Category: Gospel

Because You Have Been a Warrior

Thank you veteran…
for leaving home and enduring hardships;
for serving a cause greater than yourself;
for seeking the welfare of the weak;
for risking your life for the sake of others;
for standing up for the freedom of all citizens
(no matter whether they value the sacrifice you made for them).
Because you have been a warrior,
I want you to know my Jesus…
who left His home (bankrupting heaven);
who charged into the battle for your soul;
who never hesitated, reconsidered, or flinched;
who came to rescue you from every terror;
who threw himself on top of your sins
(no matter whether you considered him a friend or a foe);
who fought for you;
who endured it all and sacrificed his life…
because he loves you…
who welcomes all soldiers
who give their full allegiance to him
(the best battlefield decision you will ever make)
as the invincible warrior,
as the only savior, and
as the absolute commander of their lives.

Originally written on Veterans Day 2016.

I really do believe these things…

I really do believe…iStock_000001451451XSmall

  • that God spoke creation into existence,
  • that there was a first couple who sinned for the first time (Adam & Eve),
  • that all human beings share a common ancestor and an inherited predisposition to sin,
  • that there was a massive human attempt to resist God’s will at the tower of Babel,
  • that evil grew so rapidly that God did indeed judge that generation sending a universal flood and rescuing one man and his family,
  • that God began His great rescue with a man who trusted Him throughout his life (Abraham),
  • that God spoke to that man’s descendants over many generations guiding their lives and fueling their hope for a “home” that transcended this existence,
  • that God entered time to do battle with the demon gods of ancient Egypt to rescue His people and set them free to be… with Him,
  • that God clarified who He is through the Law and every human being’s created purpose to love Him with all of the heart, mind, soul, and strength,
  • that when God chose to elaborate on His true identity, He said that He was “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty” (Ex. 34:6-7),
  • that God gave a hint that life under His rule was desirable through the “shalom” (peace/wholeness) experienced in Israel through the two kings David & Solomon,
  • that the prophets were allowed to see the coming kingdom that defied description, when all suffering, sin, and injustice will cease, and when death will die, and when God’s people will slip into His Presence with an eternal, childlike joy and a new never-ending mission to explore all that He is,
  • that when God wanted us to know what He is really like, He came in person… He is Jesus,
  • that Jesus chose to live as an ordinary human being, walking by faith and depending on His Father to guide & empower everything He did & said,
  • that Jesus breathed the same air, drank the same water, felt the same pains & joys, encountered the same kinds of people & problems that I do… but never, ever offended or disobeyed His Father,
  • that Jesus announced that God’s Presence & rule are available right now — the very same, marvelous kingdom of insurmountable & indescribable life that is coming at the end of time — for every soul that surrenders its poverty and broken throne to Him,
  • that Jesus not only announced the rule of God, but He demonstrated it — putting things back to the way He intended, showing what life looks like when He comes — restoring health, expelling demons, and calming killer storms,
  • that Jesus called people to repent before the face of this present Ruling One, learning to agree with His evaluation of what is true and right, learning to accept His estimation of our worth, learning to pursue what He made us to be and do, and succumbing to His grace… falling down before Him in worship and deep desire for Him,
  • that Jesus took my place, carrying every sin — every offense in my past, my present, and my future — to the cross where He died my death and endured my shame, rescuing me from an eternal separation from God, from hell,
  • that God was speaking love to me at that moment… forever,
  • that I still… don’t… fully… “get”… why… but I have millennia ahead of me to let that fact sink in,
  • that God raised Jesus from the dead, proving the reality that my endless punishment was ended, and that all my ugliness and actual wrongness was erased, and that there were no more reasons to die anymore,
  • that He saved me, forgave all my sins, and began changing me when I abandoned my life into His hands in 1978,
  • that He is not finished with me… or with you,
  • that He continues to walk the earth announcing good news through His people… they are the “called out ones” — the “ekklesia” — the actual church,
  • that He has preserved everything He wants me to know about Him on this side of heaven in the Bible,
  • that He wants me to experience Him every day, me following… Him leading,
  • that this life is the “fullest” kind of life — the most clear, the most correct, the most intense, and the most fun,
  • that time is expiring and every moment counts, and
  • that He is coming.

Oh yes, I really do believe.