Coping with the End of Your World

“How can you cope with the end of the world and the beginning of another one?  How can you put an earthquake into a test-tube or the sea into a bottle? How can you live with the terrifying thought that the hurricane has become human, that fire has become flesh; that Life itself came to life and walked in our midst? How can you cope with the concept that mankind tried to kill God, but He lived and now is our judge? How can a person come to Easter services and not be profoundly transformed by the fact that once in the history of humanity a truly innocent man died in our place and rose to life never to die again and he offers us eternal life? Christianity either means all of that, or it means nothing. It is either the most profound and devastating disclosure of the deepest reality in the world, or it’s a sham, a nonsense, and just deceitful acting. Most of us, unable to cope with saying either of those things, condemn ourselves to live in the shallow world in between. We may not be content there, but we don’t know how to escape until we are personally transformed by the resurrected Jesus Christ, from mere observers to worshippers of the living God!” —Author Unknown

The Resurrection changed everything. How has it changed you?

He is risen. Indeed.

—j

Going Under for the Third Time

“He made us lamps for His light, not the salesmen or customers of His fire. He fits no category, exceeds every attribution, defies all description. He is immeasurably more than the object of our study—He’s the subject of the universe itself. “He’s the superlative of everything good you choose to call Him”, Rev. Lockwood proclaimed— yet we still tread the surface of the Sea of Him seeking to stay afloat—waters in which He intended us to drown.”

I’m going under for the third time. No rescue is necessary.

—j

Bottom Layer of Ice

“Only God has the love we need—yet we’ve turned away from him, except to demand convenient instructions and cooperative help. So we manage every relational encounter with self-need as our ultimate value. We talk about topics we can handle. We try to build our mate’s self-esteem so we can feel good about ourselves. We pout so friends will ask what’s wrong. We tell jokes to keep from revealing loneliness. Self-need plus self-management—a spirit of entitlement and an attitude of independence—become the foundation of our lives, the bottom layer of ice. We become hopelessly religious.” —Larry Crabb

Go to church—but not for the music, the coffee, self-help sermons or bragging rights to how great the place makes you feel—pageantry that covers up wicked hearts never impressed Him. Go for Him. He’s there and He’s waiting, because He loves you more than you can know. We have no Christian entitlements—everything is blood-bought by Him before whom every knee shall bow. Go to church—revel in His love and majesty and bow your knee. But go. It’s not religion—it’s just Him.

See you Sunday.

—j

 

Why Does Jesus Love You?

“Jesus loves us not because we’re good, but because He’s Jesus.” —Pastor Kevin Green

We can’t escape this fact anymore than God can escape Himself. Jesus loves broken people like us because He does as He is, and for no other reason.

That is tremendous.

Rejoice.

—j

Have a Reckless Year

Where will you go in 2017?

“I have learned…to let God be the mystery that He is and, with eyes wide open, to pursue Him, not with the precision of a crossword puzzle fanatic but with the reckless passion of a pilot flying into the Bermuda Triangle. Following Christ is a wild adventure full of risk, frustration, excitement, and setbacks. It is not an evening stroll in a planned community along a well-manicured path.” —Larry Crabb

Aslan is not a tame lion, but He’s a wonderful traveling companion.

Happy trails.

—j

Holding Hands in the Dark

Sometimes God is hard to see. “Where is God in my darkness?” people cry, and understandably so. Yet even the night cannot contain Him…

“As the rain hides the stars, as the autumn mist hides the hills, happenings of my lot hide the shining of Thy face from me. Yet, if I may hold Thy hand in the darkness, it is enough; since I know that, though I may stumble in my going, Thou dost not fall.” —Alistair Maclean

He was there all along.

Blessings,
—j

Weed Killer

No matter sin gets redefined, it can’t unring the bell. Ignore it, offset it with good or call it something else, the roots of guilt remain like an impossibly stubborn weed. What can we do? Start here

“Father in heaven! Hold not our sins up against us but hold us up against our sins, so that the thought of Thee when it wakens in our soul…should not remind us of what we have committed but of what Thou didst forgive, not of how we went astray but of how Thou didst save us!” —Soren Kierkegaard

God’s grace has always been about what He did for us, not because we’re good, but because He’s God. It’s just the way He is.

That makes me worship.

—j