Thursday, February 28, 2013

What God's Personal Housing Plan Means

Have you got 2:05 minutes? Here's another quick video meant to remove religious burdens in your life by helping you to know Jesus and to find Him incredibly perfect--even inside of you. See what you think.

Love Is Always On!

Does love drive you crazy? A little bit insane?

The love we most often experience is a love which is stirred-up or awakened within us by the beauty or wonder of someone or some thing, as the case may be. You know how this goes. For me, I might see a sleek and gorgeous car, and my inner car lover is ignited – “I so badly want a Porsche Panamera! I’ve gotta have one!”

I’ve also been captivated by the beauty of a woman, whom I thought just had to be the very best thing in the world. She made me feel so good—how could I make her mine? And that’s the result of this world’s common love; it wants to possess the object of its affection because it feels so good having it.

This kind of love is found when the object of desire elicits it, earns it, and, if all goes well, keeps on earning it. There’s a lot of pressure involved in this kind of love, and a lot of maintenance that has to go on in order to “stay in love.”

We know a lot about this love, even experiencing it toward God. You know how it goes. When things are going well in life, when we get a promotion at work, when we get that car we prayed about, or that girlfriend or boyfriend we want, oh, how we love Him—He’s being so good to us. He’s earned it, and we love Him so much. But, when life isn’t going so well, when we lose a job, get in a car accident, or a relationship ends, what then? We likely become suspicious that something has gone very wrong somewhere, somehow. Our passion for God isn’t ignited by Him because His behavior toward us isn’t earning it; or so we believe. And the only heat we may feel is anger or fear. We wonder what happened to love, since ours isn’t fired up.

But God doesn’t love us at all like the world does. God’s love toward us is never stirred-up in Him, it’s never called-out in Him, or awakened by a lovely or likeable or a really obedient person. He is never impressed in such a way that, “Wow! I just have to make you mine! I just have to win you!” God is His own source of love.

God does not have love, and God is never surprised by love. God doesn’t calculate or strategize about how He might get love because, well, He’s running low on love. He is love, and love is lavished upon you and me at all times, know it or not, deserve it or not. Always we can turn to Him and find love. He loves us perfectly and constantly, regardless of our behavior. We’ll never deserve His love (and, therefore, have to keep earning it), and we’ll never lose His love (and have to work to get it back again).

Believing that His love is like that, believing that He is like that toward you is, I think, the most vital ingredient of your life. It’s what keeps your motor running! It’s the thing that keeps your heart beating and longing for expression.

God’s love toward you will never be “if” and “then.” In other words, “If you do right, then I will love you.” It won’t ever be like that. God’s love is always “because” and “therefore.” In other words, “Because I love, therefore I sent my Son, therefore I gave, and therefore I keep giving.” God keeps you in love and offers perfect grace to you everyday, at all times, to everyone, like it or not, embrace it or turn away, fail or succeed. It will not deter Him, and it will not change Him. Love is always on with God!

My hope for you today is that doubts about God, fears about how He feels toward you, those things that become inside “stop signs” in your head, might lay down. And then the love He has for you, which is always on, might become the thrill and certainty of your heart, even becoming the motivation for it.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (I John 4:7-10 NIV, italics mine.)

That’s love. And you have love with Him.

(This is a transcript of yesterday's video, “Love Is Always On!” It's for those who might rather read than watch. My thanks to Malcolm Smith who, many years ago, helped me put into words what God had already shown me: the wonder of His love for me.)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Love Is Always On!

What’s the difference between God’s love for me, and my love for a Porsche Panamera?  Or God’s love for you, and your love for Him?  Here’s a short video that goes well beyond answering those questions.

Monday, February 25, 2013

What's Fruit Got To Do With It?

We talk a lot about “fruit” in the church today:  what it’s supposed to look like, how to have it, how to have more of it, and, maybe especially, what to think or do if you or someone you know doesn’t “have any.”  What then?!

But I think it would be wise to keep the following in mind—it will help you, and maybe help you help others.

Here’s the question I’d like you to think about:  Is Godly fruit the evidence that you’re saved, or the evidence that you’re loved?

