Saturday, June 29, 2013

Grace

What if, in the Super Bowl, the outcome was determined by how forgiving the referees were and not by the score on the scoreboard? 

What if our paycheck was dependent upon the graciousness of our employer, rather than our output or success in handling customers and projects?

Let’s talk about Grace for a few minutes.  It is an often misunderstood concept and I think it is much easier to grasp than we might think.

Start with this:
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  


This man knew a lot about the grace of God.  Read his words.

“Grace means that God is on our side and thus we are victors regardless of how well we have played the game.”
~Brennan Manning


Isn't that amazing?  We are victors regardless of how well we played.  

Unheard of!

Are you a doer?  Do you get your kicks from earning goody points on a chart so you can justify your existence and look back over your life and have bragging rights on a life well lived? 

Consider this:

“Grace does not depend on what we have done for God but rather what God has done for us.  Ask people what they must do to get to heaven and most reply, “Be good.”  Jesus’ stories contradict that answer.  All we must do is cry, ‘Help!”

It seems to me that God operates on a completely different level from the one we humans use.  We measure success and winning based on the outcome of a game, or a quarter’s stats or the end-of-the-year balance sheet.  If everything checks out then we are heroes.  If not, we are less than wonderful, and maybe our job is in jeopardy.

But not God -

“I am wonderfully content with a God who doesn't deal with me as my sins     deserve.”
~Brennan Manning


That is GRACE. 
                Do-over
                  Forgiveness
                     Reconciliation
                        Restoration

Do you know what this says to me?  Listen carefully.

God is not mad at you.


If we wander away, God continually looks for us around the next bend in the road.  And as we crest the hill on our way home, God runs to us. 

He RUNS to us!

He accepts us, not as a servant, but as a son/daughter.

That is Amazing GRACE - Abundant MERCY - Furious LOVE.

What a GOD!


Now watch this hope-filled music video.  It's more than you think. 



My Prayer for All of Us

God of Grace:
That you love us and redeem us, just for the asking is … well, it’s amazing.

-We want to do things to earn your grace.
-We want to jump through hoops.
-We want to become doers.
-We want to clean up first and get our stuff together. 

Yet you simply want receivers.  You want us to be still and know you and your peace and love and … yes, GRACE.

So here we are God.  We stand ready to receive you, your love, your peace, and your grace.

The only thing we can do – is give thanks.  Thank you God.

Amen.


P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time


Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Person Behind the Label

Have you ever had a label attached to you?  Sometimes they point out a character trait, a body shape, or some less-than-esteeming slur that cuts to the bone.

Perhaps you've heard something like this:
  “You’re fat!”
       “You’re ugly!”
            “You don’t belong!”
                “Hey homo!”
                      “Who dropped you on your head, dumbo?”

Well, that’s enough.

I’ve had a few labels attached to me down through the years.  Check out these:

“You’re an accident waiting to happen.”

“Get away from that thing, boy.  You don’t know ‘nothin about machinery.”

Labels hurt.  Harsh words cut to the bone.  And the unfortunate thing is we continue to internalize them long after they were last uttered.  We have an amazing date storage system between our ears that captures every moment of our lives.

Help is available for you.  Your labels can be removed, redeemed and erased.  Your life, regardless of the twists and turns it has taken, can be straightened and redeemed.  There is a person behind every label mankind can level against us, and YOU are that person. 

Come meet the one who can erase your labels, redeem your image, and restore you to a life of wholeness.  His name is Jesus, The Christ, the Son of God, and He is very fond of you already. 

He stands ready for your call. 

Will you reach for him?  He’s already reaching for you.


Please Watch This


A Prayer for You

God Our Redeemer:

We need your help.  We need your redemption and grace to eradicate all of the wrongs in which we have become entangled. 

These labels hurt.  They still sting, and some of them were said years ago.  Help us God.  Please remove the stigma of our past lives and give us a fresh beginning. 

Amen


Pastor Mike
P Michael Biggs
Internet Church
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time


Saturday, June 15, 2013

How Does God Think

Do you think much about God?

Have you ever wondered what God thinks?

I have.

One thing I know for sure – the Bible reminds us that “no man can know the mind of God, nor understand his ways, his reasoning and his love.”

Let’s imagine for a few moments how God’s mind works.

What irritates God?
What makes him mad?

What makes him jealous?
What pushes his buttons?

What if Hitler offered some kind of miraculous death-bed confession and nobody every told us about it?  Would God forgive him right on the spot?

Will Hugh Hefner be in heaven?

In war, which side is God really on? 

Is God an American?

Is he Baptist?
Lutheran?
Episcopalian?
Catholic?
Nazarene?
Mormon?
Buddhist?


How does God really think? 

What are some of his thoughts toward us?


I think God loves us way more than we can ever understand.

