Sunday Devotional: Titus 3:4-7

“But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love
for mankind appeared,
He saved us—
not by works of righteousness that we had done,
but according to His mercy,
through the washing of regeneration
and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
He poured out this Spirit on us abundantly
through Jesus Christ our Savior,
so that having been justified by His grace,
we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life.”  (Titus 3:4-7)

In conversations this week I was reminded again of God’s grace on each one of us.  It is by God’s grace we have the opportunity to be forgiven our our sins.  It is not by anything we can do to earn salvation.  Jesus did all the work on the cross to pay for our sins.  He’s the one that makes us justified before the Father.

And the scandalous thing is this grace is open to anyone and everyone who repents and believes.  In God’s lovingkindness and mercy, He offers this grace and mercy to any and all.  He pours out this grace and mercy abundantly to all people.  No matter how sinful, if one only repents of their sins and trusts Jesus as Lord and Savior and follows Him, salvation is there.

This week, let us remember how much we have been blessed.  We have been blessed by a loving and merciful God who has shown us much mercy and grace.  We have been blessed that we have someone in Jesus Christ, who knows what we’re going through and loved us so much to die for our sins and gave us the opportunity for new life.  And we are blessed with the Holy Spirit to remember these things and to help us to keep pressing on being faithful to the calling of following Jesus.

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Sunday Devotional: Psalm 103:1-5

“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:1-5)

In this time of Thanksgiving, we are reminded of what all we are thankful.  As followers of Jesus, we have a lot to be thankful for everyday.  Here in a portion of Psalm 103, David shares several of those things that He is thankful for that God has done.  He is thankful for the redemption that comes from the Lord.  He is thankful that God heals.  He is thankful that God rescues us and that God shows us great love and mercy.

All these things that God has shown to David, He shows to us as well.  We should, like David, sing out about God’s faithfulness and lovingkindess.  How He has redeemed us and given us new life.  How He has given us hope and salvation.  This week, let us continue to be thankful and grateful for all that God has done for us and continues to do for us through Jesus Christ.

The Redemption of Kylo Ren?

There was an article that was posted online ast week entitled “Is Kylo Ren Redeemable?”  My friend Liz Tailor tweeted about it and I had a chance to read it.  It sparked the creative juices and so I wrote up an article that Liz posted over on her blog.  You can go read my thoughts on the possibility of Kylo Ren’s redemption here and be sure to read Liz’s thoughts when she posts her article.

Sunday Devotional: 1 Peter 2:9-10

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10)

As followers of Jesus, we belong.  We belong as children of God.  We belong as a people that belong to God.  He has brought us to Him out of the darkness.  We have received mercy.  And for all this, we get to share that with others.

This week, let us remember that we belong to God.  Let us remember that He has redeemed us.  Let us remember he has given us mercy.  Let us share that good news with others!

Sunday Devotional: Luke 24:1-9

“But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared.  And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.  While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel.  And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?  He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”  And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.” (Luke 24:1-9)

Resurrection Sunday.  A day where we as followers of Jesus get to celebrate what happened that Sunday morning that followed the crucifixion of Jesus a few days earlier.  It is the culmination of the great work that started when Jesus paid for our sins by dying on the cross on Good Friday (that’s what makes Good Friday so good).  Sunday was the resurrection to new life.  Jesus is alive and well.  And He is the example that we as believers have that we die that we will have new life in new bodies.  Death and sin don’t have dominion over the world.  That all ended because of Jesus.  Resurrection Sunday is about hope and celebration.  He is Risen.  He is Risen indeed.

Bastille and Rebuilding

Sometimes the most introspective thoughts can come out of the most random locations….

I write a weekly column for a website run by some friends.  They also have a weekly podcast that I have appeared on several times.  One of these times, there was a song played to open the show that got stuck in my head.  That song was “Pompeii” by Bastille.  It’s a very catchy tune.

The lyrics really got me to think, especially the bridge of the song.  The bridge goes like this:

Oh where do we begin?
The rubble or our sins?

Makes you think doesn’t it?  When things are a mess in our lives regardless of the circumstances, it brings us to the point of reflection and introspection.  It also makes us assess where we are in the rubble.  Before any rebuilding can take place, we have to assess the damage.  Sometimes it can seem like a daunting task.  Where do we begin?  It is important to deal with our sins.  We need to confess them to God and ask for forgiveness.

There are those times when we’re in the rubble because of circumstances beyond our control.  Living in a fallen world, there are times when we are hurt when we do nothing wrong.  In those moments, we have to watch our hearts and not be tempted to get angry and want vengeance.  Forgiveness is paramount.

The rubble may look daunting but the awesome thing is that Jesus forgives us of our sins when we confess them.  He also is there to help us through the rubble and rebuild.  That is some encouraging stuff.