Aug 28 2015

Grace

Is there any limit to God’s grace? Is there any limit to how much grace God offers to each of us?
Sometimes I think that the level of grace within the Church is not the same unconditional grace that God has for all of us. Think about this for a minute, if someone walked into your church and said they used to be a drug dealer before they had a radical encounter with God, most churches would celebrate this person’s salvation. I can’t think of any situation where a Christian would not be happy to welcome this person into their church and into their life. And if the same person said they used to be a homosexual before God freed them of that lifestyle, we would again celebrate. We love to hear stories of redemption and testimonies of how God showed up in someone’s life to restore their true identity and place them back on the path that they were destined to live.

But if we take this same scenario and the person says that they used to be a human trafficker, or a child molester, or a serial killer, would the Church have the same level of grace? I think the reaction would be quite different because we are still conditioned to want to see judgement for certain types of sins. Yes, these are horrible crimes and horrible sins and there needs to be some form of justice but look at the life of the Apostle Paul; he was a murderer of Christians but that didn’t stop God from turning his life around and using him for profoundly amazing purposes. Every person has a purpose and a destiny assigned by God (See Jer. 1:5) but people tend to live the way that they do because they don’t know who they really are and they don’t know how much God loves them. Our job is to bring them an encounter with Jesus so they can be fully restored. Without us they may never know the truth!

So I really feel like the Church needs to have more grace and be willing to love and forgive anyone with no exceptions. And I think we tend to get excited about grace when it fits our paradigm or are needs but we quickly discard it from the equation when it involves someone or something we really dislike. Jesus died for ALL sin. Can we really love the way Jesus does? Can we really look into the eyes of any person on this planet and share the heart of the Father with them?

Let’s give it a try and see how many lives are changed.

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Aug 21 2015

Revelation

The revelation of God is one of the most important things we need throughout life. We all have decisions that need to be made about jobs we should take, places to live, etc. and we need God’s direction on the choices we should make. This is an area that I often hear believers reference when making big decisions and it is so important to press into the presence of God to receive the direction that is needed. Intimacy with the Father is the place where we often see his plans revealed and wisdom released and as we go deeper in our relationship with him we learn so much more about his plans and purpose for our lives. If you are in a season of transition, uncertainty, or even turmoil, don’t focus on what’s happening around you right now. Focus instead on the love of our amazing Papa and all that he wants to lavish on you. Isaiah 40:31 tells us “those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength” and the Hebrew word that is used here for wait can also be translated as expect or hope. So when we rest in his presence we can expect that he will release not only strength but also the revelation we need. God is so much more interested in giving us revelation than we are in receiving it so press in, don’t give up, and you will see your breakthrough.

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Aug 7 2015

Bible Museum

11063886_10200741460616838_6891307162330380010_nWe recently had a chance to visit the construction site of the Museum of the Bible that is being built in Washington D.C. and I am really amazed at the plans they have to put an eight story museum near the National Mall that will display God’s word so everyone can come and see the greatness of our God. As I walked the construction site and looked at the walls that have been torn down to make space for this monumental project I begin to think about Nehemiah’s mission so many years ago to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and restore the city to its former glory. It wasn’t an easy task assigning people to different jobs and staving off the small band of naysayers who opposed the work that was being done. But he persevered until the project was completed. His worked paved the way for thousands of Jewish exiles to flock back to the city after the walls were in place and I can’t help but wonder how many people will flock to this city, Washington D.C., to see this building filled with relics, historical documents, and technology that brings it all together in the greatest collection of Biblical artifacts in the world. Nehemiah rebuilt a wall and now a museum will include his story and many others for anyone to come and learn about the truth the Bible contains. I am filled with anticipation about all the lives that will forever be changed because of the beacon this building will be within our city. Pray for this to be bigger than anyone expects or imagines!

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