Monday, March 30, 2015

When Eyes Were Opened and Shame Was Covered

When God created His beautiful world, the man and his wife lived in perfect harmony--pure from guilt and free from shame.

When sin entered the world, a devastating thing occurred.

The eyes of them both were opened, and they knew . . .” (Genesis 3:7)

They knew shame.

When God sent His Son, brokenness described the world He entered. He met broken people, He healed outcasts, He changed lives.

He died.

And the broken world froze in expectation.

A man and his wife walked the road to Emmaus. A stranger joined them and told them world’s history and spoke of the Messiah.

When He left their home hours later, a truth was unveiled to their wondering hearts.

“Their eyes were opened, and they knew . . .” (Luke 24:31)

They knew He was the risen Christ.

Christ rose from the dead.

And every person “risen with Christ” (Col. 3:1) can walk the roads of a broken world open-eyed to conquered shame.

Mankind can live restored and new.


Monday, March 23, 2015

They Didn't Turn Anywhere Else

He had an urgent need.
Bur his friend was sleeping.
He knocked anyway.

His friend said, “Go away!”
But he had nowhere else to turn.
So he kept knocking.

And he received. (Luke 11:5-8)

She ached for her daughter’s healing.
But Jesus was silent.
She asked anyway.

Jesus gave no encouragement.
But she had nowhere else to turn.
So she kept asking.

And she received. (Mark 7:24-30)

I wonder.

Does God’s silence mean He’s waiting?

Is He waiting to see if we’ll turn somewhere else?

None of us has anywhere else to turn.

Unbelief tells us to try anyway. To stop knocking, and search elsewhere for the answer that isn’t coming.

Faith shouts at us to knock.

And keep knocking.

Keep knocking at the door that opens to persistent knocking.

When the answer comes, it will be said of us, “They didn’t turn anywhere else.”

“He spoke a parable to them,
that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.” (Luke 18:1)

Monday, March 16, 2015

What an Open-Handed Death Taught Us About Tight-Fisted Living

Many babies are born with hands clinched tight.

Though we came out of the womb needing to receive, we came with fists clamped tightly closed.

Every one of us entered this world unwilling to open our hands wide to our Creator.

Throughout our lives, God gently pursues us and seeks to pry those hands open with two words found throughout Scripture: ”I will.”

We came out of the womb communicating these same two words.

Our newborn hands said, “I will.”

And many of us live tight-fisted to what God will do for us.

Christ hung on a cross because He opened His hands wide and received the nails that fastened Him there.

Who are we to clamp our fists closed? 

Who are we to say, “I will”? 

And refuse what God would do for us.

Our Father wants to place into our hands our daily bread, hard things to make us strong, and gifts designed for the children He knows better than we know ourselves.

He said, “I will.”

And His loving heart sent His Son who received the nails with open hands.

Do we need anything else to teach us to open our hands wide to such a giving Creator?

“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all,
how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Where Every Sin Lies Forgotten

Sometimes sin haunts us, accuses us, and raises its ugly head of remembrance.

Our enemy likes it to be this way. He loves to steal truth from our minds and swallow up the joy of our salvation.

But one truth we must never forget is this:  
       In the mind of God, every forgiven sin is a forgotten sin.

·         Every sin lies as far as the East is from the West.
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)

·         Every sin is buried in the deepest sea.
“He will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:19)

·         Every sin is cast behind His back.
“You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, for You have cast all my sins behind Your back.” (Isaiah 38:17)

A holy God sent the only One whose blood was sufficient to pay the penalty for our sins.

He sent His Son.

And while He was bleeding, God’s Son prayed a prayer from the Cross: “Father, forgive them.” (Luke 23:34)

“Into that pronoun ‘them,’ I feel that I can crawl.” – Charles Spurgeon

You and I can crawl into that prayer and know forgiveness was the request He asked for us.

The Son of God received the answer to His prayer when we asked for forgiveness by faith.

He receives that answer every time a sinner commits his life to the only One who can forgive every sin.

And when sin is forgiven by a holy God it lies forgotten.

In far away places.

Never to be remembered again.

“There is therefore now no condemnation 
to those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

Click here to listen to a new series on: The Words from the Cross.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Love that Will Not Let You Go

I recently read an article about a couple who just celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary. People rarely live long enough or, sadly, love long enough to be able to have an article written about the length of their love.

This couple’s love story was highlighted and circulated and praised and admired.

Because seventy-five years is a long time to love the same person day after day.

But here’s a more striking truth: God has loved you for well over six thousand years.

Before you were born or even thought of by anybody other than Himself, He loved you. 

Before He set stars in motion and before He established the mountains, His love designed a way to win your heart and draw you to Himself.

“[His] goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)

“I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (Jeremiah 31:3)

Your God has loved you longer than the mind can comprehend, deeper than anyone has ever loved you, and with more loyalty than the love you have for the person you love the most.

His love defies time.

It started more than six thousand years ago, proved itself on the Cross more than two thousand years ago, has continued to this very day, and will have only just begun the day we enter the eternity waiting for us.

If His love was anything less than tenacious and loyal, He would have tired of you and me long ago.

His love holds on, never stops, never tires, and never gives up.

His love will never let you go.

“We love Him, because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)