Friday, August 10, 2012


Hbr 8:12    For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more. ESV


All I can say is: "Thank You God!". This is the relationship. This is the new covenant. This is what God will do for His people...mercy...forgiveness...forever.


I need to face the reality of life: I am a sinner. I screw up. I say dumb things. I do dumb things. I think dumb things. And these dumb things are sin. These dumb things are a violation of God's character. And God does not look favorably on my violation of His character. In fact He has an end result for it: For the wages of sin is death... Not just physical death, but spiritual death. Eternal separation from Him. Total and complete elimination of any chance to have a relationship with Him. This is death. This is really agonizing. It is terrible. To be without God, to be without His presence, to be without His influence...Horrible.


But look at this: I will be merciful toward their iniquities. This is pardon. This is God avoiding, in fact averting what He could and should do because of my violation of His character. Because of this new covenant, He says: "Glen, you deserve separation from Me. You deserve my wrath. You deserve to be without me forever, but I am going to change that because of My new covenant and I am going to put my heart and my Spirit in you and I am going to make you my child." This is head shaking. This is amazing. "In fact..." He says, "I am going to take it even one step further. I will totally and completely forget that you ever violated My character. I am going to never throw this stuff in your face. I will never ever remember your sins again." Whoa...In God's mind, through this new covenant, He looks at me just as if I had never sinned....ever.


This is wild. No more separation, but total relationship, forever. What Jesus did on the cross instituted the new covenant and I am totally and completely clean in God's sight.


So, when I screw up...yes I need to go to Him and confess my sin (I John 1:9) but in His faithfulness and justice (get that...He is just and He should punish me but He looks at Jesus and sees His justice) He forgives me when I screw up and come to Him, I need to remember that when that sin comes back to hit me in the face, it isn't God who is doing the condemning, it is the accuser of the brothers who is bringing it back to haunt me. I need to throw back: "For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more."


That is my standing before God. That is the relationship that I have with Him.


One other thing. If I am going to be like God I have to be merciful and forgive forever others as well.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Risk or Reward

Hbr 4:2    For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. ESV


Good news. So much better than bad news. Whenever someone comes to me and says: "I have good news and I have bad news, what do you want first?" I tend to accept the bad news first. Why? Because the good news heard later is so much better. The good news later seems to override what I have just heard and I can dwell on the good and not the bad.


The children of Israel had a type of gospel (good news) preached to them. What was it? There is the promised land. Go get it. Go in it. Go after it. Win it. It is yours. The land flowing with milk and honey is for you. Now...go. The problem, they didn't believe it. They were more concerned with what 10 spies told them than what 2 spies could tell them they could do. They were more concerned about the risk than the reward. As a result, they let doubt, they let unbelief control and they stayed in their comfort zone in the desert, while the whole time, just a few miles away they could have lived in the land that God had promised them.


How does this relate to me? Well, I have had good news come to me as well. The good news the news of my promised land. The good news is that Jesus came, died, rose again, ascended into heaven so that I could someday go into that promised land. The good news is that I can now live a life of that this world is not my home. Faith that my focus should be the kingdom of God not the kingdom of this world. Faith that should allow me to takes steps that include some risk because I know my eternal destiny through Christ. The question is whether I am willing to believe. Whether I am willing to marry faith with action. Whether I am more concerned with risk or reward.


The good news is this...that Jesus saved me for an eternal promised land, but the good news does not end there. My eternity is what I am living now. My eternal life began at the point of my salvation. I need to live like it.



Thursday, June 28, 2012

Good-bye America

The recent decision by the Supreme Court on the new health care law is even more dangerous than Obamacare. The basis for their decision was that the penalty an individual must pay if they do not buy insurance is considered a tax and this falls under Congress' power to tax. 

This decision establishes the dangerous precedent that Congress can tax non-acts. Congress now has the power to tax things that are not things. They have the power to tax the non-purchase of insurance. In the past taxes were paid on income that you earned and goods that you purchased. Not any longer. Now Congress has the power to tax non-income. They have the power to tax non-sales. They have the power to tax non-events. This is worse than England and the Boston Tea Party. At least England was taxing tea. Now our government can levy a tax on nothing.  Who knows what Congress will do with this new power.

