General Recovery

No Matter How I Feel, Christ is My Righteousness

Galatians 6:12b
"...the cross of Christ alone can save." (NLT)

David Wilkerson, in the World Challenge Pulpit Series of April 26, 2010, writes:
"No matter how I feel, Christ is my righteousness. No matter how many doubts may arise, Christ is my righteousness. No matter how many accusations I hear from the devil during the day, I stand on this: God sees me as righteous in Christ!"

Serve Him Today, Release the Problems of Tomorrow

Hebrews 9:11-12
But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

I find myself so focused on things that, in the long run, probably don't matter. John Wesley writes:

Little Slips

"Whoever is faithful in very little--is also faithful in much; and
whoever is unrighteous in very little--is also unrighteous in much."
Luke 16:10

We are apt to under-estimate little failures in duty.

It seems to us, a small matter:
that we do not keep an engagement,
that we lose our temper,
that we say an impatient or angry word,
that we show an unkind or harsh spirit,
that we speak uncharitably of another,
that we treat someone with discourtesy, or
fail in some other way which appears trivial.

Compromise: Left, Right, Or Something Else?Premium Content

Which are you—left, right, or somewhere in the middle?

spectrumWe’re apparently programmed to think of nearly every aspect of our lives in terms of a linear continuum.

Politics provides the most obvious example. Left/right, liberal/conservative, red/blue. While most of us don’t reside at an extreme, we’re certainly conditioned to think of ourselves at least on one side or the other of center.

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What Perception Do You Cling To?Premium Content

What do you think when you see this little blue guy?

blue guy

I asked some middle school kids that question. Hands went up, signaling a number of insightful comments. The sign reminded some of friends or family members. A few said they wondered about the people who needed those parking spaces. One appreciated that we care enough to provide this simple aid for folks in need.

After they seemed about finished, one boy who might have been a stand-in for Dennis the Menace raised his hand.

“Technically, the little guy’s white. The background is blue.”

We all chuckled as he protested that he was just being observant.

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The Adversary uses Fear, God Enables Us to Overcome

Abba...I know that our adversary loves to use fear to try and get to Your children. He will use all kinds of fear in an attempt to cripple us and interfere with our kingdom work. I thank You that none of these things change Your love for us...for Your love is not based upon our performance...or upon whether or not we are still afraid in any areas.

The adversary wants us to be afraid of many things:
that You will reject us (although You said You would never leave us or forsake us)
that we are somehow not good enough (which we actually aren't...but that does not matter)
that You will not meet our needs (although we have food, shelter and clothing and tend to mix our needs up with our wants)

Why Am I Here?Premium Content

larger_cartoon_classroom

Whenever I talk to a group, I usually begin with some version of that question. Yesterday I visited a group of middle school students. Their answers reinforced my conviction that I always learn more from kids than they learn from me.

Kids are less inhibited than adults, which is mostly a good thing. So when I asked ”Why do you think I’m here?” it didn’t take long for someone to suggest it might be because I’m in a wheelchair. I was pleased that nobody suggested lack of hair as a reason.

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Don’t Make Me Your ProjectPremium Content

What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like. Saint Augustine

“I hate feeling like I’m someone else’s project!”

I’d just finished sharing part of my story with the group. I expressed my gratitude for the people who wove the story of Relentless Grace and my belief that God sent this small circle of folks who refused to let me quit on life.

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Humility is a Two-way StreetPremium Content


Submission
In John 13, Jesus washes the disciples’ feet. It’s a well-known story, a frequently referenced model for Christ’s attitude of humble service to others. But there’s another side to the story.

Foot-washing requires a foot to wash.

In the story, Peter initially refuses to allow his friend and teacher to perform such a menial, degrading task. Jesus replies that submission isn’t optional—it’s an essential element in the interaction.

I don’t think that’s an accident. You can’t force someone to receive an expression of intimacy. If it’s a true act of humble service, the one whose feet are washed must submit.

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What’s the Hardest Thing You’ve Had to Do?Premium Content

What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to do?

Have you ever wished you could gracefully get out of a situation? That’s how I felt when I arrived at my last speaking engagement.

The small church invited me to their men’s group, the sort of experience I usually anticipate and enjoy. I love the opportunity to connect and share in an intimate setting.

But that night I wanted to escape. The elevator was broken; ten imposing steps stood between me and the meeting room.

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