I Want Less Celebrity-Focused Christianity

I love “Ducky Dynasty.” I laugh at Uncle Si’s crazy vocabulary, how Willie cannot get his family to work, and how Phil tries to teach his grandchildren the life of the woods. They are as funny as they are insane, which is why I love watching the show and why it is a hit.

But, I don’t want the Robertson Family to be role models for the church.

I think Tim Tebow was a great college player. His successes at the University of Florida is the stuff of legends. His NFL career … not so much.

However, I do not want Tebow at the example of the ideal Christian.

If we were to take a quick glance of modern-day Christianity we would see that the Robertson Family and Tebow are the center of our faith experience. Christian bookstores are filled with references to these two cultural icons. Even more, much of their popularity can be traced to strong support within the Christian community. They are who we desire to be like. They are our role models of Christian discipleship.

I have no problem with the Robertson Family or Tebow receiving support from the Christian community because of their faith and values. My concern is that they are part of a larger problem, which is the celebrity-driven nature to our current Christian experience. We idolize famous Christians and make their lives (especially the rich and famous aspect) the epitome of Christian discipleship.

This is just a natural outflow of our celebrity-centric culture. We are obsessed with the rich and famous. We want to look like our favorite movie star, play like our favorite athlete, and sing like our favorite musician. It is, perhaps, only natural that Christians would be equally obsessed with celebrities who proclaim faith in Christ.

However, we often take this admiration for celebrity Christians to extremes by making their lives the example for all other Christians to follow. While the Robertson Family and Tebow are deeply committed Christians they should not be viewed as role models for faith. The reason is that we too often connect their financial or athletic successes with the blessings of faith. Our obsession with these two, and others like them, take us down the path of believing that those who are financially rich or successful are those blessed and loved by God. It is a posture that ignores the poor and our call to grow in the humility of Christ. Celebrity worship isn’t what the church should focus on or be about.

What I wish for is that we look to servants of faith as our role models. Servants who seek to serve Christ and love others. Servants who are busy sharing the Kingdom of God in soup kitchens, addiction groups, inner-city developments, rural missions, and so many other important areas. Servants who want for Christ to be made known in their lives and in the lives of others. Sadly, we do not hear of these servants, because our mindset is such that attention is only given to those who are famous or have made a name for themselves.

For too long, the church in America has been fascinated with celebrity worship of Christians, whether it is the Robertson’s and Tebow or a celebrity pastor. This is not a new trend. It is not a trend that will be corrected overnight. However, it is a trend that will only be corrected when we want to become less like our favorite celebrity and more like the servants of Christ who never receive much of our attention or focus.


Reasons to Weep

I had a very painful experience this week. It was probably one of the most disheartening moments of my life.

It happened Tuesday morning as I was heading to Reality Tuesday for breakfast. Before I left the parsonage, I had placed my communion chalice in the backseat along with my backpack and other things I needed. Typically, my communion chalice is kept in my church office, but I had it with me because I had used it during a nursing home visit and needed to bring it back.

As I opened the door to pull out my backpack the tragic occurred. My chalice fell and landed on the asphalt. It smashed into pieces. The chalice was a Christmas gift given to me before my first Christmas Eve service as a pastor. It had been used in worship services and nursing home visits ever since. There are a lot of memories in this chalice. These were special moments of serving people and sharing the Living Presence of Christ with them.

Communion is very important to me. It plays a huge role in my theology as a pastor and in my personal devotion. So to see this symbol of our communion with Christ and each other broken was a deeply painful experience. I’m not sure I was the same the rest of the day.

However, as I look at this broken chalice it seems to me that it serves as a symbol of something that is also deeply disheartening. Where this chalice once serves as a symbol of our unity in Christ’s love for us, I believe the chalice now serves as a symbol of our disunity that we so often live into. This shattered communion chalice is a symbol of brokenness. The chalice is a symbol of tears that have been shed. It is a symbol of restless nights and anxious moments. It is a symbol of frustration and anxiety. Truly, where this chalice once served as a means of offering the transformative grace of Jesus Christ it now serves as an unfortunate messenger of the state of our churches today. Our churches are, sadly, just as broken as this communion chalice.