We have to find assurance in the fact that God is in control.  He is the One who makes kingdoms rise and fall. 

Unfortunately, that sucking sound you hear is the loss of our freedom. Good-bye America.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Pay Attention

Hbr 2:1    Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. ESV


It is so easy to become complacent. Especially in this country. Things are so easy here. Things are so comfortable here. Things are safe here. We have access to Bibles, and Christian radio and Christian books and music, our churches are free to speak without government interference. We really do have a significant amount of freedom...and with that freedom comes ease. And with ease comes responsibility. And unfortunately with that ease many times come apathy...complacency...taking things for granted...laziness...drifting.


The writer of Hebrews understood drifting. He knew that we, as humans, have a tendency to get away from that which is vitally important. The word for drift actually means to "glide by", to have things slip your mind and your life. It means just getting by with no real effort. The writer says: Don't. Don't drift. Don't just get by. Don't let things escape. Rather pay much closer attention. This is extraordinary heed, application and devotion. Why? Well, because of the "therefore". And the therefore is there because it is referring back to what he talked about in chapter one. This One called Jesus, the Son of God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, the Sustainer, the One worthy of worship, the One greater than the angels. We need to pay much stricter attention to what we have heard about this One and because of this One.


Do I? Am I? Or am I drifting...just floating by in my easy life? Where is the sense of urgency? Where is the discipline? Where is the commitment? When I think about me, I know how much time I spend in the word. I know how much time I spend in prayer. I know how much time I spend encouraging others. I know how much I witness...and frankly, I am drifting. I am floating. I am doing my thing in this easy country of ours. I am not making waves. I am not challenging myself or others. I don't have the sense of urgency that I should. I need to pay much closer attention to this One who loved me and gave Himself for me. Sure, I do the things that I encourage others to do...but I need to do more. I need to read more. I need to pray more. I need to encourage more. I need to witness more. I need to love God more. I need to do what Paul encourage the Thessalonian more: 1Th 4:1    "Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more."


Please more complacency. No more drifting. Help me pay much closer attention. Help me do more. Help me see the urgency of the hour and respond...because of who Jesus is.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Any Questions??????

Hbr 1:8    But of the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. ESV (Ps 45:6,7)


Now all I have to say about people who say that Jesus is not God is..."Duh!" I mean, really? "But of the Son he says, 'Your throne, O God...". Now does this God-breathed verse really mean "But of the Son he say Your throne O God..." or doesn't it? Does this verse equate Jesus with being God or am I just dreaming? Could it mean something else? Could there be some way to get around the Deity of Jesus in this verse? Or should we just take it as it reads and admit that the Son is called God? If there was a question before this verse when Jesus is called Heir, Creator, the exact representation of His nature, the radiance of His glory, upholds all things by His powerful word, worthy of worship, this verse should dispel any questions.


And just to put an exclamation point on this truth that Jesus is God, the writer of Hebrews says that His throne, His rule, His authority represented by a scepter, is forever and ever. Why is this an exclamation point? Because it is telling us that Jesus will reign for all eternity. He is eternal and His dominion is eternal. Now that sounds a lot like God, doesn't it? (In fact as I continue to read, this eternal exclamation point is emphasized two more times in verses 11 and 12.)


As I think about this, I think about the name of God in the Old Testament: Jehovah. The name: Jehovah means "existing One". Eternal One. Forever One. Who shares this name? Who shares this eternality? The Son of God.


And how will Jesus reign forever? What will He be like and what will His kingdom be like? Upright. This is not talking about His physical position. This is talking about righteousness. Jesus will forever do what is right and holy and pure and true as He rules in His eternal kingdom. Oh to see truth in a kingdom. Oh to see purity in a governmental system. Oh to see righteousness reign. Jesus, the Son of God, God Himself will bring this about.


All I can say is: "Your kingdom come, Your will be done an earth as it is in heaven...".



