Forgive Me... If You Can
Forgiveness. Reconciliation. They are beautiful notions until we have some reconciling and forgiving to do. It is easy to say we believe in forgiveness. Quick is the silver tongue that speaks the, “I forgive you.” Slow are the feet of clay which shamble ever so slowly and cautiously toward the behavior that follows forgiveness.
I Believe In Yesterday
For many, “Yesterday" by The Beatles is a poignant and powerful song. It is one of, if not the most, covered songs by the Beatles. It brings back memories of regret, remorse, heartache, and heartbreak. Why do we like this song so much if it seems to cause us such pain?
A Table For The Broken
BY RJ GRUNEWALD
Throughout Jesus’ ministry, he invited a rag-tag group of sinners to have a seat at the table. The table was so important that while Mark described, “The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost,” Luke suggested, “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking.”
Is It I, Lord?
I suppose it's natural not to want to take the blame or admit it when we have a problem. Even us adults never really grow out of it, we just learn to paper over our issues with euphemisms or more reasonable sounding excuses: "No, not me. I'm not abrasive and rude; I'm just honest and tell it like it is."
I have always felt I have a knack for disappointing people. It sometimes feels like everyone in my life thinks I'm more capable than I am. Five years into my chronic pain, I think my family is starting to catch onto my limitations. I still disappoint my kids all the time. That's probably true of many parents.
The Old Testament Roots of The Lord's Supper: Part 2
Blood is the thing. In the Scriptures, sin must be covered or "atoned for" as it's called, by blood. You see, God hates sin. But God also wants to enjoy a faithful, loving, and kind relation with his people whom he loves. The trouble is, his people prefer to turn to things that are not God rather than God.
Where Are You?
BY WALTER HWANG
I grew up playing baseball – mostly “street” baseball, with a bunch of friends. It was one of my passions in life. I remember one day, I think I was around 11 years old, in Korea. My friends and I, as usual, went out to play baseball, right in our apartment complex in Seoul. I was in the batter’s box, ready to hit, and the pitcher threw the ball.
BY STEVEN PAULSON
Psalm 51 teaches two things: mercy and sin. But aren’t we already experts in sin? Why do we need God to teach it to us? Well, we are good at pointing the finger to say, “There is a sinner!” But it takes hard schooling to say, “I am a sinner—indeed nothing but sin” and “I only sin before you.”
Bearing the Weight of Sin
Awhile back, I was at a 3-day practicum in the summer so that I could be trained in to tutor a group of middle schoolers for the coming school year. This was a great event for families, as they had 3 day “camps” for all of my kids to attend while I was at my training during the day.
Specks and Logs
I’m a life-long New Yorker, and I have the pleasure of working minutes from the neighborhood I grew up in as a boy. As I pass by it, I still come across a few familiar reminders of that neighborhood I grew up in, including an old friend’s mom, and some buildings that spark fond memories as well.
I'm Not Chad Bird
I think we can all agree that there is not a more popular writer on Christ Hold Fast than Chad Bird. Let’s face it, He paints pictures with his words that some of us on here can only dream of doing, and he’s got the credentials to back those pictures up. To be sure, he’s probably one of the most learned writers here…
Come Near To Me, Please
There is no shortage of blogs, books, and sermons that use the life of Joseph as a model for Christian living. From not giving up on your “God given dreams,” to fleeing sexual temptation, to being faithful in tribulation, Joseph is like proverbial “Swiss Army Knife” of godliness.
Of Works And Grace
“Son, be of good cheer; thy sins are forgiven." These words show and contain in brief what the kingdom of Christ is, namely, this sweet voice, these motherly and fatherly words penetrating our inmost soul: "Thy sins are forgiven." In no other sense are we to view the kingdom of Christ
A Day For All Sinners and Saints
BY KYLE G JONES
It’s been my experience that All Saints’ Day, celebrated on November 1st and observed on the first Sunday following, gets overshadowed by the celebration of Reformation Day. This often overlooked church holiday embraces every major aspect of Christianity and grounds the Christian in realities only realized in Christ.
Forgiveness Is Finished
BY RYAN COUCH
I’ve had a lot of nasty things done to me in my 43 years of life. Many of which were done by church people while we were worshipping and serving Jesus together. I’ve also done some nasty things to others along the way, but as a highly skilled theologian of glory, I like to believe that the nastiness done to me far outweighs the sin I’ve committed against others.
The Offence of Our Heart on Another’s Sleeve
We don’t love little because we have little that requires forgiveness. We love little because we’ve confessed little and hidden much. Therefore we experience little forgiveness. This is what Jesus is teaching both Simon and us when he says, “I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much”
On Being Haunted
I am often haunted by my past. I am daily haunted by what I should be doing. I am frequently haunted by what I should do tomorrow. I am haunted by my failure to act like my exhortations, duties, and responsibilities expect me to. I often struggle with looking at myself and observing how I am lacking in living right.
It Never Depended Upon You
I visited a senior man at his home the other day. I'll refer to him as “Jim.” Jim had recently returned home from the hospital after recovering from a fall. The back-and-forth from hospital to home had become his rhythm of life, and, because of that rhythm, he had been unable to attend worship.
Grace for When You Can't Forgive
She was my friend, walking through marriage troubles. Her husband was unfaithful to her, with the technicalities and carefully drawn lines of “not technically sex” and justifying himself, which had wounded her deeply.
How to Make Grace Unamazing
BY CHAD BIRD
Amazing grace is a sweet sound not just because it saved a wretch like me, but because it saved a whole wretched world like me. God did not enter into a contract with us. He simply said, “You’re justified. You’re forgiven. I love you. All is complete.”
The Shameless Nature of God’s Grace
BY BRAD GRAY
To be sure, the devil has an incredible arsenal of assaults with which he can waylay believers into ineptitude and ineffectiveness. One of his most insidious, though, is undoubtedly the thought that God cannot use you because of your past.
Why Confess Sin?
Why confess sin? Is it so we can get rewarded by God? A little extra grace or material good for our troubles, maybe. Maybe, if we make a good confession, we can earn forgiveness? But, how much sin must we confess before we get what's coming to us?
“Christianity Isn’t for Everyone”
BY CHAD BIRD
Let's face it, Christianity is not for everyone. If you've made such huge strides in holiness that you deem grace a crutch for those still handicapped by sin, if you detect the faint applause of angels clapping their wings at your obedience, if you've led such an exemplary life that you've landed a spot on heaven's honor roll, then you’ll feel like you’re slumming in Christianity.