Thursday, March 26


"Now I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel preached by me is not based on a human point of view. For I did not receive it from a human source and I was not taught it, but it came by a revelation from Jesus Christ."
Galatians 1:11-12
Paul knew the scriptures backwards, forwards, and sideways, and he knew the message of Christ; he spent much time persecuting the Christians and in the process learned about the Christians and what they believed. But even with all that knowledge, he didn't believe that Jesus was the son of God. He didn't think those scriptures pointed to Jesus. It took Christ speaking to him straight out of heaven for Paul to finally trust in Christ. Most of us don't have such a dramatic conversion experience.

In thinking about this further, though, I realized that we sort of do all have a similar experience. No matter how many times we've heard the gospel, no matter how much head knowledge we may have about God or the Bible, we cannot truly trust in Christ until the Holy Spirit begins to work in us.

Tuesday, March 24

The Group That's Left Out of Heaven

Based on my notes from a sermon on 11/23/08.
"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God." Ephesians 5:1-5
These people --all those who have even a hint of sexual immorality, greed, or idolatry-- won't be allowed in heaven. Yikes! I think that includes a whole lot of folks I know, including myself.

The good news, however, is that if we are truly Christians, then we are fully forgiven and this debt has been paid. Good works do not save us, but if we are have truly trusted Christ, then we should have the "want" to give up those things that may have a stronghold on us. God WILL set us free from those things if we let him.

Chapters 1-4 of Ephesians tell us what God did for us when we were saved: He chose us (Eph. 1:4); adopted us (Eph. 1:5); gave us forgiveness (Eph. 1:7); gave us an inheritance (Eph. 1:11); sealed the Holy Spirit within us (Eph. 1:13); made us alive in Christ (Eph. 2:1-5); seated us with Christ (Eph. 2:6); gave us access to the Father (Eph. 2:18); gives us grace (Eph. 3:7); works through us (Eph. 3:20-21); and He enabled us to lay aside our old life (Eph. 4:22). That's a mighty big list from a mighty big God!

Because He has done all these things, we should be living a life of thankfulness! We must be imitators of God. The closer we are to the Father, the more we'll become like Him. When we become followers of Christ, He gives us His diving nature (2 Peter 1:4). He changes us from the inside out.

We are NOT just sinners saved by grace. We are now saints; we have God's nature deposited in us! The question to ask ourselves is, "Do I look a little more like my Father every day?"

Monday, March 23

Coming Soon...

I feel like I'm neglecting this little ol' blog, but when I started it, it was with the intent of making myself accountable to blogland somehow so that I'd actually spend more time in the Word. Now that I've developed a good habit (in week 12 now!) of starting the day by "keeping company with the Lord" and his Word. So I don't post here as often. There are, however, many things I do want to add here, like more notes from sermons & certain verses that really jump out at me, so I won't be abandoning this blog, just probably not posting quite as frequently.

Saturday, March 7

Keeping Company with God

"Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that." Ephesians 5:1-2 (MSG)
I love when God reminds me that I am His child. When I lack wisdom in parenting (which is more often than I'd like), I have only to look to Him to see what I should be doing. But this is also a great reminder that children watch their parents to learn how to act, how to live. That's a big wake-up call; that old "do as I say, not as I do" bit doesn't hold water.

I like the idea of keeping company with God. That sounds much less sterile than having quiet time or Bible study. It reflects the relationship factor, which is the most essential part of being a Christian.

God keeps on teaching me more and more about love. I'm called to love as He loves: extravagantly. Such a wonderful word! My favorite definition of extravagantly is this: "going beyond what is deserved or justifiable." God loves me beyond what is deserved or justifiable. Do I love others the same way? Only the Lord knows the number of our days, or the plans He has for however many days we have here on earth. We ought to love as hard as we can -- extravagantly -- for as many days as He give us.