Tag Archives: grace

It’s Not Fair!

Help me, Father, to come together with You each morning. I know it is best but some mornings it is surely a struggle. Nights seem short but You will give me the strength I need for the demands of the day. Thank You for Your loving care over me.

Matthew 20:1-16 (<<click to read the passage)

We like to think that we are so advanced here in the 21st century but in so many ways we are no different than those from any given era of history. In Jesus’ parable, a landowner goes out early to hire workers for his fields who agree to work for the standard wage – no harm, no foul. As the day progresses he hires more workers, a few even hired for only an hour’s labor. When the time comes to settle accounts with all, the landowner pays those hired last the same as those hired first – a full day’s wage. Those hired first screamed, “Foul!” They had worked the whole day! They had labored through the heat of the day! And these newcomers got the same pay – totally unfair!

Would we have responded any differently? I doubt it. I’m sure it did nothing to appease their anger but the landowner replied, “Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?” Other translations say it can be translated, “Or is your eye envious (evil) because I am good?”

What will our reactions be when we all stand before God on that final day of judgment? Will there be those who are audacious enough to be angry because dirty, rotten “sinners” – only because they sought forgiveness at the last moment – are welcomed into God’s presence for eternity?

It all comes down to grace. And just like sin is sin – grace is grace. There is absolutely no grading scale on sin – no big sins or little sins – sin is sin. Grace is not measured out, a little here, a little more there. Grace is poured out in lavishly, inundating the receiver, nothing held back. God’s loving kindness knows no limits – the word extravagant falls way short of doing it justice! We all can be recipients of God’s grace…and amazing it is!

Aug 21st, 2018, Tues, 6:33 am

Holier than Thou

Father, thank You for a wonderful week of time spent with Massey. Karen and I are both so grateful for the gift You gave us almost 26 years ago and for the fine young man he has become. Watch over him and hold him close to Your side, I pray. Amen.

Are you familiar with the phrase “holier than thou”? It is never really used in a complimentary way. It usually implies an attitude of moral superiority. It can apply to someone who has chosen to take the moral high road and the phrase is used disparagingly by those who do not. But quite often it is used in reference to someone who sets themselves above others in a prideful manner.

Pharisees and Sadducees, the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, wore the moniker well. Few could live up to their expectations of moral superiority. But before we go pointing fingers and patting ourselves on the back, we must carefully examine who we are and why we do what we do.

Only by the grace of God do I stand where I stand. I am not perfect. I fail. I stumble. I fall. But I am not forsaken. God, with the utmost of compassion, shows me the error of my ways and when I repent and ask for His forgiveness He does not hold back. God wants me to be victorious! He wants me to succeed! He loves me beyond anything I can even begin to fully understand.

Lord Jesus, where would I be without You? I would be lost. I would be eternally condemned. Thank You for Your sacrifice. You gave of Yourself so that I could be reconciled in my relationship with You. I could not do it. I am incapable of doing it. But You did it! Thank You, Lord! Draw me close to You side. May I become more and more like You each and every day. Amen.

July 13th, 2018, Fri, 6:57 am

How Wonderful Is Love Like This!

It’s a little foggy out this morning, Father, and my brain feels much the same. I’ve not been up too awfully long but I am ready to sit with You, to listen to what You have for me this day. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your love.

Lord, it’s been almost a year ago to the day that I shared a portion of one of my favorite hymns. And that’s all I was going to do today but I grabbed my hymnal and read through the text. I can’t read it without the tune popping in but the words are wonderful! So many exclamation points! Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness and love!
That God should love a sinner such as I,
Should yearn to change my sorrow into bliss,
Nor rest till He had planned to bring me nigh –
How wonderful is love like this!

Refrain
Such love, such wondrous love!
Such love, such wondrous love!
That God should love a sinner such as I –
How wonderful is love like this!
That Christ should join so freely in the scheme,
Although it meant His death on Calvary –
Did ever human tongue find nobler theme
Than love divine that ransomed me?
That for a willful outcast such as I
The Father planned, the Savior bled and died,
Redemption for a worthless slave to buy,
Who long had law and grace defied!
And now He takes me to His heart- a son;
He asks me not to fill a servant’s place.
The far-off country wand’rings all are done;
Wide open are His arms of grace!

– C. Bishop, 1929

©1929, Renewed 1957 by Lillenas Publishing Co.

(If you’d like to listen to the tune, here’s a link to a beautiful piano/organ duet – Such Love. RIght click the link and choose “Open in new tab” and you can listen as you look at the text.)

May 27th, 2018, Sun, 6:14 am

Entitlement

I need You this day, Father, as I do every day. Help me to seek You out in all I do. Help to listen and to obey. Amen.

Matthew 8:10-12 (<<click the green)

Entitlement: the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.

More and more this is becoming an enormous issue in our society. On the highways – “Stop signs? Oh, they don’t pertain to me; if I can squeak out into traffic, why stop? Or even slow down for that matter?” At the department stores – “I don’t care if my coupon expired last week (or doesn’t start until next week), I demand that you honor it today!”

These are just too small examples but our culture is replete with individuals who believe there are entitled to what’s coming to them and what they think is coming to them! I want it and I want it now! (Reminds me of Violet in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory – her entitlement turned her into a giant blueberry!)

That may be how the world thinks but, spiritually, entitlement does not factor in at all. It makes no difference who we are, what our heritage is, or what we think we have coming to us. What matters is a relationship with Christ. Our salvation is found in Him and Him alone.

Lord, that is what You very clearly communicate as You are interacting with the centurion. Your Kingdom is for everyone, and even though there are some for whom the Kingdom is prepared in particular, if we don’t have a relationship with You we “will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

May I never get away from the fact that I am dependent upon Your grace and mercy in getting into Your Kingdom, Lord. I cannot earn it and I am definitely not entitled to it. It all is by Your generous hand.

Feb 23rd, 2018, Fri, 5:30 am

A Tall Order

Father, today may I be a vessel used of You. All that I do and say, all that I have had a hand in, may it all be used by You to lift You up so others can see You more clearly. As John, the Baptist said of Your Son, “He must increase but I must decrease.” John 3:30 May this be my proclamation today.

1 Timothy 2:1 (<<click here)

I am called to pray, Lord, for all people”. This, obviously, is an all-inclusive statement and that is how it must be. As I think about the width of it, “all” includes a lot of people who don’t think like I do. It includes, literally millions who don’t think like You do! But You, very clearly call me to “ask [You] to help them.” You call me to “intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” That is one tall order! And the thing is that it is way more than people just not thinking like You do. They oppose You! Many deny Your very existence! But You called us to pray for them, to ask that You help them, to intercede on their behalf, to be thankful for them! Yes…that is a tall order but how can I do anything less. All I have to do is to look at our relationship – Yours and mine. Have I done anything to deserve Your love? No… Am I worthy in and of myself, to be accepted by You? No… The only thing that enables this sinner to stand in Your presence is that fact that I have accepted Your love and forgiveness – grace has been extended and gratefully accepted. (Thank You, Lord…)

Lord, help me to pray, and intercede and thank You for those who are not a part of Your family…yet!  And help me do it one person at a time, each and every day!

August 28th, 2015, Fri, 6:49 am