Today, I find myself much like Jeremiah in our passage from Jeremiah 8:18-9:1. I find myself grieving and in tears about the state of the church, especially in the United States. When I look out across our churches I cannot help but feel many of these emotions that I just mentioned. I cry when I hear of a church that is not welcoming of all people. I have spent restless nights wondering how the church might be stronger in our mission of “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world?” I have often found myself quite frustrated when the church struggles so often to do just that. Like Jeremiah, I want the pieces of the church to be put back together. Like Jeremiah, I often find myself wondering what is the medicine or the cure for the church’s problems and frustrations.

Jeremiah tears and agony found in this morning’s Scripture reading are some of the most powerful words from Jeremiah’s discourse. He is expressing his profound grief about the situation he sees in Israel. If you remember when we mentioned Jeremiah’s calling a few weeks ago we said that he was called to be a prophet to his people. This meant he was called to speak challenging words to his friends, family, and the entire people of Israel in hopes that it would inspire them to a deeper faith in God. Jeremiah lived in a time when the people of Israel had fallen into a sense of complacency. They believed everything was fine and that there was nothing to worry about. Jeremiah knew the people had fallen short of God’s desires. He was called to remind them of this. It was a call that would challenge his life and made him an outcast from his friends and loved ones.

Jeremiah’s call was not easy and it wore on him. As a pastor and prophet, you cannot help but feel the emotional weight of the responsibility of caring for your people. This also includes the weight of the struggles, pains, frustrations, or other difficult moments that exist within a community. Jeremiah felt all of these emotions from the pain of witnessing his people struggle so much and it brought him to tears. He was in grief over what he saw in the hearts of his people.

Jeremiah’s heart broke for his people. What we see in this passage is a deep love and desire for his people to recognize their struggles and to accept God’s grace. This is a prophet who wore his heart on his sleeve and expressed his pain, frustrations, and sadness over a community that struggled to recognize and obey God’s love. His heart broke because Israel had broken the communion of relationship between themselves and God.

There is something else about Jeremiah’s weeping. What Jeremiah weeps over, essentially Israel’s desire to live for themselves and not for God, was symbolic of God’s tears. The things that broke Jeremiah’s heart also broke God’s heart. God cries when the Lord’s people choose a different path than faithful obedience. It broke God’s heart to see Israel happy with a complacent faith that never took seriously discipleship or their relationship with the Lord. Through these tears and grief, Jeremiah was trying to tell the people of Israel that God’s heart was broken.

What about us? If Jeremiah reminds us that God’s heart was broken for the Lord’s people, then what does this say to us? The things that break our heart about the church also breaks God’s heart. Jeremiah’s tears show us that God’s heart breaks for the ways we so often choose to live as the church today. When we think of “church,” we are thinking of the ongoing witness of Jesus Christ into the world. God’s heart breaks when we are not living into our witness through our words, actions, and deeds.

There are so many ways that express this. God’s heart breaks when the church looks more like the world than a community of people who are willing to love each other no matter the difficulty. It breaks God’s heart when the church continues to be segregated, even though the kingdom of God is void of the cultural, racial, or socio-economic boundaries that we so often create. It breaks God’s heart when the church is not welcoming to all people, whether they are young or old, rich or poor, black or white. It brakes God’s heart when we communicate messages of distrust instead of the message of hope, peace, joy, love, forgiveness, and reconciliation that is found in faith in Jesus Christ. It breaks God’s heart when we are so busy that we ignore our faith, even though faith in Christ is what sustains and prepares us for holy living.

The temptation is quite real to respond to all of these things and say, like Jeremiah, where is the balm? Where is the medicine? Where is the doctor? Where is the help for my people, Jeremiah cries out? Where is the help, God, for when the church struggles to be the church?

Our help is our hope. The physician Jeremiah sought and we need is Jesus Christ. Jesus is the hope of grace that comes and brings wholeness in places of brokenness. So often, we want to think we are the healers and the medicine to make the church, especially in the United States, reflect what God wants. Here’s the good news: We are not the author of healing and salvation for our churches. Jesus Christ is the medicine of grace and the salvation of life. We need Christ’s grace to show us the way forward through our struggles, so that we may reflect characteristics of hope instead of characteristics of brokenness. We have the physician that Jeremiah was searching for in this passage. As a community and church in the United States today, we must be willing to seek after Christ’s grace in the midst of our tears, struggles, and frustrations and allow Christ to guide our church to reflect more of his love each day.

