Sunday, September 18, 2011

I Love Grace

For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
John 3:16, 17

I love grace.  I need it.  We all need it.  The Good News is God loves to give grace to all who would receive it.  

We need grace because we’re not perfect. (Romans 3:23)  The Gospels makes it clear that Jesus came to be our savior.  We can access God’s grace because Jesus took the punishment for our sin.   Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross was the purpose for which He came.  Along with the above verses from John, look at Jesus’ purpose verses in the Synoptic Gospels.

Matthew 1:21 - “And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

Mark 10:45 - “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Luke 19:10 - “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

Grace is available because of Christ’s work on the cross.  I love what Romans 8:1 says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  No condemnation!  All grace!  I love it!  We all need grace, but who gets it?  “Those who are in Christ Jesus.” Is your life “in” Jesus today?  Simply put, “No Jesus. No Grace.  Know Jesus. Know Grace.”

Click here to listen to a sermon Romans 8:1.

Monday, September 12, 2011


...perfect love casts out fear...
1 John 4:18

We live in a very different world post-9/11.  A lot has changed.  And while there have been some positives there is one negative word that I believe sums up the the mood since 9/11.  That word is “fear.”

Fear has permeated every area of society. Whether it be the economic world, politics, or even our personal lives it seems everything now is driven by fear.  Fear is a selfish, powerful emotion that can control and ultimately destroy us.    

When we are afraid we miss the opportunity love and enjoy life.  So many people are afraid they are going to lose their job, afraid their kids aren't going to turn out right, afraid their marriage isn’t strong enough to last.  When we live in fear we miss the opportunities to enjoy the God-given moments of life.  Instead of being afraid all the time be thankful for your job, enjoy your time with your children and your spouse.  Instead of living in fear, live in love and thankfulness.

Fear does not come from God.  Always remember, His plans for you are good! (Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28)  Take time this week to pray that God takes away your fear and replaces it with His love and then meditate on 2 Timothy 1:7 and experience God’s best for your life... “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Click here to listen to our 9/11 message about overcoming fear.

Sunday, September 04, 2011


And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others... Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 
2 Corinthians 9:8, 11 NLT

We were checking out at the store and our youngest, Mark, was looking around at the “impulse items” near the register.  As we were moving up in line he asked if he could have a dollar.  Feeling rather generous I took a $1 bill out of my wallet and handed it to him and then waited to see what he was going to do with it.  He began to fold up the dollar bill.  Mark is our little saver so I thought he was going to put it in his pocket and then deposit it in his piggybank at home.  

Then came a welcome surprise.  Instead of putting it in his pocket he jammed it into a jar on the counter where they were collecting donations for a little boy suffering from cancer.  Needless to say at that moment I was both proud and a little chocked up that my little guy was moved by the plight of another youngster he didn’t even know.  Instead of a pack of gum or a candy bar he wanted the money simply in order to give it away.

What do you think I’m going to do the next time Mark asks for a dollar?  I don’t mind blessing my generous child.  I believe the Word teaches us that God desires to bless His children, but always remember that God blesses us in order for us to be a blessing.  I believe we serve a generous God that loves to see His children be generous.