Archive for January 7, 2021

And it matters a lot. It matters in the way we conduct ourselves around others. It matters in the way we act when we are wronged and it matters how we act when we’re right. It matters how we act when we lose and when we win. It matters in every single thing we do and every single choice we make. Think about who we serve. We serve the One who laid down His life for everyone including His enemies. He is the One who washed the feet of His betrayer, knowing full well what His betrayer was about to do. He is the One who called His followers to go the extra mile and turn the other cheek. He’s the One who called us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Think about how and why He died. In the natural world, He died in large part because His own people wanted Him to go to war, to overthrow their human oppressors, and give them power and might in this world. He had a longer view in mind. He laid down His life to overthrow our much more powerful spiritual oppressor and give us eternal life. Let’s not become short sighted. We are in this world to carry on His work and represent Him. The salvation of humanity hangs in the balance. Will we be a wall or a door? Will our actions, and the way we represent Jesus, draw people to Him or make them turn away?

The answer to this is harder that you think, sometimes. I know for me, there have been many times when I have wanted to get out my poison pen and create work that puts people in their place. I’ve wanted to shout people down, win the argument and rule the day. The thing is, if I do that, even if I win, I lose. We need to be like Jesus. We need to live His way. If we are going to take a stand, it needs to be His stand, and we need to stand like He would stand. None of this is easy to navigate in this world, and I confess that I have failed too many times to count. While it is wonderful to be able to rely on God’s grace, people’s grace is often much harder to get. People matter, and they matter a lot. The Bible tells us that’s it’s God’s will that no one would perish, but that everyone would come to repentance. The only way to avoid perishing is to come to Jesus. My prayer is that I will never ever be a stumbling block that keeps people from finding the hope that I have found in Him. And the key to that is to remember that no matter what happens, I need to live in that hope.

Lord help me to represent you well in ever aspect of my life, because how I represent you matters.

It matters a lot.

The Greatest Gift

Posted: January 7, 2021 in Uncategorized

I read this in a book some time over the last year, I thought enough of it to make a note of it on my phone. If I had to guess, I would say it came from Called to Create by Jordan Raynor, but I could be wrong (even if I am, it’s a great book and you should read it), but anyway it is a retelling of an old story, and so I will retell it here.

A monk was traveling on a long journey when he found a beautiful stone that was also quite valuable. A short time later, the monk came upon a weary traveler, who was sick and hungry. The monk, as monks often do, stopped to offer him help and some of his food. When the monk opened his bag, the traveler saw the stone and asked the monk to give it to him. The traveler knew that if he sold this stone, he would be set for life. The monk replied by giving him the stone. A few days later as the monk was on his journey, he heard footsteps coming quickly behind him. He turned to see the same traveler pursuing him. The monk stopped and waited. When the traveler caught up, he reached in his bag and returned the stone to the monk. He asked the monk to give him what he had inside that allowed him to give away the stone.

I love that story. What’s more, I have that “stone.” It was something given to me of infinite value but given freely, a gift of perfect love. Having experienced that love, there is only one proper response. I have to take what I have been given and give it away. That “stone” is salvation through Jesus Christ. I received it as a free gift. It cost me nothing but belief. On the other hand, it cost the One who gave it to me, the perfect Son of God His life, when He died on the cross in my place, taking my sin upon Himself so I could be free. The good news is, unlike the monk’s stone, giving this away takes nothing from me. I still have my salvation, what I gain when I share it, every time I share it) is another brother or sister in Christ.

When Jesus found me I was broken and near the end. I didn’t have to clean up first, which is good because I couldn’t do that on my own. He met me right where I was, in the midst of my worst brokenness, and gave me hope and peace and love. He gave me a new life and a new purpose and all I really want to do is give it away. There is hope in this broken world. It comes in the person of Jesus Christ, who died to free us from the things that are destroying us, and rose again to give us hope of life eternal. Have you placed your faith in Him. If not, why not today? If you have, you need to know you carry within you something of infinite value, and a clear calling to give it away!

Salvation through Christ is the greatest gift, Share it!