Those who seek the path of least resistance can find a commodity called cheap freedom. It is closely akin to cheap grace. The appeal of cheap freedom is that it gives its recipients a license to express their every whim and desire, ideals that will eventually lead to their ruin. Those who hold Self paramount in their pursuits seek after it. They give the fallen nature of man full expression, while rebelling against established truths. Their mantra is “it’s your thing, do what you want to do.” “No rules!” is their rule, or at least their freedom allows rules to be compromised. Every individual does what is right in his or her own eyes. They gather a following as new trends are set, and formerly barbaric acts appear civil as a people participate in the demise of civilization. Freedom as an end, rather than a means to an end, leads to disaster. The rise and fall of the Roman Empire ought to remind us of the end of those who are free just for the sake of being free. “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25 The…
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord extends to each individual the opportunity to be saved. It is the road that leads to life. The destination may not be clearly defined or easily understood, but the path to the destination is introduced to each one. It may be a subtle approach from a stranger, or an eye awakening experience. Each situation, when viewed from eternity’s perspective, was the extended hand of God releasing mercy. The objective is to provide an abundance of opportunities for the wayward to be drawn to Him. His desire is that none should perish. Those who perish are usually stubbornly justifying their rebellious ways and never seeing the need for a Savior. Oh, the wonders of His grace! When we understand the need for both mercy and grace, we will view our self-righteousness as sin, our abilities to love as hatred, and every effort on our part to boast as shame. What preserves us from destruction is the awareness of our absolute need for Him in all things….
- May 17, 2018
“God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.” Psalm 18:24 (MSG) An open heart to the Word of God gives Him permission to transform one’s life. The Holy Spirit works within us not only affects our future, but takes into account our past and our present state and weave all things into a beautiful tapestry fit to be presented to the King. He gives us a new beginning; the reorientation of those things that would otherwise condemn us. This does not happen in the life of the half-hearted. They can only be awakened to the reality that there is more to life than what is being lived. However, the open heart is giving God permission to search deeply into those secret compartments where none are allowed but maybe a select few. When we are under His scrutiny, those things that are contrary to His will are highlighted. He does this, not to be heavy handed in discipline but lovingly purge the heart of the residue of sin that may linger so that He may be worshiped in purity. Our lives then tell a different story. It expresses the message of…
- April 13, 2018
”Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” Hebrews 10:22 We are invited to come closer to God as we meet the conditions of spiritual intimacy. His blessings are as the result of our moving in His direction. Many may attempt to confiscate the benefits without the relationship, but God will test the purity of our hearts. He knows when true love is the motive of our actions, and His Spirit will give witness that we are in agreement with Him. Then we can boldly approach the throne of grace and obtain mercy to find the grace to help in the time of need. Assurance of faith is a blessing reserved for the pure in heart. As we are being purified by the Holy Spirit, our passions will continue to conform to His will. We will want what He wants for us when we have been drawn to the place where He abides.
- February 9, 2018
“He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs”. Psalm 103:10 (MSG) If we received what we deserved, every inhabitant on the earth’s surface would warrant the consequences of their transgressions. Our treatment would be harsh while the sentence would be measured against the deserving. None would be able to survive the plight of heavy-handed justice from a God who would remain just in meeting all with the same treatment commensurate to their treatment of God’s Law. God does not give us what we deserve even when it is deserved many times over as result of repeated acts of rebellion. Instead of justice, He tempers justice with mercy. His sentiments remain the same in relation to our deeds. But continues to extend opportunities for us to hear something different than what we may have grown accustomed to hearing in order to give expression to a new way of living. His mercy cannot be demanded. It is arbitrarily granted. He will have mercy on whomever He wills. Yet we all receive it extended towards us. He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just…
- December 21, 2017
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;” Psalm 23:6 It is the goodness of the Lord and His mercy that is close behind to rescue us from the destructive forces there to overtake us. They sneak from behind while we are unaware of what is approaching. Because of God’s goodness and mercy, we have His Presence not far behind. Our lives cast a shadow. We are often unaware of the effect our lives have upon others who would walk in the shadow that we cast. When we are led by the Shepherd of our souls, we lead others where we are going and where He is willing to guide. They follow us as we follow Christ. The very goodness and mercy that follows us becomes the light before all who would walk in our shoes. We abide in the place where the Lord is, and our greatest joy is to see others enter in.
- December 11, 2017
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. (23)They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness”. Lamentations 3:22-23 God gives us a new day after having learned from the experiences of yesterday, but not carrying the baggage of the many mistakes we had made. The freshness of today is as if we were starting all over again. We awaken to springtime after merely one day of the winter’s cold. His mercies are extended to us at the beginning of each new day, not holding any repented failures to our charge. His grace is before us enabling us to walk down a different path. We learn that Jesus is committed in showing us the way to the Father. Therefore if we are to learn any truth, it must come through fully following Him. We grow in our appreciation and gratitude for all has done for us. We could have died confused not knowing what to do or where to go. We were pulled out of the quicksand of yesterday and placed on solid ground of today. We are on an even footing and enabled to see where we may have made a wrong turn. Now…
- October 26, 2017
“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, (2) fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Philippians 2:1-2 The objective of preaching the gospel is for those who are following to have the mind of Christ. Whatever Christ has provided for us is to be provided through us to others. It is with His comfort of love that we become loving. A difference is made in our lives as the result of being loved by Christ. He settles us down and gives us both rest and a peace that surpasses all understanding. The disturbed soul cannot interact with others on the same level as one who senses the security of the arms of Christ. There would be a caution that interrupts that degree of fellowship. But the soul that rests in His love is free to love others because he is not dependent on them but gives to them expecting nothing in return. The Lord supplies all our needs according to His riches in glory. We are complete in Christ thus able to love…
- October 20, 2017
“This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 God made the day and the night. Each day has a name. Each day has its own special significance when viewed from the perspective of eternity. From eternity God made this day. He brought His creation into time and allowed me to engage the moments and gain the experiences awaiting me. It is not to be taken for granted because I am in need of His mercies and grace in order to effectively use the time allotted me. If I know this, I am appreciative of the freshness of His love for me today. “This is the day that the Lord took special attention in making.” It is now lifted from the pages of eternity to illustrate God’s purposes and intents within time. It is not just another day, but this day is the day! It was God’s intention for me to be alive and to see this day. Before it becomes too common, I will rejoice. I will begin this day thinking about the gift of life and the gift of time and take the opportunity to rejoice in it.
- August 13, 2017