Giving Our Best

“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. But if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is your fear of Me? says Yahweh of Hosts to you priest, who despise My name.” (Malachi 1:6)

I know the news headlines. I see what is happening in the world. And while I am disturbed at the direction of our country, I don’t know why we continue to expect non-Christians to display Christian behavior. The people in this world are acting exactly the way I expect LOST PEOPLE to act. I suppose what bothers me most is when “Christians” act like lost people.

In the book of Malachi, you find that the priests of Israel had incurred the wrath of God because they showed so little regard for their solemn responsibilities. They were negligent in their service and they acted contemptuously by sacrificing blind, crippled, and diseased animals to the Lord. This symbolic expression of their devotion to God, which should have been about giving the best, had degenerated into nothing more than a ritual. God confronted them with their sin by suggesting that they offer to their governor what they were giving Him (Malachi 1:8). God said, “Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?” I think the answer to that question is quite obvious — don’t you?

Those of us who call ourselves “Christian” are quite presumptuous when we give to God a quality of service that wouldn’t even honor our human superiors! Imaging that Governor McCrory of North Carolina invited me to his office. Can you imagine me going into that office, kicking off my shoes and propping my feet on his desk? Imagine that while I’m in the office of Governor McCrory, I doze off while he is talking to me. I don’t think I would ever be invited back.

Someone has rightly described our attitude toward God by saying, “The sin of idolatry that plagues the modern world is a ‘me first’ attitude that gives God the leftovers in thought and life.” Doesn’t that sum up the world in which we live today? I think it does.

Let me quickly share two truths with you that I have learned from almost 30 years of ministry.

First — we should bring God our best even when it seems inconvenient. The Bible says that God called for an “unblemished animal” in the sacrificial offering. That animal would have been the prized possession of the average Israelite family. So, many of them fell into the temptation of bringing other, less perfect animals to God. Many of us feel that it is incredibly inconvenient to offer God the absolute best! In particular, this is true in our worship. We often give God the leftovers of life — behind recreation, work, sleep, TV and on and on it goes. Make no mistake about it — whatever yo put ahead of your relationship with God and His church — no matter how noble or spiritual they may be — is a sin.

There is a second lesson I have learned. We should bring God our best even when we might think it is insufficient. In Malachi 1:14, the Bible says, “‘The deceiver is cursed who has an acceptable male in his flock and makes a vow but sacrifices a defective animal to the Lord. For I am a great King,’ says Yahweh of Hosts, ‘and My name will be feared among the nations.'”

Do you see what God asked for in that verse? A male. That’s not a lot is it? He didn’t say “an unusually strong male.” He didn’t say “the perfect male.”

Some families were all too aware that their BEST animal was still fairly average. So, they were reluctant to bring it to God — even to the extent that some families actually resorted to theft by stealing better animals from their neighbors. Many of us believe that the BEST we have to offer God still isn’t good enough. The result? More often than not, we end up not offering God anything.

There was a hymn we used to sing that had these words…

“Give of your best to the Master, give Him first place in your heart; give Him first place in your service, consecrate now every part.”

Augustine said, “Christ isn’t valued at all unless He is valued above all.”

Are you giving God your very best? That includes your life, your talent, your time and your comments on social media. Remember to give Christ your best in EVERY aspect of your life. If you are a Christian — ACT like it.

Have a great Tuesday.

 

Humble…and Proud of It?

“In the same way, you younger men, be subject to the elders. And all of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.” (I Peter 5:5-7)

Did you hear the one about the pastor who was voted the “Most Humble Pastor in America”? The congregation presented him a medal that said, “To the most humble pastor in America.” They took it away from him the very next Sunday — because he wore it!

Do you remember the man who said, “I am extremely humble, but I’m proud to say that I never brag about it.”

If you want to make the devil happy, begin to admire yourself. If you want to make God happy, clothe yourself with genuine humility. To be humble is to have the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5-8). Humility is absolutely essential for the Christian lifestyle. Only when we are clothed with humility can we come to know Christ better and grow to become more like Him.

Have you ever noticed that that Bible never asks anything of us that Jesus Himself did not do? The greatest hypocrisy in the church today is when we put demands on others that we would not do ourselves. Everything that God asks of us, Jesus did on earth. It doesn’t matter what the request is, whether it is to be a witness, to tithe, or to serve others — it is all a part of God’s call to humility.

