There are too many gray areas and misunderstandings about the concept of hell for me to accept this destiny as some kind of eternal torment. There are too many interpretations of the precise meaning of such a realm. And the God I encounter in Jesus is not the kind of vengeful tyrant who allows his creations to be excruciatingly tortured for all time. Here are some of my thoughts.

  1. What happens to people who have never heard the gospel of Christ?
  2. What about mentally challenged people?
  3. Where are we told anything about the eternal destiny of little children?
  4. There are so many people who have been abused by Christians and their messages.
  5. People who ‘believe’ but somehow live out of sync with God’s will. What happens to those prodigals?
  6. What about all the Germans who participated in the Holocaust?
  7. Jews? Are they all doomed?
  8. Who are the truly wicked people sent to eternal damnation?
  9. What about really nice people who just have never grasped the idea of accepting Christ even though they live Godly lives?
  10. When Christians fight wars and kill others are they doomed?
  11. Is hell eternal agony or annihilation? Both are mentioned in the Bible.
  12. My view of God is a loving father or mother who, because of that love, wouldn’t consign most of their creation to eternal suffering. 
  13. If there is any kind of hell, it will be sparsely populated.
  14. Early Christian scholars didn’t write about hell as an eternal destiny.
  15. Which sins are truly deserving of spending eternity in torment?
  16. I wouldn’t want to live with someone just because I was afraid they would hurt me if I didn’t. Jesus wouldn’t want that for us either.
  17. We have been taught by Jesus to forgive endlessly. Are we to be more merciful than God?
  18. If Jesus died for all of our sins, why do some people have to pay for their own sins?
  19. Hell makes God’s justice seem vengeful.
  20. If really bad people end up in eternal hell why would Jesus from the cross say, ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do?’
  21. Hell, for me, doesn’t fit the grand scheme of a new heaven and new earth.

Some of what I have written can be argued against with certain Scriptures but I submit there are interpretations of those scriptures that are very different and theologically sound.

If hell is anything, I see it as a sidebar where the judge tells my attorney, Jesus: ‘After all considerations, all will be well.’

In closing let me extend an invitation to come to Jesus, and follow Jesus. Let Jesus teach you and guide you into the way of eternal and abundant life with the God of creation and into a life of loving others even as we are right now being loved. This is the meaning of faith.

Remember this. It is Satan who wants to keep us away from God. But as Paul writes to the Colossians in chapter 2:

‘13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.’ (13-15) Bible Gateway NIV


The Bible certainly contains scriptures that speak about repenting and confessing before we are forgiven. 1 John 1: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

But there is also a sense, a reading of scripture, that God forgives humanity before we ask. Take Isaiah 44:22: “I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me for I have redeemed you.” (NIV); in Jeremiah 31:34 God announces the New Covenant saying he will remember sins no more.

One of the clearest passages is in Colossians 2 in which Paul writes to the Gentile church, “13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” (ESV)

In Colossians 1: 20 we read that God made peace with his creation through the blood of Christ shed on the cross. Paul also writes that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them (2Cor. 5:19). I don’t think God could approach us without first making peace with humanity

This all has implications for why we forgive others their transgressions against us even if they have not asked for forgiveness. This is the miracle of God’s grace and love at work in the cosmos. We are acting as children of our heavenly Father. In Matthew 5 Jesus tells his disciples to love even their enemies and pray for those who persecute them. (Matthew 5:44)

When we forgive another we die to ourselves, our egos, and trust any judgment to God. That’s how the Kingdom works. We are not told to forgive others for psychological or even emotional reasons. (Though it wouldn’t hurt in that regard.) We are invited to enlarge our own hearts for more of God’s grace to take up residence within us. That is life in the Kingdom.

Recall how Jesus unconditionally forgave others from the cross. He forgave Peter even before their meeting on the beach. That’s how love works. That’s how our lives best work even though it goes against the grain of our own defense mechanisms.

Christmas might be an appropriate time when conditions are right for the accomplishment of a crucial action. It’s a good time to say, ‘yes’ to God who in Christ loves us so much that his Son was willing to die for us. It’s a good time for us to ‘be like our heavenly Father’ and let go of the sins of others. There may be consequences for their sin but those are not ours to choose. Our choice is to love as God has loved us.

A Blessed Christmas to all.


