More about Jesus would I know, More of His grace to others show.
Former President, George W. Bush once said that, “America is the land of the second chance...” Full Quote
If our country can be known as a place of second chances, then how can the churches lead the way in this area and be the trendsetters? Could it possibly be by preaching and practicing grace as much as possible?
What is grace? One author states that, “Grace is an essential part of God’s character. Grace is closely related to God’s benevolence, love, and mercy. Grace can be variously defined as ‘God’s favor toward the unworthy’ or ‘God’s benevolence on the undeserving.’ In His grace, God is willing to forgive us and bless us abundantly, in spite of the fact that we don’t deserve to be treated so well or dealt with so generously.” From gotquestions.org
The point of this lesson can be found in the old hymn More About Jesus. The first line reads as follows, “More about Jesus would I know, More of His grace to others show.” As followers of Christ, we need to allow Him to be our True example of showing grace to others. Our light in a dark world needs to relay the message that God’s grace is amazing, rather than not so amazing. It is of no use to us to know what grace is if we never intend to apply it. James 4:17 (NLT) “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” Therefore, it is sin to know what you ought to do with grace and then not do it. So how do we know how to show or what to do with grace?
As followers of Christ, I’d like to encourage each of us to take a step back, reevaluate, and rethink outside of the traditional / status quo mindsets concerning how we’ve been implementing grace and then begin viewing and applying it the way Jesus did.
Let us consider who Christ chose to do life with and show grace towards, regardless of how any of them ever treated Him. Christ provided us an example of choosing to do life with and show grace towards the ones who…
I'll not post any of my devotionals again until February 24th. Enjoy the continued study on the imagination of the heart.
Part 2 of 2.
Surround yourself with encouraging people…people who believe in you. Use your unique gifts and talents for His glory.
For further study on the Imagination…
Growing up we’ve all been encouraged by teachers and parents to use our imagination.
In athletics we use our imagination during the off season, practices, pregames, etc.
Here are some examples of Free Time where our imaginations tend to kick in most often: On Computers, On Phones, Time at the Pool / Beach, Watching Movies, Listening to Music / watching Music Videos, Binging on TV Series, Involved in Art (posters, t-shirts, etc.), Parties coming up, Anything that involves “doing” (an activity) has the potential for our minds to aimlessly wander away from our goal of bringing Glory to God.
School: Studying for tests, working on projects, etc.
What can we fill our minds with? What ideas can occupy our minds?
So what do you think of when you hear the term “imagination”?
Or over the stormy sea,
It may not be at the battle’s front
My Lord will have need of me.
But if, by a still, small voice he calls
To paths that I do not know,
I’ll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine:
I’ll go where you want me to go.
I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord,
Over mountain or plain or sea;
I’ll say what you want me to say, dear Lord;
I’ll be what you want me to be.
Perhaps today there are loving words
Which Jesus would have me speak;
There may be now in the paths of sin
Some wand’rer whom I should seek.
O Savior, if thou wilt be my guide,
Tho dark and rugged the way,
My voice shall echo the message sweet:
I’ll say what you want me to say.
There’s surely somewhere a lowly place
In earth’s harvest fields so wide
Where I may labor through life’s short day
For Jesus, the Crucified.
So trusting my all to thy tender care,
And knowing thou lovest me,
I’ll do thy will with a heart sincere:
I’ll be what you want me to be.
Song: “I can only imagine” by Mercy Me (Here’s a wholesome thought/song to think on).
Hymn: Nothing between (www.hymnsite.com)
1. Nothing between my soul and my Savior,
naught of this world's delusive dream;
I have renounced all sinful pleasure;
Jesus is mine, there's nothing between.
Nothing between my soul and my Savior,
so that his blessed face may be seen;
nothing preventing the least of his favor;
keep the way clear! let nothing between.
2. Nothing between, like worldly pleasure;
habits of life, though harmless they seem,
must not my heart from him ever sever;
he is my all, there's nothing between.
3. Nothing between, like pride or station;
self or friends shall not intervene;
though it may cost me much tribulation,
I am resolved, there's nothing between.
4. Nothing between, e'en many hard trials,
though the whole world against me convene;
watching with prayer and much self denial,
I'll triumph at last, there's nothing between.
Hymn: Search me O God (www.cyberhymnal.org)
Search me, O God,
And know my heart today;
Try me, O Savior,
Know my thoughts, I pray.
See if there be
Some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin
And set me free.
I praise Thee, Lord,
For cleansing me from sin;
Fulfill Thy Word,
And make me pure within.
Fill me with fire
Where once I burned with shame;
Grant my desire
To magnify Thy Name.
Lord, take my life,
And make it wholly Thine;
Fill my poor heart
With Thy great love divine.
Take all my will,
My passion, self and pride;
I now surrender, Lord
In me abide.
O Holy Ghost,
Revival comes from Thee;
Send a revival,
Start the work in me.
Thy Word declares
Thou wilt supply our need;
For blessings now,
O Lord, I humbly plead.
Chief Tupper’s Challenge:
He has been involved in law enforcement for 28 years…he’s been Chief of Police these last 16 years.
Is a believer in Christ, and challenges himself each day to be better in his walk with the Lord.
Fell into faith and values by accident.
Guest Column: Sometimes Tragedy Happens and No One is to Blame
POSTED 9:54 AM, JANUARY 29, 2019, BY STAFF WRITER, UPDATED AT 09:57AM, JANUARY 29, 2019
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Corey Brown (WHO-HD)
MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa — This guest column by Marshalltown Police Chief Mike Tupper, on the tragic death of Corey Brown, first appeared in the Marshalltown Times-Republican and is posted here by permission of the paper and Chief Tupper.
