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The Ones God Never Casts Aside

This broken world we weren’t designed for, can leave us faint-hearted. God did not create us to experience things that cut, sting, wound, and hurt. Join Pastor Frank in this short video to discover how Jesus treats His faint-hearted children.


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The Ones God Never Casts Aside

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I remind people all the time that we're living in a world we were never designed to live in. We were designed for the Garden of Eden, a paradise. If you hadn't noticed, this is anything but paradise! Things happen to us that we were never designed for. Things that cut, sting, wound, hurt, and cause us, in a very real way, to bleed out. We've become what the Bible calls faint-hearted.

The word “faint-hearted” is the fascinating Greek word, “Oligopsuchos,” which literally means “small-souled.” 

We've atrophied from what we were originally designed to be. But that’s where Jesus comes in!

I love what Jesus said in Matthew 12, quoting Isaiah, He said, “A bruised reed He will not break…” Matthew 12:20a (NIV) But what does that mean? 

In the ancient world, they would take reeds, carve them, and put holes in them to make flutes. If you bruised, bent, or broke the reed, it wouldn't play. So they’d throw it away because there were a bunch of other reeds out there. 

Listen, my friend, God will never treat you as a bruised reed. He will never say, “This one’s no good anymore! There's lots of reeds I can use.” That's not our God. 

He will never cast off the bruised reed!

In the same verse Jesus says, “...And a smoldering wick He will not put out…” Matthew 12:20b (NASB) What is He saying to us? 

Well, to make a lamp in the ancient world, they would put in oil, and they would put a wick in the oil. When the wick began to burn down, it wouldn't give off much light. It was no big deal. They would extinguish it, throw it away, and get another wick. There were plenty of wicks out there. 

What does Jesus say about a smoldering wick? He says, “I will never extinguish it!” 

My friends, it’s time for the Church to be the hands and feet of Jesus. It’s time for the church to reach out to those smoldering wicks, those bruised reeds, those small-souled people...and love on them! Be with them. Live with them. 

It’s time to teach the faint-hearted who they really are and how much God loves them! 

Tell the faint-hearted that He will never, ever, cast them aside!

This is the love of our great God. This is the love of Jesus!


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To Those Who Can’t Stand in this Fast-Paced World

This world is fast-paced and yet in the midst of it, we’re told to encourage the fainthearted and help the weak. Doing this means getting near to and coming close to those who are weak and hurting, who are unable to go on. Find out what this looks like in Pastor Frank’s short video. 


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To Those Who Can’t Stand in this Fast-Paced World

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We live in a very fast-paced world and if you don't keep up, it's very easy to get left behind. In fact, most of us are so busy that we don't have time to help those who get left behind. Yet, that's exactly what the Bible calls us to do. 

In 1 Thessalonians 5, 

We're told to encourage the fainthearted and help the weak.

“We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” 1 Thessalonians 5:14 (NASB)

Encourage is the Greek word “paramythéomai” which means “near speech.” That's a great word picture, isn't it? Get near to these people, come close. 

The Bible says our words are to be like words seasoned with salt. Salt makes food tastes good, but salt also preserves. Let's take the opportunity to…

 Speak Truth! Speak Life into the weak-hearted! Encourage them to continue in their struggle. 

Help the weak is the second half of that verse. The Greek word for weak is “asthenōn.” It literally means “without strength.” Do you see what this means, Beloved?

We have the opportunity to provide ourselves as crutches for people to lean on. 

My wife gave me a plaque and I'm not normally one for Christian clichés, but she knows me very well. This one resonated with me. It haunts me every day and is on my mind constantly. This is what it says, 

“Grace sat down with me until I could walk again.” 

Isn't that great? Doesn’t that capture exactly what the Thessalonians charge is all about? Are there people around you who can't get up anymore? Sit down with them until they can get up! Take the opportunity to be the Church. The Church is actually to be “God with skin on” 

so that we can touch people's lives! 

Go be the Church...sit down with someone until they can walk again!


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How to Survive in a World You Can't Keep Up With

The pain of this world can leave you asking if there is anyone who loves or accepts you. In today’s short video, Frank reveals the beautiful heart of your Father, who never stops fighting for you, and who never leaves you nor forsakes you. 


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How to Survive in a World You Can't Keep Up With

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We live in a very fast-paced, performance-oriented world and it's very difficult to keep up, isn’t it? Sometimes the circumstances of life can be so overwhelming that we can't keep up and we lag behind. The sad thing about that is the rest of humanity is so caught up in this fast-paced, performance-oriented world that they don't stop to help us catch up. 