No, I don’t know exactly what this ‘original sin’ thing is except to say, ‘something went very wrong in the relationship between humanity and God. I’m not even sure there was a literal, historic Adam and Eve. But I do think they represent a humanity that chose their own will over the love of God. Augustine was the first to use the term and he might have gotten the notion from the Apostle Paul who wrote that sin entered the world through one man, Adam.

But – and this is important – Christ took upon himself the sin of the world. The Baptist, John, referred to Jesus as the ‘Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.’ John 1:29. It may be no accident that John uses ‘sin’ in the singular. Whether sin or sins, the point is that the death of Christ dealt a stunning defeat to sin. His death removed its consequences for everyone so that all people would have the hardness removed from their hearts in order to hear the call of Christ to return to

God’s love.

And here’s the most pertinent scripture in this piece: ‘God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.’ 2Cor. 5:19 (NIV)

And this is the same use of the Greek word for ‘not counting’ that we read in 1Cor. 13:5, ‘Love keeps no account of wrongs.’ (My translation.) Check out the Greek for yourself.

So original sin is not in our consideration anymore. The way is cleared now for God’s love to be most alive and apparent to the world. When I think of it this way, it sure changes my approach to sharing the Good News. Repentance is not getting rid of particular sins but rather turning around to see life in a different way. Probably asking forgiveness from God is simply saying to God, “I took my eyes and my mind off you. I want to get back to being loved and loving.”

Yes. God so loved the world.


I’ve been in court a few times during my adult life. Mostly I’ve been a spectator. On one occasion a witness and another a potential juror. Each time the judge enters there is a feeling of almost dread. He or she is announced and we are all asked to rise. They are usually attired in a robe of authority. A sense of nervousness comes upon me and some degree of pessimism as I think of the impending judgment upon the accused.

Judge, judgment, judgment day. They all have an element of fear attached. And so it is with the Christian faith. It may be due to the experience many have had of the judgment by Christians themselves. A lot of people feel that Christ is judging them. Maybe the church has contributed to this also.

Some of us are just very self-conscious about the wrongs we have thought and done in our lives and think that maybe Jesus just isn’t all that happy with us.

And perhaps we do well to have some experience of fright at the thought of Jesus, our judge.

Bonhoeffer once wrote that without that fright we do not experience the marvelous favor and grace when we discover that we are actually loved dearly by this judge. (THE COMING OF JESUS IN OUR MIDST)

It’s only when we realize just how lost we have been that we know the joy of being found. It’s only when a dreaded diagnosis comes do we realize the joy of recovery.

Jesus once said that he had come for the sick, the lost, the lame, and the blind. So that when we enter his court knowing our condition we can rejoice in our hearts when his presence comes into our lives. What this Judge brings is Good News.

“For judgment I have come into this world so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” (Those who make the pretense of seeing) John 9.

If we think we have it all together and can pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps and need no help or relationship with God then we will go off by ourselves. Otherwise the judge has nothing but love and forgiveness and an eternal relationship to give us.

See, Christ makes his greatest judgment from Calvary. His judgment seat is the cross and his verdict is guilt for death and sin that both may be defeated. He has exhausted the worst they could do to the best.

But to those who long for his appearance his verdict is INNOCENT AND FREE.

Sometimes we are like the children who hear these dreaded words ‘Wait ‘til your Father gets home’ only to discover that when dad arrives his arms are open, his love is unconditional and any guilt is borne by his own humility and grace.

And now it is given to us to go into the world with Jesus looking for the lost and blind and self-conscious to tell them and remind ourselves of the GOOD NEWS. And with the lowly shepherds we can go to the manger to see this wonderful thing that God has done and then leave there to give praise to our God.

‘God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world.’

By the way: I have a friend who is a wonderfully kind and compassionate judge as I am sure many are.



Lord Jesus I come to you because I need some good serious learning from my God.

I am thinking about violence today, Lord. It’s overwhelming. It’s ubiquitous- in families, on the streets, in churches, at concerts and against all kinds of people. It’s on an international scale. We are fearful, anxious and angry.

I am thinking of you Lord who had every reason to be violent against your enemies, against those who were so set against you. Paul wrote somewhere that vengeance belongs to you but you never exercised it. Oh maybe against a few tables in the Temple but not against your adversaries. You wept over those who resisted you. You forgave a thief in his dying moments. You pardoned all your accusers and executioners. Somehow you are even going to restore your whole creation, the good, bad and ugly. Please give us some of your spirit to know how you are doing this.

