The Invitation of Grace

Broken, undeserved, headed in the wrong direction- are all terms that shout out our desperate need for help. They describe our situation to a “T”.

We are born incomplete but full of potential. We have a built-in sense of incompleteness that rears its ugly head in times of failure and conflict. We know something isn’t right deep down in our soul.

Humanistic philosophies of life will tell us that the answer is deep inside of us. But the harder we try, the more frustrated we become. We end up trying to medicate our souls with drugs, alcohol or experimenting with all the pleasure that the world has to offer. But at the end of the day that aching feeling just won’t leave.

This is not new, not in the least bit. The most devoted people who ever walked the planet battled with their own personal set of idiosyncrasies and challenges. The difference between us and them, is that we are reading about them two thousand years later! How would you feel if your life was written about so the whole world could read about your failure?

The night before Jesus Christ was to be sentenced by the Roman Emperor Pilate to be crucified, the group of his closest followers met together in what is known as the Upper Room. Jesus has now revealed to them God’s plan to redeem the lost human race through his death on the cross. He shares with them that all of them will flee and deny that they even knew him. They thought that was beyond the realm possibility, especially Peter. It was unimaginable to them that they could do such a thing. But they did.

Here is a question to think about: What would have happened if this was the end of the story? What if the disciples would have been left with the guilt of betraying the Lord with their words and with their actions? Let me get up close and personal with you, dear reader, what happens when you betray the Lord by your actions and attitudes? It occurs more than we care to admit. I’m convinced this is why we are sometimes paralyzed because we don’t realize the extent to which our actions and attitudes are revealed by the guilt we carry around.

The good news is, I should re-phrase that the unbelievably good news is that this wasn’t the end of the story for the disciples and it isn’t the end of the story for you and me. After the resurrection, the disciples are hiding out just in case the Romans start coming for them. Into a locked room, Jesus appears to them, rebukes them for their unbelief and restores them to fellowship with him. It is only after this that he issues what we know as the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel…”

What you and I need to understand is that yes, it is quite possible and probable that we have done something, said something, and even denied Christ himself in search of a better life. BUT (here is the greatest news you will hear today!) Christ stands ready to restore you back as a son or daughter of faith. We have a hard time with that because we don’t think that we now deserve it, but the fact of the matter is we can never deserve it. Our walk with God is marked by his sweet aroma of grace.

Here is my challenge to you today. Knowing that we can’t do enough to earn his grace, it’s time for you and me to accept it for what it is: the free gift of God. Allow Jesus to be the Lord of every defeat you have ever had, every battle with temptation that you may have lost, and every hope that you carry. Pray and ask the Lord to change your heart and desires that they may be centered around him.

God is so good to us! Yes, there are struggles that we deal with sometimes on a daily basis but when we walk consistently with Jesus, he shows us the next step to take!

If I can help you with your walk with God or even prayer for you,  please drop me an email at finch1959@gmail.com, I would love to be an encouragement to you today.

Real Hope in Real Time

It has been a very difficult week. Much harder than most. We have witnessed the absolute horrific tragedy of the church shootings in a tiny town deep in the heart of Texas.  How in the world do we make sense of that? Dear people who left their homes as they usually have done to attend church completely unaware what the next hour would bring. Their lives, and ours, have been  changed forever.  Continue reading

Throwing in the Keys

villagechurchlaunch

Village Church Calgary Launch

Tests. No, not the academic type that you can study and prepare for but the “James chapter 1 verse 3” type: “…for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”  The thing about the life of faith is that you don’t get to choose what type of test God will give you.  I want to share with you how God has tested our fellowship of believers the past year.

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When Life Hurts

Life is full of lessons. How about that for an understatement!  “What are you talking about?” You may life-hurts1correctly ask.  When we least expect to learn something, we pass through an experience or a situation that leaves us wondering, “What in the world was that about?”  Been there? Recently, I was there, all the way!

We often say that God is in control, and we often say it to others as they are facing some adversity and difficulty.  But when the shoe is on our feet, we tend to ignore that same advice that we are so quick to hand out to others.  We read of the biblical character, Job, and sympathize with him in the midst of his trial. Job’s three “friends” attempted to solve his dilemma and figure out what exactly God was up to in his life.  Continue reading

My Reason for Being

 

I remember it like yesterday.  All that I knew about life was from a very distorted perspective of the true biblical Christianity. There was nothing about God who loved me so much that He sent Jesus on a rescue mission for me! I have never recovered from that undeniable truth! Have you?

Before I began this journey of faith began in August, 1977, I was oblivious to the truth that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, paid the penalty for my sins so that I could be restored to a right relationship with God. “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!”

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God is Always Good


Have you ever made plans that were full of dreams and hopes? You thought to yourself, “This is it, it is exactly what I need tohappen!” Only to find out that for one reason or another it is not going to happen. Just this week, I am wrestling with just this topic. I find myself again sitting quietly before the Lord worshipping Him for His goodness and divine sovereignty.  

Many people wrestle with the question of the goodness of God in situations much worse than what ai am currently experiencing. I could spend the rest of the blog mentioning them but they are obvious to us, Life hurt, it is hard and sometimes, quite frankly, just stinks!
So I come back to Psalm 118 today and park my life beside it. I read that God is good and that His mercy endures forever, and that I should praise Him with that mercy in the front of my thoughts. I come to realize that what I need most is not to have my own dreams and desires granted but live in the wonder of being a sinner who has fallen short of the glory of God and been granted mercy! That is true goodness! That is a gift that I ought to meditate on and rejoice in everyday of my best life!

Today, the sun came up, and God continues to show His mercy to you and me. He invites us to cast our care upon Him because He cares for us! Today is a good day, my friend, because God continues to be God and His love endures forever! Therefore, if we apply 1 John 2:27 to remain in Him, we will be able to live rejoicing in His goodness!