NO MISTAKES

God doesn’t make mistakes.

You and I do.

He doesn’t.

For instance, I once read an article by B. H. Shaddock that said water gets heavier as it gets colder. Scientists would assure us that this is a fixed law, eternally unalterable, if they had not seen ice. Heavy ice would settle to the bottom. Lakes and rivers would freeze solid. Icebergs below the surface would endanger shipping. Animals could not cross streams in winter.

God doesn’t overlook anything.

Rest easy.

We are loved!

THE CHURCH NEEDS TO LEAVE THE BUILDING!

I am grieved over the state of the church in America. We are complacent and comfortable. We have patted ourselves on the back because during the “pandemic” we finally started to gather again. We are magnanimous in our tolerance of those who wear masks and those who don’t. Our worship is limp and lame. Where is the shouting?

May we shout for joy over your salvation,
and in the name of our God set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions (Psalm 20:5)!

Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart (Psalm 32:11)!

Where is the loud singing?


The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing (Zephaniah 3:17).

God sings loudly over us, so shouldn’t we sing loudly over him?

And the people of Israel who were present at Jerusalem kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with great gladness, and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day, singing with all their might to the Lord (2 Chronicles 30:21).

And, by the way, where is the dancing? Now, I have really lost some of you. But, that was a form of worship in the Old Testament. I guess God like it then …

Let them praise his name with dancing,
making melody to him with tambourine and lyre Psalm 149:3)!


As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart (2 Samuel 6:16).

We know what happened to Michal because she despised David for publically worshipping the Lord. Read 2 Samuel 6.

The church needs to get loud. The church needs to be heard. The church needs to leave the building!

And I need to do all those things!

Despite us, we are loved.

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FREE TO DANCE IN THE MUD

I just want to lie down in the mud.

That is what I wrote in my journal the other night. Not a very sanctified thought for a Christian.
My next thought was, “Where did that come from?” That came from bondage.

Jesus said you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. What truth is that?

Jesus said he was the way, the truth, and the life.

Truth is Jesus.

Jesus is truth.

The Gospel is truth.

We are sinners by birth, because of our parents in Eden. They desired to be like God and questioned his goodness. That betrayal plunged us into a sinful, broken world where Adam’s posterity is born sinful and we delight to act out our sinful nature.

In the middle of all that mess, 2000 years ago, God sent his Son into our world as a man, like us, but sinless. He lived a life impossible for us, sinless, and then evil thought it had won and crucified him. While on the cross God the Father laid on his Son the sins of all his people, so that God’s wrath might be absorbed by God the Son.

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When Jesus, on the cross said, “It is finished.” It meant my sins and yours were paid for. And to show God was pleased and atonement was accomplished, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day as had been prophesied.

So, when the Holy Spirit gives us a new heart and a new spirit, he makes us a new creation. We become children of God, adopted into his family. Not based on anything good in us, but based solely on God’s good pleasure.

Now, he calls us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).

With all your mind means learning everything you can about him. Jesus is calling us to theology – the study of God.

It seems these days, thinking is hard for us. It is hard to think in a whirlwind of noise and instant gratification. As Christians, Jesus calls us to come away with him to quiet and his word.

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In his word, led by his Spirit, we find true freedom in this life. The freedom to live free from guilt, shame, despair, disgrace, depression, deceit, and on and on; whatever keeps us bound in sin, Jesus came to set us free from all of that.

His only two commands are to love him with our all and to love our neighbor as our self.

He has given us everything we need to do that.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence (2 Peter 1:3).

So be free, the Truth has set us free.

Let me end by saying freedom doesn’t mean we can do whatever we want. If knowing the Creator of the universe who is our Rescuer, doesn’t lead to striving to be holy as he is holy, then something is dreadfully wrong. Jesus changes our “want to”. We want to be like the one we love with our all.

Freedom lies in the path of obedience to love.

This is what I remember when I feel like lying down in the mud. I preach the Gospel to myself.
I remind myself that I am free in Christ. Jesus bought my freedom for me.

Free people are happy people. They don’t lie down in the mud. They rejoice.

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So, instead of lying down I do a little jig in the middle of the mud.

Happy heart, happy feet!

WE’RE MOVING! WE’RE MOVING?

“Sarai!” Abram ran into the courtyard shouting, “Where’s Sarai?”