When we consider your life it doesn’t seem that you were afraid. If anything, you looked evil in the eye and took it to the cross with you. You even let it take you to the cross. That was your own loving scheme to destroy the power of evil to hurt us. With just a word you drove the demonic powers to their ruin.

How is it that we have moved so far away from you? We’ve taken to protect our own little kingdoms instead of trusting yours first. Fear has caused us to amass more weapons of violence than ever. How did things get so bad?

Certainly there are ‘bad’ people out there but it seems that your goal was not to destroy them but to create a community that would be able to influence them, be agents of change for good in this world.

How often, Lord, did you tell us ‘fear not’ even for the people out to kill our bodies but couldn’t harm our souls. I’m not sure that assurance is planted in my own soul never mind taking it to the world. Have we gotten to the pointe of protecting ourselves so well that we think or act like we don’t need you?

And Lord, what about all this family abuse, sexual and otherwise. It’s rampant and now every day someone is being accused of assaulting others. Can we not find loving ways to combat this and other forms of evil? Is your church become impotent, prayer less, and loveless?

You know, Lord, that much of it starts with anger- plain ole simple egotistical anger. It’s in my own heart so I’m not judging others. Even conversations about violence bring anger to a boil in conversations that become heated arguments.

I feel like there are two kinds of people going into the Temple again to pray. One is standing and praying. Thank you Lord that I have this all figured out. Thank you for my righteous ways of violence against those who are my and your enemies. And the other person is simply praying, ‘Lord Jesus have mercy upon me, a sinner.’

Jesus, wasn’t there a time when you could have called 10,000 angels to come and rescue you and destroy your enemies but somehow you would rather trust you life to your Father. How did you do that? Can I do that?

Lord you could have come and taken the world by storm and simply destroyed your enemies but instead we are told you gave up all you power, your equal standing with God and humbled yourself to the point of becoming a servant and even further- to the place where you gave up your life. And in that same place we are told to have YOUR attitude, YOUR mind. Why does that make so many of us afraid? Why are we ruled by fear? Have we needed to replace the crucifix with some sort of gun or a tank or a nuclear bomb? That would look ridiculous and maybe that’s how it does look to you.

I fear Lord that you will leave us to ourselves with our greed, our boasts and guns and you will go to the poor, the vulnerable, the people who most trust you. Maybe you have already? Please don’t abandon us. There are many trusting people right here in our own nation, in our communities of faith who really want to know you and know your ways and know how you love so well. You are our fortress, our rock.

And Jesus, you tell us not to try to overcome evil with evil but rather with good. How can such good infiltrate the masses of terrorists seeking to destroy us? Maybe, just maybe we’ve not tried the good enough. The loving way seems weak and we have to entrust its results to you. Please help us towards that way, to beat our swords and egos into plowshares and instruments of peace and righteousness. It’s not about being strong is it? It’s about the power of love, isn’t it?

Jesus, I fear we have created a culture of violence that is hard to reverse and our little attempts seem so futile and risky. Violence seems to be our choice to resolve conflicts everywhere. Please help us all, perpetrators and victims to see this is not the way you set before us. We are to choose life, not death.

Lord, we need you grace to be sufficient in our weakness. I want to trust you more, be more expressive of your world conquering love, seek you more, plead with you more to be present to those involved in violence.

And all the while I want to pray for those who mourn, those who are too weak to even speak for themselves, like the little 18-month-old child and the unborn, those whose countries are on the brink of annihilation because the big nations are preparing for war.

And Lord please have mercy upon all your people in all your creation that they may have a resurrection to eternal peaceful life with you that they couldn’t have on this earth.

And Jesus, my own confession is that I am not all that peaceful. I think to live in your love but my first impulse at any kind of hurt is to be angry inside and on the outside. Please help me to establish your life in my life that I may speak and act as one who walks with the Prince of Peace.

Grace in Imperfection


No one who is born of God continues to sin (1 John 3:18).

Matthew 5:48 ‘Be perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect.’

We don’t strive for imperfection. It is a natural occurrence. Imperfection is our failure to succeed in our goals or it may be the undesirable qualities in our character such as flaws or inadequacies or such.

