can never be “good enough”.   He finds that his struggles with not doing what he may really wants to do, or being who he wants to be make him worthless.  So worthless, that God would not ever care to look his way.   Some one has convinced him he is not in a so called chosen predestined group of followers, and he does not have any way to salvation.  He thinks that he is  so worthless, that his friends don’t even need to look his way.

He is a broken man, and I write about him today for two reasons:

If you can and you care to, please lift Tennessee Jed’s name up in prayer.

Second, maybe you struggle with the same thing.  TJ (Tennessee Jed), thinks he has to do something to earn God’s love, and the love of others.  His was brought up with a errant view of grace and mercy.  Sometimes we find ourselves in that same place – wanting to work and prove that we are worthy.  Its just doesn’t work that way.  Mercy and grace are  free gifts, and those gifts move us to work and impact others.

If you find yourself there, check out this from Ephesians 2.  Yes, sorry this is long, but as I started reading it this morning, it was so motivating, that I just could not cut it down.  I have highlighted key parts for you speed readers.

Ephesians 2

1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

11Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

19Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

“He himself is our peace”  He is the way me escape the beat-down that we give ourselves.  If you find yourself in Tennessee Jed’s position, remember, you are right, you would never be good enough, except that grace and mercy are free gifts for everyone.  Take it. And find peace,  and become good enough for God.

What do you think?  I would love your comments.

DISCLAIMER: The is  a true story.  The names are changed to protect the innocent. And this is not a "I have a friend, but I mean me" story.
Daily Post

Word became flesh

Lets start off the day with Josh’s tune of the day: Do they know its Christmas Now that’s some rockin’ 80’s!  And if you want to help “Feed the World” – Donate to Healing Hands International.

And now on with the show.  After a really great weekend, I have lots of thoughts to share.  Hopefully this is an interesting week.

John 1:14

14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (NIV)

Do you know how big of a deal this is?  The Word, Jesus, the creator of the universe, God’s son, left heaven, and was born, as a baby, as a man, like us!  WOW!. Emmanuel, God with us! GOD with US!!  Take a look at the message

14The Word became flesh and blood,

and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish. (MSG)

He moved into the neighborhood!  Emmanuel, God is with US!  That’s a big deal.  And its because of that that I can’t stop singing!

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of Our dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world In sin and error pining,
Til He appear’d And the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope The weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks A new and glorious morn. ( O Holy Night )

And what is really really cool, is this is just the beginning of our delivery.  He came full of grace and truth, and later on , the veil is torn, his blood is shed and we are FREE!.  But lets not get ahead of ourselves, here we are Christmas time.  Let us remember this incredible event – Emmanuel – God is with us!

Daily Post

The Annoucement

With only 18 days left until Christmas I think its time to start the rejoicing!  Today lets look at the event that happening several months before the birth – Gabriel’s visit. Here we find words like Rejoice, blessed, great, Highest.  Surely a great and wonderful thing was about to happen for all mankind.

So as you continue to shop, and decorate and make merry with friends.  Remember, the wonderful plan that was set up years before this birth to make this historical birth take place.

He will be Great!  and I stand in awe – I hope you find some time to as well.

Luke 1:26-33

26-28In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to the Galilean village of Nazareth to a virgin engaged to be married to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph, and the virgin’s name, Mary. Upon entering, Gabriel greeted her:
Good morning!
You’re beautiful with God’s beauty,
Beautiful inside and out!
God be with you.

29-33She was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like that. But the angel assured her, “Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus.

He will be great,
be called ‘Son of the Highest.’
The Lord God will give him
the throne of his father David;
He will rule Jacob’s house forever—
no end, ever, to his kingdom.”

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson