Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Really! It's free.

 


No one likes getting something for nothing more than me.  

Getting a good deal or better yet, getting something for free makes my happy endorphins all a glow.  

 

But what can change that happy glow to red hot righteous anger is when I buy into an amazing free deal and later find out there are strings attached.  


The Sea World tickets aren't really free at all because you have to sit through a mind-numbing lecture on timeshares.  

 

So no, the tickets were not FREE!  And, I was not a good representative of Jesus at 45-minutes into that lecture nor following the lecture when I had to sit for 30 more minutes with the high-pressure salesperson one-on-one.  


I'm guessing you figured out by now, we don't own a timeshare.

 

However, seeing The Otter Show at Sea World went a long way in helping me forget the misery of the timeshare meeting.

 

In the book of Galatians, Paul addresses something that reminds me of a timeshare deal, too good to be true.  

 

In the early church, there were religious legalists.  Let's call them the timeshare salespeople.  These legalistic leaders could not believe that what Christ did for us on the cross was enough.  They wanted to add rituals into their Christian Worship that involved works.  

 

In so doing, they were placing the new believers back under the curse of the Law.  Their salvation was no longer free but work-based.   

 

In the Net Bible, Galatians 2:16 says this, know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

 

In this verse, we see there is no bait and switch going on.  No, need to sit through that timeshare meeting or sign on the dotted line, to receive your free gift of salvation.  


Nope, no works needed here, our salvation truly is free.  If someone tells you otherwise, get out of there.  RUN!


The only cost to us is our faith to believe.


Really!  It's free.


Disclaimer:  To the people who own timeshares--I'm happy for you and a huge thank you to those who let us use their timeshares for free--really free--that was amazing.  We had a blast.  

 



Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Face Mask


I know there has been much talk about the mandate to wear face masks in public places.  Some people are 100% behind this safety measure while others are equally against it.   

 

For me, there are definitely some pros besides the health and safety benefits of wearing a mask.  

 

I love the privacy I feel when my mask is in place.  It's like I'm completely hidden away.  I don't have to wear makeup.  I can talk to myself and no one sees my lips moving.  

 

At church, I can belt out all the wrong words to the songs and no one can see that my lips don't match the words on the screen.  

 

Of course, I'd never do this, but someone else might even make faces behind their mask showing delight or disgust for any given situation.   

 

The best thing about a face mask is that you know when you have bad breath...and if you do, that's another reason that I'm thankful for the mask.

 

Masks or veils aren't always good though.  When it comes to the gospel being veiled, that's a tragedy. 

 

In 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 it says this, 

 

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

 

We know that our enemy Satan is a deceiver and a master at obscuring the truth.  He is an expert at providing masks and veils to hide behind.  

 

The master deceiver Satan will take any opportunity to veil, mask, or hide Jesus.   

 

When the gospel is hidden behind a mask, the unbeliever thinks Christ isn't able to give them what they need, they choose to accept the veil that Satan provides.  Their eyes are blinded, veiled and masked to the best representation of God we’ll ever see.  That beautiful picture is found in the likeness of Jesus.

 

Sometimes a mask can be a good thing and sometimes it can mean death.

 

My prayer, Lord, unmask their eyes that they will see you in all your glory and believe.

 



Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The Cross

The Cross

 

A few years ago, when my eldest granddaughter celebrated her first communion, my husband and I went to Nebraska to be with her, and we wanted to buy her a special gift that fit the occasion. 

 

Unlike the church I was brought up in, she prepared for this event with two years of classes and a public confession of her faith before taking communion at the age of 14.


The gift we selected for her was a silver infinity cross necklace.  (See picture.)  We set a high budget for the gift because we valued the decision she was making; both in her heart to follow the Lord and His commandment to take communion in remembrance of what Christ did for us.


I know many people wear cross jewelry without any understanding of the meaning of the cross, nor do they have any desire to follow God’s commandments. 

