Tag Archives: grace

Ultimate Stain Remover

As I woke up this morning, my oldest son was making coffee before heading out the door to work.  As he was preparing it, I noticed he didn’t have a towel down on the countertop.  (we have white counters)  I also noticed a fresh ring of espresso on the counter that had been on the bottom of the carafe.  Now, the oils in espresso stain deeply & quickly…thus followed my urgent plea to wipe it up.  “I’ll get it in a minute,” he answered.  What he didn’t understand was that it was going to be almost impossible to remove if he were to allow 60 seconds to go by.  It needed to be dealt with now!

You know….I’m intrigued at how God chooses to speak insights to me through things like coffee.  As I watched him wipe the coffee clean from the counter, Isaiah 1:18 came to mind…

“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD.  “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow.  Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.  

This is referring to snow that has freshly fallen…that has not been trampled upon yet.  And white wool…clear of imperfections or blemishes.  This is the heart of God for our lives.  For you!  His best plan for us involves constant cleansing/refreshing.  Along the road we will acquire blemishes and beatings….some from our own doing and others not so much.  But He cleanses and heals us for two reasons:

1) He loves us at a depth we cannot understand.

2) He wants to involve us in His greater work.

Here’s the point.  Unattended, our spilled coffee (sins) can begin to leave a noticeable mark.  Quick!  Ask Jesus to clean it up for you.  Its often difficult to take the step….but we must hand Him the sponge.

How have you seen God use your ‘whitened’ life for His purposes?  Please share.

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My piggy bank is too small

There is a local community event where I live that revolves around a massive finger football tournament.  Well, my wife happened to read on Facebook that one of our church families (who are very involved in that event) were there with their 5-year-old daughter.  She had heard that there were prizes for finalists…so she asked, “Do I get a dollar if I win?”  Her mother informed her that the 1st place prize was $750!  To this realization the young girl responded, “Oh….well I don’t think that would fit in my piggy bank.”

Now, I’ll give you a second to respond like my wife and I did…and probably everyone else that read it.

“Awwww…..that’s so cute!”

Moments after hearing this a thought came to my mind.  This is exactly where some people are in their understanding of God and His love & grace.  I would suggest that many people really struggle with the magnitude of incredible promises & gifts God has for us.  And in relation to this little girl’s piggy bank, many of us place limitations on our ability or capacity to receive all that God desires to bless us with.  Look at this verse:

Praise the Lord!  How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands.  Their children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.  They themselves will be wealthy, and their good deeds will last forever.     Psalm 112:1-3 (NLT)

Wow!!!  Successful everywhere?  Entire generation blessed?  Wealthy?  Sounds like a piggy bank the size of Fort Knox!  But it’s not!  It’s less of an issue of our capacity to receive His blessings, and much more our willingness to accept them with His love.

Do you know what God wants for your life?  He has plans for you…hope and a future.  What are you waiting for?  His promises are real and plenty.  But you do need to decide if you will accept them…or refuse them.  Choose wisely and your piggy bank will burst under pressure!   

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It’s really quite simple

Matthew 19:16-18a reads:
Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to
get eternal life?”
“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”
Which ones?” the man inquired.
Which ones? Did something in Jesus’ tone or facial expression hint that we could have a buffet approach to this? Jesus simply answers, “Obey the commandments.” I think this is why so many non-believers in our current society have a hard time accepting forgiveness and life from Christ…its too simple! The gospel message is simply too easy. Corporate America teaches us that the harder we apply ourselves at work the higher up we go in the pay and position. I read the Matthew text above and think, “this guy just wants to know the least he can do to earn a place in Heaven.” And then I think about Jesus…”He chose to go above and beyond…He gave everything possible.” He gave His very life and gained nothing…except the hope of one day having us come back to Him.
This week, may you feel His spirit’s tugging. And may you truly desire to give it all back to Him…expecting nothing in return.

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