The Spring of My Youth

 Displaying IMG_0227.JPGOne of my fondest childhood memories was an underground spring that is located in the woods of western Pennsylvania. We (and everyone from miles around) would go there from time to time and fill containers with the cool, clear water. Even on the hottest day, the water was always cold and I have never known this spring to ever run dry.

I went back this week to revisit “my” spring and it was still flowing, still cold and still refreshing.(See attached picture.)  I feel sorry for those who grew up in the city and never experienced drinking from “God’s Spring!

The only water that tastes better is from the spring that produces eternal life. It is always flowing and always refreshing and gives eternal life. You may never go to Pennsylvania and drink from that spring but make sure you drink from the well of salvation. 

Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14

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Christmas Contrasts

vacancyEvery Christmas we hear pastors preach a sermon about there being no room for Jesus in the inn. The sermon is usually concluded by encouraging everyone to make room for Jesus in their lives. I have preached that message myself.  We SHOULD make room for Him.

But as I thought about making room for Jesus this year, a verse of Scripture came to my mind, a verse that tells us to put a “No Vacancy” sign. Ephesians 4:27 says, “…and do not leave room for the devil.” In our home, we have a bedroom that has been designated as the ‘guest room.’ This room is for people that are invited or welcomed to stay with us. Setting up a room for the Devil sounds like a bad idea. But that is exactly what we do when we allow him to focus on other things instead of Jesus Christ. Tell the Devil there is no room for him in your life. No vacancy

“Grace” Is Not The Girl Next Door

graceGrace is an amazing thing. There is no  way it makes sense. It is God chasing us when there is no reason for it. We matter to God and there is nothing we can do to alter it. The obvious question is, If God is really like this, what prevents people from taking advantage of His grace? Grace is a face-to-face encounter with God’s love and when that love happens, you end up loving God back. It is impossible to take advantage of grace, because if you really get it, it gets you.

No matter where you you are, grace always brings change. BUT grace yields freedom from sin, not freedom to sin. Justifying sin by appealing to grace sours the grace  experience by turning it into something God never intended it to be.

You cannot experience the grace of God and continue being bad. If you are being bad today, it’s because you are not experience grace today.

God is not the one who makes life ugly for us. But there are times He backs off and our own ugliness takes over. It’s called judgement. the but getting out from under judgment is a simple matter. If you are heading west for 50 years, then turn to head east, the change is instant, you are now heading east. Getting out from under judgment is a simple matter. As long as you have breath , there is hope. So do you want  to be healed of graceless -living ? Then do a 180. You won’t regret it.

Old Life vs New Life

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 You have probably heard people say, “I am a sinner saved by grace.” I used to think that but recently I have changed my thinking. As a Christ-follower; I am no longer a sinner but a saint. Romans 1:7 Salvation has rewritten my history. God no longer remembers my sin. Hebrews 8:12 

Many Christ-followers look at their life in Christ as living the old-life better.You cannot live the old life better because “the old has gone.” [Past tense; no longer exists] Salvation is not a better “version” of the old you. [The new is here; present tense] We become righteous through Christ. Philippians 3:9

As long as we think about past sins, we can never live the new life in Christ.  It is only as we claim of new life in Christ that we will receive the benefits of being a child of God.