When I buy reading material online I sometimes look for Christian books or bibles that are ‘slightly imperfect’ meaning there is something wrong somehow but whatever is flawed doesn’t change the content. It might alter the cover or something about the book that is not essential.

We tend to think of our imperfections as failings or even sin but in truth they are part of the maturation process that God is working in our lives. We made be made righteous in God’s judgment when we are in Christ but for the rest of our lives remains the process of sanctification or becoming more like the God in whose image we are made.

The image of God is not completely erased in humanity though it has been defaced even sometimes to the point of being unrecognizable. It is under the shadow of sin whereby we see dimly as in a dirty mirror. Yet in Christ, by placing our confidence in Christ, we are ‘new creations.’ (2 Cor. 5:17) Accordingly the letter to the Hebrews reminds us that God remembers our sin no more under the new covenant. (Hebrews 8:12)

Creation in the Fall of humankind has distanced itself from the creator but through Christ we are finding our way back. And the way back is sustained by the Grace of God in Christ.

I think of Christians as slightly imperfect in their walk, in that sin is still a part of our lives though God doesn’t see us as our sin but through the work, the sacrifice of his Son Jesus. Slightly imperfect means we don’t have it all together, we are not as mature as we could be. We are a work, God’s work, in progress, ever moving forward. In some respects our lives might even be a mess but we are God’s mess delivered from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God’s son. (Colossians 1)

While some people might even not find value in us, God does. He loves us immensely even to the point where the hairs on our head are numbered indicating his intimate value and knowledge of us.

But here’s the think. Our flesh, our ego, that natural part of us still sometimes affects deeply our relationship with God. We say we trust God but we worry. We are greedy. We are fearful and rebellious. But by God’s grace we are ever more steadily making our way into the rightful Kingdom. Luther once wrote that we are sinners and saints at the same time. Jesus tells us to be perfect and our life’s work is in understanding that perfection and living into it.

Let’s take a modern example to illustrate what this all means. If we have an addiction problem we go to the ‘rooms’ where others are dealing with the same struggle. And the only requirement to be there is the desire to stop the addiction, the behavior that is ruining us. One can actually go to an A.A. meeting intoxicated if he or she really wants to stop drinking.

Now I figure it is not less meaningful for the sinner who goes before God, most especially at worship to be able to say, ‘I want to stop sinning and follow Jesus more closely. That’s my greatest wish. I desire forgiveness and new life’. That is an imperfect Christian on the right path to perfection. Much as Paul meant when he wrote ‘work out your salvation in fear and trembling because God is at work in you to bring about the best according to God’s will.’ (Philippians 2:12,13)

The imperfect Christian is allowed by GRACE to struggle without shame and doubt but is transparent about these issues before other trustworthy brothers and sisters. They believe their sins are forgiven but their memory of their sins is better than God’s memory of their sins.

The imperfect Christian is willing to engage in the disciplines of the Christ life. Prayer, reading scripture, worship, helping others and more are exercises that will help the follower f Jesus strengthen his or her faith, trust and confidence. The imperfect Christian will seek knowledge not for its own sake but so that such wisdom will help them grow.

Christ’s gracious call is to take his yoke upon ourselves for the purpose of training us to live our lives with him, by him and through him.

There is a bumper sticker, which proclaims ‘Not perfect just forgiven’. That is a loophole for not trying our best. It is a statement that we are forgiven and going to heaven; but there is a lot of life to be lived in the meantime.

Recall Jesus words in Matthew 5:48. ‘Be perfect even as your heavenly Father is perfect.’ Jesus spoke those words with regards to loving our enemies; those who annoy irritate or even abuse us. Being perfect means being the best we can be. For example if you are a carpenter just starting out you want to frame a house as best you can. Taking shortcuts is not an option. And while you may not be as good as a 30 veteran you still do your best. That is if you are going to stay in business. The same would go for a teacher, a mom or a dad or anyone with any integrity. And as Christians we strive for our best but do not feel shame when our best might not on par with say, wait for it, ‘Jesus’.

We are on a path of following the Son of God who has called us to place our confidence in him. It was late Christian songwriter, Keith Green, who sang the words, ‘you give God your best and he’ll take care of the rest’. The Christian is called to strive for the prize. (Philippians 3:14) We are urged to press on. And when we fall we pick ourselves up and get back in the race. (Thank you Frank Sinatra)

But we don’t beat ourselves up. We don’t live in guilt and wallow in shame. And if our fall is, in our own mind, a sin- then we confess that to God and know, really know that we are forgiven and thus freed to live for Christ.