Godly fruit in your life is not the evidence that you love God, but the evidence that God loves you.  As you rest and believe in Jesus, convinced by Him that He’s wonderful with you, you will see the evidence that He loves you and is fully capable in you:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.  This is how He is with you.  Yours is to rest and believe Him; His is to love and produce fruit.  This is how He is glorified in you, which is a fancy way of saying “He gets the credit,” or “He makes a name for Himself” by actually doing things with you, by doing life with you.

John 15:8 – Jesus said, “This is to my Father’s glory (It’s to His credit, it’s because of His work with you), that you become fruit bearers.”  (Italics mine.)  He does the loving and the producing and the working, and it becomes evident to you and through you.  Fruit.

There really isn’t much for you to do.  Is that so bad?

(Today's post is a transcript of yesterday's video with the same name, and is for those who'd rather read than watch.)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

What's Fruit Got To Do With It?

Okay, all you fruit detectors and measurers and worriers. Here's about 2 minutes that should lift a burden and encourage you.

Question:  Is Godly fruit the evidence that you’re saved, or the evidence that you’re loved?  With all of the talk about "fruit," would it surprise you to find that it has become more of a judgmental breeding ground than God intended? 


A Snowy Sunday!

My goodness, we're getting buried with snow today! Blizzard in the Rockies. My wife, daughters and I wish it could happen tomorrow so we'd have a snow day. Alas. . .

video

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Antidote For Weakness

Do you have anything that you hate?  I do.  I hate that I hate weakness.  It totally gets in the way of the usefulness that weakness has for me, because it leads me to Jesus, who is perfect in weakness.  Oh, how I have found him there!  But sometimes I am so slow to call His name or to turn my thoughts toward him.  Instead, I try to work my way out of weakness, to stop being angry, to blockade against envy, to deny that I’m disappointed, to pretend I’m not hurt by a particularly pointed insult, or that I’m not frustrated when EVERYTHING’S frustrating!

I know that I am experiencing what the apostle Paul did.  He wrote a lot about weakness—more than anyone else, and I’m thankful to be included with him for the grace and power of Christ in me, which is what weakness is about.

There are lots of New Testament passages that Paul, the former King of the Stuffy Pharisees wrote that you can look up (including 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; 2 Corinthians 4:7-12), but maybe the Grand Poobah passage of them all is 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.  He writes about a weakness that threatened him, and God’s grace, God’s work in Paul to keep it away from him.

7 To keep me from becoming conceited (that’s the threatening weakness—conceit, cousin to arrogance) because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. (Have you ever done that?) 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you (which I often hear from the Lord, but not always the next part), for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  (Parenthesis mine.)

That’s God’s design.  I’m not always sure that I like it, but, nevertheless, it works!  I suspect that I’m not the only one who relates to Paul and his experience—weakness in the midst of doing something important.  Have you ever had that?  That weakness, however, brought him into focus, it moved his thinking to God, who then revealed himself to Paul—and that’s the greatest thing there is!  Knowing God.  And Paul had that—the treasure—through weakness.

What do I do?  Well, rather than hate weakness for long, I accept it, and let it take me to the One who has no such weaknesses, but who is very well acquainted with them.  You and I are set up in this life to find that Jesus is perfect for and in all of our needs.  He is strength, He is love—He never runs out of it!—He is grace, He is caring, He is comfort—there’s no one better at it, no one who has more—He is smart and wise—infinitely so.  And those are all the things that we try to champion on our own, but where we stumble and look ugly.  And then we fall under fleshly judgment in them, because we’ve been trying to do our best. . .and failed.  And gotten angry, envious, greedy, and lustful and fearful. . .but He doesn’t struggle with any of that, neither does He judge us.  That’s all over with, and you and I have come out rather well.

Jesus is the antidote for weakness because He takes the hate out of it, He takes the poison and uselessness out of it because He shows up in it!  He jumps on the stage inside of you and says, “Here I am!  I am the one for this, and I am with you. I find no fault with you!  Have you forgotten that I am easy to be with and gentle with you? I’m not here to ever put burdens upon you, I’m here to remove them!  I am and will always be all about rest with you.  You can count on it.”

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

(This is a transcript of yesterday's video, “The Antidote For Weakness,” and is for those who might rather read than watch.)

