I have a treat for those of you with children and grandchildren in your life. My friend Karen Whiting’s new book just released. I want you to be among the first to know. Because Karen packs so many creative ideas into each lesson, there is something to fit every family’s needs. Karen has provided a link below so you can enjoy a free sample of this fun and informative resource.
My friend’s words caused me to think of my own faith journey.
In Sunday School my young heart warmed toward God when I heard the stories of David and Goliath and Zacchaeus, the wee little man. My grandmother made sure I treated God with respect. No food in my mouth when we blessed our meal.
A neighborhood child, I’ll call Abby, who was also in my daughter’s first grade class, showed the effect of one person’s sin. Abby’s father left her mother—and her—for another woman. Abby’s anger and hurt spilled out on the neighborhood children and her classmates.
Who did this man’s adultery hurt? His wife and child obviously grieved. But my children also suffered. The sin committed by a man we’d never met disrupted our neighborhood and his daughter’s classroom.
Believing we can corral the consequences of our private sins is like throwing a flaming, gasoline-soaked rag into an apartment and being astonished when the whole building burns down. Continue Reading
Do you see yourself as “the one Jesus loves”? That may sound self-absorbed, but I believe it shows faith. The Apostle John repeatedly referred to himself as “the one Jesus loved.” See John 13:23, 19:26, 20:2, 21:7, 20. Any of the disciples could have used this description. Jesus loved them all (Jn. 13:1). But John personalized Jesus’ love. Jesus loved John!
Too often, I hear Christians emphasizing where we fall short. After hearing a message, many leave feeling beat up instead of built up. Focusing on our sin instead of on God’s gift of righteousness undermines the message of grace and the role of faith. This works-centered focus promotes a self-centered life instead of Christ-centered one.
The Apostle Paul wrote,
For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith’” (italics added; Rom. 1:17 NIV).
It’s illogical to tell unbelievers we are “saved by grace through faith” and then tell ourselves we are accepted on the basis of our performance. Continue Reading