It’s Yours for the Taking

Christ died so we could be justified. We have all our sins forgiven. He has made us new creatures in our union with Christ, and now God sees us like we had never sinned or had a sin nature. This change allows us to come home to the Father, where we stay forever. God never kicks us out.

Now, as wonderful as this is, I still had a nagging question: Why couldn’t I trust these truths about me? Why couldn’t I settle into God’s love and stay there? What happens to me when I sin again, which I do all the time? Does God stop loving me? Is he disappointed in me? Does he pull out my picture from his wallet and tear it up?

lily12I asked the Lord these questions recently, and this is what the Holy Spirit brought to mind:

If God held even one of my sins against me, he’d be declaring the blood of his Son to be insufficient to cover and blot out that sin. God can never go back on his Word because then he’d be saying his Son’s sacrifice was not good enough, that there was something lacking that I would have to make up for.  And he cannot do that. It cost the Father everything to send Jesus to the cross where all of God’s wrath for sin and sinners was poured out on him. The Father crushed Jesus for me. Everything I deserved from God’s hands was put on Jesus. How then could God hold any sin against me?

Not believing this with my whole heart is the greatest sin. It reeks of unbelief. My flesh wants to participate in self-salvation strategies. It wants to contribute to my salvation. It wants me to despair, fear and struggle. It delights in doubt.

But faith says otherwise. The greatest act of faith is to believe God and the Son he has sent! He is the solution to our estrangement from God. He is the answer to our love problems. The longing of our heart is fulfilled in accepting what the Father says of us – we are his beloved children.

Talk to me.

Jesus in the Storm

Everybody loves the story of Jesus calming the storm. And everyone loves to say to anxious and despairing people, “See, Jesus can calm the raging waters of your soul, too.”

Except that’s not what the story is about.

According to the narrative in Matthew 8, this was not your ordinary storm. It had the force of the devil behind it. It was the equivalent of an earthquake in power and force. No wonder the disciples, experienced fishermen who knew those waters, were terrified. They didn’t know what to do, so they told Jesus.

“Save us, we’re perishing!”   

This woke Jesus up from his nap and he was annoyed with them. He was surprised they weren’t calm.

Instead they were afraid and not trusting God for their safety.

I would have been among them.

With just a word, Jesus rebuked the storm and the disciples marveled at this. They wanted to know who they had in the boat with them.

Didn’t they already know?

Apparently they were suffering from dementia. They had forgotten their Old Testament lessons of God creating the oceans in Genesis, and controlling the seas in Jonah, Job, and the Psalms.

Jesus rebuked the storm like he would a demon and it obeyed immediately.

The seas have one master, the Lord. The sea is his servant. He’s king of the ocean and rules it by his word.

It’s interesting to note that Jesus did not pray or ask his Father to handle the storm. He did it himself.

He is God.

He created the oceans.

He is God with us in the storm.

He will not leave us.

This is a promise.

If he didn’t run away from the cross, he will not leave us in our circumstances.

Are you really believing he is with you today?

Talk to me.




How Not To Miss Out On Life

How often do we let things agitate and disturb our peace?

For me, the answer is everyday. A headache, lack of sleep, a nasty remark, pressure, anxiety…the list is endless.

In John 13, Jesus had just told his disciples that he was getting ready to die and leave them. Chapter 14 opens with their state of mind upon hearing those words.

“Let not your hearts be troubled.” Clearly they were agitated and distressed by the news of his leaving them.

How did Jesus comfort them then?

He didn’t say work harder, believe more, or pray more fervently. What he said was, “Believe in God; believe also in me.”

In other words, “Trust me.”

Then he reminded them he was going away in order to get the house ready for when he came to take them home, so they could all be together with him.

Sounds like a party to me.

But then Thomas (he of a literal mind) asked the question I would have asked: “Where are you going and how do I get there?”

The answer: Jesus was Thomas’ ticket home. Nobody gets through the door without him.

Another way of saying this is:

Jesus is the head of the family and you need him to get in.

And the way in is by remembering that Jesus is your life. Don’t look for it in work, relationships, hobbies, ministry, or your devotions.

This is true for this life and the next.

So if Jesus has given you everything you need, you can rest in his care. He already fixed your greatest need – your sin.

He’s not going to drop the ball now.









The Remedy for Getting Rid of Our Mistrust of God

No short-cut that tries to bypass the patient unfolding of the true character of God, and our relationship to him as his children, can ever succeed in providing long-term spiritual therapy. But the knowledge that the Father has bestowed his love on us, so that we are called children of God – and in fact are his children (1 John 3:1-2), will, over time, prove to be the solvent in which our fears, mistrust, and suspicion of God – as well as our sense of distance from him – will eventually dissolve. – Sinclair Ferguson