Showing posts from 2012

The Generosity of God

and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God  has been poured out within our hearts  through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.  (Romans 5:5 NASB) For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness,"  is the One who has shone in our hearts  to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.  (2 Corinthians 4:6 NASB) As I grow older and learn more about the depths of the work of Christ in the Gospel, I believe that I will be spending the rest of my life, and into eternity, coming to grips with the incredible generosity of God.  I believe perhaps the greatest act of generosity which impacts believers day to day is the presence of the Holy Spirit, God literally dwelling within and filling the believer in Jesus. I've been spending a lot of time this year in Ephesians 1, unfolding the depths of salvation, what God has done for believers through Christ.  Notice what He says about the Holy Spirit in Ephesians 1:13-14: In Him, you a

The Real Thing

Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.    (Galatians 5:24-25 NASB)        As I stopped to rest and refuel this weekend (after a work all-nighter Friday - !), I am just overcome with joy at my salvation and voraciously desirous of the filling of the Holy Spirit.  I am thinking of those for whom God’s Spirit rushed upon and they accomplished great things: •    Samson: Judges 14:6, 14:19, 15:14, •    Saul: 1 Samuel 10:6, 10, 11:6, 16:13, 18:10 These examples are troublesome for me, as these men experienced incredible moments of the Spirit's filling, but not necessarily a lifetime characterized by the Spirit's work. I want not simply moments of those things, but a lifetime of those things.  This desire is borne both out of the sheer joy of His filling and the fear of ‘going rogue’ and seeking to run my own thoughts and life. What other examples do we see in


In Him we have redemption through His blood,  the forgiveness of our trespasses,  according to the riches of His grace  (Ephesians 1:7 NASB) From the AMG Word Study Dictionary , redemption is 'deliverance on account of the ransom paid as spoken of the deliverance from the power and consequences of sin which Christ procured by laying down His life as a ransom for those who believe.' The idea in 'redemption' is a ransom paid.  But who is paid, and what is the price?  I have heard of the 'ransom theory' of the atonement, which I understand contends that, since we are held captive by Satan (2Timothy 2:26), God is paying Satan to redeem us.  This cannot be!  We see from sacred Scripture:  We are 'shut up under sin' (Romans 3:9, Galatians 3:22), that is, the law obligates us, and the debt that is owed is owed to God.  May we say that, in the same way we are rescued from God's wrath through the death of His son (Romans 5:9), we are freed from debt t

Sowing and Reaping

And He was saying, "The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows--how, he himself does not know.  (Mark 4:26-27 NASB) Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.  (Galatians 6:7-8 NASB) I've long been intrigued by the concept of sowing and reaping.  Better understood in an agrarian culture, I wonder how much we understand it in an age where instant gratification is emphasized.  I have also been intrigued by the irony that, even though life is short (Psalm 39:4), God calls us to patience (James 5:7). I believe that this can only be properly understood by considering the eternal purposes of God.  Patience seems to make no sense if our focus is on ourselves and what can be done in our life


O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me;  Let them bring me to Your holy hill And to Your dwelling places.  (Psalm 43:3 NASB) A new year is instinctively a time to look back and also to look forward.  We look back at past accomplishments and are proud.  We look back at past disappointments and determine to do better.  If we are wise and honest, then we are thankful, knowing that for all of us we are doing far better than we deserve! What are you thinking about as 2012 gets started?  What is your focus?  I believe all of us struggle to think less of ourselves and more of God. Several months ago I was gripped by Psalm 43, and in particular verse 5.  What will shape my thinking and determine my goals?  I don't want to be led by my emotions, my self-determination, or my circumstances, but on something more reliable, more sure, something that has a greater chance of success.  His light, His truth, His presence must point the way. What if I told you that there was a