Grace and the “Golden Rule”

No one who understands the salvation offered through Jesus Christ doubts or diminishes the role that “grace” plays in it. Grace is commonly defined and thought of as “undeserved favor.” While this may indeed be an over-simplified view, it is nonetheless sufficient for our purposes here.

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Wisdom or Experience

Willie Nelson is quoted as saying, “Don’t come to me for wisdom. Come to me for experience.”  This sounds like sage advice- at least on the surface.  It perhaps even sounds somewhat “deep.”   And it may indeed be both of those things, but what is he really saying?  If I understanding his meaning, he’s saying that he has no wisdom to impart, but he has plenty of experiences to share.

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Side Effects: Unintended Consequences

Among other things, we live in the prescription age.  There are prescriptions, pills, and potions for just about any ailment imaginable.  It would be somewhat funny if it were not sad to hear some of the required legalese at the end of prescription drug commercials on television.  Some of “side effects experienced in some users” are much worse than the problem being treated with the “cure” being advertised!   But the problem of side effects, or unintended consequences, is unfortunately not limited to medications…

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Blessed are the Dead

Between us, Donna and I attended four funerals in nine days.  The deceased were mostly family members of our spiritual family, and family members of our friends. Our hearts go out to them all. There have been several high-profile singers and actors that have also died recently.  Death is hard, prevalent, and inevitable.  Obviously, death is just as much a part of life as birth- though we sure don’t view (or memorialize) them the same.  But have you ever considered how differently from God- the Creator and Sustainer of life, we view death?  John was specifically instructed to write, “Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord from now on!” in Revelation 14:13.   The Greek word translated as blessed means “happy” or “fortunate.”  Indeed, those dying “in the Lord” are just that!  Even when the departed was, as far as we can determine at least, a righteous person who lived and trusted “in the Lord,” do we really view their passing as a “blessed” event?  Typically, we do not.  Why not?  Shouldn’t Christians view the passing of other Christians as  “blessed” like God?  When you get right down to it, shouldn’t we strive to view everything as God does? 

To have the proper view of death, we must first have the proper view of life. This means viewing life as God does.  Please consider the following points, and perhaps they will help…

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Hungry, but for what?

Have you ever stood staring blankly into an open refrigerator or pantry because you were hungry, but didn’t know exactly for what?  Most of us have, on many occasions.  There is a longing, but we’re unsure exactly with what to fill it.  We all also have a comparable spiritual hunger….

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The Good Things about New Year’s Resolutions

The good thing about New Year’s resolutions is not that they are typically available for the next year also- though that is often true for most of us.  But there are some positives associated with the age-old custom of making New Year’s resolutions…

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“Handling” the Truth

There is an oft-quoted line from a movie in which a young military attorney is badgering an older and “crusty” (to say the least) superior officer in a taut courtroom scene.  The young office states that he just wants “the truth.”  The crusty old officer replies with great vehemence, “You can’t handle the truth!”  We’re tempted to feel and say such things about some folks with regard to “the truth” of God’s word, but that’s not usually the problem….

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Was Jesus “Blessed” by God?

When most people talk about being “blessed” by God, to what type of “blessings” are they referring?  Many of us are extremely blessed by Him beyond daily bread, clothes, and shelter (cf. Matthew 6:24-34; 1Timothy 6:7-8), and the “rains from heaven and fruitful seasons” satisfy our“hearts with food and gladness,” Acts 14:17.  He deserves all the praise, honor, and glory we can give for these things!  But, have you ever thought about our title question, “Was Jesus blessed” by God?  Think about it for a moment: Was Jesus blessed by God with most of the things we typically consider to be our greatest “blessings”?

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“Busy” is Not a Badge

Many years ago, a friend kept trying to get me to camp out on the river and fish for a couple of days with him.  As much as I wanted to take him up on the offer, I kept putting him off because I was “just too busy right now.”  In his jovial, teasing manner, he finally replied, “A man that is too busy to fish is just too busy!”  I went and we had a great time.  Since then I’ve adapted his statement somewhat, “A man (or woman) that is too busy to serve the Lord is just too busy!”  And yet, that is exactly where far too many of us find ourselves now- “too busy” for God.

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What is “God’s Will” for Your LIfe?

People sometimes speak of wanting to know what “God’s will” for their lives might be.  I don’t want to draw the wrong conclusions from anyone’s words, but they most often seem to think that “God’s will” for their life is something of a journey of discovery to be found through experimentation and introspection.  While there is no doubt that introspection can be good and useful, or that we often learn by experience(s), let’s look to God’s Word in a few places that speak specifically of His will…

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Daily Verse

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”

- 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

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