Christ at the Center of Confidence: 1 John 4:13-21

Our faith does not depend upon our love for God, but upon the real-world demonstration through the cross of His love for us. Mere belief in this knowledge is our entrance into the world of perfect love, where God’s love outlasts, outshines, and outlives our imperfections. It is His love for us which is the […]

Cain and Abel – a Deeper Look

“Someone died for this slightly off-base irritating brother. He is Abel offering his blood sacrifice, and love says I count his offering as sufficient.” From the book Grace in Community by Jim McNeely I wanted to return to the very powerful and fruitful story of Cain and Abel as it pertains to the idea of […]

Shared Grace Is the True Transformation!

In the end the important transformation is that we enter the community of the beloved and redeemed. Anyone can be personally holy if they section themselves off from all society and influence. We are not called to the darkness and isolation of theoretical holiness, we are called to the light of relationship with real imperfect people.

The Love of the World vs. the Love of the Father

The world says that you are not worthy of love unless you prove it — through morals, through money, through power, through fame. These are all relational currency. The cross says you don’t need currency to maintain relationship, because He paid everything. So the love of the world and the love of the Father are completely antithetical. They are opposite views of love.

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The Cross of Christ Declares that We are Greatly Loved (Part 1 – The Sacrificial Gift)

Here is the stunning thing about all of this: He wanted to do this for us! The Father was pleased to crush Him and put Him to grief, to render Him as a guilt offering (Isaiah 53:10). That is strange but for one thing: as a very great show of love for us, God Himself showed forth a very great and sacrificial gift. The greatness of the sacrifice is part of our assurance that we are very greatly loved.

The Boastful Pride of Life

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 1 John 2:16 I have been thinking about this phrase “the boastful pride of life” and why he uses it in […]

Kindness and Severity in the Community of Grace

The issue of forgiveness and continuity of relationship is utterly central to the Christian faith. Obviously, since we live on planet earth among humans, our practical understanding of these things is constantly being challenged. Forgiveness is powerful because it is so needful. We had a conversation a while back with a woman who had divorced […]

Grace Gotchas: 1 John 3:4-10

Here is an excerpt from my upcoming book, “Grace in Community”. I really wanted to share it with all the friends who follow the blog – enjoy! 4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. 5 And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him […]

Fathers, Young Men, and Children: 1 John 2:12-14

12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake. 13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one I have written to you, […]

Moving beyond mere repentance to the power of confession

5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we […]