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Wildness of Love

Story of the Day--climbinghigher

Story of the Day for Friday November 22, 2013 

 

Wildness of Love 

 

                In Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accord with the riches of His grace that he showered on us with all wisdom and understanding. 

Ephesians 1:7-8   

 

In The Christian Reader, a woman wrote about her brother and his bride on their honeymoon.  Late at night they finally got to their fancy hotel’s bridal suite.  The room had only a sofa, a table, and chairs. 

 
http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/02/b5/99/92/homewood-suites-by-hilton.jpg

Then, discovering the sofa pulled out into a bed, they spent an uncomfortable night on a lumpy mattress with saggy springs.  In the morning, they gave the hotel clerk at the front desk an earful.   

The clerk asked, “Did you open the door in your room?”  

The door?   

He thought…

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Posted by on November 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Where is God When it Hurts? WHY WE HURT

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The question that captures many of our doubts and misgivings about the goodness or existance of God sounds something like this:

If God really loves us, why is there so much suffering in the world?

It’s a question asked by faithful Christian, insecure Christians, Atheists, insecure Atheists – a question sooner or later that’s asked by nearly everyone. The answer – from a human point of view – is hard to swallow. God is not to blame…we are.

We don’t like being held accountable for our actions – especially when there are heavy consequences. We don’t wake up in the morning looking for more trouble or to add to our burdens, so it’s easier to shift the blame…to pass the buck. And that’s why we point the finger at God. When good things happen, we take the credit. But when bad things happen, God gets the blame.

Let’s just assume that this is all true for the sake of discussion. Here’s what the Bible says:

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—Romans 5:12

Its the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. God put Adam and Eve into a perfect world where they had everything they could possibly need – and they said NO THANKS. God set boundaries on Adam and Eve for their well-being and safety – and they said WE WANT TO DO IT OUR WAY.

As a result of their choices we’re not in the Garden of Eden anymore and the world has become a place of suffering and death – it’s in our spiritual DNA. After they abused their freedom by disobeying God, there were consequences. Creation was disrupted and humanity was wounded. When man and woman chose against God their free world was forever spoiled. We now live on a groaning planet.

If we can accept that God was justified in banishing them from the garden – that they got what they chose – then the question of God’s love and goodness has to be answered by what he did next.

adam-eve1WHAT DID GOD DO TO THESE ARROGANT, IRRESPONSIBLE, UNGRATEFUL SPOILERS OF HIS CREATION? What would you do?

As the creator it was within his rights to destroy Adam and Eve and start over. What he did instead was to provide for them in their new life outside the garden, and promised a Savior who would come and bring restoration. Is this the action of an unfair, cruel, unloving God?

Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous – Romans 5:18–19

God sent his son into the world to be the Fall Guy for our folly and ignorance. Even though we deserved punishment, Jesus took that punishment upon himself. His resurrection from the dead swallowed up death forever. This gift is ours through faith.

The fact that we live in a broken world is not evidence that God has failed to be loving. The evidence of his love is that he restores broken people through a Second Adam: Jesus Christ.  Believe in him and you shall be saved.

What a God!

pastor greg

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Minnesota Marriage Ammendment

Dear friends in Christ,

In about five weeks history is going to be made in Minnesota. In the November elections the definition of marriage will be decided. Even though this is the main issue, it’s not the only issue – neither is it a simple issue. For many it’s simply about “giving permission” for two people who love each other to join in marriage. There’s much more at stake.

