words :: books :: ideas

Monday, November 21, 2005

'Amazing Grace At Its Most Amazing'

"When you put your faith in Jesus, God, the judge, hands down the verdict that you are righteous. He transfers the perfect, sinless record of Jesus to you.
This is amazing grace as its most amazing. In the moment that you first believed, your past sin didn't cease to exist. You hadn't done any good work that could somehow make up for your disobedience.
Yet God completely and totally forgave you. He not only wiped the record of your sin away, he credited the righteousness of His Son to you."
-from The Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney

It's so easy to get legalistic. But, in sincerity, there is nothing I can do of myself. I can in no way earn my salvation.
Saturday was our church's annual Ladies Retreat. There were some very good messages shared. One significant reminder was that God doesn't love me any less when I don't spend as much time as I should have reading the Bible and praying.
My status before God doesn't change.
"We're never 'more saved' or 'more loved' by God." writes C. J. Mahaney in The Cross Centered Life "...Jesus' work, not mine, is the basis of my forgiveness and acceptance by God."
I can't add anything.
Jesus already did all that needed to be done.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Gettysburg, 1863

I first read this outloud in a class two years ago. It made me want to cry. Now, having studied Pericles' Funeral Oration, it makes me want to cry even more. I'm impressed by how similar the two addresses actually are.
Today, 142 years ago, Abraham Lincoln gave the following speech.

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here; but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Do It For Jesus

"This is hard, but doing it for our best Friend sweetens it...If you do this cheerfully and pleasantly, my darling, you do it for Jesus and that will make Him smile upon you."

- from Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss

It is ever so much better to do things thinking, "I'm doing this for Jesus!" Even small things can be done with great pleasure when we purpose to glorify God in them.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Again I Say Rejoice

The Lord reigns;
Let the earth rejoice:
Let the multitude of isles be glad!
- Psalm 97:1

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Rejoice Always

"...rejoice because your names are written in heaven." - Luke 10:20b
What an amazing reason to rejoice.

Friday, November 11, 2005

City Asks For Grace

One hundred years ago, there was a great revival in my city. Earlier this week, several members of my family went to the Convention Center along with about 3,000 other Christians to pray for another revival.
When we got there, a huge line was waiting to get inside the building. Walking past it all, we saw numerous people from our church. Finally inside, they had to open another divider to make room for all the people.
I'd never been in a room with so many people singing 'Great is Thy Faithfulness.' From where I stood a dozen rows from the back, it was sometimes hard to hear those miniature-looking people on the stage.
We watched a short video with pictures of the 1905 revival and people talking about what had happened then, and what is happening now.
Well-known members of the community, from businessmen, to legislators, to media personnel, prayed for their respective areas of expertise. Some asked the audience to simply bow their heads, others asked the audience to bow on their knees, and others still asked the audience to stand and lift up their hands.
It was requested of God that another revival take place, not exactly the same as in 1905, but in a new and powerful way.
"Today, millions of men and women are...called to full-time ministry in the marketplace: business, education and government. Some have great influence on mainstream society; others are unsung heroes with low profiles. Each of them, however, has been divinely called to bring the Kingdom of God to the heart of the city." - Jim Hargis

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Love Never Fails

'I am a wayward, foolish child. But He loves me! I have disobeyed and grieved Him ten thousand time. But He loves me! I have lost faith in some of my dearest friends and am very desolate. But He loves me! I do not love Him; and am even angry with Him! But He loves me!'

- from Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss

Monday, November 07, 2005


I like making connections with things. Seeing similarities between one class and another, between ideas I have and books I read, between stories I hear on the radio and God's word. Last Monday evening, my family watched a live rendition of the Old Time Radio drama War of the Worlds. While observing I noticed similarities between the cast's relationship with the director, and the Christian's relationship with God.

  • Without the director, the performance would not go well. At all. Without God, life would be flawed.
  • The script is very important, like the Bible, the cast must memorize sections and be familiar with it. It they don't have this, they won't know their important duties.
  • When it's time for the actor to say his lines, he must not only look at his script, but watch the director to recognize when to begin. Before the performance, however, he must know the director, else he won't understand his signals. In the same way, the Christian must be familiar with God and pay heed to His direction.
  • At Monday's performance, I noticed that one man missed his line. It didn't hinder the story, but the person talking before him, must not have seen him near the microphone, so just kept going. I didn't see the one who was speaking look to the director. If he had, as well as looking to see where his fellow cast member was, the other may have been able to participate in that scene. The Christian needs to pay close attention, or he will miss out on opportunites. Also, he needs to be paying close attention to his fellow Christians to allow them to participate in opportunities.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Union and Communion

"...God is a Lover who created us for relationship with Himself. That's what the Christian life is all about. It is not about all the things we do for God -- it's about being loved by Him, loving Him in return, and walking in intimate union and communion with Him."

- from A Place of Quiet Rest by Nancy Leigh DeMoss