Are You Satisfied with Your Life?

absent-from-body-quote-b-grahamGenesis 25
“Are You Satisfied with Your Life?”

“Abraham breathed his last and he died at a good old age, an old man who had lived a full life.” How is it that Moses could say this about the patriarch? He could because Abraham “believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.” He had obeyed God and “went out without understanding and by faith, he lived as he looked forward to the city with firm foundations whose architect and builder is God.” [Heb 11] By faith, when tested, he offered up Isaac as his one and only son. And so when the end came Abraham knew that he had done as God had said and God now would let him join his ancestors. And centuries later, Dietrich Bonhoeffer would say “This is the end—for me the beginning of life.” We who believe God know that our preference is to “be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” for this is just a step on our journey into life with our Lord forever.

When your end comes will you be satisfied that you have been faithful to God? Today you are one step closer to eternity. Are you ready?


Struggling against the tide

john 3 16 gal 1a2This is where I am at this point in time after a discouraging evening with the evangelism team and as I struggled through Galatians 1 thinking. Here is the struggle….

One of the prevailing answers to the faith question in our culture today is this: we are all on different roads and they all lead to the same destination: heaven. Is this true? If so we might have to discard Jesus’ words “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.” In fact, Jesus Christ gave himself for our sins to rescue us. It is therefore an astonishing thought to think that one who received the pure gospel message would so quickly desert and follow another gospel which is not really a gospel at all. The reason it is not a true gospel is because it is not the good news but rather one that seeks to put one into the bondage of faith plus works.

Why is that? It is because the true gospel is offensive to our human nature, our pride and our wisdom. We want/need to be in control and are offended when it is God’s way only. Our pride is offended to know that a man died in our place. That removes our self-sufficiency. And it offends our wisdom to think that God would use this humiliating disgraceful death to save us. But the truth is this: “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures.” That is the truth of the pure gospel message and although the world considers it foolish God chose that so that we might know that His grace is the all sufficient, all wise way and there is no other way. Which gospel are you following—one of grace alone or one that says grace plus works?

BTW: this will appear on on May 1…so any ideas you can offer here would be eagerly anticipated and considered.

“The D Word” is NOT Divorce!

ImageToday would have been the anniversary of my in-law’s marriage. They lived through their 73rd wedding anniversary, she dying on that day and my father in law 18 days later. They were a beautiful picture of true wedded bliss, literally bound to one another “until death do us part”. On the other side was my own mother who buried two husbands and was widowed for several years after. What does all of this have to do with today? In  Romans 7, Paul is using the analogy of marriage to show that just as my mother in law  was bound to her first husband for 73 yrs; she was never was “unbound”. It was death that unbound my in-laws, if even for a short period of time. My own mother was married for 35 yrs upon which my father died. She then was, unlike my in- laws, free to marry another and several years later she did. It was death that ended my own parent’s marriage relationship. It was death that ended my in-law’s marriage. Death is the only “D” word allowed!

 Paul reminds us that once someone is crucified with Christ, who was raised from the dead, so are we also “raised to newness of life” and no longer bound to the Law.  Jesus’ death and our acceptance of that sacrifice for our sin rescinded our binding to the Law.

Therefore, once freed from the rules and regulations from the Law,  what is the believer’s responsibility? It is to see the Law as God’s standard of righteousness, to see how it reveals man’s sin, and to see it as a guide for life. One’s position becomes one’s practice so to speak. We are now to live a life of holiness that we may honor and glorify Him who gave so much. In the past we were slaves to sin, now we are slaves to righteousness. But, as Paul says, it will be a struggle between the flesh and our new spirit in Christ until we take that last breath. We struggle between what we want to do and what we should do. It is at times like this that we can only come to Christ for cleansing. IJohn 1:9 “But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.” Thus Paul ends this chapter by saying: Romans 7:25 “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” And that should be our ending as well.

Hangest thou in there Beloved!