A slave bowed and said, “She is in the back, Master.”

Abram ran to the back of the house, still shouting Sarai’s name.

Startled, Sarai turned. “What is it? What has happened?”

Abram, as always, was struck by her beauty as she looked at him.

He grabbed her hands, “Sarai, we’re moving!”

“Abram, what are you talking about? Moving where?”

Abram laughed. “I don’t know. But, God spoke to me, Sarai. To me! He said, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land I will show you.’”

Astounded, Sarai stared at him. All she could get out was, “Which god?”

“The one true God. He said to go because He is going to bless me and make a great nation out of me.”

“So … let me get this straight, Abram, my beloved husband. This God, who we have never heard of, said for you to pack up and move, to destination unknown, so he could make you king over some great country and you said okay?”

“Of course!”

“Abram, listen to yourself. Were you out in the sun too long again?”

“No.” Abram smiled at her. “I understand Sarai, that you don’t understand. But Sarai this one true God revealed Himself to me. I know Him. I want you to know Him too.”

He kissed her lightly on the forehead. “So, go pack!”

I have used my “sanctified imagination” to create this conversation between Abram and Sarai (later to be called Abraham and Sarah) that would have happened somewhere at the end of Genesis 11 or 12

I have always admired Sarah. She is, after all, listed in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11.

By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised (Hebrews 11:11).

Sarah considered God faithful to do what He said he would do: take away her barrenness.

Are you trusting God today to do something for you? Something you have cried out to Him to do?

Keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking. Our God is faithful.

Sarah may have thought Abraham was crazy at first, but she came to know the God of Abraham somewhere along the way and trusted that He would give her a son. But when we first meet her as Sarai, she is an idol worshipper with a crazy husband, or so she must have thought.

God called Sarah to leave her good life, family, and go to a land far, far away.

Is He calling you to something hard, scary, or just plain crazy?

Trust Him, dear sister. Our God hears and does and always has a plan.

A FAITHFUL RACE

We must ask the Lord to let our children, loved ones, and friends see His beauty upon us. Let them see Him working in and through us and on our part may they see us faithful. As the Steve Green songs say, “May all who come behind us find us faithful.”

Steve says it so much better than I: May our lives be “a stirring testament to god’s sustaining grace.”

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There is a natural tendency for older folks to feel it’s their time to do nothing. Leave it up to the younger generation. Wrong! As my Pastor used to say, “God has no retirement plan.”

This younger generation must see us being faithful to the end. They must see our perseverance … that is our legacy to them. Our greatest witness to them is for them to see us loving Jesus and being faithful to our calling in Him, whatever that looks like for us in our own individual circumstances.

We are not all called to the same walk of faith, but we are all called to walk faithfully.

All of us can leave positive memories in the minds of people. I would love to know that the memories people will have of me will a blessing to them and not a burden. But, more importantly I pray I will leave them a legacy of faith.

Each day we live we are building a legacy of one kind or another. People will remember me as being kind and gentle or mean and harsh; they will remember me as being faithful or unfaithful. Our legacies will happen – one kind or another. It will either re-enforce our faith or it will negate it.

Our legacies should include positive memories of our faith because of how we lived and what we said. If we don’t leave them that – we leave them nothing of value.

What are you doing now that will help future generations to understand they are “surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1)? One way is for us to “lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

Our calling is to run with endurance the race that is set before us. I will run my race, you will run yours. Those races may be different, but our finish line is the same – The New Jerusalem.

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I want my grandchildren to see my race and say, “Grammy loved Jesus. She tried to live her life by the Bible. She had such sweet peace as she lived and died. She wasn’t afraid to die. I want to be like that.”

Let your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, brother, sisters, and your faith family see you live out your faith. Teach them by example. Let them see your faithfulness in attending church, studying your Bible, and praying. Let them know you pray for them.

A visual memory of you reading your Bible will stick with them, especially if you quote from it. Don’t worry if they call you a Bible thumper. Rejoice!

We need to teach those we love and those whom God puts into our lives the contrast between the indestructible toughness of the Bible compared to vain ideologies of men. Ideologies and schemes of hope that leave out God and Christ and sin and salvation and repentance and death and heaven and hell have no substances and won’t stand when their soul is in pain.

Give them the word of God. Give them your example of faith. Give them love. Give them Jesus.

That’s a legacy!

You are loved