Category Archives: grace

Regret

“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”  -2 Corinthians 7:10
Regret is something I think about often.  We all do it when we think about the bad choices of the past.  I regret so many things it’s hard to keep up with them.  I regret not saving more, I regret not saying I’m sorry when I needed to, I regret not playing with my kids more.  There are so many.
I’m sure, if you made a list, there would be several that you wish you could have a mulligan on, a do-over.  That’s the way of regret, once we have done it or said it we must live with the consequences of the action or the word for the rest of our lives.
Most of our sins leave us with small regrets, but the sin of a pastor who has fallen rings with an amplified regret.  It’s in bold letters for them if they are tender to God.  But with regret comes two other emotions we each must deal with- the fantasy of what could have been and the fear of what might be.  All of these are the results of bad choices and not trusting God with our lives.
Regret is real, but God’s desire is that we use it to repent and be restored to him and his family.  We can’t undo what we have done, but we can use the regrets of our sins to make good choices in the days ahead.
God’s desire for the fallen pastor is that he would repent and walk with God once more, a son restored, forgiven, rejoicing in the savior who gave his life for all our sins….even this one.

Humble reconciliation

One of the things that rarely happens when a pastor falls is reconciliation.  There is simply never closure on the sin that destroyed his life, family, another family and the church.

This morning a friend and I were visiting about reconciliation and God’s work in our lives.  It made me ask…who have I wounded and not reconciled with?  And so I offer this note for your response, for your consideration.  If it’s something that applies to you in your relationships with me would you offer me the opportunity to pursue reconciliation in our relationship? If it’s a reality in your life, your family, or your church would you use the following paragraph to heal wounds, mend relationships and demonstrate the love of Christ to others?

Share these words with someone you have hurt,

“I’m thinking through the people I’ve known and cared about for many years and fear that I have left something undone with you.  Are you and I “ok”?  My goal is reconciliation, the healing of any wounds I may have caused.  Is there something between us that I can address, deal with or repair?  Have I offended you in some way and left you wounded?  Please do let me know.  And thank you for the grace you give me to be broken and still on the journey to become like Christ.”

I wonder what would happen if we humbled ourselves and took the first step to healing wounds in our lives and the lives of others.

Grace

One of the great blessings of Christianity is the work of grace done by Jesus on the cross.  In that dark and terrible day Jesus accomplished redeption, forgiveness of sin and so much more.  He also made it possible for us to recover from a sin like the one this site discusses and find a place to serve God once more.

I have the great joy of meeting almost every week with our former pastor whose sin motivated me to write these posts.  He told me he’s closer to God in his walk now than he has ever been.  He’s even looking for a way to once more serve God in ministry of some kind.  I’m thrilled for the redeeming work of God that grace makes possible.  I’m glad God can redeem lives we would never consider worthy of redemption.  We seem to be more comfortable dismissing the sinners among us rather than forgiving, redeeming and restoring them, but thankfully God loves the sinner too much to let them be thrown on the trash heap of failed lives.

I’m thankful for the grace of God that provides redemption, restoration and healing for all of us.

Hope and healing

More than a year ago I got an e-mail from a pastor’s wife.  Her husband was discovered to be in an affair.  It destroyed their marriage and their church, but it didn’t destroy her.  We have corresponded often in the last 15 months as she has grieved, cried and healed. Last night this dear lady sent me a video, a moment of celebration.  She was invited to speak at the women’s conference at the church she now attends.  It was great to hear her speak, to see her share a bit of her story and God’s work in her life.

In spite of the sin of her husband, the failure of her marriage, the loss of ministry, she has walked with God, trusted him to heal her and grieved as she needed to.  Now God is opening new doors of ministry she never imagined.  It was wonderful to see her speak.  She talked about the failure of her marriage, the heartbreak and the anger everyone feels towards God when it happens. She also talked about God’s work in her life as she walked with him.

I can’t wait to see what God does in her life.  In spite of the devil’s best efforts to destroy this dear saint she is walking with God and trusting him to use her and he is!

Healing is possible. A new beginning is the way God works….he is a God of new beginnings and if we let him he will work in our lives, heal our pains, dry our tears and give us life once more. Is there ministry after an affair? Is there hope? Can God redeem what the devil has destroyed? YES! My friend is proof that God is a God of redemption and healing. I’m so proud of you Dawn!

Extreme grace

I am thrilled to know and experience the grace of God.  It’s absolutely life changing once you know what God has done for us.

One of the great tragedies of the church in our day is the fear so many have of grace.  They fear what might happen if people really knew they were completely forgiven, loved and part of heaven even now.  That security, for some, is just too good to be true. There must be a trick up God’s sleeve somewhere.  He can’t really mean that we already have everything and can never lose it.  There must be something we have to do, some work, some duty that will let us make our relationship and eternity sure, but there isn’t….it’s absolutely and totally free, available by faith alone and will last forever!

But grace is even more extreme than you think it is.  It’s outrageous and foolish from man’s viewpoint.  In his love God provided for all of mankind a free gift of forgiveness, redemption, salvation, security, eternity with him, and peace now…if they would simply accept his gift by faith.

You have to know I haven’t gotten to the extreme part yet.  Here it is, are you ready?  God has made it possible for us to be his sons, his daughters!  Imagine, a son of God.  That is so crazy I can’t even understand what that looks like! But there’s more….he’s also given each of his children HIS Spirit to dwell in them, lead them, help them, and be with them….are you ready….forever.  When the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, takes up residence in us he promises to never leave.  We are men and women indwelt by the God who made us for all eternity!

More?  Ok, here we go…there is nothing you can do, good or bad…ever, to lose what he has given you.  You cannot lose his gifts to you if you have received them.  They are yours by faith alone and eternally yours….you can never be lost.  An eternal, indwelt by the Spirit of God, child of God.  More? We are destined to live with God and be part of his eternal kingdom.  Priests and Kings he calls us.  Children of God he describes us.  The names and provisions would fill pages, more than I have room to speak of here, but his grace extended to us is extreme at the far end of the scale.

The work of God in grace could fill volumes!  It’s not just a “saving grace”, although it is that, it’s an extreme grace that completely changes everything about our lives here and our eternity ahead.

But sadly many have made this wonderful grace a small thing.  They fear what believers might do if they knew.  The tragedy is that if they knew they would fall more deeply in love with God and lean in closer to know him better.  Let’s talk about this extreme grace to those we know and celebrate the amazing love of God in his provision for us. It is a wonderfully glorious magnificent extreme grace!