A Promise for All

There are some verses in the bible that apply to everyone equally. This morning, as I was going over my Fighter Verse for this week, there was one sitting right there in front of me. I had actually memorized this one just a couple weeks ago, but today something was new about it. As I scanned it I realized that this verse applies the same to virtually everyone—believers and unbelievers.

[God] does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.

Psalm 103:10

This is true of every living soul on the planet. God does not deal with you according to your sins, nor repay you according to your iniquities, yet. He will one day deal with your sin, and mine. My sin actually has been dealt with. The sentence for my crimes has been executed. Jesus paid it all. He drank the whole cup of God’s wrath for my iniquities. That is the way that God deals with sin, either you pay the price or Jesus pays the price, but someone will pay.

So right now you have a great mercy in front of you, namely, the Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. Go now while you still have a chance, for death is appointed to all, then jugdment. None will escape. Run to the cross, he stands ready to forgive.

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Born Again Hypocrite

So there are a few of you out there who know me… well, knew me. I’m sure most of you haven’t seen me in at least a couple years, but you have seen my posts on Facebook or Myspace. I’m pretty sure that at least once you’ve wondered, “What is he talking about?!!” or, “Who is this?” So it’s obvious that I’m not the same person that you partied with, smoked some-n with, or watched get arrested. So who is this new me, and where did the old me go? Well I can tell you first off that the old me is dead, buried and gone, never to return again. The things that have occurred in my life in recent years have been nothing short of miraculous. In a very short span of only five years I have gone from broke, drunk every night, on probation, job-hopping, “self-medicating”, getting arrested, fighting with anyone who wanted to, and being a not-very-nice boyfriend, to being free-er than I’ve ever been, [happily] married with two wonderful boys, a wonderful career in the palm of my hands, and the son of a King.

It could almost seem like an overnight transition, if not for the many times I fell flat on my face during the transition period. I mean I’ve gotten drunk, fought with my wife, been arrested, and disgraced this King that I claim to love more times than I care to remember. With all of this, in light of this evidence you could even question if the change is genuine, and you would be right to do so. I can tell you this though, the change in me is more genuine than the most passionate animal lover you know. I am not the same person, and I am never going back. The crazy part is this, I could go back, in an instant, if not for the grace of God. It’s by this same grace, this grace that keeps me suspended in a constant state of joy, longing to separate myself from sin to the nth degree, that has saved me in the first place. If not for this grace I would be in the same wretched and vile state I was in before I ever realized Jesus as my savior.

These failures that I speak about, they have caused those around me, people I love, to question the sincerity of my commitment to this Christian life. They have even caused some in my circle to call me the same name that every Christian dreads to be called, a hypocrite. But I stand guilty of the accusation. I was a hypocrite, and still am in some ways, I must confess. I still make mistakes. I still let myself down. I still let my loved ones down, but thank God that I can never let Him down… because I never held Him up. Just as I stand here guilty of the accusation of being a hypocrite, which I may as well be a murderer because by my actions I may have killed who someone was going to be-and the bible says that if you break one law, you’ve broken them all, but just as I’m guilty of that, I stand with a conscience free of guilt, knowing that the price for my sins has been paid. I will not and can not be held accountable in the High Court for my actions. It is for this reason that my mind is overwhelmed daily, and at the same time relieved. Overwhelmed because I know that if for one second God were to remove His hand of grace from my life, I would again return to my foolish ways, just as a dog will always return to lick up its own vomit. Relieved because I know without an iota of doubt that my Father has me securely in His hands, and there is nothing that can separate me from the love that Christ has for me. In the words of Marvin Gaye, “How sweet it is, to be loved by YOU!”

Amazing Saving Grace

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.” These words come natural to the lips of most people, because they remember the song. Sometimes though, I wonder if most people even realize the beauty of the truth that they are proclaiming. Recently, I was at the funeral of a friend of mine. As we were asked to rise and sing this song I looked around the room and saw that most of the people in attendance were following along. It was almost as though their mouths were moving, but the truth of the words wasn’t connecting. I say this because for me, every time I sing that song, I can’t help but smile. My heart cries out for joy when I hear those lyrics.

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