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Sunday, June 28, 2009

God's Grace And Mercy

It’s amazing how we can read the scriptures many times over and then one day something jumps out at us that we never noticed before. This happened to me one night as I was reading Psalm 90. This Psalm was written by Moses, appealing to God on behalf of the children of Israel.

For those of you who may not know it, God had sent Moses to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt where they had been in bondage for four hundred years. After many trials, Pharoah, the ruler, finally agreed to let the people leave Egypt. However, no sooner had they been freed, they began to rebel and complain. Their journey into the promised land which should have lasted a few days took forty years to complete. During that time God became so angry at their rebellion, he threatened to wipe them out, and would have had not Moses interceded for them. They were bitten by snakes, and many other troubles overcame them.

The children of Israel suffered the wrath of God. Hence the reason Moses wrote this Psalm. In verse 7 he writes, “For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.” Again in verse 9 he says, “For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.”

I read these verses over and over, then I thought, we are no longer under wrath, but under grace. When Jesus gave His life for us on the cross, He got rid of the curse that we had been under since Adam fell. When Jesus died, He restored us to a right relationship with God, the Father. When Jesus shed His precious blood for us on the cross, we obtained “grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Timothy 1:2).

“But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-6). “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). Had Moses lived in Jesus’ day he would never have written that Psalm the way he did, for he would have realized that God hath dispensed with His wrath and bestowed grace and mercy on His people.

And there’s the operative word- His. Those of us who belong to Him through Jesus Christ are assured of His grace, but those outside of Christ are still exposed to His wrath. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). So that’s the key to escaping God’s wrath-accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and you will not perish. God bless.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Please Pass The Salt

Have you ever cooked something and forgotten to add the salt? I bet you realized your ommission the minute you tasted the food. Salt has such a distinctive taste that just a tiny pinch can make or break a dish. I know some of you may have to omit this precious ingredient from your food because of your medical condition. I sympathize deeply, believe me, but for those of us who don't have to, we even include it in sweet dishes, such as cakes and pastries, to enhance the flavor.

Jesus knew what he was talking about when He said, "Ye are the salt of the earth, but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men" (Matthew 5:13). If Jesus were here today would he call the church "the salt of the earth?" Are we critical to the flavor of the world in which we live? Or can the world go on without us and never miss our taste?

In the same sermon, Jesus spoke about us being "the light of the world" (v 14). He went on to say "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (v 16). The church today has become a major part of the entertainment industry. We have the lights, music and the action, but are we impacting the world with our presence? If we really are the salt and light would there be all this ungodliness that is taking place in our society? I think not. We have lost our flavour; our light has grown dim. People don't taste us, neither do they see us.

If the church has to be "the salt and light of the world" it has to start with each dish, each candle. Each one of us has to do his/her part to "season" and "light" our world. Let's begin by asking the Holy Spirit to help us be all we are supposed to be, then let us go out and impact our world for Jesus Christ. He is coming soon and He needs you and me to prepare a dish that is flavorful for Him to take back with Him. Are you ready?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hope this blesses your heart today.

Blessings Graphic #3

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Sunday, June 07, 2009

God Is Good All The Time

I was talking to someone the other night about the way things have changed for me financially over the years. I told him there was a time when I never thought about money because I always had more than enough. I concluded, "But God is still good." He replied, "No, He's not always good, because if He was, you would still be seeing His goodness."

Shocked by the response from this Christian young man, I felt the need to clarify what the goodness of God really means. Pointing to the overhead light, I said, "See this light? We are standing under it and we can see its brightness. But if we move to the other room where there is no light, this one becomes dim. The further away we move from it, the dimmer it gets until we may not see it at all even though it's still shining as brightly as before. God is like that. He never changes. He shines brightly all the time, but if we move away from Him, we cannot see His brightness or His goodness."

I also hastened to reassure him that there is a lot more to God's goodness than financial prosperity. Because I am not as well off financially as I once was, it doesn't mean that I'm not experiencing God's goodness. I feel closer to Him than I did then and I'm secure in the knowledge that no matter what happens He will take care of me.

Later, as I reflected on that conversation, the Holy Spirit laid a piece of scripture on my mind: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1: 17). God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Yes, He is good. All the time.