Let me illustrate this Christ-like humility with a story from William Barclay. He writes about a man he calls Principal Cairns. “He was well-known in the educational world. Cairns would never enter a room first. He would always step back and say, ‘No, here, you go and I’ll follow,’ though he was so well known and respected by the public. On one occasion, as he stepped up to climb the steps to go to one of the seats on the platform, the public noticed who he was and immediately burst into applause. Shocked, he turned and looked and stepped back and had the man behind go ahead. And he applauded the man who had walked up behind him, thinking the applause was for him. That isn’t phony humility; that’s true humility. It never dawned on him that the public would applaud for him.”

There is nothing that we wear as Christians that is more becoming than humility. People who possess true humility are not always looking for praise, but instead are content to do their best and leave the results with God.

John Ruskin said, “I believe that the fist test of a truly great man is his humility. I do not mean by humility doubt of his own power. But really great people have a curious feeling that the greatness is not in them, but through them. And they see something divine in others and are endlessly, foolishly, incredibly merciful.”

Are you cultivating such an attitude in your life?

Have a great Monday.

Getting What We Ask For

“He gave them what they asked for, but sent a wasting disease among them.” (Psalm 106:15)

If you will take the time to read Psalm 106, you will discover the story of what happens when people allow their own will to supersede the perfect will of God. The incident referred to in Psalm 106:15 is recorded in Numbers 11.

Here’s the story. Numbers 11:1 says, “Now the people began complaining openly before the Lord about hardship. When the Lord heard, His anger burned, and fire from the Lord blazed among them and consumed the outskirts of the camp.” Now you would THINK that when they started to experience the anger of God, they would stop complaining — you might THINK that…but you would be wrong. Numbers 11:2 says that the people cried to Moses and he prayed to God on their behalf and the fire “died down.” But as soon as it did, verse 4 says they started complaining all over again. It must have been very important for them to just keep complaining and complaining and complaining.

Well, they were upset because of the daily menu God had for them. It was manna every day three times a day. They had prepared manna every way you could fix it and they were tired of it. They wanted meat.

“Hey, Preacher man — what’s wrong with that? I’d get tired of manna too.” If you take the time to study this incident, you will discover that the problem wasn’t the manna itself. You see what the people were really asking for was the spicy food they had in Egypt. God had delivered them from slavery, and they had forgotten just how bad it was. Instead of being grateful for the provision of God, they wanted to go back and eat the food from “the good old days.” They wanted to enjoy the blessings of God while still indulging in the things of the world.

That sounds familiar doesn’t it? We want to enjoy God’s provisions and protection, but we also want to continue to live like the world. And the Bible says we can’t have it both ways.

To a certain degree I might say — be careful what you pray for — you might just get it. That’s exactly what happened to our friends the Israelites. God gave them meat just as they begged for. He sent them quail by the hundreds of thousands. But as they were eating them, God’s anger was kindled and many people died because of their lusting appetites. They got what they wanted, but it would have been better if their request had not been granted.

What’s the lesson for us today? I think this is very important. We should always be submissive to the will of God. When we keep asking for what we know is displeasing to God is to engage in harmful praying. We might just get what we want and then learn that we really don’t want what we got!

Today, pray that God’s will be done in your life — nothing more — nothing less — nothing else.

Have a great Thursday.

Help ME Get Out of the Way

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (II Corinthians 12:9-10)

I read a quote from Charles Spurgeon this morning that slapped me around a bit. Spurgeon said, “It is not our littleness that hinders Christ; but our bigness. It is not our weakness that hinders Christ; it is our strength. It is not our darkness that hinders Christ; it is our supposed light that holds back His hand.”

I put that quote in bold type so  that you and I might go back and read it again and again! I’m afraid that too many of us in ministry and too many Christians in general have developed the wrong idea about who needs what. Now don’t misunderstand. I believe that we should be obedient to the commands of God’s Word and that we should surely take seriously the Great Commission to carry the Gospel to the whole world. We ought to make a positive difference in the lives of the people we meet every day.