I want you to imagine a relationship between two people in love where neither has expectations for the other, where neither keeps score of any wrongs that occur. This is the state of the person who is ‘in Christ’ and thereby in union with God. And this position of salvation and life is sustained and maintained by the grace of the Father. The bible says that we are already seated with Christ in the heavenly place. (Ephesians 2:6) which I take to mean, ‘out of harms way’ in terms of any kind of judgment and so we are truly freed from having to ‘feel’ like we should be better than we are trying our best to be.

Or let’s consider the analogy of an electrician who is mentoring an apprentice. The mentor states that all that is needed is the apprentices’ trust and best effort. At their first meeting it is agreed that the degree and job are guaranteed. Of course there will be direction and even correction and warnings here and there but the covenant has been established and will not be broken. So too God is not breaking his covenant with us because it is Jesus who has sealed that covenant in his own blood.

All this gives us the freedom to live for Christ because at the heart of it all is the truth that it is not we who are living this life as Paul writes but it is Christ who is living it in us. (Galatians 2:20)

Already Forgiven

John 1:29

 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. (MEV)

So one day a friend told me he was going to visit his dying sister. He would tell her to ask God’s forgiveness for her sins. And then she could be assured she was going to heaven.

It got me to thinking that it would be better for her to simply say YES to God’s love for her. That love was revealed in Jesus Christ who has already forgiven her sins through his death. That’s what I take from John’s statement. She then would simply be trusting what has already been done for her.

Sure it would be wise for her to acknowledge ways she had disobeyed God and put up a wall between Him and her. Maybe she has misdeeds or missed deeds in her life that have been an enormous burden to her conscience. But I don’t think God needs a litany of offenses any more than did the father of the Prodigal Son.

Saying yes to God’s embrace and our desire to think differently about our future together is reason enough for much joy in heaven.


Recall that after Jesus teaches his disciples about prayer he concludes that if we don’t forgive others their sins, God won’t forgive us. Is that really true or was Jesus just using hyperbole to encourage this band of students to keep their community alive in love.

I want to throw this idea out there. It’s probably from someone else because that’s where all good ideas come from. Forgiveness means letting go of someone as though you were holding him or her by the neck for their debt to you or their trespass against you. It’s hard to hold out your hands to receive from God if you are preoccupied with payback from another.

You may remember Jesus telling the parable of the unforgiving debtor, one who having himself been pardoned by his master subsequently finds a debtor to himself out of whom this man almost literally chokes the life. Jesus concludes by saying that the first debtor was locked away for good.

Here’s the thing about forgiveness. It’s grace. It means doing for another what they cannot do for themselves. Grace means that you and I take the debt on ourselves as Jesus did for the whole world. If we cannot issue grace to another then it is evidence that we do not receive the grace of God and if we do not place our confidence in the grace of God we are left alone, removed from God as it were.

Amidst all the evilness of the world there is no one who does to us what we did to Christ. And make no mistake. He willingly took all that upon himself. He did it to make the world right with God. And anyone who wants to stand in that new world needs to do the same work with the help of God working in and through us.

Certainly it is possible to desire to forgive when the action comes with difficulty. God understands that. How hard was it for Jesus to take action to bring forgiveness to the world. Towards the end he would have like to escape such self-denying love.  So when it is difficult for us to forgive the best place to go is in the arms of our Savior to rest with him and abide with him and let him do the loving within and through us. Maybe it’s a little baby step at first but baby steps are good when we look to the growth they will bring.

So think of someone who needs your forgiveness even someone who has died. Think of someone far away or maybe in your own household. Then go to school with Jesus and let him teach you…and me the essence of his Grace.

And if we won’t forgive? Well, what we are saying to God is ‘no thank you.  We will handle life in our own way’, and we won’t want God anyway.

Many will come in those last days to Christ saying, ‘Lord Lord’ but Jesus will say that some will have to depart because they really didn’t want God’s will anyway.

But I would submit that forgiving another will be one of the greatest christian spiritual experiences of your life when you …and I let go of another to embrace God. That is the good life. So let’s be students of the good life.



Taking it for granted.

