I wait for the Lord, with bated breath I wait; I long for His Word!
Psalm 130:5 MEV
Do not let sin be the boss of you!
You are not under law but under grace.
I felt led to focus on and paraphrase this verse (Romans 6:14) after reading today’s Our Daily Bread devotional. Bill Crowder writes:
As my wife was babysitting our two young grandsons, they began to argue over a toy. Suddenly, the younger (by 3 years) forcefully ordered his older brother, “Cameron, go to your room!” Shoulders slumped under the weight of the reprimand, the dejected older brother began to slink off to his room when my wife said, “Cameron, you don’t have to go to your room. Nathan’s not the boss of you!” That realization changed everything, and Cam, smiling, sat back down to play.
Having heard my own kids (and others) occasionally use that phrase, “You’re not the boss of me!”, somehow Mrs Crowder’s words added new relevance to old familiar verses. If we have indeed trusted in Christ’s work on the cross on our behalf, then sin does not have power over us any longer–unless we give it control over us. When the Apostle Paul says, “Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.” he is actually telling us, “Do not let sin be the boss of you!” Try to read these familiar verses with that in mind. You can add a little attitude if it helps.
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
–Romans 6:12-14 (NIV)
The next time you feel temptation growing within, just let it know, “Sin, you are not the boss of me!”
Although, I have much to learn, I’d like to share with you some of the influences that have helped me tremendously in my own writing and I’m sure will be a great help to you wherever you may be in your own development as a writer. I especially wanted to let you know about an online course that is currently accepting new students.
About a year ago, I began sensing that God was leading me in a new direction. I wasn’t sure what that direction would look like or where He would lead, but I stepped out in faith. As some time passed, I began to realize that writing would somehow play a part in that future direction.
I had developed a particularly meaningful and well-received sermon over the years and thought that might form the basis for a book. The thought was equally exciting and terrifying! As I started to develop the thought, I realized that although I had written some articles over the years, I had never entertained the thought of actually writing a book! After all, just reading a book took some effort for me. (I remember John Trent one time remarking that “I’ve written more books than I’ve read.”)
So, I knew nothing at all about writing a book, I set out to learn as much as I could. Continue Reading…
Thank you for serving!
Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.
– Billy Graham
We wouldn’t be who we are today without the brave sacrifice of so many who have served, protected and preserved the peace we enjoy today.
By the way, here’s a link to a number of freebies or discounts from merchants who also appreciate your service. http://www.military.com/veterans-day/veterans-day-military-discounts.html
(Please note this is just posted as a public service and is not necessarily intended as an endorsement of any of the links contained. However, I do appreciate and applaud those businesses who seek to honor our vets)
I rejoiced with those who said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the LORD.”
But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
I have two questions for you.
- Do you have a safe place?
A judgement-free zone. A place where you can feel free to share what’s on your mind without worrying that people will be so scandalized they’ll never talk to you again.
- Do you have a stretching place that challenges you?
A mediocrity-free zone. A place that inspires you and motivates you to be better.
We need both. We need a place where we can be accepted as we are AND a place where we can be challenged to be more than we ever thought we could be. We need a place that can handle the worst in us AND a place that brings out the best in us.
We call it “a safe place” or “a stretching place”, but really the “place” is secondary to the relationships that happen there. The people are what makes the place scary or safe–discouraging or encouraging.
A Great Example
As Christ-followers, we have the greatest example of this concept. God saved us by grace while we were still in sin and had nothing to offer him. He knew who we were and that we were incapable of pleasing him in our own strength. But he choose to love, save and even adopt us into his family. We were accepted and adopted as we were. THEN, God sets out to help build us into a new creation to display his glory to the world. Consider these three examples. Continue Reading…
This is what the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says: I am Yahweh your God, who teaches you for your benefit, who leads you in the way you should go.
So, on Monday, I shared how much I enjoyed Easter Sunday. What I didn’t mention was that I was a little surprised. You see, I can be one of those people who tend to think we shouldn’t need a “special day” every year to celebrate something that we should be celebrating every day. Do we really have to wait till Thanksgiving Day to be grateful? Do we have to wait for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc to show our favorite people how much we care about them? Shouldn’t we be mindful every day of the amazing fact that God, the Son left His place in heaven to take the human form–even a newborn infant, a suffering servant, a crucified sin-bearer, and a risen savior?
But, then I get a day like this past Sunday. Even though I do try to be mindful of all we have because of Jesus, somehow it all came into an even sharper focus this past Easter.
On the family and fun side, two of my kids were able to come home for Easter dinner and brought a good friend from Gordon College. I even made a quick dash to the local CVS to pick up the usual bunnies and chocolate eggs. Even at my ripe old age, I can still remember waking up in my single-digit years and seeing the kitchen table filled with goodies. OK, so I do realize we are talking about a spiritual holiday, but family fun is good, too.
On the spiritual side, I began to ponder anew on the wonders of the resurrection and what that can mean and should mean in my daily life. Continue Reading…
I really enjoyed yesterday. It was Easter Sunday–a day that can embody all the best of faith and family. Plus, the weather was great. Two of my three kids were able to come back home and enjoy a great dinner together with an extra friend. It was just a really good day. Church was very nice. Somehow songs about the resurrection took on a whole new significance.
The pastor referred to Dr. Tony Campolo and his, now classic, sermon. My daughter wasn’t aware of the message so it gave me an excuse to look it up so I could send her a link. It is truly a great message. Toward the end, Tony shared his memories of preaching at a “preach off” at an African-American church. One of the preachers did a 90 minutes focused on one phrase. He would describe the followers of Christ in various stages of despair seeing Jesus on the cross. Then the pastor would say, but they didn’t know. “It’s Friday but Sunday’s a comin'”.
It also made me remember the opening line of a sermon I heard about this time over thirty years ago. “The problem with many Christians is that they are living on the wrong side of Easter.”
You see, before the resurrection, it’s a little easier to understand how some people can tend to give up hope. I can’t really imagine what that first Good Friday must have felt like. Not knowing what would occur in two short days, it’s understandable that they would feel that all was lost.
However, the sadder truth, is that so often knowing what already did happen on the first Resurrection Day, we can fall into old patterns of despair and disillusionment or just distraction and drifting through life.
I woke up this morning thinking about both of those older sermons and reminded myself that even though it is Monday, Sunday’s not coming. It already came. I don’t need to wait for the power of the resurrection in my life, I need to live in it. Continue Reading…