We're left alone in some very difficult circumstances. 

I believe that if we took the time to listen, we would hear the desperate cry - “Is there anyone out there that will fight for me? Is there anyone out there that will love me? Is there anyone out there who will accept me?”

The parable of the Good Samaritan comes to my mind, where people kept passing by the man who had been beaten up and left for dead. In the end there was one, only one, who stopped. 

We’re told in 1 Thessalonians, “Encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” 1 Thessalonians 5:14b (NASB) The word “fainthearted” is, “asthenés,” and it literally means “those who are weak” or “those who are without strength.” Have you ever felt that the world you’re living in has knocked you down so severely that you have no strength to get up? Recently, my wife gave me a plaque that I just love and it reads, “The Grace of God sat down with me until I could walk again.” My friend, did you hear that? 

The Grace of God sits down with you until you can walk again.

Oh beloved, that is the heart of our God, but it needs to be the heart of the Church. We are God with skin on to the rest of the world. I challenge you to look for those that are weak and weary. Look for those who are “asthenés,” - without strength. Look for that man on the side of the road that's been beat up and sit down with him until he’s able to walk again. You will be living Grace in that moment, and Grace will no longer be just a doctrine, but a reality to the one that you sat down with. 

God bless you today. Go be the Church!


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A Heart's That Good

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I want to tell you one of my favorite stories.

A young couple moved into a new neighborhood. The next morning, while eating breakfast, the young woman noted that their neighbor’s laundry, which was hung out to dry, was not very clean and added that the poor woman must not know how to wash clothes properly. Her husband looked on but remained silent.

Every time her neighbor would hang out her clothes to dry, the young woman would make the same comment that her neighbor’s laundry was not very clean and that the poor woman must not know how to wash clothes properly.

One morning, however, the young woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband, “Look at those clean clothes next door! Someone must have taught her how to wash clothes. I wonder who got to her?” The husband responded, “Actually, I got up early this morning and washed our windows.”

Unfortunately, this is all too often a very common experience. We as human beings spend so much time thinking negatively about our neighbor, that we fail to see the negative in our own lives. This is something we should especially avoid when thinking of our Christian brethren.

In the first letter to the Thessalonians Paul, who had to leave Thessalonica because of persecution, wrote to them that he wanted to get back to them but was unable to do so. It would have been very easy for the Thessalonians to listen to the negative voice of the enemy and think that Paul did not value them, or did not have the time for them, or perhaps that he was too busy for them.

Timothy, who had been sent to Thessalonica when Paul could not go there, returned with the news that the Thessalonians ALWAYS had good remembrances of them. They knew that Paul had a new heart and a good heart, (Ezekiel 36:25-26) and so they chose to believe that Paul had the best in mind for them always.

If only we would choose to believe the best about other people. How much needless conflict might we be able to avoid if we chose to believe that the heart of a believer is always good, instead of giving in to negative imaginations? Remember, Paul said in 1 Corinthians that love believes and hopes all things!

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Our Only Hope

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The evangelical community needs to wake up!

So much time, energy, and money are spent lobbying and trying to change our culture through political means. That is not our job. Our job is not to moralize the dead but to bring them Life in Christ. Our job is not to change the culture we live in, but to change the people who live in the culture and when enough people in the culture get "changed," (born again and instilled with Life from God,) those changed people will change their culture.

It is time for the church to really draw Life from God and then express that Life to the dead around us. It is time to radically declare Christ, not morality to a dead and dying world.

He is our only hope, NOT legislation!

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The WOW of Christ

As I get older, I am finding myself less and less interested in the new and novel. Rather, I'm finding myself increasingly focussed on what Paul referred to in Corinthians as... "the simplicity of Jesus"...

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Called to The Struggle.

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Hi Frank,

I know of some professing believers who have demonstrated a genuine walk with the Lord, and yet are choosing an “alternative life style”. They say it’s okay because the church they are attending says it’s okay and that they still love Jesus etc. etc etc. 

What would your rebuttal be to the young adult who says that his or her choice is okay because they are okay in their relationship with the Lord? Curious to know your thoughts.

Thank you, Frank!

What a difficult question you ask...

I find it very interesting that Jesus said salvation is a narrow road (Matthew 7:13). He also told us that we will know someone who's saved by their fruits (Matthew 7:16). He also said that there will be many who claimed to love and follow Him, but He says He NEVER knew them (Matthew 7:23). It seems that it's so difficult to be saved!

