Morning Musing: 1 Corinthians 15:10

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

What is it that has made you what you are today? Who we are is a complex web of many different factors. Some of it has come by the intentional effort of someone else trying to shape us into one thing or another. Some of it has come by a set of circumstances over which we had no control. Some of it has come by things that we have pursued ourselves. Paul identifies a fourth factor here, and this should be the big one. 

Read the rest…

Lean into God

Happy New Year!  In this New Year’s Eve sermon, we spent the morning talking about the tools we need to find success in our New Year’s resolutions.  More than that, with the help of God’s conversation with Joshua as he was taking over the mantle of leadership of the people of Israel, we talked about the tools we need to help move ourselves in the direction of God no matter what our starting point may be.  Keep reading to see what these are.

 

Lean into God

Today is New Year’s Eve.  A whole year’s worth of activity and life experiences comes to an end with the stroke of midnight tonight.  Now, in a sense, this is a day just like any other.  What significance it has is entirely constructed.  Tomorrow will be Monday just like it was seven days ago and just like it will be seven more days from now.  There is nothing in the Scriptures which proclaims that on December 31st thou shalt get reflective and throw a big, wild party that often ends with total strangers kissing each other amid a thronging crowd of hundreds of thousands.  I’ve read the whole thing a few different times and I haven’t found a single statement to that effect. Read the rest…

Who Do You Want to Be?

In this third part of our series, God Moved into the Neighborhood, we take a look at the fact that Jesus came to see us become our truest, God-created selves.  In a world that encourages us to be true to ourselves, this advice only makes sense if we know to which self we are seeking to be true.  Read (or listen) on to learn more…

 

Who Do You Want to Be?

If you spend much time listening closely to modern pop music you will quickly come to discover that one of the banner themes of this age is: Be True to Yourself.  For example, singer Katy Perry has a song called “Firework” that was on Billboard’s Top 40 chart for almost a year including some time at the number 1 spot.  At least part of the reason for this success, I would argue, is that the song taps into a longing in the human spirit to be more than we currently are.  Now, I happen to think this is an entirely Biblical idea.  We are called by guys like Paul and Peter and John to become fully reflective of the image of Christ which is far greater than any image we can produce on our own.  Perry, however, isn’t thinking in these terms.  Listen to some of the lyrics: “Do you ever feel like a plastic bag drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?  Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin, like a house of cards, one blow from caving in? . . . Do you know that there’s still a chance for you ‘cause there’s a spark in you?  You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine. . . .You don’t have to feel like a waste of space.  You’re original, cannot be replaced.  If you only knew what the future holds.  After a hurricane comes a rainbow.  Maybe the reason why all the doors are closed [is] so you could open one that leads you to the perfect road.” Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Jeremiah 18:5-6

*I’m going to try something a little different starting with this post.  I will begin including an audio version of each post at the end so you can listen or read, whichever you prefer and your schedule allows.  I’d love your feedback on this as well.  If it’s a hit, I’ll keep doing it.  If it doesn’t add, I’ll take things back to normal.  Thanks for your gift of time to read–and now listen.  Blessing to you!

“Then the word of the Lord came to me: ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord.  Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

This image is at one and the same time incredibly comforting, but also challenging.  The comfort is fairly obvious.  God is the master potter.  He is making a beautiful piece of art out of our lives.  Like any great potter, He has a goal in mind.  As He works the clay, though, sometimes imperfections rise to the top.  This doesn’t scare Him or somehow derail His plans.  He smooths out the rough places and incorporates the imperfections so that they become unique parts of His design.  And, if something happens that causes us to break, He can repair us and leave us even more beautiful than when we started.  This sounds like the kind of God who is worth serving. Read the rest…