Even though like the communion chalice we may be broken and even though we may struggle, the hope and the good news is that God is not done with us and continues to pour grace into us. God is still reaching out to us and guiding us to be the church that the world needs for us to be. God takes the pieces of our brokenness and struggle and uses them to share grace, hope, joy, love, patience, kindness, and unity of vision to us. The greatest hope is that when we weep for the church, God weeps with us, but, more importantly, works with us to share something greater about God’s love for us and the world.

There is hope in the tears. Even though the communion of relationship, our chalice, may seem broken from time to time, never give up the hope that God is speaking and is bringing healing and hope to our lives and our communities. We are going to shed tears for the church, both the church universal and here at Trinity. We are going to have moments when we are like Jeremiah and at the end of our rope. Yet, in these moments of tearful agony we are reminded that God is shedding those same tears and, even more, is building up the church to be the witness of hope and love that the world desperately needs.

Jeremiah never gave up on the people of Israel. God never gives up on us even when we continually fall short on what it means to be the church. So, my friends, if this is the case then we have no reason to give up on the church and our mission of “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” We have every reason to cling to the hope that is Christ working in us and through to bring healing not only to the church, but also the world.

Another Round of Tough Questions for the American Church

Here are more questions that are on my mind for the church in America today:

1: Are we more worried about keeping people out of the church than bringing people into a relationship with God?

2: Are we more concerned about who is leading the N.L. Central race than we are about reaching our neighborhoods?

3: Do we want a church that is stress free or a church that desires all of us for the sake of the kingdom?

4: What keeps us from doing the difficult and challenging? What holds us back?

5: Who needs a louder voice in the church? Who are we not hearing from that we should be?

6: Do we want worship that is about being entertained or about our lives being encountered by the Risen Lord?

7: What do we need to do better in order to reach people in our communities?

8: In an instant gratification culture, are we willing to recognize that change within the church is slow and takes the involvement of dedicated people committed to a vision of growth?

9: Is church more about me than it is about encountering God?

10: If Jesus was to walk into our places of worship … would he be welcomed?

Celebrate with the Outsider

A common tool in group gatherings, whether it is a seminar or some other type of discussion, is to use an icebreaker to get the conversation going. The thinking is that asking a fun question can help jump start the discussions and bring everyone closer.

One common icebreaker question is one we have likely all been asked before. That is if we could have dinner with three other people, living or dead, who would it be? The question is often altered based on the needs of the day or the context of the gathering. For instance, since we are in the church if we were to ask that question we may say you couldn’t name Jesus, because we would assume everyone here would want to have dinner with Jesus. No matter who we say we want to have dinner with, our answers tell us a little bit about ourselves and help us to learn more about one another. For the record, the three people I would choose would be Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, and Dr. Martin Luther King. I may not talk at that dinner.

The way we answer that question is even more interesting once you start to think about it. The people we name are, typically, people we have already welcomed into our lives. Whether we name political leaders, athletes, or celebrities, the people we would like welcome at our fictitious meal are people whom we like, want to learn from, or want to say, “hey, I ate with that person.” In a way, we want the people who are like us to be around us. Few of us likely would name people like drug addicts, abusers, or the poor as welcomed guests at our dinner table.

I wonder how Jesus would answer our icebreaker question? Who would Jesus invite to fellowship with him around his table? Our passage from Luke 15:1-10 may help us to see how Jesus would answer this question. The people Jesus would eat with are likely not the same people we would want to dine with.

Luke tells us Jesus routinely celebrated with the outsiders of the community. He seldom surrounded himself with society’s elite. Instead, he often dined and socialized with the one’s society had so often ignored and forgotten about. Jesus ate with the poor. He laughed with tax collectors. He conversed with women. Classes of people that society, in Jesus’ time, said were not welcomed in the religious circles and celebrations.

It was Jesus’ interactions with the outsiders that drew the ire of the Pharisees and Sadducees. They were highly annoyed that Jesus would “waste his time” with such people. The fact Jesus would fellowship with tax collectors and sinners was often used to discredit Jesus’ earthly ministry. They could not understand how Jesus would associate himself with groups of people God had “clearly” said were not loved.