So I have been thinking that the reason many folks, including myself, don’t get the whole ‘love of God’ thing is that we take for granted God’s love. That love thing is what God does, doesn’t he? What’s the big deal? But the big deal is that we have little idea of what God’s kind of love really means; that even while we turned our backs on him he still loved us enough to send his only Son, Jesus to die for us. He did that while we were his enemies.

Imagine in war where one soldier is taught to give up his life for his fellow soldier. That’s often the instinct of a soldier or maybe it is from the kindness of his heart that he throws himself on a grenade to protect his friend. That’s all well and good but would this same soldier give his life for his enemy? That’s what God does for you and me. Somehow we bought the idea a long time ago that we weren’t really that bad so it didn’t take much for God to love us. Listen I would break down and cry if a friend saved my life. But if I am somehow held hostage and one of my captors gave up his life so I could escape well I would be daily grateful, more than words can say, for that man. Do we not know that’s what God did for us when he grabbed us from the jaws of hell to rescue us and make us into his friends?

Imagine your spouse leaves you to be with another partner, cashes out your bank account, and pretty much ruins your life. And then down the road a few years later he or she comes back to you to ask for forgiveness. How easy would it be to love him or her? That’s what God did for us. Took us back. Read the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15. How grateful would that wayward spouse be upon being welcomed back and loved?

Suppose you are walking down the street and some guy comes up behind you and beats you half to death and steals your money. You end up in ICU in some downtown hospital. Later the guy  shows up at the door of your room and asks for forgiveness. You not only forgive him but you ask him to be your best friend and come and live with you. That’s the kind of love God showed his enemies, even the ones who beat his Son to death. I can only imagine the gratitude the aforementioned criminal might have each day for his earthly savior. Read how Isaac Watts, hymn writer and pastor from the 1700’s put it:

  1. When I survey the wondrous cross
    On which the Prince of glory died,
    My richest gain I count but loss,
    And pour contempt on all my pride.
  2. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
    Save in the death of Christ my God!
    All the vain things that charm me most,
    I sacrifice them to His blood.
  3. See from His head, His hands, His feet,
    Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
    Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
    Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
  4. Were the whole realm of nature mine,
    That were a present far too small;
    Love so amazing, so divine,
    Demands my soul, my life, my all.


Those last two lines really impact me. I owe not only my praise but also my whole life to this God who loves me so. Actually you could read the whole hymn and discover the amazing reality of God’s love poured out for us and poured into our hearts. Let it stir up our hearts to service and praise for the Lord God who loves us so. Maybe it’s why people have crucifixes to be able to sit and gaze upon the figure of Christ (not an idol) and then contemplate what he did for us.

That’s what love is all about. Not that we loved God but that he loved us first when we were lost, in the abyss of sin and he threw us a lifeline. Every day I want to be amazed at this love and remember how much he loves me. Not just the world but also each and every one of us to the nth degree. Remember how the song goes HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW.



SO after tearing my meniscus playing basketball I went to the therapist to get my knee fixed. I thought.
She began by saying, “We need to work on your hamstring and your quad and then your calf muscle and then your balance.” Whoa, I thought to myself. What about my knee? Seems that if you work on  discipline to other parts of your leg your knee will actually be better. Yeah, even the balance thing, standing on one leg, helps to strengthen all the parts around your knee and the outcome is a healthier, stronger knee.
Can you see where this is going? People want stronger faith and yet so often don’t want to go through the disciplines to get there. People want to love more and yet are hard pressed to discipline their lives towards love.
So that’s why we are told to read the Scriptures, memorize them, practice them to the end that our faith and our love are built up. That’s why we have the gift and discipline of prayer, to work on our faith and our love to the end that after much conversation with our God we will be strengthened. The discipline of prayer may start out as hard work. Being still before God is often hard work for busy people. But do it as much as you would do physical exercise knowing you will be better for it. You will understand the work of God, and much more the grace of God.I don’t mean a shout out to God once in a while but an intentional approach to God in quiet prayer or just sitting intentionally in silence before God knowing that such silence is a benefit to your spirit.
And then nothing beats practicing love. Forgiving someone, share a kind word with someone, giving up yourself for another who would not necessarily do the same for you. The more we call all practice that kind of grace in this world the closer we will grow to our Master, Jesus. And that is a therapy worth its weight in gold.
So here’s to the spiritual disciplines. I have mentioned but a few.  There are many more.