For years I toiled under the weight of a “works” oriented salvation. I believed that to please God I had to work to earn His favor and His grace. When I did good things I believed my deeds were pleasing to God and, for the moment, I had gained His favor. But, when I sinned (and I did. A lot) I believed, even when I repented, God would make me pay with some consequence or retribution. I considered it, “Waiting for the other shoe to drop.”
It was a miserable way to live. I went about my day trying to figure out what the
shoe would be. Would it hurt? Would it drop when I least expected it? Would it drop when I was enjoying pleasant times? Would it drop on my friends? When it dropped would my friends abandon me? Would it grieve me or cause me emotional pain? Would I suffer?
Then in August, 2000, I learned my true identity in Christ. God showed me His grace and taught me I didn’t have to pay for any or all the sins I committed. He told me, “They’re all already paid for. Stop waiting for that shoe and let me show you how much I love you.”
I’ve never worried about that shoe again.
Which Bible looks more like your Bible? Continue reading
“Well, [pause] yes,” he said. [Pause again] “Sometimes you may have to.” Continue reading
Murphy’s law on steroids.
Whatever could go wrong today went wrong. From the moment I left the house this morning until I crashed on the couch at days’s end. My soft couch was welcome respite.
I regret to say I was not a nice person today. in the throws of multiple setbacks I lashed out at two ladies. Both, in their respective roles were trying to help me. Both were cheerful and pleasant. I was not.
I chose to complain and become one of those antagonistic clients they practice on in HR customer service training classes.
I sought them both out at the end of our meetings and apologized profusely and earnestly. I resent my negative responses to people who only wanted to serve me. All I wanted to do was argue and register my dissatisfaction and disappointment. All they wanted to do was help me.
By days end I was exhausted and regreted that I responded contrary to my usually pleasant Type A, never-meet-a-stranger self. I needed relief. I needed rest.
I came home and opened my bible and read Mathew 11:28-30 several times. About the third or fourth time I felt His peace wash over me. I was quiet, refreshed and at rest in Jesus.
I’m so grateful that on Murphy’s law days I can always come to Jesus and let Him take away my burdens and my anxiety and give me His peace and I can rest in Him.
Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden,
and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and
learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke
is easy and my burden is light.”
But church folks can minister to families struggling with mental illness in effective, loving ways. Continue reading
Is it okay for people to sin just because they’re human? What do you think?
How many times have we heard people who get caught committing sin announce, “I’m only human.” Why yes, we are. All of us are “humans”. We’re mortal. Politicians claim membership as humans with a flair of confidence after they’ve been caught in sin. Admitting they’re “human” seems to justify all manner of transgressions, to them anyway.
Paul reminds us in Romans 3:23 all (all us humans) have sinned and fall sort of the glory of God.
But does admitting we’re human when we sin give us a pass? Does our human condition make it okay? Where’s the remorse? Where’s the repentance? Where’s the accountability? Does being human justify sinning? Can we justify our sins by simply admitting we’re human?
We can be justified, but not by anything we say or do. We are justified by the precious blood of Jesus on the cross. His priceless blood supplies the only justification for our sins. Not anything from or by us. It is only Jesus and his blood on the cross that justifies the sins of us humans who have a personal relationship with Him.
Let’s replace, “I’m only human” with “It is against You, and You only, that I have sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so You are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.“ from Psalm 51.