Friday, March 25, 2016

Breaking the Powers

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In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family.

So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.”

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. (Hebrews 2:10-15)
Sons and daughters. Brothers and sisters. God is intensely interested in his children — his family. He is not ashamed to call us sons and daughters but desires to bring us into the full experience and participation of his glory.

Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters. He came to set us free, and it is for this reason that God became a man. It was necessary that he fully share in our humanity, to become mortal flesh and experience death, so that by the life and power of God he might overcome death for us all. His death, then, became the means by which the power of the devil, the power and fear of death, was broken.

Death was not a retaliatory judgment of God on the sin of man but the natural consequence of man turning away from life. It was the devil who tempted man to sin, to rebel and turn away from God, the very source of life. When life is rejected, what else is left except death? So here is another reason why Jesus needed to become a man.
For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:17-18)
Jesus knows exactly what it is like to go through trials and tests and temptations. He experienced them at their most fundamental level yet remained faithful throughout, even to the point of death. And having suffered such things himself, he is well able to help us in our time of testing. He has, in a word, broken the power of sin.

Here, then, is the reason for Good Friday and the Cross: It is where the Lord Jesus broke the powers — the power of sin, the power of the devil and the power of death. And having broken the powers, he is able to reconcile us back to God, by the blood of the cross, and breathe new life — his life — into us by the Holy Breath of God.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Christ the Covenant and the Light

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This is what God the LORD says — the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: “I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.” (Isaiah 42:5-7)
In the first part of Isaiah 42, God spoke about Messiah, his chosen one in whom he delights and on whom he has put his Spirit. Now he speaks to him. It is a most solemn occasion and God recounts the basis of his authority for what he is about to convey to him. He speaks expressly as the creator of heaven and earth, the giver of life and breath to all who walk the planet. There is none higher, none mightier, none that compares to him in any way.

“I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness,” he says. It is out of his goodness, justice and rightness that he commissions Messiah. It is a powerful display of his holy love. So he commits to lead him as by the hand, and to guard him on through to the completion of his mission.

“I will … make you to be a covenant for the people.” Our LORD is a covenant-making God who commits himself to his people to always do them good. Now he comes to the final, once-and-for-all covenant, the new covenant he promised through the prophet Jeremiah. But Messiah is not just the one through whom God makes this final covenant. Messiah himself is the covenant, in whom all the promises of God are fulfilled.

Lord Jesus is the promise of God’s deliverance of his people, but more than that, he himself is that deliverance. He is the one whom God has sent to open blind eyes, free the captives and release those who dwell in the bondage of darkness. He is the light of God’s glory, revealed even for the sake of the pagan nations, which is to say, the Gentiles, to bring them out of darkness.

The solemnity with which God makes covenant is revealed by the offering of sacrifice, the giving of life, the shedding of blood. In this new and final covenant, by which God forever delivers his people, Jesus himself is the sacrifice, and the blood by which this covenant is cut is his own. This is made plain by Jesus at the Passover meal, on the night he was handed over to wicked hands — the night before he was crucified:
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” (Luke 22:19-20).
The giving of his body and blood is the covenant act by which Jesus the Messiah delivers us from the bondage and darkness of sin and death, and in partaking of his covenant meal, we participate in the reality and presence of that deliverance and reveal his light to the world. “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup,” Paul says, “you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Light to the Ends of the Earth

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Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the LORD called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name. He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver. He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.” (Isaiah 49:1-3)
Messiah, God’s chosen servant, is representative of the whole of God’s chosen nation, Israel. He is the righteous Jew, the faithful Israelite. In a very real way, he is Israel, and so assumes the role Israel was intended to play in the plan of God: to bear the light of God’s glory to the nations. Israel had failed disastrously in that role, which is why Messiah was needed in the first place, to come and deliver her.

Where Israel had failed, however, Messiah would succeed. God would display his splendor through him, yet not without difficulty. For Messiah says, “I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing at all. Yet what is due me is in the LORD’s hand, and my reward is with my God” (Isaiah 49:4).

In the Gospel, John speaks of the Word, Jesus, through whom the whole world was made, and says, “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him” (John 1:10-11). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).

From this it might seem that the mission of Messiah would be largely ineffective — he was rejected by many of his own people. Did Messiah labor in vain? No, because that is not the whole story, not even of this prophecy in Isaiah 49. Messiah leaves it in the hands of the Lord, and the Lord has a plan that is more encompassing than initial conditions might have suggested.
And now the LORD says — he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD and my God has been my strength — he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth." (Isaiah 49:5-6)
It was not enough just to gather in and restore Israel — too small a thing for what God desired to do. God’s plan through Messiah was to give light to all the nations and reach the whole world with salvation. This was God’s promise to Abraham from the beginning: “All peoples will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:3).

