Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live a life free of inner turmoil.  Free of wrong doing, free of negative consequences and free of shame.  In essence to live a life free of evil.

I am encouraged that my Christian faith provides me with a hope that this utopian dream is not only a possibility but is the promise of God to all who believe. 

As a Christian I have been adopted into God’s family and as a Christian I have been justified in God’s eyes.  These two actions were done by God and God alone, for I was spiritually dead but he made me alive. 

But there is another work that God wants to do in my life and now that I am alive spiritually I can work along side of God to accomplish this task.  It is the work of sanctification.

God has control of my spirit, but he now also wants control of my flesh.  He wants me to become more and more like Jesus with each passing day, and for this he needs my co-operation.

I am under no delusion.  Until that day with I am called home to heaven, I will continue to experience the evil of this world.  That is outside of my control.

As a Christian, what has changed is that the evil of my own nature is now within my control.  Since the spirit of God lives within me I no longer need to be a slave to the passions and the impulses of my evil nature.  I can work with God each day to crucify my old nature and put on my new nature.

God will not forcefully take control of my flesh.  it is up to me to work with the spirit of God to accomplish this work of sanctification.  It is a process that takes a lifetime.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


God takes responsibility for my actions?  What did I mean by that?

First of all as I have said before my nature is bent towards evil and I am hopeless to change.

All is not lost however because as the hymn writer so aptly put it, “Christ has regarded my helpless estate and shed his own blood for my soul.”

It is through the death of Jesus that I am given a new nature.  I am transformed, regenerated, reborn.

This is the message of hope and redemption that Jesus brought to me so many years ago.  I was five, when I first believed.  And this hope and redemption, Jesus brings to all who believe.

But what actually happened when I believed.  The bible says that my spirit was made alive and my evil nature was crucified with Jesus.  The righteousness of Jesus was given to me, and my evil deeds were placed on him.

What an incredible exchange.  So now in addition to being adopted into God’s family, I have also been justified in God’s eyes.  It is just as if I had never done any wrong thing.

So God then has taken the responsibility to account for my actions, when I was unable.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I read the following this evening.

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.  God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

This text can be found in the first chapter of Ephesians.

What a beautiful sentiment.  God was pleased to adopt me into his family!  In fact he planned it long before I was even born.

This truth has a special meaning to me because three years ago we adopted two beautiful baby girls into our family.  And similarly the planning began long before they were even born.

Adoption, in this context has a very specific meaning.  I have been given legal responsibility to not only care and provide for the needs of my children, but to take responsibility for their actions.

In a Christian context adoption also has a very specific meaning.  God has not only taken responsibility to care and provide for my needs but (and here is the kicker) to take responsibility for my actions.

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.  John 1:12

Jesus bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness …  1 Peter 2:24

I am a child of God.  He is my father; and he loves me. 

This much I know.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

So what, revisited

In a previous post, I discussed the hypocrisy of living a private life of faith.  Today the message I received under the teaching of my pastor, complimented this idea.  The text under discussion was from Paul’s letter to the Roman church.  In chapter 12 verse 2, Paul writes,

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind … Romans 12:2.

Conformity.  Specifically conformity to the standards and principles of popular culture is something that I daily struggle with. 

Does my life reflect the fact that the spirit of God lives inside of me?  Sure when I am among fellow believers it is easy to walk the talk.  But then when I am among unbelievers so often I find myself at a standstill, sitting in silence, not willing to speak the words of life that so many need to hear.

I could go on deluding myself that my good “moral” life is somehow going to win others to the Christian faith.  I could, but frankly right now I am tired of lying to myself.  No one has ever come to faith by observing my “godly” character and if I am honest with myself I know that no one ever will.

The truth is that I am almost 35 years old and during my time on earth, I have only been directly instrumental in leading one person to faith in Jesus.   One person.  Only one.

Was it my character?  Was it my moral behaviour that drew them.  Hardly, it was simply the fact that I opened my mouth and told them about Jesus.  God had prepared their heart to received the truth of the gospel, but I had to open my mouth and present it to them.

When did this happen?  It shouldn’t come as a surprise that  this happened during the time of my life in grade 13 when I was seeking the Lord in prayer each and every day. 

I want to experience that again.  That is why I am committing myself to daily prayer and bible study.  I want to be ready when the time comes once again to open my mouth.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


So again the question why?  Why have I chosen to believe the Christian message of redemption and hope?

In order to explain this I first need to begin with a few precepts that to me are self-evident.  In other words, I don’t need to be convinced of their truth, every ounce of my soul, mind and body testify to their truth.  Call this my world-view.

1.  My nature is bent towards evil.

2.  I am hopeless to change.

3.  The human race is bent towards evil.

4.  We are hopeless to change.

Given that what then am I to do?

