Tag Results For :: "forgiveness"




Before My Eyes

May 1st, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.

So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you. Don’t put it off; do it now. Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.

— 2 Peter 1:5-11, MSG

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Yesterday, an old thought once again became knew:

In Christ, I am forgiven.

Not just in part, not only a little bit, not 2/3 or even 98%.

In Christ, I am forgiven.

Completely, for everything.



Not As the World Gives

April 10th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
— John 14:27, NASB

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Come unto Me, ye weary, and I will give you rest.
O Blessed voice of Jesus, which comes to hearts oppressed!
It tells of benediction, of pardon, grace, and peace,
Of joy that hath no ending, of love which cannot cease.

— William C. Dix (1837-1898), “Come Unto Me, Ye Weary”

 

For the thirsty, the hungry, and the distracted, the message of Christ is the same. Jesus speaks of pardon and forgiveness, of joy and peace, given freely to all who look to him to satisfy their innermost needs. Are you trusting the Lord with your heart today? Can you accept he is bringing you ever closer to being conformed to his own character and image? We can live in hopeful expectation believing he will complete the work he has begun.



Remembering Dietrich

April 9th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“In a word, live together in the forgiveness of your sins, for without it no human fellowship, least of all a marriage, can survive. Don’t insist on your rights, don’t blame each other, don’t judge or condemn each other, don’t find fault with each other, but accept each other as you are, and forgive each other every day from the bottom of your hearts…”
― Dietrich BonhoefferLetters Papers from Prison

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“Christian love draws no distinction between one enemy and another, except that the more bitter our enemy’s hatred, the greater his need of love. Be his enmity political or religious, he has nothing to expect from a follower of Jesus but unqualified love. In such love there is not inner discord between the private person and official capacity. In both we are disciples of Christ, or we are not Christians at all.”
― Dietrich BonhoefferThe Cost of Discipleship

“The question of why evil exists is not a theological question, for it assumes that it is possible to go behind the existence forced upon us as sinners. If we could answer it then we would not be sinners. We could make something else responsible…The theological question does not arise about the origin of evil but about the real overcoming of evil on the Cross; it ask for the forgiveness of guilt, for the reconciliation of the fallen world ”
― Dietrich BonhoefferCreation and Fall / Temptation: Two Biblical Studies

“Christian community is like the Christian’s sanctification. It is a gift of God which we cannot claim. Only God knows the real state of our fellowship, of our sanctification. What may appear weak and trifling to us may be great and glorious to God. Just as the Christian should not be constantly feeling his spiritual pulse, so, too, the Christian community has not been given to us by God for us to be constantly taking its temperature. The more thankfully we daily receive what is given to us, the more surely and steadily will fellowship increase and grow from day to day as God pleases.”
― Dietrich BonhoefferLife Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community

“Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjacks’ wares. The sacraments, the forgiveness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at cut prices. Grace is represented as the Church’s inexhaustible treasury, from which she showers blessings with generous hands, without asking questions or fixing limits. Grace without price; grace without cost! The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing. Since the cost was infinite, the possibilities of using and spending it are infinite. What would grace be if it were not cheap?…

Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.

Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him.

Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.

Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: “ye were bought at a price,” and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.”
― Dietrich BonhoefferThe Cost of Discipleship

 

DIETRICH BONHOEFFER was born on 4 February 1906 in Breslau. A twin, he grew up in a comfortable professional home. His father was an eminent psychiatrist and neurologist. It was nominally a Lutheran, though not a profoundly religious, environment and the young Bonhoeffer caused something of a stir when he announced, at thirteen, that he would go into the church. After school he enrolled as a student at the University of Berlin, the city in which the family now lived and in whose university there gathered a host of brilliant thinkers. Intellectually, Bonhoeffer was striking. But he was determined to expand his horizons, too. At the age of eighteen he went to Rome and was powerfully moved by the Roman Catholic Church. In 1930-1 he studied in New York, at Union Theological Seminary, and regularly attended Services at the Abyssinian Baptist Church. Here too he became increasingly drawn to ecumenism. Three times he made plans to travel to India and visit Gandhi, whose life and teachings he found compelling.