Having said that, however, the problem I see — in my own life too often — is this. If we aren’t careful, we will begin to give the impression that somehow God wouldn’t be able to get along very well without us. We all have a tendency to develop the attitude that everything that is done happens through OUR strength, OUR talents, and OUR efforts. While we certainly should offer our strength, our talents and our efforts to God — our offering is really pretty puny at best.

Spurgeon had it exactly right. God works best when we don’t get in the way. We end up accomplishing much more when we allow God to work IN and THROUGH us. When you think about the truly great things that have happened throughout history, you quickly discover that God used the least expected resources.

Go back and look at Moses or Gideon or Rahab. How about David and Nehemiah and Timothy? Remember this — God will most effectively use you and me when we come to the realization that it doesn’t depend on us. We need to remember that it’s not our strength that matters — it’s God’s! That doesn’t mean that we should just sit down and relax. It means that we act with the knowledge that God will use us — many times in spite of ourselves.

So when you run into something that looks bigger than you — GET OUT OF THE WAY and let God make you strong! The old Gospel song says it best…

Without HIM I could do nothing,

Without HIM I’d surely fail.

Without HIM life would be drifting,

Life a ship without a sail.

Dear Lord, Help me to get out of YOUR way and allow YOU to do YOUR work in and through me this day. Amen.

Have a great Wednesday.

Consider the wonders of God

“Listen to this, Job. Stop and consider God’s wonders.” (Job 37:14)

How’s your morning going? If you haven’t checked the news headlines, here’s what going on in our world…

  • Boston terrorist being questioned
  • Record setting flooding in the mid-west
  • US airports are experiencing long flight delays
  • France is set to legalize gay marriage
  • Israel is concerned about Syria’s chemical weapon capabilities

It’s enough to give you the blues! It’s depressing. It looks like the bad guys are winning.

Back in 1919, people had the blues too. World War I had just ended, but post-war Europe was still starving. Vladimir Lenin formed the Communist Party in Russia with the goal of world revolution. In the United States, a battle was brewing — literally — because of prohibition. Cars were accessible to many, but there were few roads. Inflation was driving the cost of food sky-high. And President Woodrow Wilson collapsed with a nervous breakdown.

With all these dark clouds hanging over us, two song writers named DeSilva and Kern wrote a new song. My momma used to sing this song to me. Here are the words…

Look for the silver lining

When e’er a cloud appears in the blue.

Somewhere the sun is shining

And so the right thing to do is make it shine for you.

I’m sure you remember the trials and tribulations of Job. In the short span of 24 hours, Job lost it all — family, friends, and possessions. In the midst of all that, God inspired Elihu to say to Job, “Listen to this Job. Stop and consider God’s wonders.”

That’s a good idea. We need to STOP and CONSIDER the wonders of God. He is creator of all and the controller of all. Psalm 24:1-2 says, “The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the Lord; for He laid its foundation on the seas and established it on the rivers.”

So what are you doing today? Have you stopped and considered the “wonders of God”? Have you thanked God for the blessings in your life — both past and present? The silver lining is God’s silver lining! The headlines may look bleak, but it’s not surprising to God — it all belongs to Him. So, instead of whining and complaining, let’s focus on the wonders of God.

O Lord, my God! When I in awesome wonder

Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made,

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,

Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee;

How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee; 

How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Have a great Tuesday.

The “Best Man”

“Fathers, don’t stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)

I’ve never fully understood the concept of “Best Man” at a wedding. If he is the “Best Man” why isn’t the bride marrying him? “Oh, he’s the BEST MAN, but I settled for this PRETTY GOOD MAN for my husband.” There is no need for you to email me all the details of where the tradition came from — I’m just thinking out loud this morning.

In a few short weeks, my son, Dustin is going to get married. I sure don’t know where the time has gone. He’s not supposed to be old enough to get married. I’m not supposed to be old enough to have a son getting married. But he is and I am. We are all excited about the wedding. Emily (Dustin’s fiancé) is a wonderful young woman and we are excited to welcome her into the family. This post is not about Dustin or his wedding. It’s about the BEST MAN.

