The Throne of Grace
Nov18

The Throne of Grace

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”                              -Hebrews 4:16 As I prayed this morning, I realized that every one of us needs help.  We are not God. We all have needs. We all have weaknesses. We all have confusion and need help with serious decisions and problems in life. We need help. We have another problem: we all have sins.  Because of this reality, we all know in our hearts that we do not deserve the help we need… so we feel trapped, chained, imprisoned – stuck.  I tend to deal with this feeling by trying to be superman. I get up earlier, work longer days, find a second job, or study harder… through this effort, most of the time I make the matter worse.  God has the solution: Jesus Christ has become our High Priest and has shattered this problem with hope.  Through Jesus Christ the throne of God has become the throne of Grace.  The throne that we once feared to approach due to our sin, is now a throne of grace. At this throne we find our help.  We don’t deserve it. We can’t earn it. We receive it as a gift, by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  You are not trapped. You are not stuck. Say no to that lie.  We all need help. You can find the help you need today at the throne of...

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Change Directions
Nov18

Change Directions

Put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” -Ephesians 4:24 I have been struggling with my level of physical fitness lately. It feels like I have slipped so far away from a healthy lifestyle that it is now impossible to return… I think we feel that way in our Christian walk at times. That we have slipped so far away as to make a return impossible.  Ephesians 4:24 makes two significant points that dispel this lie that plagues us.  1) Christianity means that fundamental change is possible.    We can, and do, change as we trust more in Jesus.  2) Christians are free from the mechanistic view that our past determines our future.  Our background (bad experiences, bad parents, etc.) does not determine our destiny.    The impossible for us is easy to God. Let’s reject the lie, cast of the old self and embrace the new self in...

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Fighting Fear
Nov10

Fighting Fear

The weather is changing in Phoenix. This last week I was running (if you can call what I do running) with one of my daughters and my sunglasses began fogging up. After a few minutes I had to take them off and wipe them clean – I was completely blind. It is a sign of the changing seasons, and a reminder of the seasons we go through in our life.  Last year I experienced a season of fear. The fear stemmed from medical problems that started small and then proceeded to snowball out of control.  At first I tried to ignore my fear. I looked away from the problems and ignored the issues. This resulted in a mountain of problems that were even more fearful and overwhelming.  Next, I tried to hide my fear. I tried to silently endure believing that this was better for everyone around me. The result was isolation and depression, which introduced more fear.  Finally, I turned to Jesus; trusting in Him and being honest with others.  Psalm 56:3 reads, When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.  My honesty with my fear resulted in many people expressing deep disappointment. In fact, one of the most hurtful criticisms said to me was, “I thought you were a man of God?  I expected more from you.” The individual that made this comment assumed my faith in God’s grace was totally inadequate because I was afraid. They pushed this position on me, and sent me through a period of deep doubt in my faith, wondering if I can have any assurance of being saved. Then it dawned on me, my faith was not in question, God’s grace was not in short supply – this was just simply a case of the season changing and my glasses digging up.  I temporarily lost sight of my goal and purpose, but this didn’t mean that I was going to stop running.  The loss of vision certainly doesn’t mean that you are running the wrong race.  If you were running the wrong race there is greater possibility that your glasses wouldn’t fog up at all – the enemy would leave you alone to run a worthless race. What the fogging means is that you need to take a moment to clear your vision – wiping your glasses clean. I like how John Piper captures this in Future Grace “When anxiety strikes and blurs our vision of God’s glory and the greatness of the future that he plans for us, this does not mean that we are faithless, or that we will not make it to heaven. It means our...

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