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Intent | BobbyShirley.com

Tag: grace (Page 2 of 5)

Intent | BobbyShirley.com

Intent or How To Enjoy the Journey

He rescued the 1integrity of our original 2identity and revealed that we have always been his own from the beginning, even 3before time was. This has nothing to do with anything we did to qualify or disqualify ourselves. We are not talking religious good works or karma here. Jesus unveils grace to be the 4eternal intent of God! Grace celebrates our pre-creation innocence and now declares our redeemed union with God in Christ Jesus.

(1hagios, holiness, purity, integrity kaleo, often translated, holy calling; 2kaleo means to identify by name, to surname; 3pro xronos aionos; pro, before; xronos, a specific space or portion of time, season; aionios, without beginning or end, timeless perpetuity, ages; this was before calendar time existed, before the creation of the galaxies and constellations. There exists a greater dimension to eternity than what we are capable of defining within the confines of space and time! God’s faith anticipated the exact moment of our redeemed union with him for all eternity! What happened to us in Christ is according to God’s eternal purpose (4prothesis), which he has shown in every prophetic pointer and shadow; in the Hebrew tradition the showbread (prothesis) pointed to the true bread from heaven, the authentic word that proceeded from the mouth of God, Jesus the incarnate word sustaining the life of our design. See Heb 9:2   The first tented area was called the Holy Place; the only light here came from the lamp-stand illuminating the table upon which the showbread (prosthesis) was presented, (the lamp-stand was a beautifully crafted golden chandelier portraying budding and blossoming almond branches. Remember that this is also what Jeremiah saw in Jer 1:12, when God said, ‘I am awake over my word to perform it.’ The same Hebrew word is used here, shaqad, the almond was called the ‘awake tree’, because it blossomed first, while the other trees were still in their winter sleep. The show bread pointed towards the daily sustenance of life in the flesh as the ultimate tabernacle of God, realized in the account of Jesus with the two men from Emmaus; their hearts were burning with resonance and faith while he opened the scriptures to them, and then around the table their eyes were opened to recognize him as the fulfillment of scripture, their true meal incarnated: Luke 24:27-31; Man shall not live by bread alone, but by the authentic thought of God, the Word proceeding from his mouth, the original intent, his image and likeness incarnated, revealed and redeemed in human life.)

Titus 1:2 This is the life of the ages that was anticipated for generations; the life of our original design announced by the infallible resolve of God before time or space existed. (Man’s union with God is the original thought that inspired creation. aionios, without beginning or end, timeless perpetuity, ages; xronos, a specific space or portion of time, season. This was before calendar time existed, before the creation of the galaxies and constellations. There exists a greater dimension to eternity than what we are capable of defining within the confines of space and time! God’s faith anticipated the exact moment of our redeemed union with him for all eternity!

This life was made certain before eternal time. (BBE 1949, Bible in Basic English)

2 Timothy 1:9 Mirror

Sorry for the verse and long quote but it was way too good to not share the whole thing.

I had to read it several times. I’m not sure I get all of it, but I do see what Paul was telling Timothy.

Paul is dropping some super heavy and amazing revelation on Timothy here. He’s telling Timothy that grace was the original eternal intent of God for all of us! Grace was not God’s backup plan. Grace was not the scrambling idea of God to combat sin. Grace was not the reluctant antidote to the actions in Eden. Grace was the plan!

It should put our mind at ease that God has a plan for you. The plan began a long time ago and it will continue forever!

Grace puts right was sin put wrong. Grace sets straight what sin skewed. Grace makes perfect was sin marred.

Somebody | BobbyShirley.com

Somebody or How To Cheer For the Other Guy

Everybody, even the worst stinker on earth, is somebody for whom Christ died.

Robert F. Capon,  Kingdom, Grace, Judgment

One of the best things about grace and the God who provides it is that I got in on the deal. One of the hardest things about grace and the God who provides it is who else gets in.

It’s selfish for me to accept and relish in God’s amazing grace, but have concerns about who else gets the same pleasure. The thought that I am being critical and judgemental of who God shares His grace with is no different than the attitude of the Pharisee’s of Jesus’ day.