Yesterday (April 21) was my daddy’s birthday. I think it is impossible for anyone to know my daddy and not get a smile on your face at the mention of his name. He’s a cut-up and he always has a joke for funny story to share with you. In recent years, he has started wearing bow-ties (usually the bolder the better) and even some of the young men in his church are following suit — because if Mr. Stanley can do it — why can’t we. I suppose it is the new fashion statement of Creeksville Baptist Church young men. I don’t know — I’ve stopped trying to figure it out.

I’ve been blessed in my life to be raised in a two parent home where both parents are committed Christians. That means they are first committed to God, then to each other and then to their family. My daddy has taught Brenda and me — by example — what it means to love your family and provide for them in every way. I often tell people that I grew up poor and didn’t know it. I never lacked for anything and even though I jokingly tell folks that I had a stick and wheel to play with as a child — my daddy made sure we had everything we needed and more. We went on vacations — to White Lake. We went to baseball games in Rocky Mount. We were “tailgating” before it was popular. Momma made pimento cheese sandwiches and fried chicken and we would go to Rocky Mount to the game and have our own little “picnic” before the game. My daddy did everything possible to make growing up for me and Brenda a fun time. 

It’s amazing how we go through states in life and in our relationship with our dads. I don’t know who wrote this, but I think it is true…

“At age four we say, ‘My dad can do anything.’ At age seven we say, ‘My dad knows a lot.’ By age 12 we’re saying, ‘Oh well, we can’t expect Dad to know everything.’ At age 14 we say, ‘My dad is hopelessly out of date and old-fashioned.’ By the time we reach 21 years of age we are saying, ‘What should I expect? He just doesn’t understand.’ At age 25 we begin to say, ‘My dad knows a little bit but now much.’ By age 30 we say, ‘I need to find out what Dad thinks.’ At age 40 we ask, ‘What would Dad have thought?’ By the time we hit 50 we’re saying, ‘My dad knew everything!’ And, at 60 years of age we usually say, ‘I sure wish I could talk it over with Dad just one more time.'”

Brenda and I are blessed that both our parents are relatively healthy now into their 70s and that so many people are enjoying their love and humor. It give us the opportunity to explain why we are the way we are. These two nuts (me and Brenda) didn’t fall far from the tree.

“Hey there Pastor! What does all this have to do with the BEST MAN thing?”

I’m getting there — but thanks for asking and reminding me what I was writing about.

On June 8, I will stand to officiate the wedding of my son Dustin and his fiancé Emily. Standing beside Dustin that day will be my daddy. He is Dustin’s BEST MAN. He always has been. Perhaps no grandfather and grandson have a closer relationship than my daddy and Dustin. It’s been that way since Dustin was born. And so, I think I have a better understanding now of the whole concept of BEST MAN — because on Dustin’s wedding day — nobody will be able to debate this fact — the BEST MAN is standing in the place of the BEST MAN!

Thanks daddy for showing me and Dustin and all our family what it means to be a great husband, father and all-around BEST MAN. We all love you. Happy birthday (yesterday)!

Please don’t take it for granted…

“Hear this! The days are coming — this is the declaration of the Lord God — when I will send a famine through the land: not a famine of bread or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. People will stagger from sea to sea and roam from north to east, seeking the word of the Lord, but they will not find it.” (Amos 8:11-12)

We in America are a blessed people. I am continually amazed at the abundance of stuff we have. Just down the road from my church, a new “storage facility” has been built. It is climate controlled and appears very nice. It is also the third facility of its kind within a two mile stretch of highway. We are accumulating more and more and building bigger and bigger barns in which to store it. We are going through life reaching out and taking in the gifts of life with greedy hands. Americans, in general, assume that these wonderful things will always be here — whenever we need them or want them. 

I believe that our attitude toward God’s Word is much the same. If you are like me, I have several copies of the Bible in my home; I hear the Bible taught on radio and TV; and I come to church to hear the Bible preached. There is no end to the ever-opening doors of opportunity to study and grow in my knowledge of the Lord and His Word. Book stores are filled with books and CDs, the internet is filled with recorded messages downloadable at any time that will help us understand God’s Word better.

Here’s the problem as I see it. I see fewer and fewer Christians who are truly students of God’s Word today than at any time in my life. By and large, Christians today are lazy and apathetic. We claim to be too busy and too preoccupied with our jobs and families and play time, so our time with God and His Word suffers. As a pastor, I’m continually amazed at the number of “Christians” who don’t bring a Bible to church. They just sit and let a Sunday School teacher or a pastor READ God’s Word to them. That is ridiculous!!!

