righteousness

What to do When You Fall Short

Worrying about what others think of us, and trying to be perfect all the time are exhausting burdens to carry. But what if our identity, worth, and value actually didn’t depend on our behavior at all? In this short clip, Frank invites us into freedom and rest as he shares how our Heavenly Father describes a righteous person.


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What to do When You Fall Short

What To Do When You Fall Short .jpeg

Today I want to share with you one of my favorite verses from the Old Testament, Proverbs 24:16. This is what it says: “The righteous man falls seven times and gets up again.” Did you hear that? It does NOT say the righteous never fall. That’s the mind of religion. That’s a lie! In that way of thinking the focus is on my behavior and the lie that I don’t sin. 1 John 1:8 says “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” Romans 2:10 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” So it’s very important to understand that a righteous person is not somebody who is righteous by behavior because everyone’s behavior falls short. Isn’t that glorious? The righteous person is one who lives by faith and gets back up again.

There’s another part of this verse that I want you to notice. We don’t want to miss this. “The righteous man falls seven times.” Why didn’t God say four times or five times or twenty times? He said seven because seven is the number of biblical perfection. So what does this mean? It means that a righteous person is a perfect failure—a perfect failure who keeps getting back up. Now that’s a God I can follow! That’s a God I can serve!  In His eyes the issue is not that I fall, but that I keep getting back up and I keep choosing to believe in Him. My identity and my worth and my value and my salvation are not dependent on my behavior, but on the behavior of the Son of God who gave Himself for me on the cross. Isn’t that glorious?

Go tackle the world today with this as your motto; “You can knock me down, but you’ll never knock me out—I’m getting back up again.” Have a victorious day to day in Jesus’ name!

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Scan The Horizon

You see, God did all those things to us and for us so that His LIFE could flow through us!

You see, God did all those things to us and for us so that His LIFE could flow through us!

Over these last many years we of the grace community have fought hard to proclaim loudly what God has done to us and for us in the finished work of Christ! We have heralded that we were crucified with Jesus, have been resurrected in Jesus, that we are seated in heaven, have been made righteous, have been made the children of God, are now saints and not sinners, that we have been completely forgiven, and so many other wonderful truths that the body of Christ desperately needs to know.

I wonder though if we have focused so much on what has been done, that we might be neglecting what needs to be done! You see, God did all those things to us and for us so that His LIFE could flow through us! Case in point: Titus 3:8.

“This is a faithful saying” – Own that statement! Paul only uses it in the Pastoral letters. Just released from prison, realizing that he is on borrowed time, he uses this phrase to highlight very important issues like Jesus came into the world to save sinners (I Tim 1:15). So what he is about to say is VERY important!!!

And what does he say?

We who have believed in Christ are to “be careful” – Normally we use this phrase in a negative context to maintain a diligent scrutiny of our environment. BE CAREFUL – there are lots of bad things out there in this world. This is the only time Paul uses this verb in the New Testament and he uses it in a positive instead of a negative manner. BE CAREFUL – Scrutinize your environment, be watchful, be aware, scan the horizon --- so that we can “engage in good works”.

We are to scan the horizon, looking for every opportunity to “DO” good works!

To not only live our lives in a righteous manner as individuals, but also to live in such a way that we sacrificially love and serve others whenever and wherever we can. In fact, the word “engage” is actually used elsewhere to “take the lead, or be the best”.  In other words, the grace of God NEVER makes us lazy or slack in our walk with God. It actually intensifies our walk as we release the LIFE of Jesus to the world around us.

Grace people are intended by God to be the best servants, the best friends, the best helpers, the best worshippers. I have a plaque on my wall that says, “Do the kindest things in the kindest way” – That is what real Grace People do.

It just comes naturally to them, because the “GOOD ONE” lives in them.

Let me put it this way: We are to so live our lives that people see that we have been given new and beautiful hearts in the New Covenant economy (Ezek. 36), and their being able to see our beautiful hearts will prompt them to ask, “I love your heart! Where do I get a heart like that?”

And then, we can simply introduce them to the One Who transformed our lives – We can tell them about Jesus!

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The Wonders of Heaven...

That is how I see heaven.  We will finally experience and express the awe, wonder, joy, peace, righteousness, glory, and   splendor   that is God filling us and flowing through us.

That is how I see heaven. We will finally experience and express the awe, wonder, joy, peace, righteousness, glory, and splendor that is God filling us and flowing through us.

Recently a good friend asked me what I think heaven is going to be like.  Well, no one really knows for sure until we get there.  But, I would suggest that there will be no real big change inside of us!

We have already been made righteous, become partakers of the divine nature, filled with the fulness of God, AND possessing the treasure of God in our earthen vessels.  In our vessel lies an issue, we currently have clay pots that hinder us from fully experiencing and expressing the fulness of God which is already in us. Kind of like putting a cup under a faucet, it can only contain so much...

