God is doing a great work in our days in the area of illuminating our understanding of grace. Perhaps more than any time since 1779, when former slave ship captain John Newton penned the words, “Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me…,“ – people are asking the question, “what is grace?” and “what does it mean to me?” Let’s take a look at a few of the ways grace changes our lives. Continue reading “Illuminating Grace: 4 Ways that Grace Changes our Lives”
It is often said that without the Apostle Paul, much of the doctrine of the Church would be absent. This executioner of Christians, turned faithful witness of Jesus, wrote most of the New Testament and is known for his seemingly fearless and bold witness that took him around the known world to plant churches when the Church was in it’s infancy. Yet, despite the courageous portrait of this great man of faith, we know that Paul faced fear just like the rest of us.
I am almost certain that many will consider the above statement to be provocative and some will take exception. After all, Paul faced imprisonment, torture, and death on many occasions. How could someone go through all of that and still be such a powerful witness if he struggled with fear?
There is a message coming out of churches today that God’s Grace is all that matters. There are a lot of reasons for this message, but none are scriptural. In fact, for all the buzz about new revelation and understanding of the Bible, the truth is, it is not even new. Paul confronted this idea in his letters. He warned them that claiming salvation was not enough. They needed to live right. (Gal 5:18-21, Eph 4:17-19, 1 Co 9:27, 2 Co 12:21)
From pulpits to news shows they cry, “God has changed!” Okay, they don’t say it quite that way, but that is the bottom-line. Most people simply accept this at face value and move on, but is it true? Are the pundits on-track? Has God really changed?
The premise typically goes something like this, “God was a God of Judgment in the Old Testament and a God of Grace in the New Testament.” Though often repeated, it is simply not true. God is neither capricious nor single-minded. We were created in His image and we clearly understand that judgment and mercy are not antithetical concepts. There are times when justice demands judgment, and other times when mercy is right and proper.
I recently read a well-worded article written by a pastor about why he didn’t preach repentance. He pontificated eloquently about how such sermons place our focus in the wrong place and how thoughts concerning our failures diminish God’s marvelous work of grace.
I don’t know if this particular reasoning is the consensus of everyone in the modern grace camp, but there certainly appears to be a large number of Pastors and teachers who are avoiding the topic of repentance. I understand how appealing it can be to take our eyes off our short-comings and focus instead on the wonderful mercy and grace of God. Indeed, we should all spend more time reflecting and demonstrating our thankfulness for what the old song calls, “grace that is greater than all our sins.”
Okay, I know I am little late to the game, but Teri and I finally got a chance to see the DVD release of the latest Big Screen Moses movie. While the acting, production and direction were excellent, the storyline left a lot to be desired.
I understand creative license and the desire to create something unique and different. I even understand the drive to “fill in the gaps” where the historical record is silent. What I have never understood, or appreciated for that matter, is the need of some writers to change history in an attempt to create a more compelling story.
How many times have you heard the refrain, “Faith is a private matter?” It has been repeated so often that it has become sacrosanct to many. The truth however is far removed from the rhetoric. It doesn’t matter how many times a lie is repeated or how profound it may sound, a lie is still a lie.
12 Biblical Reasons Why We Still Need Church
According to polls, per capita church attendance may be lower than any time in American history. Has the church-age run its course? Is church no longer needed except for the occasional wedding, funeral or concert?
If God has anything to say about it – and He does – church attendance is as important as ever.
Did you know that God establishes blessings at the same time we are busy messing things up? While it is certainly true that God cannot bless your mess, He certainly can bless you in spite of it. He can even transform your mess into something wonderful. Continue reading “12 Blessings Inside The House”
Last week I happened to catch a few minutes of the Glenn Beck radio program as the team was discussing comedian Louis C. K. ‘s monologue on a recent episode of Saturday Night Live. During the monologue, the entertainer joked about racism and child molestation. While some of his racism comments were perceived as controversial, it was the topic of molestation where I believe he really stepped outside the boundaries.