The heart of God is to rejoice with excitement and joy when I hear of someone who I would deem as “unworthy” of God’s grace, receiving and believing! When I do this I am joining in the atmosphere of Heaven and actually answering Jesus’ prayer of Heaven on Earth!

Be like Jesus, love everyone.

Be like the servants in the parables, tell the undeserving.

Be like the Father, prepare rooms for all.

Game | BobbyShirley.com

Game or How To Be A Team Player

For, by the disaster of his charity, God plays out at last the Game that began with the dawn of history. In the Garden of Eden – in the paradise of pleasure – where God laid out his court and first served the hint of meaning to humankind – Adam strove with God over the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But God does not accept thrown-down racquets. He refuses, at any cost, to take seriously, our declination of the game; if Adam will not have God’s rules, God will play by Adam’s. In another and darker garden he accepts the tree of our choosing, and with nails through his hands and feet he volleys back meaning for unmeaning. As the darkness descends, at the last foul drive of a desperate day, he turns to the thief on the right and brings off the dazzling backhand return that fetches history home in triumph: Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise.

God has Gardens to give away! He has cities to spare! He has history he hasn’t even used! The last of all the mercies is that God is lighter than we are, that in the heart of the Passion lies the divine mirth, and that even in the cities of our exile he still calls to Adam only to catch the Glory, to offer the world, and return the service that shapes the City of God.

Robert F. Capon, The Romance of the Word: One Man’s Love Affair With Theology 

Presented without comment.

SCANDAL | BobbyShirley.com

Scandal

The true stumbling block is the ease of the Gospel… The word for ‘stumbling block’ is skandalon in Greek. It is where we get the transliterated word scandal… The cross is the divine scandal!… The scandal is that though your sin was great, God’s love was greater. You might conclude that you should bring an offering for your acceptance with God, yet Christ has beaten you to it. That’s the scandal. It is a scandal of love. We couldn’t provide a sacrifice, so God provided one for Himself – in Christ. We couldn’t climb to Heaven, so Heaven came to us – in Christ. In Christ we see the grand display of the heavens invading earth. This scandal is designed to make you blush. Its intention is to make every cell in your body scream with thanksgiving and joyful praise.

Benjamin Dunn, The Happy Gospel

Ease.

The gospel is easy.

Life as a Christian can be hard. But Jesus has made “getting in” easy. The “easy” is what the people of Jesus’ day couldn’t deal with. It continues to this day.

“What do you mean I can’t do anything to earn, or at least repay for what Jesus has done for me?”

That would be nice simply because it’s something we are used to. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. But that’s not how it works in the upside down kingdom of Grace.

The easiest thing in the world is to want to bring our best deeds and works to the table of grace as a way of payment, but Christ doesn’t accept any repayment for his work. He said this is a debt we could never repay, therefore it’s paid in full by Him. The hardest thing is to remember that our good deeds are not welcomed at His table after we’ve taken our seat.

We all know that we can’t bring the wrongs we’ve done to the table of grace but we can’t bring the good things we’ve done either none of them (good and bad) are allowed.

Benjamin Dunn

This is where the scandal lives for me. God covers our bad deeds and doesn’t accept our good ones!

Message | BobbyShirley.com

Message

Delivering a sermon that’s filled with “do more (whatever), try harder (in whatever area), be more (whatever)” is not the gospel. The Gospel is “Come to me, all you who are weary and I will give you rest.”

Our job as ministers of this gospel of Grace is not to dangle grace to others only clobber them with Law when they come out of hiding.

Grace is the rest we give to the weary.

Grace is the drink we give to the thirsty.

Grace is the bread we give to the hungry.

Grace is the embrace we give to the lonely.

Grace is the soap we give to the dirty.

We must hold true to the message that Jesus offered. The message of rest for the weary. The message of backs free of burdens. The message of shoulders un-ladened.

Jesus has some pretty harsh words for those who don’t hold true to His message of relief.

