Trust God's love. His perfect love. Don't fear He will discover your past. He already has. Don't fear disappointing Him in the future. He can show you the chapter in which you will. With perfect knowledge of the past and perfect vision of the future, He loves you perfectly in spite of both.
God's love has a width, length, height, and depth, but we will never reach the end of it. Our capacity to experience God's love will be exhausted long before God's capacity to give it is strained. The picture of having Christ dwell inside us by faith presents us with compelling and comforting possibilities. What Christ does in us and through us will always be 'exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think.'
You come before the judgment seat of God full of rebellion and mistakes. Because of his justice he cannot dismiss your sin, but because of his love he cannot dismiss you. So, in an act which stunned the heavens, he punished himself on the cross for your sins. God’s justice and love are equally honored. And you, God’s creation, are forgiven.
It's important to preach like there's a broken heart on every pew. That's always been a phrase that stuck with me. Not everybody is having a tough time, but you can bet your buck that there's a good tenth of your church that's going through a hard season. There really is a broken heart on every pew.
You want to make a difference in your world? Live a holy life: Be faithful to your spouse. Be the one at the office who refuses to cheat. Be the neighbor who acts neighbors. Be the employee who does the work and doesn't complain. Pay your bills. Do your part and enjoy life. Don't speak one message and live another. People are watching the way we act more than they are listening to what we say.
We are Jesus Christ's; we belong to him. But even more, we are increasingly him. He moves in and commandeers our hands and feet, requisitions our minds and tongues. We sense his rearranging: debris into the divine, pig's ear into silk purse. He repurposes bad decisions and squalid choices. Little by little, a new image emerges.
For all its peculiarities and unevenness, the Bible has a simple story. God made man. Man rejected God. God won't give up until he wins him back. God will whisper. He will shout. He will touch and tug. He will take away our burdens; he'll even take away our blessings. If there are a thousand steps between us and him, he will take all but one. But he will leave the final one for us. The choice is ours. Please understand. His goal is not to make you happy. His goal is to make you His. His goal is not... Read more »