When we think of the apostle Paul, most would think of a great man of faith. He was someone who put God first in his life and tried his best to live the life he called on others to live, a life worthy of the calling we have in Jesus. But as he begins his first letter to Timothy we get a different view of Paul, one which is his view of himself. Continue reading “Mercy and grace”
“Then the Lord spoke to Moses: ‘Speak to the Israelites and tell them, “When you cross over the Jordan River into the land of Canaan, you must then designate some towns as towns of refuge for you, to which a person who has killed someone unintentionally may flee. And they must stand as your towns of refuge from the avenger in order that the killer may not die until he has stood trial before the community. These towns that you must give shall be your six towns for refuge.”’” (Numbers 35:9-13 NET).
God is a God of mercy. We can see this in his providing towns of refuge for the Israelites. These towns were so designated to allow someone who had accidentally killed another person to be safe from any ‘avenger’ who might come after them to take their life. If they were within these towns they were safe. In more recent years church buildings have often served this same purpose as a place of sanctuary. Continue reading “A God of mercy and justice”
“Dear friends, although I have been eager to write to you about our common salvation, I now feel compelled instead to write to encourage you to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3 NET).
Jude (or Judas, as his name really was in Greek) wanted to write a letter to Christians about the salvation we have in Jesus. But that was a letter he couldn’t at that time write because of what was happening to the Christians.
Jude could not write the letter he intended because “certain men have secretly slipped in among you – men who long ago were marked out for the condemnation I am about to describe – ungodly men who have turned the grace of our God into a license for evil and who deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 4). Continue reading “The letter he didn’t plan to write”
What is it about gardening that causes the fun to often descend into a guilt trip? The dreams that seemed so tangible in February and March taunt us as unfinished projects in June and July.
Maybe the same is true with any other activity, but dust bunnies don’t grow and multiply as readily as ragweeds do in the garden. Nor, for that matter, like the real bunnies that nibble the blueberries and tomatoes. Continue reading “She has done what she could”
God’s plan of salvation is complete in Scripture and we can be assured that we have all we need (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
When we sin (Romans 3:23), we’re separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2) and we become his enemy (Romans 5:10). There’s nothing we can do to return to God on our own (Romans 3:10-12). Continue reading “Jesus, the blood and the bridge”
Matt, a fine young man I watched grow up, made a comment that got me to thinking. Matt’s heart aches over the current situation in Ferguson; it is broken at the comments expressed by some who cheer the grand jury’s decision not to indict. Matt sees clearly what so many are forgetting, that a young man was killed. There is nothing to cheer in this, one way or the other.
What jumped out at me in Matt’s comments was: “…read the comments of way too many white people desperately holding on to the lie that the system is fair.”
“The system”… how it developed is a discussion for another time. What touched me is Matt’s underlying heartfelt plea that the system might be “fair.” Continue reading “The System”
Make your words have grace rather than venom Continue reading Little snakes
We represent Christ when we speak… Continue reading Evangelistic talk
Through Christ, we can be saved… Continue reading Grace and conversion
God loves us even when we make mistakes Continue reading When you make a mistake