Dec 11, 2010

He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins


“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” ~1 John 1:9

God is great; He has saved us from condemnation. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23) He sacrificed His Son so we could be saved and He forgives our sins. Not only does He forgive our sins, but He washes us pure with His blood. But at the same time, we need to repent of our sins. 1 John 1:10 says, “If we say we have not sinned we make Him a liar and His Word is not in us.” One of the best prayers in the Old Testament is Psalm 51. It’s a long passage, so I won’t put it all in here, but it is the prayer David prayed to ask forgiveness for taking Bathsheba and killing her husband. It is a great example of the type of prayer we should pray to ask forgiveness for our sins. David admits his sin, he regrets his sin, he pleads for forgiveness, and he believes God will forgive and forget his sins. While we know God will forgive our sins, we need to repent of doing them.

Your brother in Christ,


Dec 5, 2010

Be still and know that I am God...

“Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” ~Ps. 46:10


Last night we were sitting at our kitchen table with the lights turned low and the advent candles lit, while my dad read from an advent book that included this magnificent verse. Especially during this busy holiday season, we often forget the resounding command in this verse. “Be still and know;” few times have I been more reminded of God’s presence, than when I stepped outside one windy, rainy night and sang hymns to the Lord. There is something about rainy nights, especially, that show God’s majesty. The wind rushes around you breathing its icy breath through your hair and rustling ominously through the trees. The rain rushes toward the earth in pounding waves; thunder and lightening flashing and booming, sound forth in awe of their Maker. And then, hidden away in all this tumultuous cacophony of sounds and sights, is a silent pervasive hint of yet another of God’s many promises: the clean, fresh smell that comes after rain, a reminder that one day the world will be made new and that even as the rain washes away the dirt and grime and filth of the land, so Christ has washed away our grime and filth.

With the holiday stress of searching for presents, preparing meals, visiting, writing letters, and cleaning the house, it is very, very easy to lose our focus of what truly matters. This past week as my sister was in the hospital and my mom was getting ready to go to Africa, I could feel myself getting grumpy, sharp, and all together like a wet blanket. I knew that the reason was that I had lowered my sight from the things of the Lord to the dust of the ground, but it wasn’t until several days later that I truly prayed that the Lord would yet again clear my mind of the fog that so often fills it. Remember this month, the reason we celebrate is that it is a time that commemorates the fulfillment of God’s promise to send a Deliverer to Israel and the beginning of His great sacrifice. Don’t get bogged down in the meaningless pageantry of the season Rather, remember that Christ was born in a stable and His first bed was a feeding trough. Don’t worship santa, Christmas songs, or your Christmas tree. Remember the sacrifice that would later be made on a tree. Don’t diminish the celebration. I’m not advocating an abolishment of Christmas, merely a simpler celebration that revolves around Christ, instead of presents and sweet rolls. Don’t stop singing; just start singing for the lyrics, not the tune or tradition. Even I have lost some of my focus over the course of this letter, so I will turn it back to the original intent:

“Be still and know

That I am God…”

Your brother in Christ,


Dec 2, 2010

Faith is the substance of things hoped for...

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for. The evidence of things not seen.” ~Heb. 11:1

Dear Corey,

Throughout the Bible we are told that faith is vital. Matthew 17:19-20 says, “Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, ‘Why could we not cast it [the demon] out?’ So Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.’” A long passage, but it shows that we must have faith. Throughout his ministry, Jesus said, “Because of your faith, you have been healed.” Hebrews 11 shows major characters in the Bible and their faith. Here’s a partial list:

Abel – By faith he offered a more perfect sacrifice than Cain.

Enoch – By faith, Enoch was taken away without death.

Noah – By faith, built the ark.

Abraham – By faith, offered up Isaac.

Isaac – By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau.

Jacob – By faith, blessed Joseph’s sons.

I leave you with Hebrews 11:6,

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

Your brother in Christ,