light

The One Who Brings Us Through This World

tumblr_p2msnsQ1da1teue7jo1_640.jpg

Let’s take a look at Genesis 22. One writer said that this is one of the high points in the Bible, a mountaintop passage. Another called it “The great climax of the faith life of Abraham.” I would call it, The Supreme Test and the Supreme Victory. This passage dramatizes, maybe better than any passage in the entire Bible, what the life of faith is all about. 

The life of faith is like living in a laboratory if you will, where God is perpetually tested and continually demonstrated to be reliable and true. In fact, Hebrews 11, that great heroes of the faith chapter, almost reads like a laboratory report; "By faith, Moses led the people out of Egypt," "By faith, the walls of Jericho came down." It's saying over and over and over again to us; we can put our hand in God’s hand and journey with Him because He is a trustworthy God. He is reliable. He will provide. We need to understand that my friends because we live in a dark and desperate world, but God breaks into that world with the light of His love and strength, and He offers Himself to us as the only one who can bring us through this world victoriously!

----------------------------
Each month, Pastor Frank writes a personal letter to a circle of his friends, much like the blog post you just read. If you'd like to receive it, signing up is easy:

Get on the list here.

This is No Time for Wimpy Christians

rock.jpg

Christianity is anything but an ethereal float through this world. It is a battle, that we must actively contend in. I am not so sure that we shouldn't call it "conflictianity".

In I Corinthians 16, there is a very concise but powerful call put forth by the Apostle Paul. "Be alert"... The phrase occurs some 22x in the New Testament. It means to be aware (of the danger), to be on guard (taking every thought captive), to watch (for he lurks around every corner.)

We are the light of the world which instantly puts us into a struggle with him who is the prince of the darkness. He travels the world like a ravening and roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. He is the tempter, laying snares that can trap us, sowing lies in the hopes of leading us to make choices that will have devastating consequences.

I love the glory of our new identity in Christ, that we no longer sinners, but saints. We must realize though, that ours is a multi-faceted identity. Father's Word also says that we are soldiers and that because we are in an epic battle. Embrace who you are and whose you are, and fight this good fight of faith with the courage that the Lion of Judah places inside us with His presence. This is no time for wimpy Christians.

I raised my kids on a mantra, I share it now with you...

TRUST GOD AND KICK BUTT!

----------------------------
Enjoy this blog post?

If so, you'll probably really like Frank's monthly emails.
Get on the list here.

The Affirmation of God's Trustworthiness and Goodness

We will not descend into that valley never to be heard from again.  WE WILL WALK THROUGH IT!

We will not descend into that valley never to be heard from again. WE WILL WALK THROUGH IT!

In the incarnation, Jesus voluntarily restricted the use of His Divine attributes, so that He could function in full and complete dependence as a man, as man was always intended to do so. Glory!

One of the by-products of this awe-inspiring life He experienced by faith, was to affirm the trustworthiness and goodness of God to man. Ever since the garden, the goodness of God to man has been in question. Remember, how the enemy tempted Adam by calling God's goodness into question? The serpent made it sound like God was holding out on man.  How those words have been repeated in the minds of manifold men and women since that day.  "Indeed, has God said..."

In His life of recklessly abandoned faith, Jesus proved that God was indeed trustworthy, bringing Jesus victoriously through not only suffering in this fallen world but even to victory over the grave itself. Like David proclaimed so many years ago, "... we shall walk THROUGH the valley of the shadow of death!" We will not descend into that valley never to be heard from again. WE WILL WALK THROUGH IT! Note further, it is a shadow. A shadow my friends, cannot hurt us. It can scare us to be sure, but it cannot hurt us.

And by the way, there can be no shadow unless there is a light shining somewhere. 

And the light that forms this shadow is none other than the light of the love of God that He has for His kids, and they can indeed, trust His love and care to bring them through the darkest valleys and home to His waiting arms.

-----------------
Enjoy this blog post?
If so, you'll probably really like Frank's monthly emails.
Get on the list here.