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Antidote For Weakness

Is there anything that you simply hate in your life?  How about weaknesses?  Are you really happy with them?  That’s where hatred goes in my life.  But God is doing something, well, God-like in weaknesses (which means really good) that is making them all have purpose. See what you think after about 5 minutes.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Spiritual Warfare

A true form of "spiritual warfare" is personally entering into God's rest and assisting others to the same. We have all things in Christ! We need do nothing to earn anything. We've had all of our sin completely removed, been given all of the benefits of Jesus' perfect life, and God himself now calls us his home--all moved in, paid off the mortgage and everything. We are completely secure with him, and have little to do but rest and enjoy him. And that's the battle--we don't believe it.

But what if we did? Battle won.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Love In The Institution

Some of my friends are very angry at the “institutional church,” and not without reason. I’ve had my anger bombs, too.  But I deeply love the church and many of them regularly collect inside a building. That's not a problem, but sometimes stuff happens to them while there that’s the problem.

I say, know who the church is and love wildly. That's going to be wonderful and that's going to hurt.  Both.  But there’s nothing new about that.  So we’ll need regular care from the Spirit, who reveals to us the beauty of people as well as the mud that smears them, concealing them even to themselves.  We are His workmanship, even in the institution.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Identify Yourself

Perhaps the greatest change that God is bringing about is for you to identify yourself more as He does—as a true son, perfectly compatible with Him, a noble foreigner in this world, fit for heaven—than you otherwise might by looking only at your reflection in the mirrors of this world.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Honey & A Basketball

For the Christian, trying to get satisfaction and fullness from this world through accurate assessments, proper methods and correct choices in order to have a good life, is like trying to get honey from a basketball, or like trying to enjoy a stroll along the beach by entering a jail cell. It is preposterous and delusional. It has nothing to do with reality and where you really are--in Christ, having all things. That's where you'll find life and satisfaction and fullness. (Colossians 2:8-10; 20-23; 3:1-4)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Future Reality


Valentines Galore

My daughters brought home some Valentines on Thursday, and I was reminded of my own history with Valentines. More specifically, my history with love.

Sometime back in the murky years of elementary school, it occurred to me that I liked it when girls liked me. It felt good. And I wasn't dumb about it—I took note of what girls liked. When I was funny, they liked it. When I was caring, they liked it. When I made a good play in sports, they liked it. When I looked good, they liked it. It wasn't long before I had a storehouse of knowledge concerning what girls liked. Pretty useful, I thought.

Through the ensuing years of wanting to be liked, I brought out of my storehouse whatever I thought was best for the situation. I wanted this girl or that girl to see me at my best, so I offered a bit of caring here, some physical prowess there, and perhaps a witty phrase or two to really dazzle. And I figured out a very useful equation: She sees me + she likes me = Valentines galore.

Happiness.

What did I do when I wanted God's love? Well, I thought the same thing would apply. Right? I wanted Him to see me doing the things He liked—reading the Bible, witnessing, giving, caring, comforting, not sinning, etc.—so He would like me. I worked a similar equation: God sees me + God likes me = Valentines galore. It works with women, so it must work with God. It's the way of love. Or so I thought.

But ever since He and I really got together when I was twenty-four, God, who sees me at every moment, loved me for no reason that I could see. Before I could bring out one speck of Valentine worthiness from my storehouse, He dazzled me with love. And I have never been able to motivate Him to love me from that day to this. He has never once conveyed to me that He loves me now more than He once did. Not one time has He told me that His love for me is deeper, better, seasoned, more fun, more reliable, or more secure. I haven't done a thing to bring about anything any better. Maybe that will be my claim to fame: "Without doing anything to deserve it, Ralph knew God loved him like crazy.”

If you asked my wife, Sarah, why she loved me, she would give you reasons—some good ones. She would say, "I love Ralph because. . ." If you asked God why He loved me, His response would be nothing like Sarah's. There would be no because. That's something that has confounded and fascinated and drawn me to Him ever since He first wooed me to Himself.

