God doesn’t deal with us according to our sins. Why? Because he paid the price for our redemption in his Son. He held him responsible for them, therefore he doesn’t hold us. He lets us go free. That’s the Good News of the gospel. If you aren’t hearing this in church, in the books you’re reading, among your friends, you’re missing the joy of this glorious truth.
Dance instead of mourn!
God’s grace is bigger than your sin. You can’t be guilty enough. You can’t resolve to do better. Therapy won’t get you out of the hole either. It will just stir things up and muddy your heart.
Instead, look upward. “It is finished,” Jesus cried on the cross. For you. For me.
God put us on the cross with him, then in the grave, and then raised us with him on the third day.
The trash heap of our former lives is gone.
We are new in Christ. Our lives are wrapped in Christ now. That’s our identity.
His forgiveness is what is true of us today, tomorrow, and every day.
Go out and tell others today! Especially other Christians.
Talk to me.
Jesus is the face of God. That is what everyone is looking for.
We’re hungry to be seen. He knows you by name. He knows all about you.
We’re craving comfort. He is the Great Comforter, full of grace and peace.
We want acknowledgement. He gives it by dying on the cross for you.
We long to be understood. He knows everything about you, what makes you tick, how you think, the pain you feel, the rejection.
But what do we typically do? We turn away from God and turn toward other people and demand they give us what we want. That’s why marriages don’t work. Our jobs don’t satisfy. Our hobbies get boring. Our children become work instead of pleasure. Nothing we touch fills us.
It was never meant to.
The fullness of joy and pleasures for evermore are only found in Christ.
Until we realize it, we’re doomed to traveling in the wrong direction, where the gravel pits are, where there is no water.
Idols take everything, and give nothing back except pain and disappointment.
Only Jesus is the fountain of life.
What are you waiting for?
Talk to me.
but in other things like lovers, friends, hobbies, travel, power, money, you name it.
Even if God never gives you your dream job, he has given you everything.
Even if you never have the opportunity to use your considerable gifts, he has given you everything.
Even if you do use your gifts and the job is falling short of expectations, he has given you everything. Your marriage, your kids, your parents. They could be nothing but trouble, but God has given you everything.
Even if what you want for your life doesn’t match reality, he has given you everything.
What’s the everything? Christ!
By giving you Christ to suffer and make satisfaction for your sins, God the Father has poured out his heart of love for you.
You need to see that what your heart longs for is found in Christ. You long for a father who notices you, who is kind and loving, who adores you. God the Father does!
In Christ, the Father has scooped you up and brought you into his arms and showers you with kisses. He has called for the caterers so he can throw you a party.
You are no longer an orphan in the universe. You belong to the God of the universe who happens to be your Father.
We live everyday in the face of such love.
Talk to me.
It’s Thanksgiving this week and the focus around here is turkey and being thankful. The turkey part is easy. You go to the store and select the bird you want and bring it home and prepare and roast it.
It’s the thankfulness part that is trickier. We’re not very good at it. If you’re like me, I frequently forget to thank God from one day to the next, and one week to the next.
That’s shameful considering the very air I breathe is his.
Not only that, God did the most scandalous thing in the world. He rescued us from his wrath and judgment and hell. This he planned long ago, before the world was made. Then he sent his Son in time and space to bring us salvation, a gift we didn’t deserve, all because God wanted us in his family. We didn’t ask to be rescued. We didn’t even think we needed to be rescued. That’s how deep sin goes. But God knew our deepest need was to know him and have him as our God. He chose us. We are now new creatures in Christ. And in the resurrection of his Son he is re-creating the world. And one day God will usher in the new heavens and the new earth where we will live forever.
That’s what we need to be thankful for. It should take our breath away.
Not only this week, but every day.
Talk to me.
Have you noticed how much the word “shame” is used in sermons, counseling and bible teaching these days?
All of a sudden it’s the word of the day, as if we’re walking around with a dark cloud over our heads feeling shame for all sorts of things, especially our past.
That may be true since we’re sinners and we don’t do life very well.
Each one of us can probably remember many situations that make us cringe and wish they had never happened.
As I was reading Jeremiah, it struck me how many times the word shame came up in the book. And what impacted me even more was the fact that the real definition of shame is not what we call it today. Today the word has come to mean guilt, dishonor, and a bad conscience. All of which is true because we are sinners. But most of time shame is self-focused, it’s all about me and my feelings.
In Jeremiah the word means walking away from the God who loves you and has redeemed you at the cost of himself. See Jeremiah 13:26-27. The nation of Jews were always turning their backs on him in favor of other gods, which were no gods at all. And it’s that behavior that God calls shameful.
We’re no different. We turn away from God throughout the day in favor of our idols, too. And it’s that which should create real shame in us, knowing that the God who redeemed us is standing right here to help us at every moment of the day and night. That everything we need he’s willing to give us if we would just ask him.
Talk to me.
We were designed to live by the law before we fell in Adam. Had he kept it God would have given us eternal life. There would have been no sin and misery, only grace and approval.
After Adam’s fall we still want to keep the law, it’s the natural man’s default position, but now we can’t because of sin.
There is no way to be saved by the law. It has no life. It can only point the finger and denounce us for our sins.
It’s meant to do us in and draw us to Christ, who was the only man who kept the law after Adam.
He obeyed it perfectly.
He fulfilled it perfectly.
He earned salvation for us, in our place, because we couldn’t do it.
So it’s true we’re still saved by the law, but it’s Jesus’s obedience to it that saves us.
Now that is the best news you’ll ever receive. Today and forever.
You want freedom? Here it is.
Talk to me.