Pastor's Blog
CHEAP GRACE vs COSTLY GRACE PDF Print

Bonhoeffer, in his book “The Cost of Discipleship,” deals with the issue of “cheap grace” verses “costly grace.”  The idea put simplistically is that one requires a life with very little inward change, while the other . . . costs everything.  It’s plain which path Bonhoeffer himself promotes and which path he believes produces the desired results.

Everything within sacred Scripture points to the impossibility of the cohabitation of ideologies.  Either grace is cheap and requires little effort or sacrifice OR it is so very costly that the path of peace requires the denial of any possible compromise.

To believe is to obey.  There is no middle ground.  There is no saddle that straddles both views. 

We are called and in that call is a demand.  A demand to go and sell all that we have and then follow.   We are called, and in that call is the abruptness of John 6 where those seeking an easy meal are separated from the few willing to feast on the flesh of the Savior.

As Dietrich, writes, “When Christ calls, He bids a man to come and die.”

– Dale

 
ALWAYS PDF Print

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” ! Thessalonians 5:16–18

These three verses are all actually one thought expressed together in the closing verses of Paul’s letter to the church in Thessalonica.  Even though a very brief passage, we find it packed with difficulty due to it’s scope. 
If you care to take note, we as Christ-followers are taught to . . .

always rejoice,
always pray,
and always give thanks – in ALL circumstances.

Hmmm?  I’m not sure I know this person.  In fact the department that is perpetually swamped in any church is the complaint department!  Facebook can only dream of possessing the speed of the church gossip-vine with fake news.  It’s quick!

Paul, however, is only concerned with one truth – that there is a specific (will of God) for Christians and that “will” must supersede all other circumstances!

Now every generation of Christendom has discovered the difficulty this passage – so please don’t think you’re the first!  But understand this, if you wish to walk within His will you must obey these “always” in every moment and action of life.

There’s a reason surrender is required.

I give thanks for you today!

– Dale

 
WORD WARRIORS PDF Print

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”  Hebrews 4:12 (ESV)

There are truths that we read in passing that are so awe-inspiring that it's hardly believable that we're guilty of all-to-often failing to grasp their importance! 

The depth and extent of this teaching found in the inspired letter to the Hebrews, stretches our understanding of how the natural world operates.  The very first phrase of this teaching is throughly "other-worldly"!  It leads us into the realm of the supernatural where divine weapons, Godly weapons, are a must-have in order to survive.

“Word Warrior” is a thought, an idea, designed to spark interest into every age group throughout the church in becoming experts in handling the sword of the Word.  Understanding that this divinely-given word is alive and interacts with the mind and heart – marks a level of maturity necessary for one to properly wield this gift!

Make no mistake, this knowledge, that this Word, is spiritual food and necessary for battle, is vital information.  Information that our enemy desires greatly that we deem trivial or outright ignore.

Allow the Word of God to flourish within!

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”  Psalms 119:105 (KJV)

– Dale

 
ARE YOU READY? PDF Print

“. . . but treat the Messiah as holy, as Lord in your hearts; while remaining always ready to give a reasoned answer to anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you — yet with humility and fear.”  1 Peter 3:15 (CJB)

Are you ready?  Why do you follow Jesus?  Being able to give a “reasoned answer” to the question of “why” is of huge value in discussing your faith with others.

First –  it is an indication that you have researched your faith and know why it is that you believe what you believe.  Therefore, you are less likely to succumb to counter arguments which invariably come your way as you witness.

Second –  it builds confidence.  Instead of timidity you have the ability to confront without doubt or apprehension.

Third –  it provides a seamless flow from what it is that you believe to what others place their confidence within.  This allows you, as the Christian, to interject your faith in the one true God!  The God that is desperately needed by all mankind.

Knowing what your faith is all about and why you trust Jesus is a bold rampart against all those who would seize upon any hesitation as uncertainty and attack.  This ability, this confidence, comes from training.  Bible drilling!

In our country’s early history there was a select group of men within the ranks of the militia that was designated as “minutemen.”  They were normally younger, stronger and better able to be first on the line – to provide protection.  These men went through a much more rigorous drilling process than the rest of the militia.  They had to do more than just be first on the line – they were charged to hold the line until the rest of the militia could arrive.

We are God’s minutemen!

We must be ready in a moment to give a reasoned answer for the faith that resides within our hearts.  A moment may be all we have!  Through constant drilling we become ever ready to proclaim the love we depend upon . . . To defend the faith we trust with our souls . . . To share the Savior that even now, knocks at their heart’s door – desiring to commune with them!

Are YOU ready?

– Dale

 
THE CALL PDF Print

“{Christ’s} is a call that frees . . . the call is not an ending but a beginning.  The birth of the baby invites us into a search.  I think the simple truth that is being held out . . . is not so much a life lived as though all the answers were given, but a life lived as though all our answers are only gateways into deeper levels of answering, which in turn lead us into mystery where all answers give way to bended knee and adoration and praise.”  — W. M. Wright

Collaborating with God, in God, brings us to unimagined vistas – allowing for new discoveries regarding the Divine presence.  God’s depth is unknown and unreachable, but well worth the desire to attain . . . bringing new depth for our own souls.

Jacob wished to know an angel’s name – but received a blessing attached to a limp instead.

Job and Habakkuk questioned – and were both awed by a Holy altercation.

Seek with your whole heart the unfathomable . . . for that is where God dwells!

– Dale

 
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