Tuesday, October 27, 2009
There are times when we can not wait to go to God in prayer, and then there are other times when it seems like we have to drag ourselves to God in prayer.
I love watching little children, the enthusiasm of new discovery. How can you keep from smiling when you watch a child discover a butterfly for the first time, or a worm, or a firefly? Children always want to show their great discovery to mom or dad. It warms your heart as you watch and listen to a child tell of their great discovery or adventure.
I have also seen children reluctant to tell parents of mishaps or mistakes.
I think the biggest thing that keeps people away from prayer, is sin. We don't want to let God know of our mistakes.
What we forget is that God wants us to bring Him, not only our discoveries, He also wants us to bring Him our sins. He loves to watch our eyes open with discovery, and He longs to lift our eyes back to His with forgiveness.
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills-- where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
11 the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.
J. Tom Washburn
Posted by J. Tom Washburn at 4:37 PM
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Today I am trying to frame my sermons on Grace. The problem is, how do you explain a gift, and how do you explain a gift of such great value? Most gifts today seem to come with a strings attached, or even chains attached, that's just the way people are.
If I give somebody a nice book, I want to take it back if they don't treat it "right". If I give my children a car, I want to take it back if they don't treat it "right" or appreciate it. If I give somebody money, I want them to treat me with respect. When most people give gifts, they don't give them to people they hang them over people.
Grace is Gods' gift. This gift is given to us when we don't deserve it and even before we knew we needed it. This gift is not forced upon us, we can reject it or accept it. This gift is not yanked away from us the moment we don't live up to its' glory, in fact its' glory transforms the way we live.
Most gifts given by parents that are truly "no strings attached gifts" are given after their deaths, the same thing is true of Grace. Grace was God's gift after a death. There is no measuring up for Grace, there is just receiving or discarding.
And if you receive such a great gift, it is like moving into a great house, it transforms you. When you lived outside, you lived like a man outside. When you lived in a barn, you lived like a man in a barn. Now that you live in a perfect house, you are learning to live differently.
It is the Grace that transforms us, we don't live differently to earn the house, the house transforms our behavior. At first I may not accept all the blessings the house has to offer, but after awhile I can not imagine life without the blessings the house has to offer, that is what Grace is like for my life. At first I couldn't accept all Grace had to offer but after discovering more of the blessings that lay behind each door, I can not imagine going back to live outside or even in the barn.
I was just thinking
J. Tom Washburn
Posted by J. Tom Washburn at 8:47 AM
Friday, October 9, 2009
Tonight, Julie and I will go to a High School football game, and we will cheer for our team and hope for a victory. That phrase "hope for a victory" is what I want to talk to you about, you see, I just found out that there will be a baptism this Sunday, so I know that this Sunday there will be victory. "Hope for a victory", isn't that a strange phrase when you talk about the Christian life. The young man that will be baptized just got out of jail, he just got set free and now he is truly going to be set free, I love it.
There is one thing I don't like about our baptistery, there are decorative bars separating it from the rest of the church, the one place in the church that should symbolize being set free and unity, and we have bars.
I want the world to hear this loud and clear, Jesus Christ came to remove the barriers between God and Man, Jesus Christ came to remove sin. God give us the eyes and heart to remove those barriers that Satan erects to harm the fellowship of believers.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
J. Tom Washburn
Posted by J. Tom Washburn at 2:37 PM