Sunday, August 31, 2014

Stone Throwers Have Lousy Aim

How is your aim?

In the Biblical story of the woman caught in adultery, the stone throwers only aim was to condemn the woman.  Note that they left the male partner of the woman alone. 

In my years of living, this one thing is sure.  Stone throwers have one aim and one aim only, to hurt, maim, and destroy.  They want someone punished and often they don’t really care to whom the punishment falls.  They want blood!  If you get caught in the wake of the fallout, too bad.  If a stone bounces off the wall and hits an innocent victim, well, that’s nothing more than collateral damage.

Balance that mental picture with God in heaven.  He is slow to anger, slow to balance the books.  His grace flows down in abundance.  He offers forgiveness time and again. 

As Philip Yancey writes:  “God is looking for more ways to bring you to His side than he is looking for ways to keep you away.”

You see, God has a good aim.  His aim is love, peace, and forgiveness.  He aims to show you His grace-filled side.  So, stone throwers, your game has been cancelled.  Go home.  Polish your rocks for another day. 

If I am to err, it will always be on the side of grace.  My heart beats with more latitude, less judgment. 

I see God offering that as well. 

What did he say to the woman caught in adultery?  “Neither do I condemn you.  Go and sin no more.”

What did he say to the one thief on the cross?  “Today, you shall be with me in paradise.”

There is a great verse in Isaiah 1:18 that caps our thought today.  God himself is speaking.

“Come now, let us reason together.  Even if your sins are scarlet, they shall be pure as snow; even if they are red like crimson, they shall appear as wool.”

I don’t hear any stones being tossed here.  I don’t hear any “you should have’s, if only you would have” or “why didn’t you do this first”.

I hear love, compassion, GRACE!

God’s aim …

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

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Time to Come Home

“If only I could go home.” 

Have you ever found yourself forming those words?  I suppose many of us have at one time or another. 

The concept of coming home is like a warm blanket on a cold night.  Home can be any place or with any person where one feels comfortable, at peace and loved and cared for. 

That is the great call of God to you and me.  He wants us to come home to the one who loves us more than we can imagine.  There is that spot within all of us that seeks this union with God.  We seek relationship and acceptance with God himself and our lives are never complete without that God connection. 

The great thought that I want you to hold onto is this.  God issues invitation after invitation to us to come, abide, be with Him, draw near and many other mental images of this oneness with God.

The great verse found in Matthew 11:28 gives us come clues.

“Come to me all who are weary
and weighed down. 
I will give you rest.”

In other words God is saying “come on home.  I have food to eat, a nice comfortable bed, warm cloths, and plenty of room and plenty of love for you.”

You don’t need a membership card, a debit card or a magic key.  You don’t even need to know the secret password.

Make your approach.  Call out to God and say a simple “Help”!

Isaiah 58:9 reminds us of this:

“You will call out to me for help,
and I will answer you.  You will
cry out, and I will say, “Here I am.”

Maybe it is time to come on home.

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

Saturday, August 16, 2014

When We Don't Win

There is an interesting tidbit in the scriptures that I’ve run past a few times.  At the crucifixion of Christ, we learn of a thief hanging on one of the crosses who makes a bold request and it is granted.  He asks Christ to remember him when Christ comes into his kingdom. 

Christ’s response:  “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

This story is told in Luke 23: 32-43, and here is the point.  The thief in our story is in the last minute of his life.  The clock has just about run out and he is tied up.  He can’t go out and do an act of kindness to sort of make up for past sins.  He can’t do anything to redeem himself, except turn to the redeemer himself.  So that is what he does. 

Did you get all of that?
The man’s life would be over soon.
The final buzzer would sound.
He was out of options and out of time.
He was a thief, who had stolen and stolen a lot. 
And he probably lied about it too.
He was bad enough to be condemned to death.
He was not winning in this life and he knew it.

And yet, he is offered redemption. 


Have you won every time in life?  Have you always acted right, spoken right, gone to the right places, lived right, told the truth 100% of the time, never cheated anyone, anytime in anyway? 

Me neither.

When we face those reminders of a failed life, along comes grace.  I love what Brennan Manning says about this.

