Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Have A Cheap Christmas

If the Christmas season comes across as cheap to you.... welcome to modern culture. Sorry for the title. You may have thought this was going to be a Pinterest-like article. But I'm no Scrooge. Really! There are, in fact, kind and generous acts, both from individuals and collectives, who probably represent Christ-likeness better than some gatherings of organized religion. I digress a little. But we all know this is true; Christmas is generally cheap, and the cheapness is rung in on Black Friday. Or is it on Cyber-Monday?

This is an important reminder! God did not just "cut us a deal" or randomly pardon us. Jesus was born to die, and died so we may have life. If you don't believe, in faith, the truth of who Jesus is... you'll never see God's love. You MUST believe. Period. If you DO choose to believe the truth of who Jesus is, and feel that you only call on God, and His forgiveness, as needed ....then you are either deliberately rebelling against God, un-regenerate / un-saved, or at the very least... need a healthy, caring, Christ-follower to move into your life; as life has surely fogged up your windshield. The old term for this is back-slidden. By the way... you never stop needing other Followers in your life. I've yet to "arrive". You can't be a true Follower / a Christian and hand-pick God's grace. Clarity is needed. Unbridaled surrender is needed. And don't think you've really ticked God off. If so ...then we all have. But this is His compelling love ..."even as we are sinners, Christ died for us." Repent and return. Read the Christmas Story ...through clear lenses.

So... in this season... enjoy the giving. Enjoy the receiving. Just see it through clean lenses.

"And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh."
                            -Matthew 2:11 ESV

Friday, December 2, 2016

Nothing & Everything

"Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ."
                           -Philippians 3:8

"My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride."
                             -Isaac Watts

Everything good, and honorable, and noble, be it of old, or new, even our good, noteworthy traditions ... all must fall prostrate to the glory of Christ. The very thought ..the plan ...of Christ! Wow! Do you get that? He died for you, and it was no mere martyr's death! No, it was the fulfillnent of God's love ...for you, for me, for us! May that good news NEVER become old news!

Whatever good we do ...is but rubbish in comparison. We may feed the nations, bring peace in turmoil. All but a flick of a thought ....in the shadow of the cross of Christ.

Do not be afraid to seek the real, true goodness of God through Jesus Christ. Take the chance. It is, instead, a certainty of the fulfillment of eternity with God the Father.

By the way... Isaac Watts wrote the afore mentioned lyrics out of a heart needful of praising God for the brought promise of the new covenant. The Church of England saw fit to break from strictly singing old covenant psalms, as Watts' testimony of the wonderful cross was simply not to be ignored. So... what is now a song / hymn of great tradition was once a "new song unto the Lord."

Capture the wonder and beauty of Christ' sacrifice. Cherish it. Allow it to put a new song in your heart. Sing a new song ...but unto the Lord. You would find yourself, as the Apostle Paul, realizing that whatever good you've done,  whatever worldly, worthy accomplishment, is but a fraction of even the mere idea of who Jesus Christ is.

If God is bigger than our successes ...the failures are only a forgiveness away ...all done ...at, and on, the cross where Jesus died ...and rose ...and lives again, in His Father's
Kingdom.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Perfection of The Cross

"God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…" —Galatians 6:14

Many things occur in the life of a follower of Jesus, but nothing should hold more weight than what happened on the cross. Not how we feel. Not even how we act. We are inconsistent. What was done on the cross is perfect. Finished.


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Even on our tough days we have much to be thankful for, right? But here's to better days! Cheers to better days! And if we can't have better days, then days that make us better.

Here's a good word this morning. May your total dependence be on the Lord. I'm working on me.

"Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters…, so our eyes look to the Lord our God…"
                                —Psalm 123:2

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Streeeeeeeetcccchh

I love to travel ...just not crazy about being away from home. I love to learn ...but especially if it's something I'm already familiar with. Streeeeeeeeeeetccchh!!

"And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man." - Luke 2:52

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17