So in the Gospel, John says, “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:11-12). And in the Sermon on the Mount, though Jesus said that few would find the path to life, he was speaking of the Jews at that time, who within a generation would be facing the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. But in the very next chapter he says, “Many will come from the east and the west [the nations], and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 8:11). The book of Matthew ends with Jesus sending his disciples to make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:18-20).

In Romans 11, Paul speaks of Israel’s blindness in rejecting Messiah. Yet it is not a permanent blindness nor a permanent rejection. “Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles [the nations] to make Israel envious” (Romans 11:11). Gentiles who turn to Messiah are “grafted in” to Israel, to be included in God’s promise. The end result: “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:25-26). Jews and Gentiles, counted together as Israel, come finally to salvation through faith in Jesus the Messiah. Yet Paul has even more to say about the reach of God’s saving purpose, which knows no limits.
  • In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to bring to unity all things in heaven and on earth under Christ" (Ephesians 1:7-10).
  • For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Colossians 1:19-20)
  • God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. (2 Corinthians 5:19)
  • Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)
  • When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all. (1 Corinthians 15:28)
In God’s eternal plan in Christ, it is too small a thing to deliver Israel and not the rest of the nations, too small a thing to redeem a few and not many, and too small a thing to save only some and not all. Christ is the restorer of Israel and the light for the nations who brings salvation to the ends of the earth.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Way of Christ’s Kingdom

Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope. (Isaiah 42:1-4)
On the first day of that final week, Jesus rode into Jerusalem to deliver his people. It was in fulfillment of the messianic prophecy in Zechariah:
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
This was the promise of deliverance for Israel. God’s Messiah King would come and defeat the enemies, removing their ability to make war. Yet, though he came to do battle, he rode in not on a warhorse but on a lowly donkey. His disciples — not only the Twelve but a whole multitude who were following him — recognized this prophetic fulfillment. They strew his way with their garments in recognition of his royalty.
When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Luke 19:37-38)
Their deliverance was at hand, entering into the Holy City before their eyes. The kingdom of God was breaking into the world, just as Jesus had promised, and they rejoiced greatly over it. But were they prepared for how he would bring it about?

Isaiah 42 shows us Messiah as the Servant, on whom was the Spirit of the Lord, and how he would bring justice not only to Israel but to all the nations. Not by the violence of military might — no warhorses for him — nor by riots or brash demonstrations. It would come by meekness, which is not weakness but strength revealed in gentleness. “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.”

The kingdom of God comes by Christ’s patient endurance until it fills all the earth. It comes not by terror but by trust in him who is the hope of the nations. It comes not by military overthrow or political machination but by the cross, where Christ poured himself out for our sake and won complete victory over the real enemy. The Servant we see depicted in Isaiah 42 is the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53, who is afflicted for our sake, to deliver us from our sins and make us whole with his divine peace. This is the way the kingdom of God comes and why Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Sunday must lead to the cross on Good Friday.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Lifter of Our Shame

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” (Luke 15:1-2)
Many people came to hear Jesus teach. Among them were the “tax collectors and sinners,” considered alike to be low-lifes and shameful. But they were welcomed by Jesus — and the Pharisees and teachers of the Law did not like it one bit. “Look who this Jesus is keeping company with,” they grumbled. They were out to shame him, too.

Jesus answered them with three stories. First, the Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15:4-7). Then, the Parable of the Lost Coin (Luke 15:8-10). But it is the third parable that really laid it out for them, the Parable of the Lost Son, a.k.a., the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32).

A father had two sons. The younger son came and asked for his share of his father’s estate. He cared more for his father’s wealth than he did for his father, and it was as if he wished his father were dead. He behaved very terribly, shaming not only himself but his father as well.

But the father loved both his sons nonetheless and divided the estate between them, giving each their share. And though it broke his heart, he let his younger son go his own way — what else could the father do? So the younger son gathered up all he had been given and went off to a distant country, far away from home. He wanted nothing more to do with his father or his family.

There in the alien land of his self-imposed exile, the young man wasted his wealth, indulging himself in a life that only tore apart his soul even more. Eventually, he had nothing, and to make matters worse, a hard famine came. The son became so desperate that he took what was considered a very vile work form or work, and especially degrading for him as a Jew: feeding swine. Yet he would gladly have eaten the unappetizing, barely digestible pods they ate — he was that hungry — but there was no one who would give him even that.

That would have been a suitable ending to the story for the Pharisees and teachers of the Law. “Disgraceful Young Man Gets What He Deserves,” would have been the caption. But Jesus was not yet finished and there was an unexpected turn-around to the tale (seems like Jesus was always doing that):
When he [the younger son] came to his senses, he said, “How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.” So he got up and went to his father. (Luke 15:17-20)
The younger son had come to a realization, not only about how low he had sunk or how much better the life was that he had left behind, but about how reprehensibly he had behaved. However, he did not run from his shame nor did he wallow in it, but he owned it and, repenting, returned to his father. He prepared the confession he would offer: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.” He had no hope for restored sonship, only that he might be allowed to stay and serve as a slave in his father’s house.

