Monthly Archives: January 2010

God’s Grace All Sufficient PART 2

Today, as I get to do each Wednesday, I sat down with two of my brothers, Jeremy and Steve, to study God’s word and meditate on its truths. We are studying Ephesians. I just wanted to share another thought or two about grace since that is such the focus of Paul’s writings.

(Ephesians 3:18-19 NCV)  “And I pray that you and all God’s holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love–how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is. {19} Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of God.”

God’s grace came through the love that Christ gave to the whole world.  Paul calls it a mystery revealed in the book of Ephesians.  He says that it’s greater than we can know, but he also prayers that we will be able to know it.  Only then can we be filled with the “fullness of God.”

No matter what I’m going through, I am saved.  No matter how great my sin, I am forgiven.  No matter how bad the discouragement, I can have genuine joy.  No that’s a blessing to give the world.

(Ephesians 3:10 NCV)  “His purpose was that through the church all the rulers and powers in the heavenly world will now know God’s wisdom, which has so many forms.” After knowing about His love and grace for us, our purpose is to make known to the heavenly realm the various ways of God’s wisdom.  We were asked in the study guide we are using , “Is the church doing a good job of showing God’s wisdom?”

I think that one way we can show that kind of wisdom to the heavenly realm is by doing that which God has given us to do here.  For example, Jesus told us to “love our neighbor as ourselves.”  We must be showing this to the world to confound the heavenly and earthly realms.  Anytime we live out loud the word of God, we are confounding those around us both in the earthly and heavenly realms.

What are some other ways we can show the wisdom of God in our world and in the heavenly world?


God’s Grace All Sufficient

Hebrews is written to a discouraged people. They were people who were trying to go back and do things in ways they were comfortable. They needed only to trust that what they believed about Jesus was true and all they needed ultimately was Jesus.

A friend of mine sent me an article the other day that had as it’s text Hebrews 13:9. Here is the immediate context of that verse. Watch what God is up to in these verses.

(Hebrews 13:1-9 NCV) “Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. {2} Remember to welcome strangers, because some who have done this have welcomed angels without knowing it. {3} Remember those who are in prison as if you were in prison with them. Remember those who are suffering as if you were suffering with them. {4} Marriage should be honored by everyone, and husband and wife should keep their marriage pure. God will judge as guilty those who take part in sexual sins. {5} Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be satisfied with what you have. God has said, “I will never leave you; I will never forget you.” {6} So we can be sure when we say, “I will not be afraid, because the Lord is my helper. People can’t do anything to me.” {7} Remember your leaders who taught God’s message to you. Remember how they lived and died, and copy their faith. {8} Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. {9} Do not let all kinds of strange teachings lead you into the wrong way. Your hearts should be strengthened by God’s grace, not by obeying rules about foods, which do not help those who obey them.”

It is a section of scripture that is a real comfort to me today.  Just what is going to happen tome financially I do not know, but I know that God knows and that He has promised to take care of me.  I see several things in this word from God.

1.  Focus on what matters: “Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters.”  My family means more than the rules, “which do not help those who obey them.”  When he tell us to not let “all kinds of strange teachings lead you into the wrong way…,” he refers to strange teachings about Jesus, which they had to deal with a great deal.  His point:  Jesus is the same always.

2. I don’t need to love money so much: “Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be satisfied with what you have.”  Contentment is a great thing!!  I just wish I could provide only the things I need.  I’m going to try and allow God to take care of those needs.

3. Empathize with the hurting: “Remember those who are suffering as if you were suffering with them.”  That is telling me that I need to be thinking about those who are hurting.  Sometimes I can’t get my mind off of my own “sufferings” enough to even think about others, let alone feel what they feel.

4. God’s grace is sufficient: “Your hearts should be strengthened by God’s grace.”  The word for “strengthened” in the original here means “stability.”  It is trying to teach me that I am to remain stable only in the Lord’s grace.  He is really all that we need.  Knowing that Jesus died for me and I’m going to be with Him should be all that I need.  I can’t wait till I get to see Him and His loving face!!!!!!

5. Remember: In this passage the author uses the word “remember” five times.  He also says that He will never leave us nor forsake us.  We must remember all the things He’s done for us and he will never forget us.