God is love! (1 John 4:8) God's love doesn't ebb and flow, rise and fall, motivated by the subject or the moment—God IS love. And have you noticed? He's wild and reckless with it! When you consider who He loves, don't you come to the same conclusion? He doesn't keep His love only for the loveable—not for a moment! He lavishes His deep and lasting affection upon the best and worst of us—without regard. And, try as we might, nothing can ever separate us from His love. Nothing! God shot my love equation all to hell. Really. He did it for love.

And now? I’ve got a new equation: God's love + God's grace = Valentines galore!

"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:4-9)

(This is a transcript of yesterday's video, “Valentines Galore,” and is for those who might rather read than watch.)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentines Galore


God shot my love equation all to hell—and I'm glad He did!  His love makes no sense, and He's reckless with it.  It's unlike any other love I have ever known.  It's my favorite thing about God.  He gives away His love to the best and worst of us, without regard.

Have a look at today's short video and see what you think.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Truth That Invigorates

Do you know that God thinks He has made you a fantastic, Spirit-born person, quite a bit like Himself, well-recognized throughout the heavens? Everybody there knows all about you! If you could right now take a poll of those in the heavenlies, they would tell you how much you resemble Him. Of course, you’d have to be wary of those of the Liar Clan; after all, they would lie. It’s what they do. But even those on the demonic side of things know the truth about you. You must, as well.

We are in a nearly constant, invisible war for what defines life. The devil and his demons strategize that people should identify themselves and others according to what they see and nothing more, but God and the angels work for people to believe they and others are what God says they are—and nothing less. The big battle for the Christian—really, for everyone—is over whether life is defined by what we see or by what we know. It frames and explains most everything.

2 Cor 4:16-18 Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

It lasts! It counts! It’s true and powerful.

If your gaze is stuck on the passing away world, on the visible only, you’ll be worn out; the demonic strategy will be succeeding against you. I know what that’s like. Frankly, this is the contest—in hardship, in sickness, in failure, as well as in leisure, health and success. Where are you looking?

If you’ll look to the eternal and invisible—the truth of Jesus Christ and his cross and resurrection and what that means for you—then the wasting schemes of this world will be turned to your favor, and you’ll be renewed in the glory of God shared with you. That’s the deal.

(This is a transcript of yesterday's video, “Truth That Invigorates,” and is for those who might rather read than watch.)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Truth That Invigorates

Got a couple minutes?

If you're feeling worn out, there's a wonderful and vital way to be renewed and invigorated. It's a perfect fit for you—God has seen to it.  Have a look.

True Encouragement

Have you noticed that everybody needs encouragement, genuine and sincere encouragement, at least sometime in day-to-day life? The surest, the most true way that I know to encourage a Christian is to tell him where he is, the condition he’s in, and all that he has.

Christians are inside of Christ, and are a perfect and fully functioning part of Him, having everything He does because of where they are—in Him. They cannot fall from the place they were placed, they cannot change an eternal condition given to them, and they cannot lose the benefits they were not responsible for to begin with. They are simply the receivers of a monumental and timeless gift. It’s not their fault! But it’s theirs, nevertheless.

They are secure in Christ. While their worldly experience might be unpleasant now and pleasant later, ebb and flow (you know how it goes), still they will never lose what they’ve been given because they will never be taken from where they are.

Help them to see that, perhaps all over again, and you will have helped them deeply—maybe even yourself in the process.

Ephesians 1:3-8 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

In Christ, in Him, they’ve got it all. It’s likely that they’re going to need to be reminded of that. Maybe you will too.

(This is a transcript of yesterday's video. . .for those who'd rather read than watch.)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

True Encouragement

Everyone needs genuine encouragement – no one is excluded. What's the most true and invigorating way to do it?  It's actually simple, and it will benefit those who receive as well as those who give.

Got 150 seconds?  (Okay, 2.5 minutes.)  Here’s a quick video about the grace and giving of encouragement.  I think it will help you.


The God Who Doesn't Pay Attention

I have a question for you today:  Do any of you know “The God Who Doesn’t Pay Attention”?  Do you know that God? 

