A few weeks ago, I stood in a somewhat familiar place underneath Heathrow airport at the Underground station awaiting the arrival of our train. Since we had our little ones with us, I made extra sure that we were sufficiently away from the edge of the station platform. For them, this was new experience (although both had experienced this 3 years ago, neither remember). For me, there was much that was very familiar, but there was also much that was at best vaguely familiar.
Well, the long-awaited Election Day is finally here!
Here are a few thoughts on the election, our mission, and moving forward that the Lord has spoken to me over the past few weeks.
Firstly, regarding the election. I know that we all “know” this, but our hope is not anchored in our government, our political system or any of our politicians. Our hope is anchored in Jesus Christ!
Regardless of the outcome of the election, our job, our calling remains the same. We are called to be ministers of “reconciliation” and to herald the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. We are to minister healing to the blind, the lame, and all who are oppressed, to lift up the poor and the downtrodden (Lk 4:18-19), care for widows and orphans (Jas 1:27), bind up the broken-hearted and loose (utterly destroy) the bonds of wickedness (Is 58:6).
Oh, is that all?
This is the last of this series on “The Enabling Power of Grace” and I thought it would be the easiest to conclude as I had most of this written before part 3. However, I have truly had to draw on His grace, His enabling power to bring this to conclusion. My hope is that this will not conclude your exploration of grace, but will incite you to explore more, but not just more on grace, but more on the Person of Grace. In our endeavors to understand more of who God is and His character, the greatest danger is that we learn about certain truths and miss the Person of those truths.
We ended Part 2 by exploring some comparisons that Jesus made between “the Law” and the “Covenant of Grace” that Jesus came to bring, and the question of the New Covenant of grace being one of a lower standard or a higher standard. To paraphrase, Jesus said the Law says “this”, but I say to you even if the issue is in your heart (and not an outward action), you are in sin. So which is the harder way, or the higher standard, the law or grace? While it was impossible for anyone other than Jesus himself to be justified under the law, we see very clearly that Jesus did not come to lower the standard by which we live, but to raise the standard to that of Himself, the living word.
As we continue this week to explore a more complete understanding of grace, there is one more truth that will help not only in understanding His grace further but any biblical truths for that matter.
An absolute faith in His word and the understanding that the word is our foundation is imperative in our endeavors to understand grace and other truths. Without His word as our rock and foundation, our efforts will be of little effect.
On Sunday when we ran short on time, I felt compelled to still communicate this word to the churches in some form, and had the idea of writing this as part of the newsletter that was scheduled to go out this week. However, once I began to contemplate this, I quickly realized the length of the content would exceed a “newsletter” type publication. So I have elected to include the first of 4 or 6 parts in the newsletter, and as well post this on the COTNMA blog and Facebook. The subsequent parts will follow at the beginning of each week for the next few weeks on the COTNMA blog. My prayer is that this would be as life changing for you as it has been for me since the time I first heard this word preached.
2 Ti 1:1-12
It would be unimaginable that a child, on their birthday or Christmas or another holiday gifts are given, would gladly receive a gift and be satisfied for the gifts to remain wrapped or packed away in a closet somewhere where they cannot be used.
So why is it that we so often allow our gifts to remain unused, unopened or dormant?
The Father has endowed each of us with gifts, talents, and abilities. Some have abilities in Maths and Science, some writing, some the Arts (dance, drama, painting, music, etc), others are athletes, a number are mechanical or have the ability to work with their hands, and a myriad of other things.
It’s hard to believe that we are more than half way through 2011 already! Thinking back, there are many things that have happened, but for me it feels like I blinked at New Years and here I am at the beginning of July.
Seemingly, the pace of life has continued to increase at an alarming rate. To quote a famous song from the 70’s, “time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future.” We can potentially alter the outcomes of future events and generations, change the course of our “future” history, but the one thing we can’t do is go back. We can’t undo, take back, or even revisit except in our minds. Where we find ourselves presently is most often the result of decisions or choices made, days, weeks, and even years past.
There have been myriads of books and movies about time travel, countless theories of how it could be accomplished, often with the “hope” of bettering our present and future conditions by rectifying past mistakes. However, time travel remains a complete impossibility. The closest biblical evidence we have for time being altered, is found in Joshua chapter 10, when the Lord spoke to Joshua to command the sun to stand still. With all we have discovered about Astronomy, our solar system, and the laws of gravity, to me this is one of the most fantastic events that occurred in the Old Testament (but I won’t get side-tracked by the science of this event).