In 1933 the leader of the radical, racialist Nazi Party, Adolf Hitler, became chancellor and then dictator of Germany. In power, the Nazi movement sought to create a new totalitarian state: the Third Reich. Bonhoeffer saw Nazism to be a counter- religion and a danger to Christianity. He became an active participant in the dispute which broke out in the Protestant churches between those who sympathized with Nazism and those who sensed that the new politics threatened the integrity of the church. In October 1933 Bonhoeffer moved to England to be pastor to two German-speaking parishes in the London area. Here he searched for allies and met his greatest British advocate, Bishop Bell of Chichester.

On his return to Germany, Bonhoeffer ran an illegal seminary for the so-called Confessing Church at Finkenwalde. It was shut down by the state security police in October 1937. He continued to write. In 1939 he sailed to the United States, and once again to New York. But war was imminent. He chose to return to his own country, knowing what costs may lie before him, and remarking that the victory of Nazism in Europe would destroy Christian civilization.

By then he and members of his own family had for some time been on the fringe of circles that were opposed to the Nazi regime. To Bonhoeffer, true discipleship now demanded political resistance against this criminal state. He wrote that the Christian must live maturely and responsibly in the world, and live by God’s grace, not by ideology.

He was increasingly implicated in the work of groups committed to the overthrow of the government. In March 1943 he was arrested and incarcerated. On 20 July 1944 a final attempt was made by German citizens to destroy the Hitler regime for themselves. It failed disastrously, and hundreds of political prisoners were executed afterwards. Bonhoeffer himself survived as a prisoner until 9 April 1945. He was executed only a few days before the end of the war, as the Soviet armies moved across the diminishing face of the Third Reich to victory. – Westminster Abbey, “Famous People and the Abbey” [http://www.westminster-abbey.org/our-history/people/dietrich-bonhoeffer]

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Doubt It Not!

April 6th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Look at the cross; behold His precious Gift transfixed to it, and that by His own hand, and for your sins. Then look at your present circumstances, survey your needs, your trials, your chastisements, your bereavements, your heart-sickening, heartbreaking tribulations, and know that God still is love. If He had love strong enough, deep enough, to give you Jesus—to tear Him, as it were, from His bosom, and to transfix Him on yonder accursed tree for your iniquities—has He not love enough to bow His ear to your cry, and His heart to your sorrow? Will He not rescue you from this difficulty, deliver you out of this trouble, shield you in this temptation, supply this need, and support, succour, and comfort you in this grief? Oh yes, He will! Doubt it not! The cross of Calvary is a standing pledge—standing until sin and guilt, need and woe, shall be known no more—that God, who ‘spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, will with Him also freely give us all things’ necessary to our good, and promotive of His glory.” — Octavius Winslow (1808-1878)

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We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.

– Hebrews 6:13-20, MSG

 

Holding on to hope with both hands today is possible. The opportunity to see, trust, and believe is here, right now.

Lord, help me today to keep looking for you in every moment, each conflict, all my activities, beyond the noise, above the silence. Thank you for meeting me in the midst of my life as it actually is.



Real and Eternal

April 5th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jesus said these things. Then, raising his eyes in prayer, he said: “Father, it’s time. Display the bright splendor of your Son so the Son in turn may show your bright splendor. You put him in charge of everything human so he might give real and eternal life to all in his charge. And this is the real and eternal life: That they know you, the one and only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent.” — John 17:1-3, MSG

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Is it not truly amazing how simple it is to impose limits on God’s immeasurable love for us without even realizing what we are doing?

When our Savior’s love seems remote, we may sometimes find ourselves discounting His promises as we push ourselves harder and harder to prove that we are worthy of the Lord’s forgiveness and acceptance. We may somehow think that the love of Christ can be bartered for—earned in exchange for our good works and godly behavior.

The Bible assures us that the Lord’s love for us is permanently dependable—solid, secure, and unshakable. Believing this truth opens up our life in Christ in remarkable and unforeseen ways.

The Savior who invites us to abide in Him also makes it possible for us to draw near to Him by covering our weakness and bearing our pain with and for us. But we must choose: Surrendering our heart to Christ requires our cooperation with the Holy Spirit’s bondage-breaking, liberating, life-giving power.

When rugged circumstances cause the ground beneath us to feel as if the earth is going to slip away, when we know for certain that we cannot stand up by ourselves any longer, when we realize we do not have enough strength or wisdom to cope with our current situation, where will we look for help?