I’m away that Jesus promised that His Word would never be destroyed (Matthew 24:35). Jesus also said that only those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled (Matthew 5:6). It just seems to me that we should treasure what we have now — while we still have it. Do you realize that there are actually people around the world who have NEVER had one single verse of the Bible in their language? There are men, women, boys and girls all over the world whose hearts have never known the wonderful treasure of John 3:16. 

You and I have been so blessed and we have the opportunity to carry the Good News to them. We have the answer to the questions they have in their hearts. We have the ability to introduce them to the water that will quench the thirst of their souls.

Bottom line — don’t take for granted the blessings you have. You have a Bible — read it, study it, obey it and SHARE IT with somebody today. We can change the world and win them to Christ if we will simply be obedient.

One last thing…if you happen to be reading this today and you DON’T have a Bible or access to one — please email me immediately at keith@goodhopechurch.org and I will personally make sure you have a Bible as quickly as possible. This Book will change your life and I would be honored to be able to provide you with a copy.

Have a great Thursday.

That’s a DEAL!

“‘Follow Me,’ Jesus told them, ‘and I will make you fish for people.'” (Matthew 4:19)

The junk that comes on TV is mostly trash. It’s just not worth watching. I do like some of the stuff on TV Land and I love the Game Show Network. Recently, while watching the GSN, I saw him — Monty Hall! Do you remember Monty Hall? He was the host of “Let’s Make a Deal.” What a GREAT show! And I know there is a new version today, hosted by Wayne Brady. It’s ok — but MONTY HALL! He was the original deal maker.

I remember the people who would do bizarre things and carry weird items just to get a chance at choosing what was behind door number one, two or three. Sometimes there was a brand new car behind the door. At other times, there was a mule and wagon! You never knew that was behind the door that Carol pointed to.

The Bible says that Jesus is the door. In John 10:9, Jesus said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture.” Jesus is the door through whom we enter into God’s grace, peace and love. The good thing about THIS door is there are no ZONKS! You don’t open this door expecting to find a new car only to get a mule and wagon. Jesus give treasures beyond compare.

When you enter through The DOOR (Jesus Christ), you get the CALL of Christ. That’s our verse for today. Just like Simon and Andrew, James and John, Jesus calls us to follow Him. When I follow myself, I end up in a mess. There is nothing but chaos. But Jesus never leads me astray. Instead of following myself, when I follow Jesus — I find peace, contentment, love and joy. The hymn-writer said, “Jesus calls us o’er the tumult of our life’s wild restless sea; Day by day His sweet voice soundeth, saying, ‘Christian, follow Me!'”

I not only have Christ’s CALL, I have Christ’s CONFRONTATION. Jesus didn’t just say, “Follow Me.” He told them about a life transforming power that would make them “fishers of men.” Jesus knew these four ordinary fishermen. He knew that there was a longing within each of them. Something caused them to be discontented with merely fishing for fish. Jesus knew there was more to life than that. When you open the door of your heart to Jesus, He confronts you with the opportunities to be more and do more than you ever dreamed possible.

When I enter The Door, I find Christ’s CALL and Christ’s CONFRONTATION. Finally, I see that Christ COMPELS me. When Jesus told them they would be fishing for people, they said, “That sounds exciting. We’ll think about it and get back with you.” NO — that’s not what happened. When they heard Jesus’ call and confrontation, they were compelled to go. The Bible says they “immediately” left their nets and their boats and their fish and they followed Jesus.

With Monty Hall, you never knew what you were going to get. It’s not that way with Jesus. He calls us to follow Him, confronts us with the transforming power of life grace and He compels us to go into the world and tell others about Him.

Now…that’s a DEAL!

Have a great Tuesday.

What is Your ONLY?

