The word “almost” doesn’t fit into certain boxes. It’s a square peg that just won’t work in a round hole.
It’s not possible to be “almost” pregnant. Either a person is pregnant, or they’re not.
In a similar way, we can’t be “almost” Christians. We might straddle the fence for a time, but there has to be a definitive landing on the side of Christ.
Jesus didn’t almost die on the cross, as some would like us to believe. God didn’t almost save us from our sins. That sin you committed yesterday? If you’re a believer in Jesus, you aren’t almost forgiven — you are forgiven. Totally and completely. Full stop.
Praise God, we don’t serve a Master who is almost able to save us. Jesus wasn’t almost resurrected. He rose again, and He is coming back.
The Bible urges us to stand firm in the faith, not to be wishy-washy, or blown about by every wind of doctrine.
Thank God for His complete, sufficient work in Christ.
You’ve become my people. You’re quirky and kind, encouraging and gifted. And a little bit crazy, sometimes.
Look around, and you’ll see the body in this place. You’ll find recent grads and recent retirees. Widows and orphans. Singles, marrieds, and divorcees. Abuse survivors and cancer survivors. Homeschooling mamas and working grandmothers. Students and missionaries, diaper changers and board members.
We are the body, and I adore it.
So I’ve written you a little love story … It goes a little something like this:
Then they all gathered together and formed this sort of family, called the Five Minute Friday community. And they’ve been congregating ever since, week after week, for five whole years, even when the address changed and the home changed ownership.
And just as the house key was being passed to the new owner, the builder of the house gave a farewell message with her adorable kiddos. And at the tail end of the video, just as she was about to close the door, one of her boys misheard the word, “Begin,” and yelled out that the word of the week was … “BACON!!”
And the whole family laughed until they cried.
Because this family is one of a kind, they didn’t forget their laughter or their tears. So over a year later, when given the chance to choose their own word, the drew up their laughter and their tears, and they voted for bacon.
Because that’s just how cool (and crazy) they are.
I hope you’ve enjoyed and benefited from this series as much as I have.
Today’s prompt is:
Setting the timer for five minutes, and … GO.
There’s a song called Oceans by Ten Shekel Shirt. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stood on a salty shoreline and this song has welled up within my chest. The chorus goes like this:
There’s something about the ocean Makes me rise up and praise There’s something about the heavens Makes me stand in awe again There’s something about the sunrise Reminds me of Your faithfulness There’s something about the ocean And I’m lost in love again
It’s true, isn’t it? There’s just something about the ocean that demands praise. The sea’s beauty and magnitude command a reverence and an awe for its Creator.
On those days when I’m feeling emotionally dry or vexed by God’s providence, those days when I’m cheeky enough to think I have a better plan than His, I open my Bible to the book of Job.
I flip to chapter 38, and I let these words put me back in my place:
Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:
“Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.
“Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’?
~ Job 38:1-4, 8-11
Then I remember that He is God, and I am not. He is so much in control, He even tells the sea how far it can come, and no further.
Can I really doubt His ability to control the events of my life?
So I stand before the sea, or maybe I just close my eyes in my house and imagine the salty spray of crashing waves — and I remember the greatness of God.
I realise this post has the potential to spark a measure of controversy, though that’s certainly not my intention.
Here are some questions for you:
What makes Christians different from those who don’t love Jesus?
What do they have that non-Christians don’t possess?
What marks them and sets them apart from the rest of mankind?
You might be thinking of the word, “forgiveness.” Amen, and thank God for it.
Forgiveness is a huge aspect that sets Christians apart from those who are not.
The presence of the Holy Spirit is another major component we shouldn’t ignore.
There’s another significant difference that always strikes me whenever a non-Christian person has died:
It’s the element of hope. Its absence is deafening in a funeral home.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:13 Paul writes to the believers, “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope” (emphasis mine).
“The rest of mankind, who have no hope.”
Isn’t that just so sad?
Doesn’t it make you want to reach out and offer hope to those who don’t have it?
Hebrews 11:1 tells us, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
As believers in Christ’s death and resurrection, we have confidence. We have assurance. We have hope.