Archive for January, 2009

Abuse

January 17, 2009

“I was 35 before I came into an understanding that I’d been abused. By then, the crop had come in. And although the garden reeked of rotting fruit, the gardener was now in the patient process of digging at the roots.”

This is an excerpt from the Author’s Story page.

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Don’t Even Try

January 14, 2009

A good friend of mine is a believing Jew. And while he loves the Lord, he wrestles frequently with the temptation to “keep” the Law. Last night, I had one of those “Aha!” moments, when God suddenly opened my heart and poured out understanding. The following is the email content that I wrote to my friend as a result of that encounter:

“I believe I just had some insight:

The Law (Mosaic, not moral) imposed certain requirements on the Jews.
Jesus fulfilled every one of them, thereby satisfying all of its demands.
He is our substitute, in that He did what we could never do.
We don’t have to keep the Law, because He did and satisfied it in our place.
Grace is a free gift to us, paid for by His keeping of the Law.
For us to seek to keep it, is to dishonor/disallow Christ’s work in our place.
He is the keeping of the lawAll we need is Him.

All we’re required to do now, is to love Him with all of our hearts.
And out of that love, will flow the keeping of His commandments.
But it’s not the keeping of His commandments that makes us righteous.
It was His keeping of the Law and offering Himself in our place that does that.
Freedom, freedom, freedom!!!!!!”

So, if you, like my friend, find yourself continually trying to measure up and earn God’s love, get it into your heart that Jesus is enough. You can’t add anything to what He has done for you. And you don’t need to. That’s why it’s called, “Good News”.

Really?

January 9, 2009

Listen to some teaching in the American church, and you could end up believing that God is primarily concerned with our temporal happiness and comfort, if not our bank accounts. He’s not. What He’s about is of far greater import – that we be conformed to the image of Christ. And getting there hurts. Death usually does.

Make no mistake, there is great pain involved in following Jesus. The pain of the crucified life. The death of self. The cross of Christ. But the reward is beyond measure – unspeakable joy.

So, the next time you hear someone telling you how you can have it all by “exercising your faith”, stop and ask yourself if it’s a message that’s helping you to get a better grip on the cross you’re to carry. If it isn’t, it’s deception. No matter how sweet the taste.

Be Of Good Cheer

January 9, 2009

Jesus said, that in this world we would have tribulation, but even so to be of good cheer, for He had overcome the world. Today, as I was contemplating the row of guillotines seemingly arrayed before me on my path, the impossibility of doing what He said loomed large, if that even describes it. That was, until the revelation broke through.

How many trials have we entered, where the threat of being swallowed up seemed far larger than the hope of being delivered? Truth be told, most of them. But it’s by God’s own doing, as His strength is perfected in our weakness. And that’s the key – the revelation: His strength in me – not mine.

So, if you’re in a trial that seems hopeless, just realize that you’re there because He’s leading you to the light of Himself. Get ready – to be of good cheer.