Yet I marvel at how easy He made it in John 3, when He says "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life."

The account of the bronze serpent is found in the book of Numbers. The children of Israel had been attacked by poisonous snakes. God directed the leaders to create a bronze serpent and put it high above the camp. All it took to be healed of the serpent bites was for people to look on the snake. I call that the "glance of faith".

It figures to me, that if God wants to save His people, and He does, that He would not make it difficult. 

There are those who claim to love Jesus, yet continue in an unbiblical lifestyle. I point those individuals to Jesus' words in John 12-14, "If you love me, keep my commandments." So, assuming they've genuinely received Christ, they are firm in their standing as children of God. However, if they pursue a sinful lifestyle they are not ok in their relationship with Jesus - in that they are failing to love Him and "grieving" the Holy Spirit.

Bottom line, they are still caught in the great plague of a man-centered Gospel, rather than a Jesus Gospel. The focus is on themselves, what they want, how they want to live.

Even as I write this now, I can hear the rebuttal: "No, they aren't actually saved!" Really?

What's fascinating to me is how Jesus promised He'd never leave us - and He meant it. Regardless of the behaviors we are engaging in or the sins we are committing, we take Christ with us into them. I think of 1 Corinthians 6, where Paul says that a believer who goes to a prostitute not only joins himself to her, but joins Jesus to her as well!

You would think that if ever there was a time that Jesus would say, "I am not going with you into this", sleeping with a prostitute would be such a time. Engaging in homosexuality would be such a time, but as He promised, "I will never leave you."

So what am I saying?

Of course we cannot ultimately know if the individuals you're referring to are saved or not. They very well could be. For me, 1 Corinthians 6 raises an interesting and challenging hurdle. In it, Paul makes a list of people who do not inherit the Kingdom. Of course, there is the murderer and the adulterer and the homosexual in that list. He also includes the angry and the selfish and the one who covets. I daresay that every human on earth gets caught somewhere on that list.

The key though, is verse 11:

"Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God."

NO ONE would ever ask Christians to celebrate the sin of murder or adultery, but the LGBTQ community is not only asking us to accept their behavior, but CELEBRATE IT! That to me indicates a conscience that was either never redeemed or has been cauterized by sin so badly that such a one does not hear the convicting work of the Holy Spirit anymore (Hebrews 2). 

Here at Grace Life, we affirm our love for such individuals. In the same way that some individuals are born with an extra propensity for lying, or an extra propensity for anger, some are born with a propensity for same sex attraction. We call them to "the struggle": the challenge to live according to how they have been re-born and made new.  They are to walk new instead of according to the propensity they were born into in Adam.

You are Loved,

Frank

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I'm a Former Legalist. And so Are You.

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We are all former legalists... Rom 5 says "the whole world is shut up under the law."

I've been seeing something happening lately that I'd like to talk about.

Mainly, I'm noticing that as some people find freedom and life in the grace of God, they become very cynical and mean to the 'legalists' or 'religionists'. I'm noticing such people almost boasting how they cannot stand such people or their teaching. That they cannot even bear to listen to such teaching, that they would rather not go to church at all rather than sit under such teaching.

Isn't that amazing, when religious and legalistic is exactly what we used to be before finding the New Covenant? Why are we not going back into the legalistic cesspool we came out of to rescue those who are still stuck in there?

Though I understand the zeal, I do not understand the lack of compassion. Jesus, though rejected by the legalistic world never stopped presenting Himself to them, and no Pharisee was ever afraid to go into His presence. How are we going to win the legalistic world if we do not spend time with them?

 We should be so secure in our position, that we can sit under any teaching without it "making us sick." We must remember that many of these dear people who are legalists, do in fact name Jesus as their Lord and Savior, making them our brothers and sisters in Christ. They may be misguided. They may be no small source of discomfort for those of us who are free.

We should be so free that we can sit under their teaching and not have it ruin our day. Paul said, "I become all things to all men that I may win some." The grace of God was never intended to make us isolate and insulate ourselves from the world of religious men and women. That is what the Jews did and in doing so they failed to reach the world with the light that they had been given.

We who secure in our true identity and grounded in our freedom should be able to live in the camp of the religious without their dogma and behavior causing us unrest.

Now that, my friend, is true freedom.

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Fight For Her

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If you were critical and negative about my bride, and slandering her, you and I are going to be a bit troubled in our relationship... and rightfully so.

