Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Grace-filled Gap

As we march into 2014 there is something I want to remind all of us of that is a game-changer.   Listen up, grab a seat, hold onto your soda and turn off your electronic devices.  

Here it is. 

For some of us 2013 was a less than stellar year.  We had more fumbles than follow-thru.  We tripped and slipped through much of the year perhaps.  In a word – we could have done better, been better, and achieved better.

Okay, enough of that.  Now, here’s what I want you to take away.

In the Old Testament, Psalm 103:12, we find some amazing hope.

“As far as the east is from the west, that far has he removed our transgressions from us and he will never throw them back in our faces – ever.”

Now that is a paraphrase but the full and accurate meaning is there as best as I can deliver it.

Our job – yes we have to do one thing.  Our job is to bring all of those slips, trips, failures, mistakes, miscues, malicious thoughts, evil inclinations, and dumb flops before God - lay them down at his feet in a figurative way, and simply say ‘Help?”  

Those four letters say it all. 

I’ve failed.
I’ve sinned.
I’ve fallen off the wagon.
I’ve done a bad deed or thirteen.

Or anything else you want and need to include in that big pile of stuff. 

And when we do look what happens.  In one quick motion, the God of the universe comes riding in on a brilliant white steed and sweeps every one of those confessions off the floor and takes them from you.

Where do they go?

I don’t know.  All I know is that my God’s promise is “He removes them from us as far as the east is from the west.”

That is one big gap that now is filled with the most amazing grace we could ever want to experience.  There is so much grace in that space that we could go swimming. 

Imagine that.  Your life is set right. 
You start again with a clean sheet of paper.
You start with a ledger that begins “In balance”.

How long has it been since you felt “in balance”?

Step up, my friend.  Receive your pardon.

The King is ready to hand you one.

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

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Is There Room

Is There Room?

A vivid memory of one of my childhood Christmases was when all ten kids and grandkids came home.  That was such an exciting Christmas.  There were twenty-eight of us gathered together that year.

And through some magic we managed for all of us to stay under the same roof.  Amazing.

We tease about eating in shifts and scheduling bathroom time, and we managed all of it with grace, laughter and unity.

There was room for everyone.  Did you catch that? 

The Christ-child left a cozy spot by the fire in Heaven to come to a town called Bethlehem.  Unfortunately there was no room, even for the Son of God, so his parents stayed in a barn. 

A barn – for the Son of God 

Are we making any more room for Him today than we did over two-thousand years ago? 

Are we still crowding Him out?
Do we still say “No Vacancy” just because it is inconvenient?

Throw open the doors, turn on the lights.  Welcome Christ back into our world. 

We’ve tried for a few years now to eject him from our schools. 
     Are we better off?
We’ve tried to keep him out of government. 
     How is that working?

The most spacious places around?  Our hearts – yours and mine.

Here is a lyric from a Christmas carol that captures my prayer.

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus;
There is room in my heart for Thee!”

P Michael Biggs
Words of Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Visit

Christmas is a time for excited expectations. 

As a child I was so excited every Christmas as I awaited the arrival of my siblings who lived far away.  We are a large family and there was always much laughter and joy to be experienced at Christmastime. 

The anticipation of the coming of The Messiah was a much anticipated event too.  Let me borrow a few lyrics from a Charles Wesley lyric.

Come, Thou long expected Jesus,
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us;
Let us find our rest in Thee.

Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart

The coming of the Redeemer/Messiah had been forecast for centuries.  And we in this modern age still anticipate His coming in fresh and new ways.  We want to rediscover the idea of the Christ-child, the babe in the manger.  What might He want to accomplish in us and in our world today?

Our hope is in the Christ, the promised one.

And what do we seek in His coming?

We seek rest – we seek to be set free.
Free from our woes
Free from our angst
Free from our ills
Free from our fears

Come, long-expected Jesus.

You were born to set us free. 

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

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Who Me?

As I reflect on the Christmas story I think of Mary and her response when the angel told her what was about to happen to rock her world.

Her response: “How can this be, since I am just a virgin?”

In today’s vernacular, that conversation would go something like this:

“Who me?  I’m just …
  A loser
  A misfit
  A weakling

I never graduated
   I can’t speak very well
      I don’t know that language
         I can’t do that

I don’t have that kind of money
  I’m tired
    I’m too old
      I’m too young

The call of God comes with special equipment to fulfill the plan.

Mary had not a clue at that moment in time, yet she had the right answer. 

In a paraphrase she said:

“I am your servant.  I’ll do as you have asked.”

A worthy response for any calling.

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