The Pharisees would have, perhaps, been appeased by that. But that was not yet the end of the story. See now what happened when the son neared home.
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20)
Here was an amazing thing: Even while the son was a long way off, his father saw him. That was because the father never gave up watching for, even longing for, the return of his son. And when he finally saw him off in the distance that day, his heart was full of love and yearning and deep sympathy for what his son was going through.

He ran out to meet his son. This was another amazing thing, because it was quite undignified for a man of his age and position. But he simply did not care. He loved his son too much for that. He finally reached him and with great joy he threw his arms around him and covered him with kisses.
The young man began his confession: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” He was scarcely able to get it out, and did not even reach the part about being nothing more than a hired hand, before his father shouted out to his servants:
“Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” (Luke 15:22-24)
The father did not heap any shame on his son — he lifted it off him. He did not receive him as a servant, which was the most the young man had hoped for, but fully as a son. Here was unexpected grace and undeserved mercy. In fact, what was deserved or undeserved was not even on the father’s mind, only on the son’s. All the father cared about was that his son had been dead and was alive again, that he had been lost but now was found.

Happy ending? Probably not so much to the Pharisees, for this is exactly the sort of thing they criticized Jesus about: “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” But there was still a little bit of the story left to tell, and the part the Pharisees most needed to hear.

Up until now, the parable was about the younger son and the father. But remember the other son, the older brother. When he heard the noise of celebration and found out it was because his younger brother had returned, he was quite angry, not only with his brother but even more with his father. His father went out and pleaded with him to come and rejoice, but the older brother would not receive it:
“Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!” (Luke 15:29-30)
The father had lifted all shame off his younger son but the older one wanted to heap it back on. “This son of yours,” he called him, distancing himself not only from his younger brother but also from his father. But the father would have none of it.
“My son,” the father said, “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” (Luke 15:31-32)
The father would not heap shame back onto his younger son, and he would not tolerate any distance between the older son and the younger. He treated them both fully as sons: “This brother of yours.”

The younger son had returned home realizing his shame and his helplessness, and was joyfully welcomed by his father. The older son acted shamefully, too, by the hardness of his heart, and was just as helpless as the younger, though he did not realize it. Yet he, too, was received with just as much love by the father, though he did not believe it and so took no joy from it.

Jesus welcomes publicans and sinners, for that is the heart of the Father, who has loved us all along and is always watching for our return. He does not heap shame on any who turn and come home to him, for they have already realized their shame and helplessness. But he removes their shame, lifting that terrible burden off their weary souls and receiving them not as slaves but as sons and daughters.

Jesus has lifted our shame and carried it to the cross. By that shameful death, he put shame itself to death, for he is pure and righteous, and shame had no right to him. There is, then, no shame so deep that the love of God is not deeper still, pouring itself out, even on a cross, for our sake.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Forgiver of Our Sins

Blessed is the one
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
    whose sin the LORD does not count against them
    and in whose spirit is no deceit.
(Psalm 32:1-2)
David, psalm writer and shepherd king, well understood the joy of sins being lifted. You can hear his great relief in Psalm 32. At first, he had kept silent about his sin, afraid to admit it to the Lord, or even to himself. His silence before God was a deceit in his spirit. But God, who knows all hearts, was not in the dark about it. David was only fooling himself, and it did him no good but only increased his distress.
When I kept silent,
    my bones wasted away
    through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your
    hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
    as in the heat of summer.
(Psalm 32:3-4)
David was bearing the shame of his sin and it wore him out. But then he finally came to his senses and brought it out before the Lord — and he made a wonderful discovery.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you
    and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.”
    And you forgave the guilt of my sin.
(Psalm 32:5)
God did not hold his transgressions against him, God forgave him, as he was willing to do all along. It was David’s own silence that held him back from experiencing it. But when he confessed his sin to the Lord, he laid hold of God’s ready forgiveness.

