Peter and Adventism

And when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes Lord, you know I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
Peter would never forget the night his master allowed himself to be given over into the hands of evil men. Everything about that night did not go well for him. Things took a negative turn at the last supper when, amidst his shame for fighting for position, he tried to refuse Christ’s washing of his feet. As the supper progressed his pride was further injured by Christ’s words prophesying of his pending denial. Then in the garden he had failed to watch and pray even after Jesus repeatedly pled for his support. Again, an hour later as he watched his master being taken, he was rebuked for drawing his sword in Christ’s defense. 
It was a very confused and hurting Peter who stood outside the judgement hall that night. Too proud and scared to enter yet his genuine love for his master still drew …

Angry Kids Exhausted Parents

Father’s do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4          Having kids is amazing but it is not for the faint of heart. God’s call upon parents goes way beyond raising well behaved children. Sometimes we forget this and think we have failed whenever our kids disobey, particularly in public. If we approach parenting in a way that convinces our children that what we want most from them is obedience, we have missed the mark. Our ultimate goal is communicating to our children that they are priceless treasures to us and to God.         As Ephesians spells out, discipline is indeed a part of parenting. To consistently hold a firm boundary is no small task and as parents we honor God when we do this in love. We must realize, however, that discipline is a step along the way to ultimately developing trust. Discipline and the external standard of law are intended to be temporary. If we fail to understand this then we a…

Rebranded by Grace

“And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?"”Acts 8:36 ESV
          What if we baptized people based solely on their understanding and acceptance of the gospel? Our current practice can lead people to think that there is more to salvation than faith in Christ. Some would argue that it would not be fair or honest to baptize someone who does not have a clear understanding of all 28 fundamental beliefs. If some of those beliefs were in contradiction with the gospel then it is true such a step would be misleading. But if all of our teachings are in line with the essence of the gospel we should be able to baptize based on conversion (by grace through faith in Christ alone) rather than additional informational transfer. 
          Instead of lengthy studies before baptism, would it not make more sense to focus on communicating the heart of the gospel, baptize based on conversion, the…

Merit, License, or Love

What are we to say then, are we to continue in sin that Grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Romans 6:1,2
          As we journey toward God’s heart we are likely to encounter all of self’s dimensions. A faith born of love growing from a covenant relationship with our Creator is the only path to health and balance. Talking to our Heavenly Father and coming under the influence of his word as a means of understanding his heart is what it is all about. Whether we understand it or not relationship is a conduit for healing on various levels all at once. In the absence of an honest conversation between our heart and the source of life we will continue wandering trapped in some variant of selfishness. 
          I have spent a great deal of time in these devotionals defining the chains which have bound me personally, the deception of works-based righteousness. Paul’s Ministry was hounded by Judiazers, people who worked to nullify the free gift of salvatio…

It’s not the length of the list

And this is eternal life, that they might know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. John 17:3
          Legalism is a chameleon and as long as life is more about our freedom or it’s lack than it is about Him, then we are still under the law. 
          Some think they are Holy because of how long their to-do-list is, others think they are Holy because of how short it is. If we keep pursuing Christ as our only hope eventually the list fades from view altogether.
          And this is eternal life, that we might KNOW HIM... the knowledge of Christ’s character is what it is all about. A Holy God who is altogether worthy of our love only gives out lists to those who don’t know him. 
          His heart longs to see his children exchange their lists for a revelation of his heart. We receive this through faith, the choice to believe he is all he claims to be.
          We have not truly thrown off Legalism until we shift from a behavioral focus to a relational one. The Ki…

A Call to Repentance

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.”Isaiah 60:1-3 ESV
          Did the gospel exist in the Old Testament? Was Jesus truly a lamb slain from the foundation of the world? While the Jews viewed Abraham and Moses as the forerunners of legal religion, Paul begged to differ. The New Testament builds its case for Righteousness by faith from the story of Abraham. The father of the faithful was the one who “Believed” and it was counted to him as righteousness. Abraham’s true heritage are the children of promise who rest entirely in the righteousness of Christ.
          There is a clear progression to the way God seeks to bring us into the knowledge of himself. He does not always operate among us in the same way. When Je…