Instead of giving you God’s Law as food and drink by which you can banquet on God, they package it in bundles of rules, loading you down like pack animals. They seem to take pleasure in watching you stagger under these loads, and wouldn’t think of lifting a finger to help. Their lives are perpetual fashion shows, embroidered prayer shawls one day and flowery prayers the next. They love to sit at the head table at church dinners, basking in the most prominent positions, preening in the radiance of public flattery, receiving honorary degrees, and getting called ‘Doctor’ and ‘Reverend.’

Matthew 23:4-7 Message

Well, now that you mention it, watch out, all you religious scholars! Judgment will come on you too! You load other people down with unbearable burdens of rules and regulations, but you don’t lift a finger to help others.

Luke 11:46 Voice

The message we must deliver is the message of grace, truth, and love. This is the message the Christ has finished the work that we weren’t capable of completing. That is what we must proclaim to everyone!

We must be very careful not to lay burdens on the backs of anyone. We must pay careful attention to not wrap a “works-righteousness” brick in guilt, condemnation, or passive-aggressive expectations. We must wrap grace in the trappings of love, joy, and acceptance.

Base | BobbyShirley.com

Base

Here are five things that you can count on, go “all in” on, base your life on, and depend on about God.

Read More

Constant | BobbyShirley.com

Constant

Grace comes to us not occasionally or miserly but constantly and aggressively. Wave upon wave.

– Max Lucado

I used to believe that grace was something that you received once.

You want to be born again? Ok. Here’s some grace, now be on your way.

But, that’s not how grace works. Grace isn’t just the initiator into the life Christ has provided for you with Him. It’s the very life itself.

Ephesians 2:7 tells us that for eternity we will be exploring the riches of His grace. Eternity.

Selah.

There’s no way on this earth, in this life, in this body we can fully understand what grace has done.

Grace is constant.

Sun. Moon.

Day. Night.

Breath. Life.

Such is grace.

Grace doesn’t stop. Grace can’t stop. Grace won’t stop.

When God gives something He goes all the way. But on top of that He gives constantly and He gives liberally.

I, for one, am glad that I do not get grace just once. But, I am glad that grace got me.

Ask | BobbyShirley.com

Ask

For as in our first birth into this world we did nothing and triumphed gloriously, so in the second birth of our death we need do even less to triumph more. By Jesus’ death in ours, and by our death in his, we have laughingly, uproariously, roariously, outrageously beaten the system. It is a piece of wildly Good News: what a shame we don’t let the world of losers hear it more often.

Robert Capon

Can I be honest with you?

The first time I really heard this message I thought it was heresy. If I had been by myself, I would have left the meeting. I was texting my wife telling her, “I don’t agree with this. I think this is heresy.” Now you may be asking what the message was? Here it is.

God was in Christ. He was working through Christ to bring the whole world back to Himself. God no longer held men’s sins against them. And He gave us the work of telling and showing men this.

2 Corinthians 5:19 NLV

This is the second layer of the gospel. The first layer is John 3:16. Once you understand that God loves you and sent Jesus, you have to then learn that God was in Christ and is NOT holding your sins against you. By Jesus dying on the cross He forever satisfied and closed the separation of our sins.

I’m not sure why I believed this truth to be error. Perhaps, I was being too cautious of falling into heresy. Maybe, I’d never really heard it. It could be that I actually believed the opposite, that God was still holding my sins against me.

Once I truly encountered Grace, not the concept but the person, a lot of what I thought I believed was called into question. This quote has been a guiding thought for me in these past two years.

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.

Thomas Jefferson

Imagine what would’ve happened if Saul, Apostle Paul, had never encountered Grace and then began to understand everything he ever knew in a light of Jesus.

Let me be clear: I am not saying throw everything you’ve ever believed out the window. What I am saying is to ask Holy Spirit to guide you into truth, point you to Jesus, and comfort you in the questions.

Participate | BobbyShirley.com

Participate

“The other half of the prophet’s job is to keep people free for God. People get trapped in chains of guilt and low self-esteem, what they judge to be poor performance and less than perfect attendance. As if the goal of religion is “attendance” at an occasional ritual instead of constant participation in an Eternal Mystery!”

Richard Rohr

One thing about  Christianity is that it’s a call to participate in a Mystery.

Yes, It’s about God fully expressing His love towards us in Jesus. Yes, it’s about being free from sin.

