When I was a teen I absolutely loved riding my 12 speed down the hill behind the zoo. It was so steep that I could pick up incredible speeds that would make it feel like my body was lifting away from my bike. On one particular day, though, I got brave. I picked up a ton of speed, and started coasting. Then I stood on my peddles and let go of my handle bars with my hands lifted to my sides (back in my day it was called “surfing”). Unfortunately, my front wheel entered a speed wobble. As I was standing up, hands out at my side, I looked down and was horrified to watch my handlebars chaotically turning side to side, hitting my frame. Coasting (particularly while standing on a bike) can be dangerous. Coasting in Christianity can be eternally deadly.
I wish it wasn’t the case, but after 30 years I’m still tempted to sin. It’s hard to talk about “the old man” coming back to life because I became a Christian when I was 13. The reality that we are all faced with is our struggle against our sinful nature. Sin is alive and active, making promises to us that it can’t fulfill.
I have recently discovered that the average person makes about 35,000 choices (consciously) each day. I don’t know how to confirm that number, or how to challenge it, I’ve just found it to be the general conclusion. Regardless of the actual number, what’s most important is the first choice we make. In today’s video/audio our passage is going to encourage us to make personal engagement with God our first choice.
Preparing the video/audio for this post got me excited. I really like being reminded of the victory that I have in Jesus, and the defeat of everything that would separate me from God for all eternity. If you’re feeling a little down, this next set of videos/audios may encourage you, too. Your past is not your identity! Your failures are not holding you back! Jesus has given you a fresh start that comes with a ton of power.
Without giving away any really big, embarrassing moments, I can say that I have given my wife many opportunities to feel justified about becoming wrathful. However, “wrathful” is absolutely not a word I’d use to describe our marriage. One key ingredient in our successful marriage (and my longevity… to this point, at least) is forgiveness. Moments of stupidity abound, but where grace is embraced the marriage thrives. It’s similar with our fellowship with Jesus, too. We have given Jesus a truckload of shameful treatment, but “wrathful” is not a word that could describe His interaction with us. As you reminisce about some of the reasons you have given Jesus to become wrathful toward you, you’ll find encouragement in this week’s video/audio.
I honesty thought they were lying to me! I was in grade 5 when I received the news, but I couldn’t fathom how a wrestling match with Hulk Hogan in it could possibly be fake! Royal Rumbles had to be real! After I recovered from the shock, I continued to like wrestling for about another year or so, hoping to see my favourite wrestlers matched with one another. Have you ever wondered who would win a wrestling match between Adam and Jesus? Me neither. But, Paul found it incredibly important to write about! Get ready for a Royal Rumble like you’ve never seen as Paul compares Adam against Jesus in today’s video/audio!
My two older girls (6 yrs and 9 yrs) were playing so nicely in the living room with their toys that the transition to screaming and hitting shocked me. But, no problem, I’m already prepared for this! I put them on the naughty step for a time out, restoring both the calm and the relationship. The naughty step is a wonderful tool for both correcting behaviour and reconciling two little girls. It is so effective that God uses a naughty step, too. Today’s text reveals how God’s naughty step, the cross, was effective at reconciling us to Himself.
As I read I reflect and admit the truth revealed about me. It’s true that I had been completely rejecting God, and more than that, I was completely hostile to Him. Yet, as I continue to read, something within me jumps and shouts and feels confused yet elated as I discover that in my most oppositional moment Jesus still loves me. That’s true for you, too. As oppositional as you may be (or may have been) God continues to pursue you because He loves you. My hope is that today’s video/audio will affirm you and make you just as confused and elated as I can become.
As a husband and a dad of four, I’ve had some awesome moments to get really excited about. More exciting than any other moment in my life is the moment when I changed from being considered an enemy of God to being considered His friend. Today’s video/audio is filled with reasons why we can get excited about our faith in Jesus. (Heads up, it’s also my first attempt at green screen!)
It’s about 1am or so, I’m dizzy from the event I just brought the youth group back from, the last teen was just picked up and now I’m standing all alone in the church foyer looking at a big puddle on the carpet from a new leak in the church’s roof. Tomorrow’s Sunday, I definitely need to take care of this now. But, it’s ok, because I know who to call for help. One of our board members is always eager to step up whenever there’s a crisis. He responds to my phone call and we clean the mess in under an hour. His example of hard work and his willingness to always help has inspired me from my years as an intern until today as a lead pastor. Examples of faith and faithfulness are worth hanging onto. Just like Abraham’s example…