Morning Musings: Jeremiah 4:18

“Your ways and your deeds have brought this upon you.  This is your doom, and it is bitter; it has reached your very heart.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Much of the judgment heralded in the prophets is tough to read.  It is gloom and doom that sometimes seems to roll on for pages without reprieve.  But, if there’s anything we can take from all of this today it is this: Our choices have consequences. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Ephesians 4:17-18

“Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.  They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Understanding that by “Gentiles,” Paul is talking about people who are not followers of Jesus, this is an uncomfortable verse.  It’s not so bad that Paul calls us not to do life as they do.  The uncomfortable part–especially given our culture’s embrace of pluralism and a particular understanding of tolerance–is what comes next.  Paul describes them as futile of mind, darkened in understanding, alienated from God, ignorant, and having hardened hearts.  Try tweeting that out sometime. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Jeremiah 3:25

“Let us lie down in our shame, and let our dishonor cover us.  For we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day, and we have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Genuine, heart-felt repentance is tough to do.  It requires a couple of things that we are pretty loathe to give.  It requires first a recognition that we have done something that was not right.  It was wrong, not in an abstract way, but in a way that was deeply personal for us and also for the other people who were affected by it.  This is tough in and of itself.  Often, when we have gotten caught doing something wrong we recognize the abstract, but not the personal.  We are inconvenienced by the attention to our misdeeds, but not truly sorry we did it.  This is the politician’s apology.  In other words, we are more sorry that we got caught than that we did whatever it was we have been caught doing. Read the rest…

The Good News

The great thing about God’s story, is that it doesn’t end after the second act.  In this third part of our series, The Big Story, we finally get to relish the joy of the third act: Redemption.  God’s efforts since the fall have been focused on this one goal.  Read on to see how this played out…

 

The Good News

Let’s start this morning with some trivia.  What do Return of the Jedi, Rocky Balboa, Antwone Fisher, Les Misérables, and Iron Man 3 all have in common?  They are all stories of redemption.  In Return of the Jedi the exciting climax of the movie comes when Anakin Skywalker—Darth Vader—returns from the “dark side,” saves the life of his son, Luke, and puts an end to the evil of The Emperor.  In Rocky Balboa, the washed-up, old fighter proves to himself and the world that he still has what it takes when he comes out of retirement and goes toe-to-toe with the reigning heavyweight champ, Mason “the Line” Dixon.  In Antwone Fisher a young, emotionally broken soldier finds healing and wholeness through the help of a committed counselor, his girlfriend, and the family he never knew he had.  In Les Misérables, the thief, Jean Valjean, is given a second chance at life by a gracious Catholic priest and commits the rest of his life to serving and saving those who were in the same dire straits in which he once found himself.  Finally, in Iron Man 3, Tony Stark at last discovers what’s most important in life and commits himself to using his genius and resources to make the world better. Read the rest…