Monday, April 22, 2013

It's ALL Grace

No matter how disciplined we get, we never move beyond GRACE
Brennan Manning, the author of the Ragamuffin Gospel, went to be with Jesus last week, so I read his biography, which is appropriately titled, all is grace.

I’m convinced he’s right. Everything is grace. And Jesus is the provider of grace.
The grace of Jesus meets me with love in my darkest hour and deepest sin. 
The grace of Jesus allows me to experience the pinnacles of righteousness and holiness. But it’s all grace. 
On your worst day, you’re never out of reach of God’s grace. 
On your best day, you’re never out of need of God’s grace. 

It’s his grace that transforms us from the inside out.

The closer you get to God, the more miserable things you will find in your heart. This is not a negative thing - God allows it to let you lose confidence in yourself. You will have accomplished something when you can look at your inner corruptness without anxiety or discouragement and simply trust God. -Francois Fenelon

It’s a grace so extensive none are fully excluded. 
It’s a discipleship so intensive none are fully included. 
Which means, we all need grace. 

If we find ourselves succeeding in spiritual growth and maturity…in applying the disciplines…that’s grace. 

If we find ourselves failing at some level or another in our thoughts or lives or relationships…grace covers us.

Grace carries us, grace fills in the gaps. The disciplines are grace, and the beauty surrounding us is grace, and the forgiveness that we are desperate for is grace, and the new mercies in the morning are grace. And for this, we simply thank Jesus. 

Everything is grace. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

As I'm prepping for the second message of our Changed for Good Series this weekend, I wanted to share a quick thought of the progressive, in the midst of change, feeling that I so often have along the road...

This Little Light

Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. Matthew 5:14 Message

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. -Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Since it's sort of gray out today, I wanted to encourage you to let the LIGHT of God's love shine through you! Much love...Pastor Mike

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


After Sunday's message, I've had a few conversations about the foundation of our identity. I simply want to give you what God says about you, if you have placed your faith in His Son. And after you work through these passages I want to remind you that this is not your RESUME, it's your DNA! Here is the bit from Sunday, and it's in the Rooted Guide as well:

One of the common knocks against Christianity is that it’s just a bunch of rules. I hope by now, you’ve seen clearly that it’s all about a relationship with God the Father, through the grace and cleansing of Jesus the Son, by the power of God the Spirit. God loves us, saves us, frees us, heals us. He has made us in his image for a purpose, and now he calls us to live a life of high calling and huge impact. Since he is the author of life, his commands are not only for his glory, they are for our best. But we want to make sure that you understand the Christian life is not fundamentally about what you do for Jesus. It is primarily about who you are in Jesus.

 The Bible defines our identity clearly (and its quite incredible, really):
I am a child of God (John 1:12)
I am a son or a daughter of the Lord of the Universe (Romans 8:15,16)
I am Christ’s friend (John15:15)
I am a temple of God—His Spirit and his life dwells in me (1 Corinthians 3:16,6:19)
I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
I am a member of Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:27, Ephesians 5:30) I am a fellow citizen with the rest of God’s family (Ephesians 2:19)
I am God’s workmanship, born anew in Christ to do his work (Ephesians 2:10)
I am resourced with everything I need to live for Christ (1 Peter 1:3)
I am hidden with Christ, in God (Colossians 3:3)
I am a citizen of heaven and have a place in heaven right now (Philippians 3:20, Ephesians 2:6)
I am born of God and the evil one cannot harm me (1 John 5:18)
I am a partaker of Christ, I share in his life (Hebrews 3:14)
I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:13)
I am the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:14)
I am a member of a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession (1 Peter 2:9,10)
I am a joint heir with Christ, sharing his inheritance with him (Romans 8:17)

 And since we are in Christ, by God’s grace: I am completely forgiven and made righteous (the theological word for this is “justified”) (Romans 5:1)
I died to the power of sin’s rule over my life (Romans 6:1-6)
I am free forever from condemnation (Romans 8:1)
I have been given the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16)
I have been bought with a price, I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:19,20)
I no longer live for myself, but for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14,15)

 What we do for the Lord will flow joyfully from who we are in the Lord. The closer we sense we are to our loving Father, the more confidence we’ll have in our identity. The more confidence we have in our identity as his son or daughter, the more his life will flow through ours—and the more people will be impacted by his love.

