Grace & making effort: Are they compatible?

We know the message and it comforts our hearts. In his grace God pours out salvation upon us, the undeserving. We can be redeemed, made holy and adopted as God’s people because our salvation rests upon Christ, not our righteousness. Furthermore, the cleansing power of the Messiah’s blood is greater than any sin we might bring to him.

So, how compatible is grace with the command to make every effort to live up to God’s calling? If we feel like these are opposing ideas, we would not be alone. Continue reading “Grace & making effort: Are they compatible?”

Never worthy, yet worthiness expected

“If we are saved by grace, how can Paul write about Christians being worthy? This sounds like works salvation.” A sincere elderly lady raised this line of reasoning as we studied 2 Thessalonians.

Scripture affirms no one is worthy. And yet, at other places explicit statements expect Christians to be worthy. How can this be?

Continue reading “Never worthy, yet worthiness expected”

A calling

This week I was overcome with a very, very strong feeling that I should be writing about the subject of bird calls.

Sure, I’m no ornithologist. I barely can pronounce the word! But as spring begins, the birds are back and chatting it up in the garden. They flit from tree to tree and then to one or more of the birdhouses hung in the old, dead peach tree as they look for a likely spot to build a nest. As they search, they call to one another. Continue reading “A calling”