Hmmm.... then why are so many critical, negative and slanderous when they talk about Jesus' bride, the church? I gotta wonder if that doesn't bother him to hear such slander against His bride?

Be careful when you fight against her (sometimes that has to happen) and make sure that as you are fighting against her, your supreme motive is to fight for her...

She is worth fighting for.
She needs fighting for.

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The Duty of the Church

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It was NEVER the duty of the church to change the culture it exists in. The duty was to transform the people in the culture until there were enough transformed people that cultural change naturally occurred.

Our mission today remains to herald the good news of Christ and be used to transform people.

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You Want To Dis The Church?

It seems to me that it has become popular of late to attack and hurl insults at the church. It seems a quick way to gain a following on Facebook and a means to acquire lots of comments. 

Now don't get me wrong, she has done wrong, and she continues to do so much that is wrong! And let's be honest, so very often she is in great need of correction and reformation... but have you ever thought about this:

When we "dis" the church, we are dissing Jesus's bride!

Can you hear Him?

"Hey, that is my bride you are talking about!!!!!!!"

I know if someone were dissing my bride, I would most likely be locking horns with them, if you know what I mean. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

What is Jesus thinking about those who hurl such insults at His bride?

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The Badge We "Wear"

It is only Jesus that minimizes our differences and unites us!

It is only Jesus that minimizes our differences and unites us!

The LAW maximizes our differences and separates us. I baptize by immersion. I am better than you. I use the KJV, I am more spiritual than you. I read my Bible every day, I am more spiritual than you. Do you hear it?

"I" --- "I" --- "I" ...

or maybe it would be better 

"AYE" --- "AYE" --- "AYE"

IT IS SO UGLY THIS SPIRIT OF LAW!!! THIS SPIRIT OF COMPETITION!!!

It is only Jesus that minimizes our differences and unites us! I baptize by immersion, I use the KJV, I read my Bible every day. But none of that is what makes me who I am. The Badge I wear is Jesus. If the badge you wear is Jesus, then you are my brother, even if you sprinkle, even if you read the Living Bible, and even if you never read your Bible.

WE WEAR THE SAME BADGE --- JESUS!

And that badge unites us more than anything that might seek to divide us. 

This should be especially true for us in the camp of GRACE (which last time I checked is Jesus!) We have more that unites us than that which separates us from our religious brothers. We have more that unites us than all those other badges that divide us....

Our real BADGE is not that we know grace, but that we know the PERSON OF GRACE...

Wear that badge very proudly and LOVE THE BRETHREN!!!

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We All Have A Part To Play

So this is cool...

In I Cor 12, it tells us that God gave different gifts to different believers,

all in varying degree and function. Hmmmmm....

There is no one like us that can offer what we offer as an individually gifted believer to the rest of the body of Christ.

There is no one like us that can offer what we offer as an individually gifted believer to the rest of the body of Christ.

God gifted us uniquely as individual believers. There is no one like us that can offer what we offer as an individually gifted believer to the rest of the body of Christ. Therefore, the body of Christ needs me and I need the body of Christ. God established a diversity, that necessitates an interdependence among us, that forces a unity that protects us from uniformity! WOW!

Can I illustrate?

It is like the individual believer is gifted to play a musical instrument. We play like no one else can play. We make beautiful music that no one else can make. Aren't we special? Yes, we are.

But when we assemble together, and each as individuals bring our beautiful instruments, and together we all play our beautiful music together.... it is even more beautiful because it is also POWERFUL! We, the church, when we function like God intended us to function, are like a huge symphony....

That is the word in fact, that Paul used in this passage - sumpheron - that is what we are when we function with others, for others, to the glory of God. And the world hears our beautiful music and for the first time, sees the invisible God through His physical church.

Oh the glory that God intended for His church....  Play your part. Play it beautifully. Play it for others. This is what the Christ Life is all about!

Worth Fighting For...

My son was a very easy child to train. He was tender hearted and very teachable. Please understand, he was no sissy. He is on SWAT and very often the first guy in the door on the raids that he has to conduct. He is a man's man, to be sure.

When he was younger though, there was one occasion where he got very testy with me. Emotions elevated, words intensified, and then in my frustration with him, I said, "You listen to me boy. I will fight for you even if it means I may have to fight against you!" At that point, he said, "Wow dad, that was a good one!" I said, "I know, I have to go write that one down."

That is "the one" that I would share with you today.

