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.

Roadblocks to Peace

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The older I get, and I am getting there fast…the more I am beginning to understand, notice I said “beginning!”  There was a time not so long ago that I thought being a Christian was all about following carefully crafted rules. Those rules, I thought, triumphed relationships every single time! My “Damascus Road”  experience came as I thought about the conflict I have experienced as a Pastor. That conflict was mostly over methodology and control.  Some people want both no matter the cost, even at the cost of relationships.  Continue reading

The King

CrownSome kings are despots who care nothing for their subjects.  They are in it totally for selfish gain.  Others are much more benevolent in caring for the poor and for the overall good will of the community.  None, whether good or selfish, can match the absolute grace and humility that Jesus embodied when he entered Jerusalem to the cheers of “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” (John 12:13).

Jesus could have commanded the company of legions, and legions of angels to prepare the way, but he did not.  He could have commanded the most impressively beautiful, strong horse to ride into the city, but he chose a donkey.  But we shouldn’t be surprised, for the three years of his earthly ministry he talked about those who would be the greatest in the kingdom of God. Not the powerful, not the rich and not the famous; rather it would be those who are the ones who serve others first.  Jesus spoke of the meek inheriting the earth, not the movers and shakers of society. Continue reading

Christmas’s Greatest Surprise

The birth of Jesus in the manger at Bethlehem was the beginning of the fulfillment of God’s plan of redemption for the human race.  Actually, God had been planning to send His one and only Son into the world on the ultimate rescue mission for all time.  From the moment that Adam and Eve fell into sin by disobeying God, God had a plan.  He was not caught by surprise nor was he unprepared. What is surprising from our human perspective are those to whom God committed his plan. Continue reading

The Freedom of Grace

Just in case you missed it….

For the last couple of weeks I have been receiving phone calls that have become a little annoying. When I go to answer the call with a very polite, “Hello”, on the other end I hear the horn of a cruise ship with a voice saying that I have won a free cruise.  I have never let the call go far enough to find out if my bride and I actually need start packing. But it did get me to thinking, is there anything in life that is free?

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The Freedom of Grace

Canadian currencyFor the last couple of weeks I have been receiving phone calls that have become a little annoying. When I go to answer the call with a very polite, “Hello”, on the other end I hear the horn of a cruise ship with a voice saying that I have won a free cruise.  I have never let the call go far enough to find out if my bride and I actually need start packing. But it did get me to thinking, is there anything in life that is free?

Continue reading