Understanding the Gospel, especially God’s grace, provides several benefits. Knowing that you are loved no matter what if you belong to Him, knowing that though He might discipline you, He will never be punitively angry at you (He already did that to His Son at the cross) is indeed is a deep well to drink from for all of us who live in a performance oriented world.
I was contemplating these benefits and thought I would list a few, after the jump.
I’ve been on vacation this week and it has been wonderful. I’ve used the time to get some much needed rest (we didn’t go anywhere), do some long put off reading, and take in a few movies.
Since it is now Friday, I am already thinking about going back on Monday.
Here is a list of things that have been running through my head today:
The apostle Paul would not abide Pharisees. And he was one! He knew their kind and made no bones about what should be done.
Aside from what he said in Galatians, here are some very powerful words.
“So don’t put up with anyone pressuring you in details of diet, worship services, or holy days. All those things are mere shadows cast before what was to come; the substance is Christ.
Don’t tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions. They’re a lot of hot air, that’s all they are. They’re completely out of touch with the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us.
So, then, if with Christ you’ve put all that pretentious and infantile religion behind you, why do you let yourselves be bullied by it? “Don’t touch this! Don’t taste that! Don’t go near this!” Do you think things that are here today and gone tomorrow are worth that kind of attention? Such things sound impressive if said in a deep enough voice. They even give the illusion of being pious and humble and ascetic. But they’re just another way of showing off, making yourselves look important.”
So, don’t let them do that to you!
Question: Are you being manipulated by a legalist? Are you the one doing the manipulation? What will you do about it?
This past week I was reading a story about someone who was going to do something that would probably be very regrettable but would have been an easy way out. In the story advice was given this person to “do the right thing and God will bless you.”
When I read that I cringed. We can’t help ourselves can we?
I am so tired. My wife is tired. My sister and nephews are tired. Everyone I work with is tired.
Almost everyone is familiar with the story in Matthew 14:22-32 of Jesus walking on the water.
Here are some valuable lessons I’ve found from the text.