The church, my friends, is worth fighting for, even if it means we have to fight against her in the process. She is not perfect. She believes many lies and has many perverted practices that are not in line with Father's Word. Does that mean we should just abandon her, give up on her, separate from her, leave her to her error?

That would not be love. I know that it will be uncomfortable, I know that we may get hurt in the process, but who will fight for her if not we are for her and a part of her? One of the great mistakes we are making in the grace movement is isolating and insulating ourselves from the church because they don't agree with us, belittle us, and persecute us. But isn't that exactly what Jesus and the apostles went through as they sought to deliver the church to the freedom that Jesus came to give her? 

Please understand, I am not real high on the church in America. I believe she is weak, anemic, and pursuing much worldly agenda and methodologies in her pursuit to become successful instead of faithful ... but she is worth fighting for. Oh, I hear you. She may not even be the church... that is true. But that is not our job to determine who really is a believer and who is not. That is the Lord's job, our job is to herald, to announce, to teach and instruct, and to correct with sound doctrine -- using the glory of the New Covenant and the finished work of Christ.

She is His body, purchased with His own blood, and we must fight for her, even if it means we have to fight against her. Might I suggest you go read Acts 20:20-28? I believe it will encourage you in the fight!

Simply Being Right Isn't God's Sole Intention For Us.

It seems to me that the church, as I have observed it, has made the issue of "Being Right" it's main agenda. Don't get me "wrong"... being "right" is very important. We better be "right" about Who God is and what He has done and longs to do in and through us as we trust Him by faith... I myself study Father's Word intently because I want what is right, I want the truth because I want the freedom that truth brings. But being right in and of itself was never the intended goal. That would be like getting a paycheck and never cashing it. By the way, I have especially seen this agenda among those who "claim" to know the grace of God, after all, we are "right...right?" But if we truly are "right" about the grace of God, then should we not be known by "LOVE"? Dare we say it, yes, by our love for the legalist and the religionist and even for those who disagree with our grace?

Father's Word does not say we will be known as His disciple if we have "right" doctrine... but rather that we will known as His disciples by our "love"... You see, LOVE is the evidence that we are right. Love is cashing and spending the check of being right... Love is the proof that we have come to know God and the He, the lover, lives in and through us by faith.

How Much Will God Give You?

There are many phrases that are often quoted in church, but not in the Bible: 

"Cleanliness, is next to godliness." That is a good one, cleanliness is important, but it has nothing to do with godliness. NOT IN THE BIBLE!

"God helps those who help themselves." A good call for a work ethic, but again NOT IN THE BIBLE!

"God will never give you more than YOU can handle." Sounds good, but again NOT IN THE BIBLE!

There is a verse in the Corinthian letters, that God will not allow you to be "tempted" beyond what "you" are able because "HE" will provide a way out... but that is talking about temptation, not the traumas of living in a fallen world (though the enemy can use those physical traumas to tempt us)...

The truth is that God will allow more than you can handle in this world in terms of physical trouble. In II Cor 1, Paul says that so much trouble had come into his life, that he was despairing of life. Can you imagine what would happen in our modern church with its health and wealth doctrines if Paul shared that in a testimony meeting? He would probably be rushed off the stage.

Paul had so much trauma in his life that he despaired of life, until he recognized, affirmed, and experienced in the present moment that God was allowing the experience of death in this fallen world to lead Paul to God, so that in faith Paul would experience at that very same moment the resurrection power of God!

Just to make sure we understand this, Paul repeated it again in II Cor. 4. Every day he said, he experiences death in this fallen world, that he might also experience the power of the resurrection life of Jesus that overwhelms his experience of death.

And again in II Cor. 12, Paul said it a third time, that God is on an agenda of making us weak (bringing to us more than we in our own strength can handle). Why would God do such a thing? So that when we look to Him in faith, we will find ----- NOT that our strength is sufficient, but that His is.

The truth is that God will allow into our lives MORE THAN WE CAN HANDLE, to expose to us our true state of utter and desperate weakness apart from Him. In this manifestation and revelation of our weakness, we are offered the provision of His strength.... and by faith we find Him to be God to us in ways that we never would have known before.

Knowing this profound promise of strength, and incredible experience of God, Paul then said, "bring on the afflictions"!!!

Can I paraphrase this dear man?

Though these "trauma times" in life may be more than I can handle, they are not more than God can handle, and through them, I come to know and experience God and the power of His very own glorious, resurrection LIFE in ways I never knew before...."