Saturday, July 25, 2015

When Grace Calls Out

The voice of grace calls to all of us because that is the voice of our God who loves us more than we could ever imagine.

And what does the voice of grace say?

“Come disillusioned old man.”
“Come, middle-aged woman who is stuck in your job and wants to get out.”
“Come you pot-bellied one.”
“Come young person who once had a passion and zest for life, yet it now has burned down to embers.”
“Come, you who are insecure, inadequate, and mistake-prone.”

Regardless of your own perception of yourself, never let that perception cloud who you really are.  You are one who is chosen, loved, called by name, and welcomed by the Master.  He wants you by His side so much that He stretched out his arms to embrace you and then died on a Roman cross.

The greatest invitation offered to all of mankind is this:

“Come to me ALL who are weary and worn down.  I will give you rest.  Take up my yoke, for I have some good words for you, I am kind and compassionate, and I will give you rest for your soul.”
~(Matthew 11:28-30)

Our God offers a cup of grace for every trial, every situation, every mindset, every dialect, and every human condition that exists on this earth.

May you hear His call of grace today for whatever situation you may be facing.

Listen for His call … and receive.

For a moment of inspiration, 
watch this short version of 

Thanks be to God! 

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

Saturday, July 18, 2015

What God Knows about You

I am watching a string of cars as they sit in line to board the Kingston Ferry.  I see a blue Honda, a white SUV, a grey Subaru, a black Ford Ranger, and the list goes on.  And the occupants in each car are all different as well.  I don’t know any of their names, but there is one who does.  I call him GOD. 

And just as He knows each car, driver and passenger, He knows you and your situation. 

Are you …
At the mall? 
At a ballgame? 
In church? 
Washing dishes? 

Are you …
Angry with someone?
Fighting a health battle?
Looking for a job?

Are you …
Lost in the wilderness?
In love?
Getting a divorce?

God is with you.  He is watching over you as He is watching my driver friends outside my window.

You see, God is in the minutia (the small trifling matters) of our lives.  And He is in the big moments of life also. 

So whether you go to church, think about church, call on God, curse God, pray or don’t, sleep under a bridge or sleep in church, God knows where you are. 

And God knows a whole lot about you.  He knows your greatest need.  He wants to help you, but He won’t come into territory where He is not invited. 

You have to do the inviting.  You can simply say “help”, or pour your heart out to God in whatever flow of words you are accustomed. 

He interprets every language
He loves every form of dress
He adores every skin color

And He can be your God too. 

In The Bible, we find these words.

28 “Come to me all of you who are tired from the heavy burden you have been forced to carry. I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28

And in Psalm 139 we read this:
139 Lord, you have tested me,
so you know all about me.
You know when I sit down and when I get up.
You know my thoughts from far away.

You know where I go and where I lie down.
You know everything I do.

Lord, you know what I want to say,
even before the words leave my mouth.
You are all around me—in front of me and behind me.
I feel your hand on my shoulder.

I am amazed at what you know;
it is too much for me to understand.
Your Spirit is everywhere I go.
I cannot escape your presence.

If I go up to heaven, you will be there.
If I go down to the place of death, you will be there.
If I go east where the sun rises
or go to live in the west beyond the sea,
10 even there you will take my hand and lead me.
Your strong right hand will protect me.

11 Suppose I wanted to hide from you and said,
“Surely the darkness will hide me.
The day will change to night and cover me.”
12 Even the darkness is not dark to you.
The night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are the same.

13 You formed the way I think and feel. You put me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because you made me in such a wonderful way.
I know how amazing that was!

May you receive this strong Word from the God who loves you as you are, not as you should be.

Thanks be to God.

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

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Welcome of all Welcomes

I wish I would have written the following copy, for it perfectly sums up what I feel this blog site - Internet Church - is all about.  It takes about three minutes to read it, and is a worthy share.

It is taken from a photograph on a church in Essex, England.  The church name is St Clements Church, Leigh-on-the-sea. 

