Category Archives: relationships

The Forgiver

During the closing song at a special service in an Indiana state prison, Chuck Colson noticed one of the inmates, a man named James Brewer, singing out at the top of his lungs. Colson says the man’s face was radiant. James Brewer had come to know Jesus Christ in prison and his life had been transformed.

As soon as the song was over, the Prison Fellowship Team began shaking hands and saying goodbye. Brewer returned to his cell, walking shoulder to shoulder with a Prison Fellowship volunteer. Colson was meeting the governor in Indianapolis in just two hours, so he followed them and urged the volunteer to hurry.

“We’ve got to go!” he called to the volunteer, but the man answered, “Just a minute, please!”

Colson shook his head. “I’m sorry, but the plane is waiting. We have to go right now!”

The volunteer said, “Please, please, this is very important. You see, I am Judge Clement. I sentenced this man to die. But now he is born again. He is my brother and we want a minute to pray together.”

Colson said, “I stood in the entrance to that solitary, dimly lit cell, frozen in place. Here were two men – one black, one white; one powerful, one powerless; one who had sentenced the other to die. Yet there they stood, grasping a Bible together, Brewer smiling so genuinely, the judge so filled with love for the prisoner at his side.”

Forgiveness. God is the Forgiver: he can forgive anyone – even me; even you. And because we are the Forgiven, we are called to forgive, just as God does. “Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13). To forgive like God does puts us in a place where remarkable things can happen in our lives. Continue reading

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Is Christianity a List of Dos and Don’ts?

A few of Jesus’s many commands can be kept, even without faith.
For example, no one has ever sued me for my tunic, so Jesus’s command to give such a person my cloak as well has never been a problem for me. However, the
command to stop worrying has been a problem. So has the command to love my
neighbor as myself, to guard against hypocrisy, to get rid of all bitterness, and to do everything without complaining or arguing.

As it stands, it is simply impossible to check off these and
the other New Testament commands in the way one checks off items from a to-do
list. To consistently do these things and, more to the point, to be shaped in heart and mind in such a way that doing these things becomes natural, a person must have faith. This kind of faith is not mental assent to a doctrine, even a
doctrine about God, nor is it a belief that God exists and that everything will work out in the end. It is not that these things are wrong; it is that they are not what Jesus and his early followers meant when they spoke of faith. Continue reading

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Key # 2: No Turnovers (listening time: 22:19)

http://lockwoodchurch.org/media Families can allow “turnovers” – losses of opportunities that take away their chance of achieving something for God. In this sermon, we learn five causes for “turnovers”: when we get lazy; when we’re just going through the motions; when … Continue reading

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The Tricky Thing About Mother’s Day

They come to church with a feeling of rejection and failure, and the Mother’s Day tribute only serves to increase their pain. Continue reading

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The Most Damaging Lie: “It’s No Use”

The lie becomes more destructive as it filters down to the relationship level. The more intimate the relationship, the more damage the lie causes. Continue reading

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Love a Spouse Can Trust

Larry King didn’t need wives. He needed tropical fish. He needed something pretty that didn’t talk back, didn’t demand his attention. Continue reading

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Slow to Anger (James 1:19-21)

Is anger negatively impacting your life? This 26-minute sermon may help. Just click and listen. http://clovermedia.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/store/79806b0d-0c80-4d63-83ea-040d8666d19a/5830061f93/audio.mp3

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Tolerance: Rediscovering the Lost Virtue

“In many ways tolerance is a lost virtue, and often, where it does exist, it exists from the wrong cause.” Those are the words of the Scottish scholar William Barclay, first published in 1953. Though there has been a great … Continue reading

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