If the Law ( or laws ) could make us holy, then Jesus would not have needed to die on the Cross. No state-appointed law is going to make us clean for Him. He is SO HOLY that we don’t stand a chance. If we could make ourselves holy, then Jesus died for nothing. I think Paul says that quite eloquently. At any rate, think on it. It IS extremely tempting to think that finger pointing and condemnation will make another person BETTER, but it doesn’t work. Only the BLOOD of JESUS CHRIST can make any one of us WHOLE again. Without Him, not one of us is CLEAN.
- Carley Evans, July 25th, 2013
Just wonderfully written!
Originally posted on Resting in His Grace:
At the bottom of enmity between strangers lies indifference. ~ Kierkegaard
“They have problems,” my wife notes as I pump our Ford’s tank full of fuel. I look the direction of her gaze to find a young lady holding an infant in one arm and a young child with the other hand. An obvious grandparent stands with them, she with the responsibility of guarding the empty gas container.
I tear the receipt from the pump and make my way back to the truck. “Do you need some help?” I start to respond but then realize my wife’s question is directed to the strangers on the sidewalk. “Desperately,” echoes back in the place of her interrogation.
The foolish partridge sits on eggs in a nest which does not belong to her – she labours to bring forth fruit that is not her own and so she is a fool.
Yesterday, I listened to Donald Trump on NPR tell the Scots how to manage their energy. He also threatened that if they pursue the clean energy source, they will “go bankrupt.”
Mr. Trump has decided to use his nearly unlimited resources to sue indefinitely the Scottish government to keep wind technology from going up near his new golf course. If he prevails, Mr. Trump will singlehandedly manage to upset an entire country’s pursuit of cleaner energy. Additionally he will tie up taxpayer monies for years while Scots attempt to push this foolish partridge out of its nest.
9 The heart is perverse above all things, and unsearchable, who can know it?
10 I am the Lord who search the heart and prove the reins: who give to every one according to his way, and according to the fruit of his devices.
11 As the partridge hath hatched eggs which she did not lay: so is he that hath gathered riches, and not by right: in the midst of his days he shall leave them, and in his latter end he shall be a fool. ( Jeremias 17: 9-11, DRA )
Today I clapped my hand over my mouth and tears welled in my eyes as I heard the gay men’s choir burst into song. The song sung by the men was our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” I was in my car, driving home from work, listening to NPR as I usually do. Some reporter was defending the positive nature of the coverage of the historical moment when “a group of people came together to grasp” its rights under the Constitution of the United States. No matter how you view marriage, that people who live in the United States are constitutionally protected is undeniable. (This is why babies should not be aborted, by the way. They each have a constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those rights outweigh any parent’s right to privacy!)
Every citizen of the United States of America has a right to pursue happiness. If you don’t believe this is the truth within our system of government, then you may be more comfortable in a different country.
I heard someone say that the Supreme Court was “out of control.” I wondered, “And whose control is that?” God is always in control, so that argument fails right there.
That the Supreme Court is not controlled by religious zealots ought to make us thankful. If only Christians controlled members of the Supreme Court, then the constitution would be at risk. So many Americans do not subscribe to the Christian lifestyle or to its core belief – that Jesus Christ came to earth from heaven to die on a Cross in order to save the world. If the Supreme Court was controlled only by the Christian Right – the conservative membership – then many people would be denied their right to pursue happiness.
Why is it that Christians ( not all of us, mind you ) want to throw stones at particular groups of people? Why the enormous focus on homosexuals?
I ask this because I find it hypocritical that Christians accept divorce and marriage to another person as part of the fabric of our lives rather than viewing the remarriage as adultery ( in many cases, at any rate. ) Before you protest that I am judging; I’m not. I’m only saying what Jesus said, “Let him who is without sin throw the first stone.” I don’t know about you, but I find I always wind up opening my hand and allowing that stone to fall to the ground.