Your relationship with this God goes something like this:  you make a deal with him, you put together some kind of agreement—with really good stuff in it, like reading the bible through in a year, supporting a missionary or a child in India, talking to people about Jesus and sharing your faith, giving up alcohol for a year, or, even worse if you’re a woman, giving up chocolate for a year—so that god will give you something better that you don’t have now, like a better job, a better car, a better home, a better spouse(!), or a better something, and you follow through but He doesn’t?  You keep your end of the deal (you actually start supporting a missionary), but God doesn’t come through with his.  That’s “The God Who Doesn’t Pay Attention,” that’s what I’m talking about.  And you struggle with this God, trying to figure out what kind of agreement, or what covenant you can make with him that he’ll honor and actually complete.

After all, you’re trying to work with him.

And somewhere in the course of your struggle with “The God Who Doesn’t Pay Attention,” it occurs to you that maybe God isn’t bargaining with you, that maybe he’s not playing the covenant game with you at all.  Keep that thought.

In fact, God is not making covenants with people at all; he’s not doing it.  The truth is that God is paying attention to only one covenant now, and he made it with Jesus only—you simply get all the benefits of their covenant, of their agreement.  God kept you out of the covenant equation—and keeps you out of it—and the pressure to keep it so he can give you everything as a gift forever.  Eternally.

Hebrews 9:15 says that, “. . .Christ is the mediator of a new covenant (He’s the one who brings us together with God and keeps us together, no matter what), that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance...”  (Italics mine.)  It’s all a gift.  Forever.

So the next time you think that God isn’t paying attention to your attempts at bargaining for yourself, of making an agreement for yourself, remember this:  You’re right—he isn’t.  He’s paying attention to Jesus—and you’re far better off because of it.

(This is a transcript of yesterday's video. . .in case watching a video isn't your thing.)

Monday, February 11, 2013

The God Who Doesn't Pay Attention


Got 3 minutes?  Here’s a quick video that will encourage you and maybe free you from a lot of needless work and stress.

Do you ever make an agreement with God, but He doesn't follow through on His end of the deal?  Why might that be?  There's a really good reason for it, and you'll be glad.





Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Lie On A Scale

Here’s a question from a friend of mine about the power of a scale. I’ve changed her name, of course.

Sylvia writes,
“I really hate that the scale has this innate power over me to make me feel secure or insecure based on the number I see when I step on it. I'm considering throwing it away. I do not want my worth and my self- esteem to come from a number. I have to remember, I work really hard in the gym. I lift more than most women I see. I can do stuff that I know other women cannot do. I know I am strong---so how does a stupid scale manage to take that away from me?”

Here’s my response:
Sylvia, you are set up to be convinced by God that you are well, right, and great.  But there are powers (the flesh, the enemy, and the world around) that seek to lure you away from the grace and security of God’s love and belief about you.  Through the cross and resurrection, He has made you well, even perfect—a new creation, daughter of His.  That’s all over the New Testament.  So anything that tells you the opposite feels unnatural to you and stressful, and is, frankly, a lie.  You’re going to feel that.

If and as you believe the lie, you’ll become attached to it and either strive to conquer it, believing you’re well if you look good (“I can lose weight!  I can look and be great!”), or you’ll fall in a sort of heap and become depressed if you continue to look and weigh “un-well,” “un-right.”  Either way, the lie owns you, and treats you in the way that a lie always does.

The fact is you’re well with God, who designed you just right and on purpose for all of your days.  That’s His gift to Sylvia.  He has set you up to know Him and enjoy Him and His opinion of you.  It’s really good.  It’s amazing and it’s accurate!  It’s true.  That you’re so bothered by the scale is simply a warning indicator that your identity (what you believe about yourself) has been hijacked by something that will not treat you well.  It lies to you, it doesn’t recognize, it doesn’t respect the real you.  I have often felt it too—I know what it’s like. 

Fortunately, you like “hanging out” with Jesus, who is your perfect workout partner.  He knows who you are, and He always tells the truth.  It’s how He is.  That fits you just right, and that’s the most important work out of all. 

(2 Corinthians 10:3-5; The Message)
“The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.” 

And that’s you.  Shaped by Christ.  Really well.

(This is a transcript from a video I posted on Friday morning. Maybe you'd rather read than watch?)

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Forgiven!

(Here's something I think you'll need and enjoy today from my friend, Steve McVey.)


