Taggrace

Have You Seen the Cemetery at Your Seminary?

seminary-cemetery

Have you noticed how ‘seminary’ and ‘cemetery’ sound similar? They say that seminary is where faith comes to die. If you can think of a worthy mortuary where the corpse of faith can be kept safely, the cemetery, rather, the seminary is your answer. This is a strange thing to say, especially concerning a place where faithful people go to be prepared for a lifetime of...

Contentment

contentment

Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper;     I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?” Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:5-6, 8) It is so easy to confuse law and gospel when talking about being content...

The Man who Looks Like Garbage

man-looks-like-garbage

Filthy he walks under the weight of a pile of trash, Filthily they look on as his steps disgust the streets, Filthy is the stench of his trash. Filth gets him condemned, To God, a divine disgrace he’s declared. The man who looks like garbage   Into the abyss there he goes, Where would that mountain of filth go except with him to damnation? Where would the man take the garbage except into...

Festo Kivengere: Fellowship is Not Uniformity

Festo-Kivengere-fellowship

To have fellowship is not to have uniformity. It is the drawing presence of Jesus Christ, the Light of God, penetrating me and shining on my brother so that we inevitably are drawn toward each other, and into fellowship. What makes it possible for us to go on walking and working together peacefully? St. John tells the secret: “…and the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, keeps on cleansing us...

There is no Shadow of Turning with Him

no-shadow-of-turning

“If we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.”—2 Timothy 2:13 (ESV) Not you—and certainly not me. Ten-time over, I have broken all the promises I set out to uphold. I have broken all the promises I made to other people. I have broken all the promises I have to God. I have also broken all the promises I have made to myself. Every day, before I leave my bed, I shatter the...

God does not Give Second Chances

second chances

You have heard it said that “Our God is a God of second chances.” This is a popular phrase in the church today. I barely get through a testimony without hearing someone talk about a second chance God gave them. I am not sure if what they always refer to is a second chance, necessarily, or it is a third, tenth, or a nine-hundredth chance. Sure, we blow it every day. Fair to say, we blow it every...

My Dad and the Grace which Runs Deeper than our Sin

grace-runs-deeper

A few days to Christmas day of 2001, I remember walking to my dad and telling him that I wanted him to come with us to church on Christmas day. He had said yes. My mum had died a year and a half earlier. She was the one who took us to church. When she died, there was no one to go with us to church. I remember my young brother Simon and me changing from our Anglican church to a nearby Pentecostal...

Christ Came To Save Sinners

Christ-came-sinners

“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”—1 Timothy 1:15 (KJV) The Apostle Paul, after planting numerous churches in the Gentile world and taking the Gospel of God’s free forgiveness of sins to places it had never been heard before, still thought that he needed saving. After healing the sick, going...

Why Jesus’s Life Matters

jesus-life

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”—Isaiah 53:5 (ESV) Does the life Christ lived matter? Why did He have to live for 33 years? Couldn’t He just come, die and resurrect in one day? We usually love to talk about Christ’s cross and blood, but we never give that much credence to the life that...

You can’t be Free and still be Afraid

fear

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.—1 John 4:18b (ESV) Fear is a present reality in the life of a Christian. We fear of punishment, death, sickness, old age, bereavement, and above all, the fear of the unknown. I have met people who have told me that when they were about to finish a particular level of education, say, primary school, something bad happened and the trend...

Why Jesus Christ as Lord of all Creation is so Good News

Jesus Christ Lord of all Creation

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.”—Colossians 1:15 (ESV) The satirical website, The Onion, published an article a while back titled “Newborn Loses Faith In Humanity After Record...

Your Perfectionist Friend

perfectionist

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”—John 15:13, ESV Demands mark the lives of perfectionists. Since they only desire the “best” (however best is defined), they engage in a life-long mission of control—controlling first the situation around them and also the people in their lives. Because they have an idea of what the life they desire looks like...