Jesus wasn’t concerned about their frustrations. It wasn’t going to make him stop. Jesus did something else. He instead showed everyone the depths of God’s love. By associating with tax collectors and sinners, Jesus shows us just how amazing God’s love really is. God does not simply love the few, but indeed loves and welcomes all people. Even more, Jesus shows us that God actively goes out and searches for the people society often ignores and welcomes them into the kingdom of God. Here is another amazing piece of truth. God isn’t just doing this so that we may be able to say, “isn’t that nice, God.” The Lord does this so we might go out and do the same today.

God invites us to be people who welcome all people into our communities and fellowship in the name of Christ’s love. We get this picture from Luke 15. Chapter 15 features three parables that are connected to this idea of welcoming the people society believes to be outside of God’s love. They follow what we see from Jesus in the chapter’s first few verses of how he welcomes outsiders into his very own community. When we take a hard look at these parables from Chapter 15 we see that Jesus is about embracing those who society has excluded.

To understand this, we have to understand these dueling ideas of exclusion and embrace. To exclude means to separate ourselves from someone else. Think about exclusion being like a wall. A wall is intended to build separation, whether from rooms or, sadly in the course of human events, different people and cultures. A wall prevents communication and relationships from taking place. That is what happens when we exclude someone from our lives. We are telling them that they are not welcomed in our circles, our homes, our churches, or our lives. We keep ourselves distant from them. This is what the Pharisees and Sadducees wanted with the tax collectors and sinners of their day. They believed that because tax collectors often took more money than they should from people and that sinners were in violation of God’s laws that they should not be welcomed into their lives and in God’s love.

Jesus followed a different path. Jesus is not the Lord of exclusion, but the Lord of embrace. If exclusion is like a wall then embrace is like a big hug. A hug that pulls someone in and welcomes them into our lives and our community. A hug that, with out stretched arms, welcomes in those who were once outside. A hug that closes the distance that our acts of exclusion once created.

Jesus’ entire ministry was about embracing the very people who the Pharisees and Sadducees wanted no part of. When we embrace someone or a community of people we are making them feel loved, wanted, appreciated, and cared for. To embrace means to share God’s love with everyone, regardless of who they are, what they did, what they look like, how old they are, or where they came from. This is the embrace Jesus calls us to, because it is the embrace he lived into in his earthly ministry and continues to live into today. Jesus brought tax collectors into his inner circle. He healed people that were often left to themselves. He allowed women to be involved in his life and within the community. Jesus embraced all people and shared God’s love with all people.

More than this, Jesus also sought after these people. They didn’t just come to him to fellowship and hear his teachings. Jesus went out and sought them. God makes the first move in reaching out to those who are outside our communities. That is the message we can take from the parables of Luke 15:1-10. The parables of people searching for lost items – a sheep and a coin – are symbolic of Christ’s going out and finding those who were lost. Through these parables, Jesus says God reaches out for the people who are not in the community so that they may be welcomed and experience a new relationship and fellowship with the Lord. Jesus goes out and searches for those who are brokenhearted, who are struggling with their finances, who have done things we couldn’t even begin to imagine, and shares with them a hope, a love, and a peace that is beyond all understanding.

As well, Jesus says through the parable, God celebrates with them when they see the love and hope that comes from a relationship with the Lord. God celebrates with the forgotten and the outsider, as they experience a deep transformation and new hope in a relationship with the Lord. Jesus goes out into the world and embraces the people we may not be willing to embrace, shares love with them, and celebrates with them as they are brought into the community and the kingdom of God.

What does this say to us? If anything, I hope it reminds us of our calling to embrace as Christ embraces. As the church, we are called to imitate Christ in all things including making room in our lives, and in our churches, for those who society often rejects. So often the church can be seen as a place of exclusion, where only the selected few (those who look like us) are welcomed to the celebration. This kind of exclusion that we see all across the church today is no where near the love Christ wants us to offer to a hurting and broken world.

As followers of Christ, we are called to make room for the people that we so often believe God could never love. Look around our neighborhood and surrounding region and ask yourself this: Who are the modern day tax collectors and sinners who need to hear that God loves them and so do we? Who are the people in our communities that we so often forget about, believe God could never love, or do not want in our lives? Who do we need to make room for in our hearts, and in our church, so that all people may know the amazing hope of God’s love for them? God calls us not just to recognize that God loves them, but to go out and invite them into our community, our lives, so that they may experience the hope and love of God for themselves.