But, there’s more to it than that.

Have you ever wondered what is was like for Peter to step out onto the water walking towards Jesus? Only fail miserably as he looked elsewhere and took his eyes off of Jesus.

What did Jesus say?

Immediately Jesus reached for Peter and caught him.

Jesus: O you of little faith. Why did you doubt and dance back and forth between following Me and heeding fear?
Matthew 14:31 VOICE

I love this translation because, I’ve always read this conversation as a stern rebuke. But, I’m not so sure anymore that that’s how Jesus meant it.

I think Jesus was saying, “You had it! You were doing it! But then you let fear and circumstances get in the way. It’s OK. Dry off. They’ll be other chances. Now, what did you learn?”

At least, that’s what I like to think He would say to me if I were in Peter’s water-logged sandals.

Jesus’ life was full of risk. I think He asks us to do the same.

Take risks.

Live in the tension of mystery.

Hold things with a loosened grip.

Get out of the boat.

Join Him.

Participate.

Covered | BobbyShirley.com

Covered

This is a guest post by my friend Kimm Crandall. If you don’t know Kimm, you should. Her Twitter profile says it all. “Sainted sinner standing in the loser line waiting for grace.”
This is a great blog. She mainly writes for moms, but I needed this as well.

I gave up today.

I didn’t want to do it anymore. You know, the whole Christian walk thing. Trying to be a good mom, trying to do it all well.

Maybe it was the emotions of having watched my husband being taken away in an ambulance last night. After all, watching the one you love the most swell up before your eyes is an alarming experience.

Things like that hit you the next day; realizing that without medical care you would have lost him.

Maybe I used the stress and the tiredness of the night as an excuse.

Or maybe the unexpected night away with my husband was the cherry on top of my week of defeat. Not quite what I had in mind when I said we needed to get away together soon.

The trip to the pumpkin patch seems fun until your child spits in the mouth of your sweet friend’s boy and you become angry and harsh.

All is good until your child yells at the same sweet friend’s daughter and you become angry and harsh.

Then you run over her gate with your car as you are leaving, feeling like a wrecking crew and wondering why she puts up with you.

You’re at a breaking point. Your sin consumes you. You want to give up.

You’ve spent the week in exhaustion; over committed, under organized and wondering why you can’t do “it” right like other people. Whatever “it” is.

You’ve been ungracious, unloving and unkind most of your waking hours. Your husband disagrees but you know the gutter your heart has been in.

I know I’m not supposed to give up. I’m supposed to “fight the good fight”, “run the race” and know that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

But GLORY!

How’s a girl supposed to do it?! Laundry, cooking, driving, teaching, sex, dishes, writing, listening, encouraging, being nice. It all seems so big when you’ve been up all night. Am I right?

So I give up.

There’s something to be said for giving up. Something that others won’t say.

Preaching a try harder/do better self sermon is not the remedy. I know, I know…where’s the positive thinking? Where’s my “can do” American spirit? Well, it’s at the bottom of the dumpster hanging out with all of the other worldly advice that I have adopted as a Christian.
The stuff that I’ve since thrown away.
Adding only drives me to pride or despair.

I’m over it.

You see, it’s not until I give up my efforts to do this christian life right that I break and see the glory of Christ.

So I give up doing and remember what’s been done.

I give up working and start resting.

I give up comparing and start being.

I give up pretending and start living.

And then it comes to me, He has been rejoicing over me all week! He’s been loving me when I haven’t loved others. He’s been singing over me when I’ve been harsh. He has adored me when I haven’t been adorable. All of this brings me to my knees. Amazed at His relentless grace. A grace that increases in my weakness.

A grace that increased after doing it right for this sinner.

A grace that showered me after dying a death to make me acceptable.

And a grace that remains after ascending; loving to love me, as if the first two were not enough.

In all of my sin and weakness this week I’ve remained in Gods favor. I don’t have to make any payment for my mistakes.

I am covered.

And when I think about this…the shedding of blood, the forgiveness and righteousness given to me as an act of grace and mercy, I fly to Him. His kindness leads me to repentance and calls me into obedience.

Grace, grace, God’s grace.
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

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