I could despair.  I could give into my natural tendencies and live a life of depravity, living only for myself.

Or, I could have hope.  Hope in a benevolent God who has put into place a mechanism to change my nature.

I choose hope.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Safe in His arms

I have always enjoyed a good Christian funeral.

Call me strange, but ponder this; the wisest person who ever lived, King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 7:2.

It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.

I have been to many funerals but today I attended one which is a model for how I would want my funeral to be held.

There were no prolonged eulogies, no sad epitaphs, no despair.

What there was, was the truth of the Christian message proclaimed loud and clear.

As a Christian, I have the hope of a glorious resurrection.  As a Christian, I have the joy of an eternity with Jesus.  As a Christian I can rejoice that fellow believers who have gone on before me are safe in the arms of Jesus.

I need to ponder these truths from time to time and a Christian funeral grounds me and reminds me about what is truly important.

Do I fear death?  I honestly don’t believe so.  I am ready to meet my maker.  I have placed my trust in Christ and subsequently I can say with the song writer,

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Out in the light

Up until today I haven't shared this blog with anyone outside of my immediate family.  The reason is that I didn’t want to start something that I wasn’t going to finish.  I didn’t want to invite others to view and comment on my writings unless I was going to commit to posting regularly.

Well today is the one month anniversary of this blog and I now have 14 posts under my belt.  Not a large number to be sure, but enough that hopefully they will be of interest to others out there who may be on the same journey of faith as I am on.

I have another motive for going public however. 

The Bible says in John 3, “But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

I want to live in the light.  I want to live a life that is open and transparent.  I want everyone to know that any good thing that they perceive in me is a direct result of the Spirit of God living inside of me. 

I want to be genuine and I want my life to line up with my beliefs, both for me and my family. 


Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Closeness with God

I said in an earlier post that I would discuss the impact that the music and message of Keith Green has had on my life. 

Well, my earliest memories of Keith come from 1982-1983.  My best friend at the time was the son of the local Anglican minister.  Being the son of the local Pentecostal minister, our parents were well acquainted.  I can’t remember the exact occasion but for some reason my friend’s family gave my parent’s a recording of Keith’s album “Songs for the Shepherd”. 

I have a distinct recollection of listening to the record with my mother one day and of her showing me the liner notes which described the plane crash in June of 1982 which had killed Keith.

From then until 1993 I was acquainted with Keith’s music, however I can’t say that it had much of an impact on my life.

All of that changed around November 1993 when I was in grade 13.  I read his biography “No Compromise”, written by his wife Melody.  This book shook me out of my complacency and put me on a search for a deeper relationship with God.

That same month another pivotal event took place in my life.  I attended a retreat for the children of Pentecostal ministers.  A PK retreat as it was called.  PK being the term used for “preachers kids.”

Together these two events focused my determination to no longer live on the coattails of my parents faith, but to appropriate it as my own.

The most immediate effect was on my prayer life.  From November 1993 through the end of my senior year I awoke daily at 5:30 and spent the next hour in prayer before school.  Also during those months practically the only music I listened to was by Keith Green.  I had both the silver and gold compilation albums which contained every song ever published by Keith and I knew them practically by heart.

It was during this time that I experienced a closeness with God that I have never experienced before or since.

I relate this because I desire to experience that closeness once more.  I want to desire God more than I currently do and I know from my own past that it is possible.

I guess it comes down to priorities.  I say that God is first in my life, but do my actions back it up.  Right now they don’t.  I think about a line in one of Keith’s songs spoken from the perspective of God.

“If you can’t come to me every day, then don’t bother coming at all.”

Strong words yes, but are they any stronger than the very words of Christ?

“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”  Matt 19:37.

My heart’s cry today is the same as that of St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians.

“I want to know Christ, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

Monday, September 06, 2010

A clean slate

I just spent two days reinstalling the operating system for my parent’s computer.  It's a 2GHz Pentium 4 purchased in 2002 and it had become unusable.  Not only was it very slow but it regularly crashed.  This was very vexing to my non-technically minded parents. 

They were all set to throw it out and get a new computer; but before they did I decided to try my hand at restoring it.  I formatted the hard drive, installed the operating system, added drivers, replaced applications and finally restored data.  It is amazing how long these things take, but after two days the computer was as good as new. 

When I think about it this is precisely what God does to us when we come to faith in him. 

We come to him with baggage caused by the installation of bad programs that only gets partially deleted.  We come to him with wounds caused by years of exposure to spam and destructive viruses.  We then allow other processes to run in the background sapping us of valuable resources that could otherwise be directed to a better use.  And we allow the our minds to become fragmented by the endless search for meaning in a meaningless world.

What we need is a clean slate.

And this is what God gives us when we answer the call to a radically new life in Jesus.  He wipes us clean and gives us a new heart, a new mind and a new soul.