Showing posts from July, 2018


I cannot count the number of times I have talked to someone about their relationship with God and they say words to this effect: “I'm not a bad person—I mean, I've never killed anybody.” Killing tops the list of bad things that people can do. Murder carries the greatest punishment in this country. Our culture believes that murder is the worst sin that a person can commit. With this in mind, it is surprising to consider the fact that the three most significant men in scripture—other than Jesus—were guilty of murder. Moses killed an Egyptian, David killed Uriah, and Paul killed a number of Christians. If you steal money, of course it's wrong, but it can be paid back. If you were to fight someone and break their arm, that would be wrong, but the injury would heal. Murder is permanent. It is something you have to live with every day. It cannot be undone. But it can be forgiven.   God's grace is powerful enough to forgive any sin. The Bible affirms that we have a


Why do people believe more in the power of man’s sin than they do in the power of God’s grace? How can a Christ-follower be surprised at God’s grace? I am convinced that there is nothing that God’s grace can’t erase. When I look at my own life, and consider all that God has done in me, I am even more convinced that there is nothing that God’s grace can’t erase. If you have made any effort to live a clean life you quickly come to this conclusion —my sin is a problem. It's a nuisance. It will not go away. While it is true that people always sin by choice, it is also true that sin sinks its claws deep into your character, and becomes your master. On your own, you are helpless. Sin utterly destroys your life through its presence, through its power, and through the penalty you will ultimately pay. However, God’s Word proclaims that His grace eliminates sin. “And the result of God's gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man's sin. For Adam's sin


In Romans 5:3 Paul states that, running into problems and trials helps you develop endurance. The Greek word for endurance means literally "to handle pressure." Problems and trials are what some call suffering and it puts you under a tremendous amount of pressure, so Paul is saying, "Being under pressure teaches you to handle pressure." You cannot be successful in any field unless you learn how to handle pressure. When we see Stephen Curry, or Klay Thompson, or Devin Durant sink a three pointer at the buzzer to win the game for the Golden State Warriors, they make it look so easy that we forget that most of us would crack under that kind of heat. You make the shot and you're a hero; miss it and you're an overpaid bum. How do These basketball phenoms handle it? For them, it's all in a day's work. They have been in this situation countless times, and they have learned from success and failure how to handle the pressure of a close game. In


Jesus encourages us to cast all of our cares upon him and let him take care of them for us, and therefore we don't have to worry about them. But there is a common misconception many people have about the Christian life: When you live for Jesus he will reward you by making your life trouble-free. This simply is not the case. In fact, the Bible promises just the opposite. Paul said, For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him.   (Philippians 1:29) Peter said, Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. (1 Peter 4: 12) Jesus said, For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. (Matthew 5:45) Everyone's life is filled with sunshine and rain. Sunshine isn't always evidence that God favors you—even evil people get some sunshine. Rain isn't evidence that God is p


When you try to be good you quickly learn not only how difficult it is, but how absolutely impossible it is. This is because all people are fallen, sinful creatures. You cannot earn or deserve the favor of God. So God did something about it. He changed the rules in the middle of the story to let us off the hook. If you want God in your life, you don't get there by being good. You get there by putting your faith in him. Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right with God? If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God's way. For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” (Romans 4:1-3) Why does God require faith instead of just giving everyone a list of dos and don'ts to live by? Deeds don't require a heart-felt connection. Faith is relationship based. When you live by