Lavished On Us

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In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. (Ephesians 1:7–8, NIV 1984).

My Musings – “The riches of God.”  Riches. Plentiful amount. Abundantly supplied.  How plentiful and abundant do you suppose it could be coming from the Creator of all there is? How about His only begotten Son? “God’s grace.” Grace. The free and unmerited favor of God. “The riches of God’s grace” are free to all who would receive them, even though it is not merited.  Could never possibly be merited. “He lavished on us.”  Lavished. Bestowed in generous or extravagant quantities. Exceeding what is reasonable or appropriate.  It is neither reasonable or appropriate that we should receive God’s favor, apart from His mercy and grace.  “With all wisdom and understanding.”  God understood what the cost of His grace would be.  It doesn’t seem all that wise to give so great a cost to those so unworthy.  But He was wise enough to understand it was the only possible way to lovingly satisfy His own Holy and Righteous character.

My Advice – Be thankful that you either have it or that it is within your grasp.

Whatever Happened to the Wages of Sin?

From the archives.

The Brew Is A Musing

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Introduction – Setting The Stage

Romans 3:23 – [A]ll have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (NIV 1984).

Romans 6:23[T]he wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (NIV 1984).

Wages – A payment in return (www.the free dictionary.com).

Gift – Something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation (www.merriam-webster.com).

Hebrews 9:27[M]an is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away [save from] the sins of many people (NIV 1984).

Save – To deliver from sin.

Savior – A person [Jesus Christ] who helps people achieve salvation, or saves them from something [Hell] (https://en.wikipedia.org).

Jesus Christ – The only name that has the power to save (www.urbandictionary.com).

Acts 4:12It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth…

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We Must Obey Who?

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Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men!”  (Acts 5:27–29, NIV 1984).

My Musings – A time is coming, it may be sooner rather than later, when we may be commanded “not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.

My Advice – We must “judge for [ourselves] whether it is right in God’s sight to obey [men] rather than God.”  When it comes right down to it, what will we do?

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.  (Acts 4:13, NIV 1984).

Let’s hope that having spent much time “with Jesus,” “the courage of Peter and John” will shine through us and astonish all who take note.

Whatever Happened to Evangelical Christianity?

From the archives

The Brew Is A Musing

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Introduction – What Does It Mean To Be Evangelical?

Evangelical – of, relating to, or being in agreement with the Christian gospel especially as it is presented in the four Gospels. (Webster)

In a 2007 survey by the Barna Group (a leading research organization focused on the intersection of faith and culture), 38% of the respondents self-identified as evangelical, suggesting a large segment of the U.S. fit this designation. However, of those respondents adhering to Barna’s nine-point criteria for being an evangelical, only 9% of the respondents could be considered to meet the definition of evangelical. These nine points are:

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Forgiven Little, Forgiven Much

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Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”  (Luke 7:44–47, NIV 1984).

My Musings – How grateful are we really for God’s forgiveness of our sins?  How grateful should we be?  One sin is enough to separate us from a Holy God for all eternity.  No matter how “small” our forgiven sins are, we should be eternally grateful.

My Advice – Pause for a moment to thank God for your salvation (if you are saved).  If you are not saved, show your gratitude that your sins are not too great to be forgiven, by asking Christ into your heart.

Whatever Happened to In God We Trust?

From the archives

The Brew Is A Musing

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From Providence – We Are Favored By God

We Do Declare – We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are

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Are We Dead Yet?

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You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”  (Titus 2:1–8, NIV 1984).

Other People’s Musings – “Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul. Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear and despair … these are the long, long years that bow the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust.  Whatever your years, there is in every being’s heart the love of wonder, the undaunted challenge of events, the unfailing, childlike appetite for ‘what next,’ and the joy and the game of life.  You are as young as your faith, as old as your,  doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.”  (Douglas MacArthur).

My Musings – “Whatever your years,” you’re not dead yet.  Continue to learn.  Continue to grow.  There is much that the older generation can (in humility) teach those that are younger. But it is also true, that those who older can learn from the younger generation.  We have a tendency to retreat into our own self-defined groups of people that we feel comfortable with.  But comfort tends to quench the “love of wonder the undaunted challenge of events, the unfailing, childlike appetite for ‘what next,’ and the joy and the game of life.”

My Advice – Actually Mac’s. “You are as young as your faith, as old as your, doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.”  What ever your years, get in the game.  You’re not dead yet.