Thursday, May 10, 2012


Mal 2:15 "Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth." ESV


Wow. There is so much wrapped up in this verse I don't know where to begin. How about God making a husband and wife one? How about all the way back to Genesis 2:24 "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast (cling, cleave, stick) to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." One flesh. What does this mean? It means one flesh. It means one body. It means one unit. It means when you split it up it hurts. It injures. It maims. It kills. It destroys. More on that later.


"With a portion of the Spirit in their union." It is interesting that the Spirit of God is involved in this. God created this thing called marriage. It was His invention. This is why it is said: "What God has joined together let no man separate." God is the One who created this union. Why? So children could be born who were godly. This is the ideal. This is God's plan for marriage. A man and a woman would come together to become one flesh and the kids that they raise have the character of God.


So? So guard yourselves in your spirit. Watch your inner man. Be careful about what you think about, what you dwell on, what you fantasize about, what you stick in your brain because that is where junk starts…and do not be faithless, do not be deceitful to the wife you married when you were young. Be honest. Be open. Be true. Be single focused. Be faithful. Be committed. This is a good word to all of us guys.


Now this is where we have screwed up. If only we would listen to what God said. If only we would do what God instructs. If we did, we would have healthy families and a healthy society. But no…we have decided that we know better. We don't emphasize the covenant of marriage. It is more than a contract. It is more than an agreement between two people. It is a solemn vow between three individuals: the man the woman and God. But of course, we have gotten rid of God so why listen to what He says? We have made it easy for people to split up. We have instituted things like no fault divorce and dissolutions. We have downplayed the importance of marriage and no longer think it is wrong to live together before being married. And the result? Godly offspring? No. Instead we have many screwed up kids who have no stability. No compass in their lives. No direction. No foundation. No truth. Sure there are good single parent families but this is not without pain and problems. Just ask them. God wanted to protect us against that and we said: "Shove it." and did our own thing.


Studies have shown that the most stable kids are those who grow up in a home where Mom and Dad are together and are committed to one another, where the kids see that they love each other and where the kids are loved. This is God's plan, and it is the best plan because it works. Is it Biblical? Yes. Is it smart? Yes. Does it make sense? Yes. Have we paid attention? No. We are so messed up, so sinful, so self centered that we downplay and dishonor the marriage relationship.


And then comes our President yesterday, putting one more nail in the marriage coffin by saying a man can marry a man and a woman can marry a woman…no big deal…just so they love one another. We have screwed marriage up so badly already, he needs to do more? He has. And just like we are living the nightmare of divorce now, years from now we will reap the bitter pill that he wants us to swallow. I feel sorry for my kids and my grandkids. They will have to live in a more messed up society than I face. God help us.


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Done for Awhile

Mark 9:50    "Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another." ESV


I have to confess, this one is hard for me. A group of us were in Chicago for a conference at Harvest Bible Church a little while ago. The conference began with a time of corporate worship and prayer. It was the prayer part that got me. Initially we spent time just praising God for who He is. Then we got into a tough time...confession. When you open yourself up God speaks...and He spoke to me...about this blog. What about this blog? It may be that my motivation is wrong. It may be that recognition is still what I crave. It may be that spiritual pride is creeping in and because of that my salt may have lost its saltiness.


As we prayed, I confessed. I told God that I was thankful that He gave me His word. I told Him that I was grateful that He was willing to share truth with me. And I told Him that I just wanted to be used. I want what I write to be effective...I want it to be salty. I want it to impact other people. But He said to me that this was only going to happen is when I get out of the way. The only way that this is going to happen is when I lose my spiritual pride. The only way that this is going to happen is if I shut this down for a while.


Yet, I have to journal. My journal has to be thing between me and God. So that is what is going to happen. I will not be posting my journal on the blog on a regular basis for a least until God gives me the freedom to do so. I don't want this to be a source of pride for me. I kind of have to cut it off, pluck it out. (v43-49) When Jesus said this to His guys, He was talking about how serious sin is. Whether it is your hand or your foot of your eye or your blog.


So off it comes. I am hoping that it is not something that stays down because I love writing. I love sharing. But right now, for this time I have to do this and just go back to journaling...just me and God.


The thing that is reassuring to me is that I don't think that this will stay down. Why not? Because salt has to be distributed to be effective. Salt has to be spread and I am praying that God will make me salty...effective...used.