It is my kind of church.  Perhaps you feel that way too.
At the bottom of this post is a photo copy of the actual plaque.
And now, the greeting …

 “We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, widowed, gay, confused, filthy rich, comfortable, or dirt poor.

We extend a special welcome to those who are crying new-borns, skinny as a rake or could afford to lose a few pounds.

You’re welcome if you are Old Leigh, New Leigh, Not Leigh, or just passing by.

We welcome you if you can sing like Pavarotti or can’t carry a note in a bucket.

You’re welcome here if you’re ‘just browsing,’ just woke up or just got out of prison. We don’t care if you’re more Christian than the Archbishop of Canterbury, or haven’t been in church since little Jack’s christening.

We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet, and to teenagers who are growing up too fast. We welcome keep-fit mums, football dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians, junk-food eaters.

We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you’re having problems or you’re down in the dumps or if you don’t like ‘organized religion.’ We’ve been there too!

If you blew all your money on the horses, you’re welcome here. We offer a welcome to those who think the earth is flat, ‘work too hard,’ don’t work, can’t spell, or because grandma is in town and wanted to go to church.

We welcome those who are inked, pierced or both. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down your throat as a kid or got lost on the London Road and wound up here by mistake. We welcome tourists, seekers and doubters, bleeding hearts… and you!

May God’s grace be present in your life today and always.  It certainly is for me.

Thanks be to God.

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

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The God Who Loves Sinners

I want to introduce you to the God who loves sinners.  Now, before you tune me out and run off, stay tuned.  You might find something refreshing in here.

I have a question for you? 

Are you getting ready to go buy your drugs for the night or are you coming off a three-day binge of intense drug use?

Have you just bought your first bottle in a brown paper sack or have you been on a drunken stupor for four nights?

Are you leaving home right this minute to go meet up with your secret lover, or have you just returned home from an extended rendezvous?

One more.

Are you headed to church so you can complain about the music or the content of the sermon, or have you just returned from church and are fuming over the latest rumor you just heard or laughing over the rumor you just perpetuated?

I am reminded of a story in the Bible that goes something like this.

A near naked woman has been dragged from the bed and arms of her lover.  She is rushed into the synagogue where Jesus is teaching a lesson. 

The mob interrupts and throws this woman to the ground right in front of Christ.  They begin blurting out all her many sins and wrong doings. 

Meanwhile, Jesus is bent down, writing in the dust on the Temple floor.  When they finish their tirade, He stands up, looks from the woman to the angry mob, and softly speaks.

“You who are without sin may cast the first stone.”

He bends back down and continues writing.  We begin to hear stones drop to the temple floor and the shuffling of feet as people leave the building.

Jesus finally looked up and saw only the woman standing before him.  She stands, covering herself as best as she can, and is trembling and softly sobbing.

Jesus looks at her and speaks, “Where are your accusers?”

“They all left” she is finally able to mutter.

“Then neither do I condemn you.  Go and sin no more.”

That was the end of the sermon.  He didn’t even take an offering.

I listed a few despicable scenes that some humans face every day and week of their lives.  They are on the verge of going toward sin or have just returned from a binge of self-indulgence, and following them is this long train of guilt, shame, and the burden of yet one more failure.

And God simply stands there with open arms.  His words can bring healing, if the receiver will receive. 

His words?

“I love you.  I love you as you are, not as you should be.”

Note how Brennan Manning phrases it.

In Jeremiah 31:3 we find this:  “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with tender love and kindness I draw you to myself.”

Romans 5:8 gives us this:
‘God shows His love for us even while we were sinners.”

And I Peter 5:7 encourages us to do this:
“Lay all your anxieties, angst, worries, sins, low self-esteem and failures at the foot of God, because He cares specifically for you.”

Our God, the God of the Holy Bible, is the only God that mankind worships who loves the sinner. 

Oh, how He loves you and me!

Thanks be to God.

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