The Mercy of God is Greater Than You Believe.

In the Bible, God has multiple names, which is as it should be to help us define and embrace His multi-faceted character. After all, He is so big and so good, no one name can suffice to describe Him. Hence we have, "Adonai" = Master; "Yahweh" = Lord, "Elohim" = Mighty God, "Jehovah Rapha" = God our healer, "Jehovah Nissi" = God our banner, "Jehovah Tsidkenu" = God our righteousness.... and so it goes.

One of my very favorite names is found in Exodus 34. What is fascinating is that this is the name He personally revealed to Moses, following the making of the golden calf and the drunken orgy by the children of Israel. STOP! DO NOT READ THAT LIGHTLY! This horrid sinning was done by the people of God, who personally experienced the miraculous plagues God put on Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea! After receiving so much, isn't much to be expected? Wouldn't a holy God be done with such a people who "know better" because they know God? So what is His name?

"The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long suffering and abundant in goodness, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin!"

Now that is some kind of name! As I ponder it, it seems as if even God Himself cannot find the words to describe His mercy to man. I would put it this way my dear friend, "No matter how great you believe the mercy of God is, it is greater than you believe."

"No matter how great your sin is, even sin as a believer, his mercy is greater than your sin. His mercy is like the light.... the greater the darkness, the brighter the light will be made manifest!" IT IS TIME!

It is time for you who have committed GREAT SIN (even as a believer), to recognize how much greater is the mercy of God toward you if you would only run to Him, instead of from Him. What a great name!

Christianity? Perhaps "Conflict-ianity" is more appropriate!

Christianity is anything but an ethereal float through this world. It is a battle, that we must actively contend in. I am not so sure that we shouldn't call it "conflictianity"

In I Corinthians 16, there is a very concise but powerful call put forth by the Apostle Paul. "Be alert"... The phrase occurs some 22x in the New Testament. It means to be aware (of the danger), to be on guard (taking every thought captive), to watch (for he lurks around every corner.)

We are the light of the world which instantly puts us into a struggle with him who is the prince of the darkness. He travels the world like a ravening and roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. He is the tempter, laying snares that can trap us, sowing iies in the hopes of leading us to make choices that will have devastating consequences.

I love the glory of our new identity in Christ, that we no longer sinners, but saints. We must realize though, that ours is a multi-faceted identity. Father's Word also says that we are soldiers, and that because we are in an epic battle. Embrace who you are and whose you are, and fight this good fight of faith with the courage that the Lion of Judah places inside us with His presence. This is no time for wimpy Christians.

I raised my kids on a mantra, I share it now with you...

TRUST GOD AND KICK BUTT!

On Compassion, and Becoming Conformed to Christ's Image

One of the most profound and glorious revelations in the New Testament is the promise of God that we are going to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Indeed, we are in the process now, as Paul said he was being changed into that image day by day.

At first glance, that sounds so glorious and wonderful, and surely it will be in its end product. I do not think though, that we have really understood the full impact of what that means this side of heaven. Isa 53 tells us that Jesus was a man of sorrows acquainted with grief. Now that does not sound like an image i want to be conformed to. I really don't think you are all that excited about that prospect either. But let's think about this for a minute.

We live in a dark and desperate world, where people are wounded and broken. They are in great need for someone who "gets them", someone who will step into their life with genuine compassion and hope. The one thing they DO NOT NEED is curt , Christian cliche. This I believe, was the driving force behind the incredible impact of Jesus life and ministry. He had compassion, because He personally knew the sorrow and grief that this world can bring to a human being. When you trace the word compassion through the Gospels, you will see that it was the motivating factor behind many of His miracles. (... and when He saw them, He had compassion on them)... Compassion is a very powerful word, in fact it not just a word, but an action. Compassion not only means that you feel for someone, but that you feel for someone enough to do something about it!

It has been my observation, that there are far too few people who are willing to be conformed to this particular aspect of the image of Jesus. But those who do, have the potential to have a dramatically powerful influence in this world, because the need is so great.