This past week our community was dealt yet another horrific blow. Corey Brown was a good kid from a great family. This tragedy will forever alter the Brown family and in many ways our community. All of us who call Marshalltown home are hurting. If you are a parent, the senselessness of this event is heartbreaking. Why do things like this happen?
I have witnessed more tragedy than I care to remember or discuss over the course of 26 years working in the law enforcement profession. I have witnessed and investigated unspeakable horrors. I have held the hand of far too many parents as they mourn the loss of a child. Any senseless or unexpected loss of life is difficult to deal with but when a child dies, it hurts in ways that for me are indescribable. When tragedy strikes, we want answers. We want accountability. There must be someone or something to blame. We speculate. We theorize. We pontificate about our own experiences. We convince ourselves we would have done something different to prevent tragedy had it been us in the shoes of those dealt the horrible blow. Maybe this is how we cope. Maybe this is how we try to convince ourselves such horrible things will never happen to us. We know better after all and someone must have done something wrong to cause this.
I am sorry to say sometimes tragedy just happens. It sucks. It hurts. Sometimes there are no explanations, no answers, nobody to blame. It is the harsh reality of life. I hate it. It breaks my heart. Tragedy can, does and will affect all of us at some point in our life. None of us are immune. How will you want people to treat you? Will you hope for a compassionate response?
I have been disappointed in the national media coverage of this recent tragedy. They have sensationalized, and inaccurately reported, irrelevant details in an effort to hint someone must be to blame. Some keyboard warriors on social media have done the same. They all have lacked basic human decency as they push out their theories and speculation. It must stop. This is wrong. The Brown family deserves, and needs our support, our love. They deserve compassion. There is nobody to blame here, folks. Corey Brown did nothing wrong. The Brown family did nothing wrong. They were the victims of unfortunate circumstances that could have just as easily visited our own families. Tragedy sometimes just happens. All you can do is support one another. As community members, we must rise up to support the unfortunate souls touched by tragic events.
The Marshalltown community is a proud and loving community. We all stand with the Browns. We will support them as friends and neighbors as they would support us under similar circumstances. God bless Corey Brown! Please pray for the Brown family.
So, my son Jacob and I decided it was time for a father and son getaway and we love taking Amtrak to allow us to stretch our legs and minds. Riding the train (for us), is therapeutic because it allows us to slow down and look at our beautiful world and meet ALL kinds of people.
After taking the train and spending the weekend in Denver with Jake and yes, in 70-degree temperatures, it was suddenly and sadly time for us to return to Iowa. Jake and I had such an amazing time and I think it is such a special opportunity to meet new people in new places. We laughed….a lot too, which is the ultimate Soul Vaccination.
As we entered Denver Union station to board our train home, I was suddenly overcome with God’s grace and I stopped to look up and was speechless with the glory of the moment. God told me to listen with my eyes and I told Jake that we are going to meet an angel….of course he was like, “C’mon dad, you’re holding up traffic!” Let me be clear, I usually don’t do these things or have these feeling….seriously! SEE ATTACHED Picture of “The Moment”.
Anyway, after I had “my moment”, Jake said that we should sit outside because it was a beautiful evening and we could spot trains, which we love and have a passion for more than most train geeks, and know a lot of things about trains down to infinite details. So, as we were sitting outside and talking, a young man approached us and I was selfishly like, “Oh no, who is this guy, and he looks like he is a little rough.” The young man began speaking rapidly and moving back and forth and naturally I am thinking this is not a person I want to be around. Then, he started talking about trains and in more detail that I had ever heard….I mean elaborate details!!
After a while, Jake and I looked at each other in astonishment and Jake said, “Dad this person is a genius.” I agreed, and we both knew that this young man was also Autistic. Then, I am wondering how and why is he here without any supervision? He talks to strangers and he might talk to the wrong person. Remember, I was ready to walk away or worse, tell him to leave my son and I alone, so this could not end up well for this vulnerable person.
Well, out of the shadows a women emerged with a cart and luggage. She came right up to Jake and I and said, “My name is Victoria, thank you for talking to my son Matthew, as he is a little nervous because he is travelling to Naperville to see his father for the first time alone on the train. I immediately responded by saying that Matthew is a brilliant young man and we have been utterly amazed with the complexity of knowledge he has. She responded with a thank you and that of course, she agreed with my assessment.
So why this story?
There are a lot of lessons for us men to consider here:
In closing, I gave Victoria (Matthews mom) on the station platform my card and I told her that she can call me and that Jake and I would check on Matthew. She was clearly touched by our offer and she texted me within the hour to thank me for being Matthew’s guardian angel on his first trip alone. Jake and I had two of the finest home made doughnuts in the worlds we were going to savor on the ride home, but Jake said we should give them to Matthew. I thought this would be a grand Idea the next morning before disembarking at Ottumwa, Iowa, Jake and I went back to Matthew’s car one last time to check on him and we gave him our cherished doughnuts, Matthew was elated! Later that day, Matthew’s mom sent me a thank you note and attachment of a picture of Matthew with our doughnuts. She said he was saving them to share them with his dad. Unbelievable!! SEE ATTACHED, “The Joy of God’s Grace”
My son notched another hole in his belt to manhood and I have long admired Jake for his giving heart and compassion towards others. Jake is going be a father someday and I KNOW he is going to be a special man, husband and dad.
I am eternally grateful and at peace knowing that I have Ox Strong in my life. I have become a better father, son, husband, brother, and leader.
1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Nate Smith is a college baseball and football coach, a husband, a father of 6 girls, grandpa to 2 granddaughters, a police chaplain, and has a passion to see men grow in Christ.
#girldad including granddaughter