And so, today, I cried when I heard our national anthem sung by men ( this was a men’s choir, by the way ) who have finally gained a measure of equality in this – our great – nation. A citizen is a citizen, no matter how small. Thanks to Dr. Seuss.
Imagine if you will being born blind, unable to see. You live in a world of darkness. And what if you are also born deaf, unable to hear. You move in darkness and silence, unaware of light, unaware of sound. Your world is emptiness.
Imagine a Man comes to you. He touches your eyes, then your ears. You suddenly see and hear. You see His face; you hear His voice. He is Love, and you are fully aware that your world has changed forever in a moment because He touched you.
Now what if this same Man walks by you, and leaves you in your darkened, quiet state. Suppose He has a perfect reason for doing this, one you don’t know and couldn’t understand even if you did know.
Now imagine other people try to tell you about this Man, how He has given them everything. How would they tell you? You are blind; you are deaf. Still they try because He is everything to them. But you can’t see or hear that He is Love. You are blind; you are deaf. You are lost.
Remember how He touches you? When the Man touches you, you are able to see and hear and believe. Only a fool would not believe once the Man gives sight and hearing.
Originally posted on Christianity 201:
This is a first-time feature for the blog Grow Deep by Jerrell Jobe. This piece appeared under the title Paul’s Colosssian Prayer — click the title to link — and is part of a current series. The author personalizes the prayers of Paul; I’ve added the link for those who wish to review the original text.
The New Testament letter’s penned by the Apostle Paul contain instruction and doctrine, but they are also very personal. In 1 Thessalonians 2:8, Paul writes, “we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.”
Paul saw prayer as a significant element of the on-going transformation within the life of those he discipled. Not only their prayers, but the prayers he prayed for them. In nearly every letter we have by Paul, he makes note that he has been praying continuously for them. In a few places Paul even gives us a glimpse into not only the constancy of his prayers, but the content as well. There’s much we can learn about prayer from simply reflecting on they types of things Paul prayed. The past couple of weeks in New Community, we’ve been reflecting on Paul’s prayers.
I’ve encouraged everyone to take the passages/prayers that we’re studying and commit to pray them throughout the week for:
- themselves/immediate family,
- someone they are close to, and
- someone they have a hard time being around (but must interact with on a regular basis).In addition to studying and reflecting on Paul’s prayers as they are written, each week, I’ve offered a rewrite of the passage. A remix, if you will, of the passage, what it means and how we could practically pray it for ourselves and others.The following is the rewrite for Colossians 1:9-14.God I pray that you grant unto me an experiential encounter with Your truth – the knowledge of Your will. Renovate my mind and establish the blueprints to Your kingdom deep within my heart. God, help me to see things from Your perspective. Everything, from who I am to what I do. Invade every sphere of my life – private to public. May I live as if You were living through me. I pray the very minute details of my life will bring an unending smile to Your face.God, more and more, let me learn how to keep in step with Your Spirit in every part of my life. As I follow Your leading, the way You want things to be done, may my life be marked by the out-flowing of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.Father, expand the horizon of my vision, until I see Your present-activity in virtually every arena of my life. Strengthen me with the power of Your Spirit. As I’m empowered according to Your might, may I not bow down as a despondent coward in the face of adversity and difficult circumstances. No, in the power of Your might, may I find the wherewithal to stand and not give up. When I’m mistreated and in the midst of difficult people, may I be slow to anger and respond to others with love and grace.Finally, I desire to be a wellspring of joy, giving thanks to you at every occasion. May I not get bogged down with the snares of this world to the point of my joy becoming strangled and my heart diminishing into decadence of complaining. May I never lose sight of the reality that I was once aimlessly wandering in sin, shrouded by death and held captive under the dominion of darkness. Not so any longer! I have been rescued out of darkness, snatched out of death and transferred into the kingdom of the Son of Your delight. I have been chosen, forgiven and redeemed because of Your never-ending love.