Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Was Paul the Worst Sinner?

I've been reading in 1 Timothy and every time I read 1 Timothy 1:15 I struggle with Paul's confession of being the worst of all sinners. I know he was hot after the believers and wanted to extinguish Christianity, but I still don't think he was the "chief" of sinners.

You see, I know myself inside and out. I know the sin in my life and I have to confess that maybe I'm the chief of sinners. Oh, I know I haven't tried to take the life of believers, but I have said some murderous things about some of them at times. There have been times when I was wounded by the actions and words of other believers and I would not have been disappointed if my Father would have called them home that day. Now here's the really hard part to admit. Paul committed his murderous acts before he became a follower. I've committed most of mine after I became a follower. And, as bad as I think that may be, my Father has reminded me over and over that all sins carry equal penalty. All sins lead to death.

So, I'm not sure that I would personally classify Paul as the worst sinner, and maybe Paul and I can talk about that one of these days. But I do know who the chief sacrifice is! Jesus died on the cross for Paul's sin and for mine. He paid the only price that would make things right with my Father. And Jesus has done the same for you.

You may think you are the worst sinner and that God can never forgive your sin. The truth is, we probably all feel that way at one time or another. The good news is that us "chief sinners" can have a restored relationship with the Father. Thanks be to God for His unfailing love!

1 Timothy 1:15 (HCSB)
15 This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

And the Two Shall Become One

Today we celebrated my wife's birthday. I doubt she would mind me telling her age, but I will refrain from it anyway. She had the joy of sleeping in as long as she wanted. When she finally got out of bed,, I prepared waffles for her for breakfast. (I actually do that every Saturday.) For lunch I grilled some zucchini and yellow squash and then we tried out the new hot dog steamer for the evangelistic block party trailer.

After we enjoyed short naps I thought we should also try out the snow cone machine. After all, it would not be good if the first time out the equipment on the block party trailer didn't work. Finally, I treated her to grilled steak, corn on the cob, and a baked potato.

The rest of the day? Well, we just sat around the house and enjoyed doing nothing together. It's a day like this that reminds me that God knew what He was doing when He ordained that man needed a helpmate and created woman. And the concept that the two would become one? Well, to borrow from MasterCard--Priceless!

Father, thank you for a loving wife who has become such a part of me that the two of us have truly become one.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

What's Real Beauty?

Every morning, as I drive to my office, I have the joy of looking out my car window at the hills of Shawnee National Forest and marvel at God's creation. Recently our daughter was married in Jamaica. I had not been to Jamaica, and I have to say I again found the beauty of God's creation, this time in the sea and sky from the coast of Jamaica. Back at home I found our roses in bloom and observed up close another beauty of God's creation.

In the past month, though, the greatest joy I found in God's creation was the creation of our daughter. On the day of her wedding ceremony I took her arm to walk her across the beach to the wedding arbor and I marveled at how beautiful God had created her. Back at home I looked at pictures of the ocean at sunset and at my daughter at her wedding and the most beautiful picture of God's creation was my daughter.

I realize that, as her father, I am biased toward my daughter. I love her and I admit to my bias. But how can anything in the world compare to the beauty of mankind, created in His own image?

My daughter, son, and wife were created in His image. You and your loved ones were created in His image. I'm looking for the beauty of God in each person of His creation. How about you?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Time To Get Serious About This

I've not been very diligent in posting to my blog. I suspect it has a lot to do with what is going on in my life. It's not that there is a lot of really important stuff or extraordinary things happening in my life. It just hasn't been a priority. (I guess I could blame it on too much Facebook and Twitter posting.) So, I am going to try to do a better job at this.

God has blessed me tremendously. Not long ago I posted on Twitter that I set out to count my blessings and got stuck on the first one because it was so great: God sent Jesus to die on the cross for my sin. But today I'm focused on other blessings.

Several years ago our son married a wonderful Christian lady and they have given us two granddaughters. We have another grandchild on the way. They are currently enjoying time at Disney World.

God also blessed us with a delightful and beautiful daughter. Tomorrow morning we are flying to Jamaica to attend her wedding ceremony. She is marrying a young man who has demonstrated to me that he loves her deeply. Here's the really cool thing. Not only do I get to give her away in marriage, I even get to perform the wedding ceremony!

God blessed us with two wonderful children who made professions of faith at a young age. As I enjoy the Facebook postings of my son's family time in Florida, and as I prepare to fly to Jamaica for my daughter's wedding, I cannot stop praising the Lord for the blessing of loving Christian children.