Showing posts from October 6, 2017

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…

Caught in Adultery

“Jesus stood up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more." ]]”John 8:10-11 ESV

The women caught in adultery gives a most intimate and concrete example of God’s heart. This story shows us the order and way in which God works. That poor condemned and broken women lying at Jesus feet was not repentant, she was ashamed and afraid. But Jesus told her that he didn’t condemn her, before he could say to her go and sin no more she had to experience a love and redemption that had absolutely nothing to do with what she had to bring to the table. Jesus, understanding that his blood had been shed for her from the beginning of time, prophetically declared to her that the power of sin was broken. If she would but believe it she was free indeed.
It is unlikely that the women understood what had just taken place, but she understood that someone lov…

Get Out Of The Way

“Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for "The righteous shall live by faith."”Galatians 3:11 ESV
    The greatest delusion Jesus must deliver us from is the idea that God asks something of us that we are capable of giving. What redemption demands we are incapable of producing. Some can muscle outward compliance but the righteousness which comes from the law falls infinitely short.
     The victory of our faith is simply us getting out of God’s way in his work of saving our soul. We do this by believing that he, on our behalf and his own, has made every provision for our salvation. 
    To our fallen nature such assertions sound offensive and heretical. For the tired hungry soul, however, it causes hope to spring up. When we come to terms with our utter helplessness suddenly we become painfully aware of our need of unmerited favor. 
    Amazing grace does indeed sound sweet because it is all the hope a wretch has. Have you figured out that you are a …

No More Law??

“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes.”Romans 10:4 
          Sin made a written code of law necessary, but God desires to once again write upon our hearts what we lost in Eden. While a written code can restrain evil through fear of consequence, true righteousness begins where the written code ends. Jesus is the end, directionally, to the law. 
          Such a reality is impossible for the carnal mind to wrap itself around. We are naturally inclined to a “How To” religious experience. Our default setting is to approach the law as a means of obtaining righteousness. This is true for the atheist as well as the religionist. We all rest upon our “best” either consciously or unconsciously.
          Outside of restraining external manifestations of evil through fear of consequence, the only benefit the law is to us is condemnation. Yes we all need to realize that according to the law we stand condemned, hopelessly, equally, and completely condemned. A…

Why Does Evil Linger?

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”2 Peter 3:9 ESV
          How can love allow evil to prevail in the earth? Some day all things will be made new, but until that day we must endure selfishness from within and without. The power of the gospel has made it possible to resist being corrupted by the darkness, but for a little while longer we must share this planet with elements bent upon oppression and personal gain.
          What is God’s rationale for allowing that which is harmful to linger? If all of God’s purposes are born of love, how could such a being watch sin’s devastation for even a moment let alone for thousands of years? 
          We are told that the wage of sin is death but that God desires to bestow eternal life. God stepped into fallen human story and made a way for all who choose to escape death. He did this by taking upon himself the full…

Look Up, Not Across The Table

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."”John 3:8 ESV
          God does not work in ways the carnal mind expects or approves of. When we judge one another we are always doing so from the flesh and not the spirit. We are limited in our ability to understand God’s work in our own lives in real time, let alone the journey of others. 
We need to be far more gracious to others in their spiritual journey then our flesh allows. Our flesh tells us that everyone who is on a different path from our own is in error. The Spirit reminds us that God in his infinite wisdom knows just where he needs to lead each of us in order to win our hearts.
The recovering legalist is tempted to condemn the enthusiastic new vegetarian and visa-versa. When we keep our eyes on Christ rather than on each other we see God’s hand in the unlikeliest of places. We can rejoice with brothers and …

Unworthiness is a Good thing

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”Ephesians 2:8 KJV

          God’s grace is only sufficient for the unworthy because it is only available to the unworthy. 
          We don’t need help, we need deliverance. The kind that comes as a gift not a reward.
Still Seeking,Pastor Andrew

Selfishness Loses it’s Grip

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13 ESV
I spent a lot of time trying to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling, but somehow I missed the verse which followed this command completely. I was trying to walk out in my life something God had never been able to work into it. God was a distant concept while self and personal effort were all I knew.
The depth of our hope is directly proportional to the greatness of our God. Despair and hopelessness are only logical in the light of a cold indifferent or impotent God. I used to tell myself that God was all-powerful and good but that I was the problem. While it was true that I was my greatest enemy, the heart of my problem was what I actually believed about God.
We can pretend to believe in a great God but as…

Drowning Out the lies

“but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."”John 4:14 ESV    Many people think getting right with God is all about straightening out their lives and making better choices. But getting right with God is ultimately about believing in the love God has for you. I know that sounds too simple, but most Christians blow right past this foundation of the faith. God doesn't want Christianity to be something you just grow up with, he wants it to be a way of life that transforms you and the world in which you live.          You were created with a profound gift, the ability to choose what you believe. How you choose to exercise this gift will determine everything else about you. Your happiness in this life and the life to come depend on what you choose to believe.           The Bible presents us with one set of facts and the world with “another.” The Bib…

Where Mercy Begins

“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 NIV
          Salvation is a humiliating work in a wonderful way. Redemption continually wounds our pride and pretended righteousness. As self loses its fascination and appeal our attention is drawn to the wonders of a love which makes no sense. 
          Far from our initial vision of personal spiritual greatness, an honest journey leaves us weak and broken before Him. Where the pretense of arduous effort and strict self-discipline crumble, mercy begins. As our filthy rags are taken from us one by one we are left humbled and our glory is laid in the dust. The only boasting that is left as we behold the work of God in our lives is in the one who does for us what we are helpless to do for ourselves.
Still Seeking His Face,Pastor Andrew

Two Realities Emerge

“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.””John 3:8 NIV
          Our Christian journey rarely follows an expected course. We come to Christ for deliverance, but few realize what that involves. As the Holy Spirit works within us, two realities emerge. We discover that our sin runs deeper than we ever imagined, but most importantly, we realize God’s love for us runs even deeper.
Still Seeking His Face,Pastor Andrew