For this reason…


Ephesians 3:14-20

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.  I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. 

I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.  Amen.”

 For this reason.  For this reason…and what reason is that?  Paul had just written that he was the very least of all the saints and it was God’s grace that was granted to him to preach the boundless riches of Christ. 

For and because of God’s grace, it is that for that reason that Paul’s knees bow before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.  God’s grace is the reason.

Salvation by grace through faith.  This unlimited treasure of grace.  Let me ask you this question, do you allow yourself to be full open to receive grace?  Are you able to fully receive it and extend it to others?

I am guilty of this.  I am guilty of not taking the time to reflect on all that God has done for me and taking many times for granted.  I am guilty of being closed off to grace at times and of trying to do something to earn it.

Maybe you have done the same.  Gone through a time of spiritual dryness or struggle.  Trying to balance the demands of ministry, family, your own spiritual growth and for those of us that are bi-vocational, a full-time job as well.  Too many things to get done, allowing little time to reflect on God’s work in our own lives.

 Paul was a man that suffered many hardships for the sake of the gospel.  He became a servant according to the gift of God’s grace.  As we all know Paul wasn’t always a servant for Christ.  He persecuted Christians and tried to extinguish the early church.  God’s redeeming work and grace took a man that killed Christians and made him a man that would help save them. 

Paul is the most prolific writer in the New Testament.  If grace can change a heart that hard, what can it do for each of us?  What each one of us are capable of.  For this reason, for the saving grace of our God, my knees bow before the Father.

Pastor Shawn LaRue

Author of Incomplete

incompletedevotional.com

 

 

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I’ve got to do better.


As I sat through last night’s Good Friday service that I was a part of it occurred to me that I’ve got to be better.  If my preaching truly did justice to the gospel the church I serve would be overflowing with people.  I’ve got to do better, we’ve got to do better.

How did Christ’s sacrifice those many years ago become forgotten?  He died as brutal a death a man can die, he didn’t have to, he chose to out of obedience to his father.  He conquered death so that we could live.  The cold, brutal, painful taste of death was forever taken for those that believe.

Given this it is difficult to understand why people don’t believe, why church and faith are so inconvenient as to be ignored, faith is seen as a crutch and churches close each year.

I’ve got to be better.  I’ve got to find another level to my preaching and ability to pastor to reach those that don’t know Christ, don’t know faith and don’t know his church.

Pastor Shawn LaRue

Seymour UMC, Seymour, IA

Author of Incomplete

 

Who is Christ?


 

“Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest!” the crowds shouted as Christ triumphantly entered the holy city of Jerusalem for the last time.  Save us, grant us blessing in the highest places.  The Jewish people were a conquered people, they carried the brutal weight of the Romans on their back.  They would be saved.
The whole city shook with the question of, “Who is this?”  Who is this man, fully human yet fully divine?  My question is during Holy Week is who is Christ to you?
What kind of God comes to this world, lives precisely the same way we do, lives a life of radical poverty, heals, teaches and allows the very same people he came to save to turn him over to be beaten, whipped, tortured and crucified?
A God of love does that.  A God that has a radical love for his people, a love that is unheard of and that we can only scratch the surface of.  During this holiest of days, let this question of who Christ is not be far from our hearts and minds.
Pastor Shawn, Seymour UMC

Bloggers you might ❤ 7/04/2017


I have a “promote your blog link” on my site where I encourage people to leave a link to their blog and a short description about their site or themselves.

“Hint: Please write something interesting”

These are a few blogs that I would like to feature today

Carey Bryant:  My blog is called Two Greek Words and is a blog on Christian Theology (the word “theology” is derived from two Greek words). I write about the deeper things of faith and have some posts on apologetics as well.  I was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I married my beautiful wife, Brittany, on May 3, 2015.  I graduated from Bryan College with a BA in Biblical Studies in 2012. I love playing the drums and listening to music. I also enjoy playing sports and being active (when I feel like it). I am an introvert who loves to read books, usually about topics that bore most people. I am extremely obsessed with all things related to Batman and I can actually be seen in the Dark Knight Rises (if you pause the movie at just the right moment and have a magnifying glass handy). I am a follower of Christ and I seek to live out God’s Word as revealed to us in the Bible. God has given me a passion to study His Word and this blog is an outcome of this passion. You can learn about my journey into the world of Theology here!

Susan Gutterman:  I am an amateur photographer and occasional blogger. I participate in a number of regular photo challenges on WP and FB. I run my own weekly challenge https://musinwithsusan.com/2017/02/22/macro-moments-challenge-week-32/, and hope some of your followers will decide to participate. I love to travel and use my site for a trip journal on each large trip that I take. I would love to tell you that I am a blithe, free-spirit who will captivate you with my amazing adventures.  Alas, in reality, I am a somewhat compulsive, “woman of a certain age” who dabbles in photography and technology, especially anything Apple, and loves to travel.  That being said, I hope that you will still find what I have to share with you somewhat interesting.

buddingregardlessBudding Regardless (https://buddingregardless.wordpress.com) is a site I created October 2016. The content I post about are more or less deeper then inspirational, my aim is to make people think more logically about things that we see and do on a daily basis. This blog site is solely created by Mbalenhle Khuzwayo who is an art student. The site consists of opinionated material written by Mbalenhle. Intentions aren’t to offend readers but to broaden their thoughts on certain things where necessary. Reading with an open mind is highly advisable.

TheThingsILearntI work for a very famous Automobile company but writing gives me more peace. I want to become a writer and want to talk about the things which can help us improving as Human Beings.

TiTaNiUmI’m Irfan Hassan From J&K, India and Im a Government Employee. Irfan is a devout Muslim and loves to talk about Islam and it’s great prophet.

Quit Blogging

Quit Blogging

Everlasting I am


Flying from west to east
Concealed in-between the mist
Safe soaring on the clouds
Empty, alive and proud.

No voices to be heard
Not the whisper of a word
No fear can reach my being
My soul ascends seeing

The pain be left behind
Eyes that are no longer blind.
Air, earth and blood
Quiet and undisturbed
Bids my humanity goodbye
As my spirit reaches new heights.

Everlasting I am
For the Eternal Son Of Man
Gave his breath to redeem
Those whom the world had not yet seen.

Erstwhile dead,now forever alive
I foresee the moment I am to arrive,
In glory no longer transitory
To witness the beginning of an old told story.