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Showing posts from January, 2015

PRESENT PRESENCE

“Don’t look at the troubles you can see now; rather, fix your gaze on things that cannot be seen” (adapted 2 Corinthians 4:18). Christ-follower you are to be by nature forward looking and forward reaching. Your goal, by running the race of life, is a prize, a crown of righteousness, a crown of life, a crown of never-ending glory and honor all because your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, first wore a crown of thorns. It is clear that while we live in hope now for joy unspeakable inspired by Eternal love, the future is seen with a faith that is daily nourished by the present presence of the Spirit.

What does the eye of daily nourished faith see when looking into the future? Sinless existence! We are made perfect to participate in the inheritance of the saints of God! All the misery of a life of sin gives way as we make our assent to the summit standing ready to enter heaven through those pearly gates—with arms open wide—to be crowned conquerors by Christ, the King of Glory.
This gaze to th…

Forgiveness

A father mourns the death of his teenage boy who was killed when a drunk driver hit the car he was driving. A police officer was shot and paralyzed from the neck down by teenagers he was questioning in a park. A woman was brutally beaten and raped by an unknown attacker. All of these people have suffered trauma from a wrong done to them. The wrong done was outside of their control. Still, in all three cases, the people who suffered also made a conscious decision to forgive the people who caused the trauma. It amazes me that people who suffer such extreme wrongs can work through the pain in order to forgive. 

There is no doubt that granting forgiveness can be difficult. But, most of us don’t have to deal with forgiving such huge sins against us. Most of us deal more on the level of forgiving a family member for taking our last slice of cake. Regardless of the extent of our hurt, to be sure, we all experience hurts from time to time. While forgetting is usually impossible, forgiveness is…

LIVE FOR JESUS

Contained herein are some reflective thoughts, brought about by some personal study of Philippians 1:21, while looking forward to my 24th year as pastor of Olive Place. The Apostle Paul states in the NLT; “For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.

“Live for Jesus” is a parting mantra I’ve used for almost twenty years. It was the phrase I used as my children exited the car on their way to school each morning. It has so motivated others that they have begun to repeat it back to me. My brother-in-law, Robert, has created a Facebook page branding “Live For Jesus” as its title. The page posts statements and real life stories about those who do in fact “Live for Jesus.” However, I have not always lived for Jesus. But, I started living for Christ when God the Holy Spirit convinced me of how vile my sin was and to see, by His grace, that His dying on the Cross provided appeasement for my shameful guilt. From the moment the new birth certificate from heaven was issued…

Building Godly Character

Did you know that in order for muscles to get stronger, they first have to be weakened? If you have ever experienced sore muscles after a day of exercising or work, you’ve experienced this process. The muscle fibers tear down and then build themselves back up in order to be stronger than they were before.  The spiritual life so often works the same way.  To get stronger we must first get weaker.

In his letter, James encourages believers to not be discouraged by the setbacks of struggles and trouble.  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything—James 1:2-4. He admits that difficulties will come “whenever you face trials.” Notice he said whenever, not if. Although he does not tell us to smile our way through these struggles, he challenges us to look at them as an opportunity for joy and an op…