He continually extends an invitation to us.
He wants face time with each one of us. 
He just wants us in his presence.
He loves all people equally.

He watches over us moment by moment.
He notices even a sparrow that falls to the ground.
He clothes the lilies.

He reaches for the down-and-out with a redemptive heart of compassion.
He is looking for more ways to get us home to heaven than for ways to keep us out.

He is a forgiving God.
He never remembers past sins.
He dances for joy over us.
He runs to us when we turn back to Him.

He loves Ethiopians and Asians as much as he loves Americans.
He will never take away our free will for making choices. 

So how does God think?

With a heart full of love greater than anything we could ever imagine,
     Regardless of whom we are
          What we are
               Where we are
Or in whatever condition we might find ourselves at the present moment. 

God Is Love. 

Some of the great words found in the Bible are these:

“For God loved the world so much that He gave his only son, and if we believe in him, we shall live forever.”
John 3:16
PMB adaptation

God is offering love.  Now, receive it!


Please watch this


  
My Prayer for You

God:

How can it be? 
How can you continually reach out to mankind and offer us reconciliation and forgiveness?

What a love!


The only response from our heart is this …

Thank you God.  May your mercy continue.

Amen



P Michael Biggs
Internet Church
Offering Hope
Encouragement
Inspiration
One Word at a Time


Saturday, June 8, 2013

He Knows Your Name

Do you ever feel you are just a number?  Do you wonder if anyone knows you exist, knows your name or cares one small bit about you?

One of the great needs of mankind is to be validated, to be recognized and esteemed and wanted.  We all have this intense need to be needed and we have hopes that we might live some kind of a significant life

One of my favorite movies, based on the life of its main character, is Patch Adams starring Robin Williams.  In one particular scene Patch is with a group of third-year medical students following a more experienced doctor on his daily rounds at the hospital.  As they approach a woman lying in bed, you can sense fear and trepidation within her.  The experienced doctor picked up her chart, cleared his voice and said,

“This patient from Room 313 has a serious case of edema.”

Patch quietly asked, “Does this patient have a name?” 

“Why yes.  Her name is … Doris,” stated the experienced doctor.

“Hello Doris.  How are you?” asked Patch. 

When Patch called Doris by name, for one brief moment in time Doris knew that she mattered to someone.  She became a person, not “the patient in Room 313.”

Another story from an experienced nurse: 

“During my second month of nursing school our professor gave us a pop quiz.  I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one:  ‘What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?’

“Surely this was some kind of joke!  I had seen the cleaning woman several times.  She was tall, dark-haired, and in her fifties, but how would I know her name?  I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. 

“Before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.  ‘Absolutely,’ said the professor.  ‘In your careers you will meet many people.  All are significant.  They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello.’ 

The nurse continued, ‘I’ve never forgotten that lesson.  I also learned her name was Dorothy.’”


Our identity matters.  We want to be known, recognized and esteemed.

Are you suffering from a lack of identity?  Does it seem that no one knows about you or cares?

Here is some great news. 

Read this:

“Do not fear.  I have redeemed you.  I have called you by name; you are mine. 

When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you.
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.

When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned and the flame will not burn you, for I am the Lord your God. Your Holy One, your Savior.”.
~Isaiah 43:1b-3a

And another …

Be not afraid nor dismayed, for I the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
~Joshua 1:9

These words tell me God is thinking of me and you.  He knows where we are, and He is with us.  Yes, He does know our names. 

God has you in His sights.  Be encouraged today.


Please watch this:

Michael W. Smith


My Prayer for You

God:
Again and again we stand amazed in your presence.  That you know me individually, by name, and you know my past, my present and my future. 

Thank you God.

Help me God!

Amen



Pastor Mike
P Michael Biggs
Internet Church
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time


Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Dark Night of the Soul

Sometimes we face the dark night of the soul – those times when the world closes in, relationships fail, jobs end, finances run out, health falters and emotions get spent.


When those times come along, take heart.  You are not abandoned.  You are not lost, and you are not alone.

The God of the universe is with you.  He is marking out your path, even in the dark night.  He is protecting, guiding, conquering, though you may not see any of that.

Be at peace.
                    Rest easy. 

Allow His words to bring comfort and rest.

Be neither afraid nor dismayed, 
for I the Lord your God will be 
with you wherever you go.
(Joshua 1:9)

Be still and know that I am God.
(Psalm 46:10)


He whispers and soothes us with words of hope and encouragement. 


What more do we need? 

What more indeed.


Please watch this video.

Steven Curtis Chapman


My Prayer for You

God:
In the dark night of the soul we are learning to rest all our cares with you.  Your word invites us to draw near, come to you, rest, be at peace, and trust you for daily needs. 

Our fears want to rant and rave, complain, worry, fret, and blame.

You offer the better solution. 

Rest
Stillness
Peace

Thank you God, 

Amen


Pastor Mike
P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time