FORGIVEN!

When Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, he wrongly assumed His God would be angry but instead God came looking for Him to take His regular evening walk.

When Abraham sent his wife, Sarah, into Pharaoh’s tent to protect his own life by allowing her to have sex with another man, God told Pharaoh that he was on dangerous
ground and that he’d better get her out of there right now. The next words out of God’s mouth to Abraham were to reassure him of the covenant He had made with him. Not a word about his sin.

When Elisha was depressed and afraid and angry and prayed to die, God sent an angel to feed him so that he might regain his strength. No shame or blame.

When Peter denied Jesus, our Lord made sure when he arose to mention Peter by name and said to make sure he knew Jesus was alive. No reference to what Peter had done.

These were giants in the Bible – giants who made horrific choices. In each instance, the love of God swallows up their sins and foolishness in one great gush of grace. It's absurd. What have you done that causes you to think God may be disappointed or perturbed toward you? Whatever it is, you need to set it aside because that's what He has done. As absurd as it sounds, God isn't interested in what you've done in the past. He lives with you in the now and wants you to live in this moment of grace and accept His forgiveness.

Jesus showed us our Father’s heart when He had the Father of the prodigal son throw him a party when he returned home without so much as a mention of what the boy had done. That’s your God.

Refuse to accept His acceptance and you’ll lock yourself inside a prison of your own making. Accept His acceptance and you’ll run in the joyful freedom only known by those who know their sins never appear on God’s radar – never.

You’ve messed up? Welcome to the world of great children of God. It happened. So put it aside now. Don’t insult the finished work of Jesus on the cross by insisting on trying to share in dealing with it through your own gnawing guilt and spiritually suicidal self-consciousness. You are forgiven. You are free. You are one with the One who keeps no record of wrongs and promises to never remember them again.

So dance. Run. Laugh. Play. Celebrate. That’s what the Father, Son and Spirit are doing and He asks you to join in right now.

Friday, February 08, 2013

The Lie On A Scale

Got 4 minutes?  Learn why the stress of a lie is an assist to knowing and enjoying God’s opinion of you.

Have you wondered why a scale can have such power over you?



You may subscribe to these short videos by going to the Youtube link and clicking on the Subscribe button next to my picture. There are three so far, with lots more to come.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Sermon: "I've Got This"

Here’s the message (“I’ve Got This”) that I gave last Sunday, February 3, at Grace Life Church, in Woodstock, Georgia.  If you wonder just how good the New Covenant is, this message is for you. 

The pastor (Herb Sims) begins introducing me, weary from several days of the flu, at about 6:30 into the video. I really get going at about 8:00. Someone wrote about the message:  “If you're tired of feeling like you're not measuring up to God's standards, maybe you should take a listen to this.”


Monday, February 04, 2013

What God's Work Is Today

(Here's something I don't want you to miss.  It's from my friend, Dave O'Brien.)

Why YOUR "works" are not evidence of faith...

"Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" James 2:22

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth". Hebrews 11:13

Those who had faith in God, in the Old Testament, were looking forward to the promise. The works that they did were the result of the faith they had in the One whom God was sending, namely Christ. Noah built the ark having faith in the coming promise. Abraham knew that even if he killed his son, that God was able to raise him from the dead in order that the promise would be fulfilled. Even though many in the OT did not receive the promise, by faith they looked forward to it. Today, we believe in the promise fulfilled.

Jesus was asked by the multitudes… "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent." (John 6:28-29). In other words, it is His work, that we believe in His Son. This is His way (believing), by which we are saved.

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of (our) works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:8-10

Today, our faith is in the finished work of Jesus Christ. His work is finished.

Through Christ, God has made it possible for us to be saved by grace through faith, apart from our works. We are His workmanship. We are His good works, which God before ordained (prepared beforehand). We now walk, by faith, in His finished/completed works, that were fulfilled in Christ. We inherit the promise (life), having believed the Gospel. This is God's way. It is the only way.

Therefore, we have no reason to examine anyone, according to their works. It is our faith, not our works, that is the evidence that we are believers. We are witnesses of what Jesus has DONE, and what we say we believe concerning Him, is our testimony.