 

For me, the cross is more than a piece of ornamental jewelry.  The message of the cross to the believer is the death of the innocent for the redemption of the guilty.  


I look at a cross and am reminded of what Christ did for me.  The cross sends a message of hope.  

In 1 Corinthians 1:18 NET, it says this...

“For the message about the cross 

is foolishness to those who are perishing, 

but to us who are being saved 

it is the power of God."

 
While Jesus provided a way for our salvation through His death on the cross and resurrection, He also told us that we would need to die daily.  We would need to take up our cross and follow Him.
 
Some people may think the cross and those who look to it are foolish, but when I see the Cross, I see...

    • FORGIVENESS 
    • REDEEMTION 
    • SALVATION
    • RESURRECTION
    • ETERNITY 


What do you see?

 

 
 
 
  
 

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The Easy Way



I like to keep things uncomplicated.  If there is an easy way to do something, write something or say something, why would someone choose to make it difficult?  This is one of my pet peeves.

 

I remember when my husband was doing masters-level work, and he handed me his textbook and said, "Read that first page out loud."

 

I took the book and began reading.  About two paragraphs in, I tossed the book on the sofa and said, "Why?  Why would anyone write like this?  They are purposefully making it more complicated than it needs to be.  It's wordy for no reason with complicated sentence structure.  I simply don't get it.  Don't they want to help their students soar?"  

 

In the Bible, there is a verse that I love because it's uncomplicated with no hoops to jump through, nor steps to follow to perfection, and no endless list of does or don'ts.  This verse says what it means and means what it says.

 

 

For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Romans 10:13

 

And there you have it.  Plainly said and simple to understand.   It really takes all the ABC's and repeat-after-me out of the salvation message.  


 

The price was high for our Lord and Savior, but He gives everyone an Easy Way in…Call On Him!

 



Wednesday, September 2, 2020

The Act of Devotion



In the 1980s, a movie was released called Grease.  In that movie, there was a song that was sung by the two leading characters and a phase in that song had these words, I'm hopelessly devoted to you.  

 

The act of devotion should be a thoughtful act but the word devotion can also be carelessly tossed around.  


True devotion is a powerful thing when it comes to our relationship with the Lord, acts of service to our church, and in relation to our spouse and family.  

 

The word devotion can also be used in less passionate ways like I'm devoted to a certain television show and would never, ever miss it.  I’m devoted to eating ice cream every day.  I’m devoted to going to Disneyworld at least once a year.  

 

In my life, I have had seasons of devotion for some of the things listed above, but I did not remain truly devoted to them. There are only a few things in my life that I am absolutely devoted to. They are constant and unwavering. 

 

In the book of Acts 2:42 (NET) it says, They were devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.


I wonder why the writer of the book of Acts chose these four things for the early church to focus their devotion on.  


Acts 2:42 says, they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching.  The only way this small group of believers was going to fulfill the words of Acts 1:8 to go into all the world and preach the gospel was to devote themselves to the teaching of those who had been with Christ. 


The early church was also devoted to fellowship.  This word had a slightly different meaning in the book of Acts then we may interpret fellowship today.   The meaning in the New Testament was 'sharing something in common' which could include spiritual conversations, personal needs, and hope for the future. 


The third thing on the list of devotion was Breaking of Bread.  This term was also used in reference to the Lord’s Supper (communion).  Luke, the author of Acts, also used this term to describe the sharing of meals together which was also part of the communion experience in the early church.  


Luke closed out the list of things one should devote themselves to with Prayer.  At the time of the writing of Acts, prayers were offered three times a day. (morning, afternoon, evening).


These four things certainly give us something to consider when looking at our own lives today.  (The Apostles' Teaching, Fellowship, Breaking of Bread, and Prayer)


When you take a close look at your life, what would you say you are truly devoted to?

  

Everyone is devoted to something and that devotion is forming you.  

 

 

 

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