Archive for September, 2022


“According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it (1 Corinthians 3:10).

As followers of Christ we acknowledge that we are products of God’s grace. This truth heightens the awareness of all that God has entrusted to us. Random encounters become providential intersections, time becomes moments of eternal significance, grace received is now grace given. We are, in a sense, the subcontractors of what God is seeking build.

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“For the eagerly awaiting creation waits for the revealing of the sons and daughters of God” (Romans 8:19).

To understand salvation as just missing hell and making it to heaven when you die, a model that receives little emphasis within scripture, is to miss out on the grandeur of what God is bringing about—the redemption of all creation. It’s akin to driving past Pikes Peak and thinking how impressive it is, but never going out of your way to get to the summit; a perspective from which only its true magnitude, magnificence, and majesty can be appreciated and admired. It is from this heightened vantage point that all creation eagerly awaits what God is bringing to fruition.

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“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).

Whether it’s a pop star announcing her atheism on the basis of family dysfunction, or the atheism of a public intellectual, who surmises that if God is both willing and able to negate suffering then He should do so, I have never understood the rational that thinks it necessary to jump into the ditch of unbelief because of pain or tragedy. That God is suppose to be some divine street sweeper, who whisks away all the obstacles and hardships of humanity with his celestial broom, stands in stark contrast to the teachings of scripture, which presupposes suffering. Considering the principalities, powers, and rulers of darkness that have dominion over this present world, the greater shock should be the absence of suffering in our lives, if we are truly seeking to live in opposition to those forces. 

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“and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him” (Romans 8:17).

The life of faith does not exempt or remove us from the trials of this world, but the assurance of the Father is that these present sufferings do not negate the promises of God and the future resurrection. Just as a Suffering Servant would fulfill the covenant promises of God to his people, even our suffering will be vindicated on the Day of the Lord. Nothing will ever change the desires of our heavenly Father for his children.

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“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons and daughters by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father’” (Romans 8:15).

For children there is no greater security than the presence of their father. When facing for the first time the various experiences of childhood, most of us have found confidence and boldness from a father’s reassuring words, “I’m right here with you. You can do it. There’s no reason to be afraid.” In so doing, a father plays a vital role in the “growing up” process; moving a child, in linear fashion, from where they are to where they need to be. This our heavenly Father is accomplishing for his children; moving us forward into his providential purposes without fear.

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“For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons and daughters of God” (Romans 8:14).

What was once a distinction ascribed only to Israel, the sons and daughters of God is now a descriptive title for all who are being led by the Spirit of God. Even before Paul penned these words, Jesus had anticipated a people who listen to his voice and follow Him (Jn. 10:16). Just as God led Israel in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, his Spirit is no less faithful to lead us through the wilderness wanderings of this present life.

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“So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions” (Luke 14:33).

Today’s verse captures like none other, perhaps, the comprehensive nature of the life lived in Christ Jesus. It is a calling that speaks to the totality of our being and not just part. The life that is daily being crucified develops an ever-growing awareness of the emptiness of the things of this life, and embraces the lifelong process of dispossession—letting go and giving up—so that His possession of us might be our only consuming passion.

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“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:27).

The word “hate” is so hard and biting, we are startled to hear it from the lips of our Lord, especially in association with members of our own family. It’s actually a translation from an Aramaic term that means “to love less.” It has to do with those things that compete for our loyalty and allegiance. Disciples understand that Jesus will be second to nothing or no one.

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“So then, brothers and sisters, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—for if you are living in accord with the flesh, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:12-13).

Seeing how the flesh has done us no favors, we owe it nothing in return. We are, however, under obligation to the life of the Spirit being accomplished in us as followers of Christ. It should be of no shock that, because we are the people of God, there is an expectation of how we are to live (James 2:19,26). Certainly, we have all said, in response to someone’s abundant kindness, “I am indebted to you.” As such, would we not then live with a sense of indebtedness and obligation to the One who has done so much more?

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“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11).

It’s an almost incomprehensible thought: God’s eternal and holy Spirit dwells in our mortal bodies. The same life-giving Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead now inhabits the lives of those who follow after Him, empowering them until that day when the perishable will be exchanged for the imperishable (1 Cor.15:42). The movement in this verse from the man, Jesus, who was crucified, to the resurrected Messianic Christ, who stands as a representative of his people, affirms that what’s true of Him is true of us.

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