In that day when we enter heaven, we will no longer have our clay pots, we will finally be able to fully experience and express the fulness of God that we possessed at the moment of faith. Only now, we will function like a prism... have you ever seen light flow through a prism? It is absolutely incredible the dance of color and radiance that flows through a prism and illuminates the wall with its splendor.

That is how I see heaven. We will finally experience and express the awe, wonder, joy, peace, righteousness, glory, and splendor that is God filling us and flowing through us... WOW!

At the risk of offending you, but in an attempt to help people understand the experience that is going to be ours in heaven.  I would describe heaven as the eternal, infinite orgasm!

Makes me long for heaven, the sheer ecstasy of experiencing God in perpetual fullness.  
WOW AGAIN!!!

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It Can Be Hard to Wait...

I am so excited to share with you today.

In the book of Genesis, it records how God came to Abraham, and promised him an heir through his own seed with his bride Sarah, and through that seed would come descendants numbering like the stars in the heavens. In addition, God promised that through his seed ALL the families of the earth would be blessed! Abraham was 75 years old when God made that amazing promise to him. Even more amazing, Sarah was 65 years old. What an exciting promise to an old, childless couple!

As the years went by, though, no child arrived, and God continued through those years to reaffirm His promise. Abraham and Sarah had to wait and wait and wait! "WAIT" is for me one of the worst four-letter words found among humanity! It is hard to wait, especially when the promise of something so good and wonderful is delayed. 

As time progressed, Abraham and Sarah decided to take matters into their own hands. First, they offered to God that their servant Eleazer might be considered the heir. Then, at Sarah's request, Abraham had sexual relations with Hagar to produce Ishmael, whom they offered to God to be the heir. God, of course, said "No" to their suggestions of help and continued throughout the years to affirm His promise that He would provide an heir through them, until one day He did provide when Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90, and way past the onset of menopause! 

The amazing thing I find in this account is the commentary found on it in Romans 4:18-20, where God says of Abraham, that "against hope believed; he was not weak in faith; and never doubted but was strong in faith!" Are you kidding me? He NEVER doubted? What about Eleazer? What about Hagar and Ishmael? Makes me question, "God, do you even read the Bible that you wrote?" How are we to explain this, that God says Abraham never doubted, when clearly he did?

The answer I believe is very simple. The Bible tells us that whatever is not of faith, is sin. So Abraham's lapses in faith were sin. However, through his seed that was going to be born, Jesus, God removed all of Abraham's sins and cast them as far as the east is from the west, to be remembered by God no more... in other words, when God looks at Abraham He truly does not see ANY lapses of faith; nor ANY sinful choices, He sees only righteousness, for God has chosen to not remember such failures. 

And now the glory... It is the same for you and me. We have had many lapses of faith, many sinful choices that we regret and find hard to forget. The glory is that God has taken those things infinitely away from us, and chooses to remember them no more... So completely has He done this, that when He looks at us today, He sees only righteousness. WOW! Glory to God!

It's Not Enough That Jesus Died...

The other day, I heard one of the old hymns we used to sing. Do you remember this one? "I need no other argument, I need no other plea, it is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me."

Nice hymn, but the theology of it is insufficient....

If all the Gospel is, is that Jesus died for my sins so that I can go to heaven someday, then the Good News has been reduced to a destination. Jesus functions like fire insurance, in that His death keeps me out of hell. If that is the Gospel, then we are nothing more than forgiven sinners, and what is going to happen in the meantime between the time we got saved and the time we get to go to heaven? Well, in the meantime, it is going to be a MEAN TIME! Because if that is the Gospel, then we are left to face the rest of our lives in a sin-cursed world, battling the flesh and the enemy with our own resources. No, my friend, it is not enough that Jesus died for me, though that is indeed a part of the glory He secured for HImself through His incarnation and work.

The really good news, is that He rose again. That He put us on the cross with Him (Rom 6:3-6) so that we too could be crucified. He then buried our old sinful self with Him, so that when He rose, we rose too! Why did this happen? To make us righteous (II Co5 5:21) so that He the Righteous One could now live in us and express His life through us. This was so He could save us right now with His life (Rom 5:8-10) in a great exchange of resources - our weakness for His strength (Isa 40) - so that we could experience God now, and know Him now in an intimate and glorious union of love (I Cor 6:17) --- enabling us in a very real way to experience heaven right now, while we are on our way to heaven. So what is heaven? Oh, it is a place, but it is a place where we find a Person... and the Person of God is what makes heaven, heaven.

So, no my friend, it is not enough that Jesus died, I need more than that and praise His name there is more.... He LIVES! And He lives for me, in me, and through me, and that and that alone is enough!