Archive for May, 2013

News Flash: My second book, Sixty Days of Grace, Reflections on: God’s Sufficiency for the Journey,is now in the publication process. After two weeks of scrambling to get all the necessary materials submitted to the publisher, I am finally blogging again. This is an exciting time as I wait in awesome anticipation of God’s wonderful plan to come forth in my life; but it is also a little scary, not knowing exactly where His dreams for me will lead me. Today, I would like to share one of the reflections from Sixty Days of Grace.

Grace Refused

What do you think is the biggest slap in God’s face? Is it murder, adultery, armed robbery, or child abuse? While these offences all represent a disregard for God’s commandments, none of them are so egregious that they’re beyond the forgiveness of God. Just peruse the Old Testament of the Bible and you’ll discover that God forgave all the faith heroes of gross sin. In the New Testament, Jesus delights in forgiving sinners.

No, the biggest slap in God’s face is refusing His grace!

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they refused His grace. However, their disobedience wasn’t a surprise to God. He’s an all-knowing God, therefore, He knew from the beginning they would sin and take all of us down the tubes with them. He already had a divine plan in mind to redeem His creation. That plan was to, one day, send His Son Jesus to suffer, shed His blood, and die on a cross as the final sacrifice for the sins of all men and women. This sacrifice provided an opportunity for people to be forgiven, redeemed, and forever live under God’s grace.

First, God gave mankind His moral laws. He gave these laws to reveal sin to the people, because without laws, they couldn’t discern right from wrong. For thousands of years people lived under horribly restrictive laws, which were impossible to keep. One of these laws required a priest to kill and sacrifice an innocent lamb on an altar to cover the sins of the people. However, this sacrifice only covered sin; it didn’t erase it forever. Therefore, the people had to continue to sacrifice lambs for sins, and live under laws that only pointed out their sin without redemption.

One would think that for these people, who lived under the Old Testament laws of sacrificing lambs for sins, Christ’s sacrifice for the sins of all would have made perfect sense. Unfortunately, most people during the time of Jesus didn’t connect the dots between the sacrifice of an innocent lamb in the Jewish religious ceremony and the sacrifice of Jesus, who called Himself the Lamb of God. Just like Adam and Eve, they refused God’s wonderful grace.

We gentiles also have refused God’s grace. Some can’t quite understand how Jesus’ sacrifice on a cross could be anything but cruel abuse leading to the death of an innocent man. At first glance, it seems like a wasteful exercise in futility. However, Jesus repeatedly taught that His sacrifice on a cross would redeem and make children of God all those who truly believed in this divine work. Rather than seeing this sacrifice as God’s greatest gift of grace, many still can’t connect the dots regarding its true significance. More than two thousand years after Jesus’ sacrifice, people still refuse to accept God’s redeeming grace. That’s the supreme slap in God’s face!

…the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers,

to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ,

who is the image of God. (II Corinthians 4:4)

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A Dream Doubter

The dream to write a second book burned deeply in my heart. I began writing with passion, but about midway, things went sour. Creativity dried up when I started questioning my desires, dreams, and motives. I asked myself, “What if this was just my own frivolous plan and God had no part in it?”

I had become a dream doubter.

So, how do I know if my desires and dreams are from God?

In Psalm 37:4, David wrote:

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

 According to the Hebrew dictionary, the word delight means to seek happiness in God. Desire means to make a request, petition, or ask.

Writing is certainly a desire of my heart, but the condition for receiving it is to first delight in the Lord. Then, my desires and dreams will prosper. The correct question to ask is—do I delight in the Lord?

For the Lord God is sun and shield;

The Lord bestows favor and honor;

No good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

Do you ever wonder if your dreams are God’s dreams for you? Delight in the Lord, walk blameless before Him, and he will give wings to your dreams. No good thing will He withold from you.

Watch for my second book coming soon: Sixty Days of Grace.

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