I know I have not been here long, but it does not take long to learn that Latonia is a community of deep hurts and pains. It is a community filled with many who are often excluded from our lives. There is a mission field all around us. A mission field where we are called to go out, in big and small ways, to share a hope that is embracing, a hope that is forever, a hope that is welcoming of all people. We have a mission field all around us filled with people who have a deep desire and need for the church to come together and search for ways to tell everyone who that God loves them and so do we.

Let us be that church! Let us be the church that is not defined by our exclusions, but our embrace of all people. Let us be the church that is not defined by our separations, but our desire to welcome other. Let us be the church that is not about who is out, but defined by who is welcomed in the kingdom of God. Let us be the church that welcomes all people as God has welcomed us.

A Prayer for Today

Father God,

On this day, so many of us will remember a day 12 years ago. We’ll remember where we were, what we saw, and who we lost. We’ll remember the images, the fear, and the wars that have occurred since then. Help us to remember that even when there was darkness surrounding us, you were there. Help us to remember that you are still with us today. As well, Father, guide us as a people as we reflect on the situation in Syria. We are concerned about the violence there, but are often lost for a response that echoes your peace. Guide our leaders and world to make the right choices. Bring your peace to Syria, the Middle East, and throughout your world, and may we be your agents of peace today and always. In Christ’s name, Amen!

Like Clay in God’s Hands

There is a kid in all of us. The kid who likes to go back to old memories and enjoy those things we loved so much as children.

One of the things, I believe, many of us enjoyed as children, or maybe we watched our children enjoy, was creating something new with our Play-Doh. I wasn’t the best at creating something with Play-Doh. I never could get the shapes to mold right. Nothing would ever look like how I wanted it to look. What I was really good at was creating a ball. I could never mess that up.

I’m proof positive that you do not need to be the next Michelangelo to play with Play-Doh. All you need is an imaginative mind and a desire to mold something unique and different. Who knows how many people have been inspired simply because of a glob of Play-Doh?

The possibilities with Play-Doh are always limitless, including helping us to understand something about who God truly is. Perhaps all those hours we spent molding new shapes, creatures, and things out of our Play-Doh helped us to understand what God shows us about his love in Jeremiah 18:1-11.

God invites Jeremiah to head to a potter’s house. The Lord says there is a reason for this, but Jeremiah has to wait until he is there to understand. Once he is there it is likely Jeremiah noticed things you would see at a potter’s house. Jeremiah likely saw finished works of pottery on display on the wall – pots, bowls, and cups. He probably saw globs of unused clay on the table. However, Jeremiah’s eyes would have been intently focused on the potter who was working on a piece of clay.

That is what God wanted Jeremiah to see. The Lord wanted Jeremiah to notice this potter and how his hands worked the clay mold, how he shaped it, and how he cared for every aspect of the process. The potter was involved in the process of turning this clay into a new piece of pottery.

There was a reason God wanted Jeremiah to notice what the potter was doing. God had a message for Jeremiah, the people of Israel, and us. It was a message that was hidden within the symbols found in the potter’s house. What God wanted Jeremiah and us all to see is that just as the potter was deeply involved in the process of making a new piece of pottery, so too is God deeply involved in our lives in shaping us into the people the Lord desires us to be.

God’s message to Jeremiah is another word the Lord wants Jeremiah to speak to Israel. Jeremiah’s call was to be a prophet who spoke challenging words to his friends, family, and his people. This word was that they had allowed themselves to be comfortable, which caused their disobedience from God’s desires.

The message for Jeremiah begins when he sees the potter at work. This is where we need to start paying attention to the symbols in this passage. As the potter works on the clay, God wants everyone to know that he is the potter of our lives.

Since the beginning of creation, God has been at work in molding and shaping us out of his love for us. Genesis 1 speaks to this. Where there was once nothing, God was there. God created the universe and molded it like the potter molds a piece of clay. The Lord brought life out of what was darkness. He brought life in each of us and throughout all of humanity. We were shaped and formed in the image of God. What does this mean? Simply it means we were made to reflect the very characteristics of our Lord. Those characteristics of holiness, such as love, joy, peacefulness, hope, and so many others that help us to understand our Lord. We were made to exhibit the very things that define our Lord.

Everything God created was made perfect. Creation was made perfect. The universe was made perfect. Each of us, and truly every person, were created perfect. We were made for a deep relationship with the Lord and to reflect the perfection of God’s creation. That’s what God wanted Jeremiah to tell the people. They were made to reflect something great and holy.

