Why I Write

Thoughts
In the movie, Chariots of Fire, Olympian and future missionary Eric Liddell famously told his sister, "I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast.  And when I run, I feel His pleasure."  When and where do you feel God's pleasure?  I feel it when I write. Admittedly, I began this blog several years ago with an agenda.  I perceived an imbalance in our common teaching on living the Christian life.  I felt the emphasis was too negative, too focused on the overwhelming power of sin in our lives, too critical of ourselves and our fellow believers.  I sought to bring the pendulum back by explaining all that became new at our new birth.  I unpacked the provisions of the New Covenant - including our new…
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Freedom From the Performance Trap

Thoughts, True Freedom, Walking in the New Nature
Another freedom our new identity affords us is freedom from the performance trap.  How many of us measure our worth by our performance; or more specifically, by how others react to our performance? Ryan Kwon writes, in the context of church planting, about the performance trap.  "The gospel says, it was through Christ's performance, not our performance, which makes our adoption possible.  So now He accepts us as His own, and that is our primary and supreme identity.  The world tells me, 'I am what I do.'  But the gospel tells me, 'I do what I am.'  For the Christian, our identity precedes our activity.  So our identity is not based on winning, or losing, on a big church, or a small church.  God can't love us any more, and…
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Humility and Dignity

Thoughts, Walking in the New Nature
I once heard a speaker in a business setting say that he had no ego.  I had the same reaction that is probably going through your head right now, "Of course, he has an ego.  We all do."  But as I thought about it later, I conceded that maybe pride is not an issue for him.  It is easy for me to project my challenges with pride onto others.  Do you think it is common for us to project our own besetting sins onto others and assume they are weighed down with the same issues? Because of reactions like mine, humility is a hard topic to write about.  You can't very well say it is something you have attained and come across as genuine.  It is even hard to give tips…
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Free From Selfish Ambition

Thoughts, True Freedom, Walking in the New Nature
Another freedom that comes from our new heart, new nature, and new disposition is the freedom from selfish ambition.  Throughout the New Testament, the apostles highlight selfish ambition as one of our worst enemies.  James writes, "If you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.  This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, and demonic.  For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing" (James 3:14-16). Selfish ambition is arrogance unchecked.  Selfish ambition is earthly, natural, and demonic.  Selfish ambition sows seeds of discord, disorder, and every evil thing.  We and our selfish ambition really are our last and worst enemy.  So what is the remedy? The…
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The Gospel for Believers

Thoughts, Walking in the New Nature
The latest buzzword in Christian publishing is "the gospel".  From J. D. Greear's straightforward title, The Gospel:  Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary, to Timothy Keller's Center Church:  Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City.  Overall, this is a positive direction as we seek to rediscover the core of the gospel message for the church.  But what exactly is "the gospel"? The gospel literally means "good news".  And I think we can divide this "good news" into two forms.  First is the gospel for unbelievers.  It is a gospel message we are very familiar with.  When Jesus came to earth, He initiated a new arrangement between God and man.  His message of release from the penalty of our sin was totally founded upon His death, as a substitute for…
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