Monday, August 26, 2013


We can’t live with blades buried in our bodies… or in our souls. 

The following two Scriptures speak loudly about grace and confession:  Where sin increased, grace increased all the more (Romans 5:20).  If we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right.  He will cleanse us (1 John 1:9 NAS).

Confession is a die-hard reliance on God’s grace.  It’s a declaration of our trust in God’s goodness.  If our understanding of God’s grace is small, then our confession will be small and our trust in God will be small. 

But great grace generates complete honesty and loving trust.  It comes down to a matter of the heart.  We can pray as David did in Psalm 139:23-24, Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way (NAS).

Sometimes we may ask ourselves, “Was my confession to God sincere enough?  Was it sufficient?”  The answer is “yes.”  Who among us really knows all our transgressions?  Who has honestly felt sufficient remorse?  If the cleansing of confession depends on the confessor, we are all doomed, because none of us has confessed accurately or adequately.  The good news is that the power of confession is not with the person who makes it but the God who hears it. 

Count on the certainty of those words, “He will cleanse us.”  He will, not He might or could or has been known to.  He will cleanse you.  And He will heal those inner wounds and mend your heart.  That’s the power of God and His grace when we are completely honest with Him from the heart.

Monday, August 19, 2013


Filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola says, “An essential element of art is risk.  If you don’t take risks, how are you going to make something really beautiful that hasn’t been seen before? ... I always had a good philosophy of risks.  The only risk is to waste your life, so that when you die, you say, ‘Oh, I wish I had done this.’”

The writer of Hebrews reminds us of those who’ve taken risks to live their faith:  I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephtah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; … There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection.  Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated - the world was not worthy of them (Hebrews 11:32-38).

Taking the risks to live by faith in God is the only way to live according to God: Those who are right with God will live by faith (Romans 1:17 NCV). 

The faith we have must be a faith that risks for the cause of Christ.  What “risks of faith” will you take this week for the Kingdom of God?

Monday, August 12, 2013


John D. Rockefeller, one of the world’s richest men in years past, was asked, “How much money is enough?”  He said, “Just a little bit more.”  Our culture and economy are based on the principle that you need more than you’ve got.  Earn more.  Spend more in order to accumulate more and better things.

Currently however our economy has become complicated and problematic.  In light of our present economy or any economy, whatever the status may be, the Bible addresses a significant connection between the financial and the spiritual. 

One the one hand God tells us to be prudent.  The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down (Proverbs 21:20).  God wants us to make decisions based on long-term consequences.  That’s the wise thing to do.

On the other hand God tells us to exercise faith and live carefree.  “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. … Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? … you of little faith … For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:25-33).  God wants us to learn to trust Him.

Both financial prudence and being faithfully carefree are values God wants us to have.  Jesus said more about money than about His Second Coming.  The reason is because how we handle money is a measure of our spirituality.  It reveals the quality of our relationship with God as well as to one another.

A.W. Tozer wrote: “The whole question of the believer and his money is so involved and so intimate that one hesitates to approach a consideration of it.  Yet, it is of such great importance that one who desires to qualify as a good servant of Christ dare not avoid it, lest they be found wanting in the day of reckoning.” 

“Faith, hope, and love will never be displaced as the core of Christian teaching.  And money will never be displaced as a means of measuring our souls to see if those forces are really at work.” – Marshall Shelley, Editor of Leadership Journal.

Monday, August 5, 2013


In Matthew 22:8-10 when Jesus describes the Kingdom of Heaven He speaks of the importance of inviting people in:  “And he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready… Now go out to the street corners and invite everyone you see.’  So the servants brought in everyone they could find, good and bad alike, and the banquet hall was filled with guests” (NLT). 

We cannot let ourselves become satisfied with making passengers more comfortable on the Titanic.  Meeting needs, serving people, and showing them God’s love are all important, but we also must offer to them a seat on the only lifeboat that can ultimately save them.