Yet, this isn’t what they were doing. So often, this isn’t what we do. That’s why God wanted Jeremiah to notice what was taking place in the house. The pottery process wasn’t going as planned. The clay was breaking. The mold was coming apart. There were gaps in the mold. It was cracking.

The mold was broken. That’s what God wanted Jeremiah to see, because this served as an illustration for how we all are. We are broken people. Creation and humanity is broken. We can look around and see this world isn’t as God intended. Something happened that caused what God created perfect to be broken. Truly we broke what God created perfect.

We did this when sin entered creation. Genesis 3 tells us that Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s desires when they distrusted God’s word. They stopped believing God was with them, loved them, and had their best interests at heart. Because of this creation would no longer be the same. It was now broken, because a distance existed where there was supposed to be closeness.

All of us live out this brokenness. We are all broken. None of us are perfect. We make mistakes. We say the wrong things. We do the wrong things. We do things we know are wrong. By our words, our actions, and deeds we separate ourselves from the image God made us in and distance ourselves from a deep relationship with the Lord.

So, what is God going to do with his creation? Will he toss it aside and start all over? Will he try to make the most of it? What will God do with us?

The answer comes in the fact that the potter never lets go of the clay. He never stops working it. The potter continually works the clay and never lets the clay to slip out of his fingers. The same is true of God’s love for us. We are always in God’s hands. God is the one who is at work in bringing back together what was broken by our sinfulness.

God is always at work in sealing the cracks of our lives. This is the work that Christ did on the cross. On the cross, Jesus died for our wrongs, our sins, our acts of disobedience. Jesus paid the price for our sin. He won the victory over the things that create a distance between us and God. When we accept the grace of God, when we recognize Jesus paid the price for us so that we may experience a new life, we are made hole. Our relationship with God is restored and we are set on a path to live lives of holiness in response to what God has done to heal our brokenness.

The great truth for us is this: God never lets us go. God’s hands are always touching us. The Lord is always active in our lives and showing us grace when we need it. That grace, that touch of God’s hand molding us into a new person, is always available for us. No matter what we’ve done in our lives, no matter how many times we have disobeyed God each day, God’s love reaches out for us. No sin outweighs the blood of Christ. We are all broken. We are all in need of God’s love.

That is the hope for the world and for us. We may feel like we are just broken pieces of clay. We may feel like we are unable to experience God’s love. However, God sees something else in us. God sees us for what we once were and what we could be once again. What God sees in us is that we are his children. We were made in his image. We were made to reflect his love. Even when we feel that our brokenness is too overwhelming for anyone to love, God says we are worthy of being loved.

This is the transformative hope. This is the hope that leads us out of our brokenness and to taking on a new life in Christ, reconciled, healed, and sent forth to live a new life. We cannot heal our brokenness on our own. We need God’s love to do the work of healing and transformation in our lives.

Yes, we are all broken. This does not have to define us. God’s grace can be what defines us. The fact God never lets us go can inspire us. The fact Christ has healed from being controlled by sin can transform us.

The grace of God has healed us and transforms us back into what God created. We need that grace. But, will we accept the hand of the Potter who is always at work in our lives today?

Romans 3: We All Need Grace

I’m not perfect.

I like to think that I am. I like to think that nothing I do is ever wrong, hurtful, or misguided. I like to think that I am without faults. I like to think that it is never my fault. I like to think that any wrongs I experiences are always because of someone else’s influence. I like to think that I am perfect.

Yet, I am not. None of us are. We make mistakes. We say the wrong things. We laugh at the wrong jokes. We hurt people. We disregard the need of others.

Everyday through word, thought, and deed, we are people capable of doing incredible good, but at the same time unthinkable wrongs. Because of this, we are all in need of God’s grace and love. As Paul reminds us in Romans 3, none of us are without the need of God’s grace. We need the forgiveness of the Father who we hurt when we hurt others. We need the love of compassion that comes when we seek God’s mercy through our faith in Jesus Christ.

God’s grace removes the guilt from our wrongs and puts us back on a path towards a deep and holy relationship with the Lord.

We may believe that we do not need God’s grace. That everything we do is perfect. Yet, we need God’s grace and love to cover us, to protect us, and to surround us through our days and lives.

Where do you need God’s grace to touch you and remove the guilt from a wrong? Where do you need to experience God’s grace today for the first time or the 1,000th time?