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

The point is this … you and I can’t earn our place in God’s kingdom.  We don’t have a sash with a bunch of merit badges sewed onto it like a Boy Scout.  We don’t get our card punched every time we say a good prayer, or help a little old lady cross a busy street. 

God knows our every weakness, sin, impulse, thought, inclination and proclivity, action and reaction. 


Today I asked for and received my measure of grace.  And may you find your peace and forgiveness also.

God IS on our side.

Thanks be to God.

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

Saturday, August 9, 2014

When the Cheese Falls off the Cracker

I love a nice slice of cheese.  Grill it between two pieces of bread and that is just about the best grilled cheese sandwich one could ever want. 


… Until the cheese slides off.  And then it is the end of the world, or so I think.

Has your cheese ever fallen off the cracker?  There are hundreds of ways this can happen.  Just to name a few:

-A man in his 80’s who can’t move and think as he did 20 years ago

-A singer who can no longer hit the high C’s or low D’s

-A 19-year-old who showed tremendous early abilities and now her peers have caught up

-A 54-year-old woman recently diagnosed with breast cancer

-A 59-year-old man recently fired because “they need fresh ideas”

-A 30-something woman facing a divorce  that wasn't supposed to happen

-A 55-year old woman, even a 75-year old woman whose husband died of a heart attack

-You commit the unthinkable, the unforgivable and the unmentionable

What dismal pictures these words paint.  We never want to see our cheese slide off the cracker, do we?

And yet it happens. 

Sometimes the cheese just slips.  
It crashes to the ground.

If you've ever faced failure, loss, sin, disappointment, struggles, and shattered dreams, keep reading. 

When the cheese falls off the cracker, remember this:

~God still loves~
~God still knows where you are
~He has your address memorized~
~You are welcome at any time to knock on His door
~He will leave the light on for you

Let’s hear some encouraging words from The WORD of God.

Matthew 11:28
“Come all of you who are tire and carry heavy loads, even those of you whose cheese has slipped off your cracker. (I got carried away there, but it fits, doesn’t it?)  I will give you rest (and another, fresher slice of cheese).  You will find me to be gentle and humble in spirit and I’ll give you rest in your life.  I’ll replace your heavy load with a lighter load.  (Paraphrased PMB)

John 16:33
In this world you will have problems and troubles, but hang on.  Be brave.  I have already defeated the world.”

Philippians 4:6-7
Don’t worry about anything.  Just pray and ask me (God) for everything.  Remember to give thanks.  In return I will give you amazing peace.  It will so great that you will never understand it, and it will help keep your mind on me.  (God/Christ Jesus).

Psalm 55:22
Cast every burden you have upon God.  He will sustain you.  He will never suffer the good and just person to be displaced.”

Psalm 23:4
“Yes, even when I walk near death, I will not fear anything, for you God are with me.  Your defensive weapons surround me and comfort me.”

Remember this …

He saw the cheese fall. 
     He sees what you need now. 
          And He is still God.

May you find great comfort in this thought today.

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

Saturday, August 2, 2014

God Leaves the Light On

Picture this scene.  Perhaps you are out late.  Maybe you are tired from working all day.  Maybe you are lonely or afraid.  You simply want to know if anyone anywhere knows you are alive and would welcome you if you really needed help.

I have some incredible news for you.  There is one who will welcome you.  He is God, the Redeemer, your Friend and Savior.

Listen to some of his words.

“Come unto me all who are weary and loaded down with burdens and concerns.  I will give you some rest.”  Matthew 11:28

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower.  The righteous run to it and are saved.”  Proverbs 18:10

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
I Peter 5:7

It seems to me that God is saying in effect - “If you need me any time, any place just call.  I’ll always leave the light on for you.”

That is some of the most encouraging news I could possibly share with you. 

We are welcomed.
          We are invited.
                    We are expected.
                              We belong!

That’s right – we belong with God, just as we are.

Are you dirty?  Don’t go home and shower first. Come as you are.
Are you tired?  Don’t go take a nap.  Come to him and rest.
Are you loaded down with sins?  Come to the redeemer.

Whatever you need, regardless of the time of day or the day of the week, you are invited to come to the one who loves you more than you could possibly imagine.

He will leave the light on for you.

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