Sunday, June 28, 2009


Source: here

I had a remarkable experience of forgiveness last week. I was simply horrible to someone very dear to me and I was horrified. I hadn't acted that way toward someone in many years (if ever), and worse yet, it was toward someone I have only known a short while. I had no past hurts to draw upon to justify my action, nothing I could point to that would mitigate the offense. It was pure and simple meanness that came solely and completely from me, unprovoked and undeserved.

I rarely get upset or treat my friends badly, but when I am hurt I can be very nasty. It is only after this very unique experience where there was not any harm done or even intended that I realize I have forgotten a big piece of forgiveness, the undeserved and unmerited nature of it.

With so many of my friends and family forgiveness has become routine. Its weight and significance lessened because I have turned it into a quid pro quo rather than forgiveness. Instead of wiping the slate clean, the scales are balanced. Instead of loving, I am enduring. I start to think that I deserve to be forgiven because others are wronging me.

This is not the love or the forgiveness that God offers us through the merit of Jesus. There is never wrong done to me by God and there is always wrong done by me to God. Yet I am forgiven. The slate is wiped clean, my relationship is restored, and I am loved, declared a son of God, an heir with Jesus. I am not overwhelmed by anxiety wondering when I will go too far and sin too much and step outside the bounds of God’s forgiveness…I am simply forgiven. Loved.

This reality crushes me to the core, but I am distracted by my feeble imitation of “forgiveness.” And yet, there are moments like this past week when I am reminded of what I have actually been given and I can scarcely breathe. I am overwhelmed by love, by forgiveness, by grace.

So thank you K. for your inspired forgiveness and grace.

--Kris Opat
Source: here

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

While we were yet without strength

Now do not aim at great things. Be satisfied to have a faith that can hold in its hand this one truth, "While we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly." (Rom 5:6) He laid down His life for men while as yet they were not believing in Him, nor were able to believe in Him. He died for men, not as believers, but as sinners. He came to make these sinners into believers and saints; but when He died for them He viewed them as utterly without strength. ... It is not great faith, but true faith, that saves; and the salvation lies not in the faith, but in the Christ in whom faith trusts.

- C.H. Spurgeon, "All of Grace", pp 74-75.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Good News - Did you know about this?

Back in February of 2007, The Internet Monk wrote about his dad:

My dad grew up in a large family, and his younger brother became a very popular preacher. There was a lot of Appalachian mountain religion in him: emotional, fatalistic, mysterious, full of a God that couldn’t really be known or loved, but had to be dealt with anyway. He was converted, but he also left his first wife and family, living for years in shame, anger and dread over what that kind of failure meant. He wrestled with whether he was a Christian, and always wept at prayer. (Hearing my dad pray at night before he went to bed is a memory that always stays with me, especially knowing he was praying for me.)

The above quote is really just an introductory snippet. This post is really meant to point you to the full story (not long): HERE


Friday, June 5, 2009

An Either-Or, not a Both-And

Either sin is with you, lying on your shoulders, or it is lying on Christ, the Lamb of God. Now if it is lying on your back, you are lost; but if it is resting on Christ, you are free, and you will be saved. Now choose what you want.

-Martin Luther


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

He is the Way

It's easier to go through a legal transaction. It's easier to find a tidy little world where Republicans are right and Democrats are wrong. It's easier to follow a leader as if he were the mouthpiece of God. It's easier to fight for one's favorite social justice issue, or follow the latest revival trail. I swear, it's easier to write a one-thousand page systematic theology book than it is to walk down the dirty unkept path of Love.

He is the real narrow road, the one that is almost hard to see because it's so little, so unassuming. It's the humble little dirt path that follows a small gurgling stream, and it is the Way we are called to walk. This is the stuff of following Christ. Simple. Very very simple. We grow in love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness and self-control. We grow because the God in us grows us in those things and we don't fight Him, or, at least, we try not to.

-- Source: here