Understand your identity. 
Be intimate with him, and experience his power in your life.

Today’s response Look up a few of the passages above, and read them in context.
How often do you consciously remember that these verses are what is MOST true about you as a follower of Jesus?
How would your life change if you WERE more conscious of your identity in him?
Spend some time in prayer affirming these truths in your life and thanking Jesus that you are indeed a new creation by the power of his Spirit.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Preface (and HOPE)

This is a magic book… Not because it will give you hope that you can triumph in all things, although there is a bit of that. This is a magic book… Not because it will assure you that you are accepted and loved exactly as you are, although there is a bit of that. This is a magic book… Mostly because it empowers you with the truth: Whoever and wherever you are, God loves you and is calling you into something glorious. Even in the midst of your mess. No, wait. Especially there.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Glorious Mess is FREE!! Happy Father's Day!

I had a great time speaking in Restoration Church in Denver last weekend, as well as sharing at Northshore in Bothell a couple weeks ago! God is doing incredible things in and thru these churches, and it was an honor to spend some time together. I'll be in BelPres on July 1, sharing more about God's Relentless Grace for Imperfect People! My reason for mentioning my speaking schedule (not so you'll think I'm cool...although if you thought I was cool, I wouldn't count that a bad thing) is simply to point all these folks, as well as yourself if you're not at one of those churches, to a free gift today...Glorious Mess is being offered for free download on Kindle and Nook!! Not only that...but it's JUST in time for Father's Day! I polled my dad, and myself (a dad as well) and we BOTH thought that Glorious Mess would make the PERFECT Father's Day gift! That's two out of two polled! Those kind of stats are really hard to come by... SO, you're welcome. Download Glorious Mess for dad! You both will be glad you did! And celebrate that guy, because even though I'm guessing he's a mess like me, God's glory shines in, thru, and despite the mess...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Rock Parable

I was asked by a friend to find a story that I had shared in a past message…it took me a while, but I found it. In it, Tim Keller quotes a parable that Elizabeth Elliot used to use…it’s in the form of a fictional PARABLE (in other words, it’s not in the Bible): “One day, Jesus asked the disciples to pick up a rock and to follow him on a journey. Peter picks up a pebble, like us, he’s thinking “What is the LEAST burdensome way to fulfill this command?”, and they journey all morning long, Peter is thinking: I nailed this one. Then, Jesus tells them to get their stones out, and he turns them all to bread…tells them: lunchtime! And each disciple’s stone turns to bread, of course Peter had only a small pebble, so that’s all the bread he got for lunch. Peter is a bit put out, and he’s hungry. Then, after lunch, Jesus tells them Pick up another stone, we’re going on another journey. So Peter…I’m gonna be starving by dinnertime, picks up a HUGE rock…boulder. Sweats and staggers under it’s weight all afternoon. Then, Jesus calls them over to the edge of a stream and has them all throw their stones into the river. Again, Peter is put out, sulking, and thinking: “What! No bread!?” Jesus comes to him and gently asks him: Peter, why are you upset? Who were you carrying the rock FOR?” Not once was Peter carrying that rock for Jesus…he was carrying it for himself! His motivation was completely for what he would GET! How can Peter take care of PETER? How often are we exactly like that in our devotion to Jesus? The challenge for all of us is that we do all that we do for Jesus. If He calls us to carry the rock, then we carry the rock for Jesus. We give, we serve, we share, we live for Jesus! We don’t give to manipulate God into giving us something. We give because Jesus models it and tells us to! AND as we give like Jesus, we realize that you can’t outgive God! We don’t serve because of the blessings we’ll receive from serving! We serve because Jesus calls us to serve! And then as we serve, we realize that we are blessed far more than we are a blessing…that’s just how it ends up working in God’s economy! And above all we love, because we are loved, and we are called to love! So love outlandishly today, and love for Jesus!!