History revolves around two people: Adam and Jesus. Whereas Adam is the representative for all of humanity by birth, Jesus is the head of a new humanity through adoption. Paul sets up the individuals Adam and Christ as representative, corporate figures to show we’re all held accountable on behalf of someone.  None of us are the autonomous island we imagine. Every person is either still lost in Adam or, by God’s amazing grace, they are now found in Christ (the 2nd Adam). We are either citizens of this world’s kingdom through Adam or citizens of heaven through Christ (1 Cor. 15:21-22, 45-49).Continue reading A Tale of Two Citizens
This post continues a series on The Love of the Father. Below are the prior posts.
Reasons We Struggle to Experience God’s Love
Seven Features of God’s Fatherly Love
God’s Love in Revealing Himself
The Father’s Love in Sending His Son
I’m thankful for the forgiveness of sin, the removal of condemnation and punishment, and the promise of eternal life in a resurrected body. I’m thankful I don’t have to carry guilt and shame because Christ took it away. But of all the blessings we have in Christ, there is none greater than being adopted by God so that we become his beloved sons and daughters. J. I. Packer states that adoption is “the highest privilege that the gospel offers: higher even than justification…. Adoption is higher, because of the richer relationship with God that it involves.”Continue reading The Father’s Love in Adoption
(This devotional is day twenty-one of a 30-Day Thanksgiving Challenge. Each day includes a daily reading that will be accompanied by a post on this blog.)
Read Psalm 118
As a kid, one of my favorite things about holidays was how our family would gather and share stories. I would sit back and listen to them spin tales. A new one might be sprinkled in on occasion, but usually they rehashed the same old stories, but we would laugh as we relived the memories. As an adult, it’s still one of the best things when our family gets together. My sister is a good storyteller. She gets very animated and exaggerates stories a little more every year. But somehow, I never get tired of these stories we tell again and again, usually at one of my parent’s expense.Continue reading Some Stories Never Get Old: November Gratitude Reading Plan (Day 21)
2020 has given us plenty of challenges: the pandemic, quarantine and isolation, church closures and re-openings, racial tensions, riots, debates over masks and pretty much everything else tied to COVID-19, politics in an election year, and questions about government intrusion on the Church. Mix in that trying to figure out what families should do for school, and how that affects our jobs and income, as well as churches scrambling to do their best to gather together and care for those struggling with all that’s going on, and there’s plenty to leave us discouraged.
One temptation is to immerse ourself in the news–on TV, online, or through social-media–to stay up to speed and feel informed. The intense debates only fuel this as so many people read articles to defend their cause. It’s no wonder people feel stressed, anxious, and angry. To make matters worse, some statistics indicate Christians are spending even less time in the Bible than they did before the pandemic. We’re filling our minds with bad news and stressful news, meanwhile we’re neglecting to fill our minds and hearts with The Good News.
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9
Paul puts together two seemingly opposed descriptions. The believers in Macedonia live in “extreme poverty” and yet have an abundance of joy. Their pockets and houses might be empty but their hearts are overflowing.
One of the areas of disagreement in the in-person and online wider Christian world (often a very scary and even unChristian place), is what is actually “gospel work.” Are effects of the gospel part of the gospel? Are things Christians work towards and cultivate in their church, community, and family connected to the gospel, or is “the gospel” only the message of how sinners become right with God? It’s a good question, when really asked rather than thrown out as a smoke-screen to avoid allowing the gospel to do its deep work in our lives.
(This is a meditation used at my local church to prepare our hearts for communion. I hope it encourages you with the good news of grace in Jesus.)
This morning, I want to remind us Jesus gave us the Lord’s Supper so we might feed on and be refreshed by him.