It was not only the joy of God’s forgiveness that David was withholding from himself but also the confidence of God’s help. A heart that is hiding its guilt from God is not a heart that is ready to trust him. But in confessing his sin to the Lord, David was then able to trust God to also deliver him from the trouble that surrounded him. And he turned his experience into an exhortation to all the faithful, the subtext of which could be put this way: “Don’t be a fool like I was. Trust the Lord with all your heart, for he is faithful.”
Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
    while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
    will not reach them.
You are my hiding place;
    you will protect me from trouble
    and surround me with songs of deliverance.
Many are the woes of the wicked,
    but the LORD’s unfailing love
    surrounds the one who trusts in him.
Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous;
    sing, all you who are upright in heart!
(Psalm 32:6-7,10-11)
It is cause for hoots and shouts and songs of how God has rescued us, for lightheartedness over the burden he has lifted from us, for whirling and twirling with joy that God has forgiven us. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we come to know this great joy. His cross is not only the divine demonstration of God’s love and forgiveness but also the means by which he delivers us from the power of sin, the devil and even death itself.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Remover of Our Reproach

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Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So the place has been called Gilgal to this day. (Joshua 5:9)
Egypt had enslaved the children of Israel for many generations, but God sent his deliverer, Moses, to bring them out. Pharaoh reluctantly agreed to let them go but then changed his mind and chased after them. When his army had them backed up to the Rea Sea with nowhere to go, God parted the waters for the children of Israel to go safely across. Pharaoh’s army tried to follow but were drowned by the returning waters.

Israel’s deliverance, though, was not yet complete. There was still the wilderness to cross before they reached the promised land, and what should have been an eleven-day trek turned into forty years of wandering because they were not willing to cross over into the land of promise. They were fearful of the “giants” they heard were there and were unwilling to trust God to safely lead them in.

They wanted to go back, for Egypt was still in their hearts and bondage still had a strong hold on their minds. “Better we should die in the wilderness,” they said. And so they did. God gave them up to their desire. Forty years in the desert was not his idea. He would gladly have led them into the land if only they had been willing. But they were not. So they wandered, a natural result of their faithlessness. Even so, God was faithful, providing for their needs all along the way.

But now their self-imposed exile was over. That entire generation had died off and a new one had arisen that knew neither Egypt nor bondage. God brought them on into the promised land, and the reproach of Egypt was finally rolled away.

Sometimes the reproach on us is the accusations, the condemnations, the abuse put on us by others. Sometimes it is our own faithless choices and behaviors. Sometimes it is the shame we feel about our failures, our weaknesses — our helplessness. These become bondages from which we must be delivered.

But the good news of the gospel is that, in Jesus Christ, God has removed all our reproach. Christ has broken the power of sin, the power of death, the power of the accuser. His cross is the victory and his resurrection is the proof. The “reproach of Egypt” has been rolled away from us as surely as the stone was rolled away from the empty tomb on resurrection morning.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Random Thoughts

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Thoughts culled from my random file, gathered from my Twitter tweets, Facebook updates and Instagrams. About divine love, relationship with God and new life in Christ. Some have come to me in moments of quiet reflection, some in interaction with others. Offered as “jump starts” for your faith.
  • Jesus is the Light who reveals the Father and by whom the Spirit guides our way.
  • One day, God will be all in all. Not just all in some or some in all, but all in all.
  • The cross does not change God’s attitude toward us — God has always loved us — but it changes our attitude toward God.
  • There is no bridge too far for the grace of God.
  • The relentless love of God ever pursues his enemies, even into hell, until they turn to him and are rescued from themselves.
  • Yes, God wants you to be happy, but He wants you to have the true happiness that is found only in Him.
  • Grace does not mean that God is okay with our sin. It means that God has moved heaven and earth to rescue us from our sin.
  • The nature of sin is the brokenness we experience in our relationship with God, with each other and even within our own selves. Jesus is the healer of that brokenness.
  • What is wrong with Christianity? I am. Mea maxima culpa.
  • The grace of God is far greater than I ever imagined when I first graduated from Bible college ... but perhaps not so very much greater than I imagined when I first came to him as a little child.
  • My philosophy as a Christian is not that I am perfect, or anywhere near it. My philosophy is that I am a very broken person whom Christ is transforming by his love and grace and the giving of himself for my sake.
  • Divine retribution can never make things right, it can only punish, so it can never be justice in the truest and fullest sense. But divine love changes hearts and King Jesus makes all things new.
  • God is like the Father of the Prodigal Son, ever watching for our return and waiting to receive us.
  • Today I partake of the divine power, divine glory, divine goodness, divine promise and divine nature of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is a good day.
  • Everything is fuel for prayer.
  • God is love. This changes everything.
  • Today I am believing the extravagance of the love God has for me. It is a good day.
  • Today I am declaring that God is love and Jesus is Lord. It is a day of great expectation.
  • The grace of God is greater than my ability to understand ... or misunderstand.
  • The “right side of history” is the “right side of history” ... until it is the wrong side of history. So I don’t worry about whether I am on it or not.
  • The Holy Spirit leads us by showing us Jesus.
  • The story of the gospel is the story of how God became Jesus and Jesus became King.
  • God is always life, never death. For death is nothing but the absence of life ... the absence of God.
  • Be love. For where love prevails, there is no foothold for bitterness or fear.
  • How does God deal with our sin? He forgives us in Jesus Christ and transforms us by the Holy Spirit.
More random thoughts …