This passage blessed me today and I just wanted to share it with you.

New Blogroll Additions

Hey guys, I’ve added a couple of new blogs to my “blogroll” that I find interesting and thought you might as well. I’d like to take this blog time to introduce these guys to you.

The first in the list is Mark Maybrey’s Luke blog. Mark is the pulpit minister at Macedonia where we currently are part of the church family. Mark is a dear friend and has been a close confidant in the struggles we have been experiencing. I met Mark back a few years ago when he came to Macedonia. I was at Creekside at the time and called him up to get to know him better. On that day we talked about how awesome it would be to get to work together someday and that “someday” has arrived. He and Tammy have three wonderful children and are a really good team in the ministry. Marks blog is a follow up on the sermon series he is in currently on the book of Luke. We’ve only heard to lessons so far, and it is already blessing our lives in a big way.

The second new link in my list is Ron Ethridge. Ron and his wife Pam are just great people. We met through basketball at Muscle Shoals. Their son Britton (a sophomore) plays on the varsity team as well.

Ron is an interim pastor for the Baptist church in one of our near-by towns called Moulton. He has pastored churches since 1989 in Mississippi and Alabama. He is a generous man and has been one of those divine appointments in my life. He has “been there and done that” when is comes to seeing the nasty of ministry. Therefore, he has related well with our situation and been a tremendous blessing.

I know you guys read lots of blogs, and I don’t usually put more on the list, but these too guys are worth the time. I love and appreciate them.

Championship and Snow In Bama!!

Today brought about two things that haven’t happened in a long time. The picture here shows the first. We woke this morning to snow. It has been so cold that it stuck. I couldn’t resist one picture to show you guys. It’s not much, but enough to shut down the schools.

Then tonight the Tide rolled all over Texas. I figure most of you saw the game or heard about it, so I won’t give the details. I will say kudos to the Tide defense and Mark Ingram.

I also want to give a huge shout out for Colt McCoy, Texas’ quarterback) who is one of the “classiest” kids I’ve ever seen on TV. His congrats to Bama and his spiritual testimony was awesome tonight. I hated to see him go down like that with an injury. He is a great warrior for God. I pray for him to go far in the NFL and stay strong in his faith.

A New Year–Time For Perspective!

The clock has turned again and a new year has begun. In the scheme of things, it’s just another day, but there’s something about ushering in a new year that brings a fresh perspective to our lives. It is a time of looking forward while also reflecting on the past.

In some respects 2009 has been a very difficult year for us, but in most respects it has been a good year. We have a new grandson now and a new son-in-law who loves and cares for our daughter and son. We are healthy to the best off our knowledge. We have become a part of a great church family in the Macedonia church. We have been surrounded by friends and family who have loved us in spite of our flaws while at the same time taking care of us–quite literally.

As I look forward to the coming year, I have a few hopes and dreams for my life. I hope to be more involved in the ministry again. I know that some say and it is true in one sense, “we are all in the ministry,” but I feel the calling on my life again and that is a good feeling. I hope to be a better husband than I’ve been this year. I want to be the kind of father my children need. I want to get myself in better shape again. This time last year, I weighed about 30 pounds less than I do now. I allowed the stress of life to dominate my mind and just let myself go. That needs to change.

I hope that 2010 can bring new life to my spiritual life. I really need to get back into the word of God more deeply. I want to begin teaching and preaching more and more again. I want to seek God more deeply than ever in my life.

The difficulties of this past year have helped me see some things anew. 1. I think I am a more humble person. That sounds almost cocky to say, but I really think God has been trying to teach me to get rid of my pride. 2. I think I’m more bold in my beliefs. Having been put in the position I’m in has helped me see what really matters. 3. I have a new respect for people in the “secular” work place. I’ve had to gain that perspective because I’ve been there again. It had been so long that I had grown impatient with people and their “excuses” of being tired on Wednesday nights or saying that it’s difficult to work on certain aspects of their lives due to the stress of work. That is a real struggle for some. 4. I will never take for granted spending time with my family again if I get that opportunity.

I wish all of you a very blessed new year! I pray God’s blessings and favor fall upon you all.