Showing posts from July 28, 2013

Beauty That Saves the World

In the ugliest experience of human existence – death by crucifixion – God reveals Himself in Christ as absolute, unconditional, self-giving love. At Calvary, all of the ugliness of the world – its greed and pride and lust and hate and cruelty and violence – is poured into Christ. And, upon the cross, Jesus turns all of this ugliness into the beauty of forgiving love. This is the greatest of miracles, and nothing is more beautiful.
… From a post-resurrection vantage point, we understand that the action of Christ in forgiving His enemies on the cross was not foolish or delusional but the beauty that saves the world. The resurrection is God's endorsement of forgiving love. (Unconditional p. 191-192)

I find this insight powerfully resonating with all that God has been teaching me for the last half of my life. For so many years the concepts and teachings promoted about the meaning and reasons for the cross simply made little to no sense for me. So many of them were conflicting and c…

Peter Finished the Sentence

Last weekend I presented a sermon based on something God had strongly impressed me with a few days previous. It was based on Hebrews 5:7-9 where it talks about how Jesus learned obedience through the things which He suffered and was made perfect as a result.
As I was studying that passage out carefully I was impressed with a parallel passage from Peter that in my estimation is the most potent and clear explanation of the real truth about the cross of Christ written anywhere. This emerging revelation about the cross has been progressively expanding in my mind over the past few years as I seek to find sense apart from all the nonsense that religion has taught about the cross that has confused so many. As the truth about this becomes more clear to me, I come under increasing conviction of my need to apply this truth to my own circumstances and relationships.
The day after I presented this to my church, our head elder told me a story about a man who had been arrested for trying to pay a lar…

Success or Presence

As I sat down this morning to begin my personal time in God's presence, the thought came to me that the only effective kind of worship is my mind is focused in the present and not slipping into the past or the future tense. This idea of living in the present tense is something I have pondered for years off and on, but today I realized how silly it must be to think one can cultivate a meaningful relationship with someone if most of the conversations avoid thinking about one other in the present mode. It would make for very awkward conversation at best if one person refuses to look at the other or resistes letting their mind engage actively in real time while they are talking to the another.
If I only speak as if I am living in the past, or only dwell on the future about what might happen while I constantly avoid engaging my senses in what my relationship and feelings and thoughts are right now, it only allows for a very shallow relationship to develop. The only way to deepen frien…