“He answered, ‘I will certainly be with you, and this will be the sign to you that I have sent you; when you bring the people out of Egypt, you will all worship God at this mountain.'” (Exodus 3:12)

When God told Moses to go to Pharaoh and demand that he free the Hebrew people, Moses thought the job was just too big for him. He didn’t think he had the proper credentials or abilities. After listening to God’s plan, Moses said, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11)

In Exodus 4, Moses spends considerable time trying to talk God out of the job he had been given. Moses says, “What if they won’t listen to me?” God answers, “I’ll take care of that.” Moses says, “Lord, I’m not an eloquent speaker.” God answers, “I’ll take care of that.” Moses says, “Lord, I really wish you would just send someone else.” God answers, “Moses, take that staff, your brother Aaron — and get going!”

The problem Moses had is the same problem I see over and over in the lives of too many people. We have failed to learn a very important lesson about the God we serve. When God commissions us for a task, he also enables us to carry it out. In our verse today, God adds a super encouraging word — “I will certainly be with you…” That is a word you can absolutely trust!

When I think about the many “heroes” of the Bible, I have discovered that they all thought they were ill prepared for the task God gave to them. Whatever they possessed certainly didn’t seem like enough to fulfill the task that was before them. But they trusted God.

I remember reading a sermon once where the preacher said something like this…

Moses had ONLY a rod — but he divided the Red Sea.

Gideon had ONLY a pitcher — but he annihilated the enemy.

David had ONLY a sling – -but he defeated Goliath.

The widow had ONLY a pot of oil — but it paid her debts and gave her a living.

The little boy had ONLY five loaves and two fish — but it was enough to feed over five thousand.

What is your ONLY? Give it to God. It may not seem like much to you or me, but God plus our ONLY is everything we will ever need to accomplish whatever God wants us to accomplish. And don’t forget the best news of all that God gives to us — “I will certainly be with you…”

I hope you have a great Monday.

Beneficial Forgetfulness

“For I will be merciful to their wrongdoing, and I will never again remember their sins.” (Hebrews 8:12)

I’m not going to ask how many of you have memory problems — but I’ll tell you this. By this time next year — I may be able to hide my own Easter eggs! The older I get, the more trouble I’m having remembering. 

I heard about an 80-year-old avid golfer who was having trouble with his failing eyesight. When he played golf, he was having a problem seeing where the ball went. Upon sharing his problem with his doctor, the physician hooked him up with a  90-year-old man who had excellent eyesight but periodic bouts of memory loss. The doctor thought the team work would be good for both men. When they made it to the golf course, they were so excited about the game. The 80-year-old teed up the ball and drove it down the fairway. He quickly asked the 90-year-old, “Did you see where it landed?” The 90-year-old said, “Yep, I sure did.” “Well, where did it go?” demanded the 80-year-old. The 90-year-old said, “Sorry, I don’t remember!”

Leon Battista, a 15th century philosopher said, “A well-trained memory is one that permits you to forget everything that isn’t worth remembering.” I love that statement. I’m so thankful today that when I confess my sins to the Lord, the Bible says He remembers them no more. They are no longer worth remembering. When my sin is forgiven, God never brings it to my attention again. He erases the charges against me and removes the burden of my guilt.

Psalm 103:12 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Here is something GREAT to remember — the north/south measure is a finite point. If we travel north from a given loin on the globe, sooner or later we will reach the north pole — a definite point; then we will travel south to the south pole — another definite point. East and west are different. We can start to travel east and there is no point, so long as we continue in that direction, at which we start to travel west. I think it was Dinah Shore who sang, “East is east and west is west…” (I think the song was called “Buttons and Bows” — how did I remember that?)

Sorry…my ADD kicked in for a minute. The point is that God removes our sins and extends that into infinity! You and I often retain memories of our many sins and the devil uses that to plague us. I would love to blot from my memory every reminder of my past sins and never think about them again. But that’s impossible. However, I rejoice in the fact that I know that through faith in Jesus Christ I am completely cleansed from all my sin. My sins will not be held before me at the judgment. When God forgives, it is completely cleared from the record.

John Newton, the author of the great hymn “Amazing Grace” had great difficulty with his memory. In the later days of his life a friend asked Newton if he still had a bad memory. John Newton said, “Yes I do, but I remember two things. I am a great sinner and I have a great Savior — and I don’t suppose an old slave trader needs to remember much more than that!”

Amen Brother John — A great Savior indeed!

Have a great Thursday.Image