The only way to be without sin

th-21There is a section in the Book of Jeremiah in the Old Testament where God has the prophet Jeremiah proclaim destruction on the Babylonian empire. (Babylon was one of the great empires of the world, but as it turned out, their power came from God, who raised them up for the sole purpose of punishing His disobedient chosen people in the nations of Israel and Judah by conquering them and carrying them off into exile and captivity.) But Jeremiah also prophesied that God would preserve a remnant of His people who would remain true to Him, and He would bring them back home.

“In those days,” says the Lord, “no sin will be found in Israel or in Judah, for I will forgive the remnant I preserve” (Jeremiah 50:20).

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Grace is to give away

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When you think about it, there is really no such thing as Grace alone without being Grace Turned Outward. I don’t think you can have it. It’s not like two stages of grace: you get one, and then sometime later, you get the other like some kind of “:second blessing.” When you receive Grace, it forever changes the playing field. It removes the competition. It erases “us” and “them” (there is just “us” — all of us). It’s basically game over on comparison, measurement and judgment.

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On the road again

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It’s simple, really. Caring for people from creation to restoration is seeing the value and importance of every human being on this planet regardless. There is no one insignificant. No one who doesn’t count. No one who is an outcast as far as God is concerned. No one without worth or dignity. No leaving anyone out.

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Loving the whole person

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Thank you to those who commented both publicly and privately to yesterday’s Catch. Bottom line is: I probably could have been better informed about what I was trying to say, but I do believe most of you got it anyway. I was simply trying to say that the whole person is important. People are important. The planet is important. Animals are important. Life is important. It’s all important. Care about it all if you love God, because God created it and He is in the process of restoring all that He made to its intended glory.

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From Creation to Restoration

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We’re going to spend some more time this week on “The rest of the gospel” that I spoke to last week because it is critical to what differentiates the true gospel from this phenomenon we have come to know at least in America as a cultural/political faction masked as Christian. Being committed to the whole gospel is different than that, and it connects us with the concerns of the millennials. We’re talking about the whole gospel that begins with Creation and continues on through to Restoration. It’s the whole gospel about the whole person and when we care about the whole gospel for the whole person, we can connect with people on so many different levels.

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Pop quiz

 

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Last week I met a former prof at a Christian University who taught courses in Biblical Studies and he shared with me one of his favorite things to do in his classes to help teach his students about grace. He liked to give unannounced pop quizzes throughout the course to help keep them on track, and he would start them all out the same. He would pass out the written quiz himself and lay it face down on their desks. Then he would give them a few instructions, tell them to turn the paper over and sign their name and he would give them a certain amount of time to complete the quiz.

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Numbering our days

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Boy, that went fast. Was that summer that I just saw fly by? Just a minute while I wave. “Bye-bye summer.”

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Football, forgiveness and a fallacy

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As Christians and evangelical Christianity get more and more mention in the press, we need to be smarter about testing what is properly represented, misrepresented, or what might have been compromised in the process.

For instance, I read a newspaper article recently about a certain Christian University that is eager to up their football program to a higher level. They want to be to evangelicals what Notre Dame is to Catholics and Brigham Young is to Mormons. They want to be a major national football power.

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