First and foremost, God has defined marriage as a life-long union between a man and a woman. The Bible makes this clear in Genesis 2:24 where he says, For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. In their teaching on marriage Jesus and the Apostle Paul both make reference to this text. Marriage is a divine mystery instituted by God for mutual companionship, the procreation of children, and raising those same children to trust in God. Same-sex marriage cannot satisfy these three purposes because a homosexual relationship is sinful and forbidden by God, and because procreation is impossible.
The second issue has to do with the separation of Church and State. By this I’m not referring to a simple political distinction. We recognize that the church and government have different functions. History is full of examples of the terrible things that happen when either the government runs the church, or the church runs the government. It results in oppression. This is exactly why the Puritans came to America to establish freedom of religion. A dear friend of mine who pastors a congregation in Washington State told me, now that gay marriage is the law, that he can be fined or sued for refusing to perform a same-sex wedding. The core issue here is not political. The heart of the matter is that government is dictating the practice of the church. As Christians we believe that the only guide for faith and life within the church is the Bible.
The third issue has to do with redefining the family. God created the family to be the basic building block of society. Families are designed not only to lead their children to Christ, but also to teach them how to function as responsible members of their communities. In order for this to happen we require a moral compass – the bible calls it the conscience [Romans 2.15]. If we cannot stand on a truthful definition for the family as a God-given institution, this present generation and future generations will be cast adrift in a sea of conflicted moral standards. This is what happens when we trade the truth for a lie:
For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools…because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie Romans 1:21–25
Futile thinking is to believe that society can be built on a foundation where absolute truth is up for grabs.
As Christians we need to respond to this issue. For us it’s not about a particular candidate or a particular political party. Neither is it a desire to somehow “Christianize” the government. The issue regarding the definition of marriage places pressure on the church to abandon the Bible. We simply can’t go there.
God’s word reveals a Savior who came into this world to pay for our sins, defeat death, and give us the hope of eternal life. The church must continue to have freedom to speak the truth. 
With my love to you in Christ,
Pastor Greg DeMuth
 
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Posted by on September 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

The 4 G’s of Peacemaking

This is the second installment in the 40 Days of Reconciliation series…Pastor Greg

THE 4 G’S OF PEACEMAKING

1.      GLORIFY GOD

 IN LIGHT OF CHRIST’S GREAT LOVE FOR ME, instead of focusing on my own desires, I will glorify God by choosing to forgive and depending on his wisdom, power and love.

The church was created by Christ’s forgiveness, and I am strengthened as I continue to receive this forgiveness and share it with others 

John 15:8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.

 2.      GET THE LOG OUT OF YOUR EYE

 IN LIGHT OF CHRIST’S GREAT LOVE FOR ME, instead of blaming others for a conflict, I will trust in God’s mercy and take responsibility for my own actions. I will confess my sins to those I have wronged, and ask God to help me change my attitudes and actions.

 Matthew 7:3  Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

3.      GENTLY RESTORE

 IN LIGHT OF CHRIST’S GREAT LOVE FOR ME, I will overlook minor offenses or lovingly speak with the person who has offended me.

 When the conflict cannot be resolved in private, I will ask a fellow Christian to help us settle the matter in a biblical manner.

 Galatians 6:1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.

4.      GO AND BE RECONCILED

IN LIGHT OF CHRIST’S GREAT LOVE FOR ME, I will actively pursue genuine peace and reconciliation, rather than allow a relationship to wither and die. I will seek a mutually beneficial solution to our problem.

Ephesians 4:1–3 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

These principle have been adapted from materials provided by Peacemaker Ministries

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

New sermon series

Authentic Faith. The title of this blog entry would lead you to believe that there must be something that we could call not authentic faith. We live in a world where the pursuit of diversity has brought us to the point where it’s hard to know what’s really real. My new sermon series is going to speak to the truth and practice of genuine faith as defined by God’s word.

Sermon topics will include “Getting Real with God”, “Beyond Hamburger Helper” , “Turning Inside Out” , and several others. Perhaps surprisingly this series starts with the dilemma of human helplessness. In fact, God’s word urges us to give up on ourselves and find our sufficiency in him. If you’re looking for the five steps to achieve this or that, you may be disappointed…but only until you see the wonder and beauty of life made fully alive in Christ.

It’s going to be a great journey together, and I look forward to sharing it with you.

Grace and courage dear friends,

Pastor Greg

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2011 in Uncategorized