Married to Jesus

Wedding rings

Jesus spoke of the joy that erupts in heaven when a sinner repents and comes to believe in the good news. We might imagine they have something like a birthday party to celebrate the new birth, but in reality it’s the rejoicing that accompanies a wedding. It’s a celebration of a new life wedded in union with Christ. Many of us are looking forward to the wedding banquet yet to come, but Jesus is returning for his bride, not his fiancée. You are already married to him. Your union with Christ is not a future event but a present reality that began the moment you first said “Yes” to Jesus. Jesus … [Read more...]

The Parable of the Two Sons


From time to time people ask me to write about the parables of Jesus. This is something I enjoy doing because I love the parables. The parables of Jesus are launch pads to revelation and if we have ears to hear they reveal the wisdom of God. Especially this one: What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, “Son, go and work today in the vineyard.” “I will not,” he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, “I will, sir,” but he did not go. (Matt 21:28-3) Great story! I … [Read more...]

Job’s Grace Encounter

blue-eyed man

Tradition has taught that Job endured unimaginable suffering with poise and noble patience. He was a giant of the faith who never said anything wrong, and he is a great example for us all to follow. Baloney. As we have seen in this series, Job was, at times, a self-righteous whiner who complained to high heaven. He blamed God for his troubles and even accused the Lord of being unjust. Yet somehow this makes me like Job more because I have gone through tough times and when I did I wrestled with the same sorts of thoughts he had. “God where are you? Lord, do you hate me? Why have you … [Read more...]

The Gospel of Elihu

Somebodys out to get me

The problem with manmade religion is that it views the Bible in a distorted way that glorifies self and diminishes grace. This can be seen in the way religion portrays Job as a good guy and God as a bad guy who sends the devil to do his dirty work. Contrary to popular opinion, Job was not a giant of faith but a superstitious and fearful whiner, and God certainly did not send Satan to make Job’s life miserable. (Before you write to tell me I don’t know the Bible, please click on those links and read the relevant posts.) Why are so many confused about Job? Because they’ve only read the … [Read more...]

Is Satan God’s Sheepdog?


The Book of Job is one of the most amazing stories in the Bible, but we read it wrong two ways. First, we elevate Job into some kind of faith hero. Second, we think the devil is a sheepdog sent by the Lord to do his dirty work. This crazy notion is based on the following passage: Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work … [Read more...]

Ten Little Known Facts about Job


Many people consider Job a great man and a champion of the faith. Job, you will recall, lost everything (his family, wealth and health), then sat on a dunghill scratching himself with a broken plate while having a theology debate with seminarians. As a result of this rich, life-affirming experience, many people now believe the following lies: God gives and takes away good things like children, health, jobs God uses sickness to punish or discipline me God puts me through hard times to teach me humility God uses Satan as a sheepdog to keep the sheep in line I want to offer a … [Read more...]

The New Song of Grace


This week our baby girl received her Australian citizenship certificate in the mail. She just became a little Aussie. This despite the fact that she has never been to Australia, she can’t name the six states or the prime minister, and she doesn’t know what a lamington is. She’s never read “The Man from Snowy River,” never enjoyed a Vegemite sandwich, and never seen an AFL Grand Final. She has done none of the things that Australians do, yet she is, by law, 100 percent Australian with all the rights and privileges that entails. The day you were placed into Christ, you became a brand-new … [Read more...]

Religious Gangsters (Matthew 7:21-23)

priest with gun_sq

A scripture that worries some Christians, but shouldn’t, is this one: Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?” Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” (Matt 7:21-23) Jesus’ words worry some people because they seem to contradict what Paul writes in Romans: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is … [Read more...]

Rewarded for Doing Good?

Christmas Epistle

Jesus and Paul both said we would be rewarded for doing good, which sounds like a punch in the face to the gospel of grace. In the previous post we looked at the words of Jesus (in John 5:28-29) and saw that “doing good” means trusting him. But what about Paul who said this: God will repay each person according to what they have done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. (Rom 2:6-8) Read the preceding verses and you … [Read more...]

Judged for What We Have Done

Grace v Works

The good news of heaven declares that everything comes to us as a free gift from our heavenly Father. But the bad news of earth says you better work baby, because there’s no such thing as a free lunch! Your choice is grace or works. Either the favor of God is given or earned, but it can’t be both. The gospel that Jesus revealed and Paul preached proclaims it’s grace from start to finish. How then are we to explain these verses which suggest you must work to be blessed?  Jesus  Paul Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his … [Read more...]

Rewarded for What We’ve Done?

Rewarded for What We've done

The Bible says that we will be rewarded for what we have done. Not what we have believed, but done-diddley-done-done. So what do we have to do? In this three-part series, we’re going to look at some of the rewarded-for-what-we’ve-done scriptures, beginning with this one: For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. (Matt 16:27) Forget the gospel of grace, you are rewarded for doing stuff! Better get busy for Jesus. But let scripture interpret scripture and you will see that Jesus is not promoting … [Read more...]

Grace Remix – Out Today!


  My new book, Grace Remix, comes out today. This is the fourth and final book in my Greatest Hits series. It follows Grace Disco, Grace Classics, and Grace Party. You may be wondering why I called this one Grace Remix. This is from the book: God has given me a new song and it is a remix. It’s the timeless truths of scripture as seen through the lens of the new covenant. It’s the ancient and eternal gospel of grace as seen through the eyes of the new man. I’m no historian, but I understand that the remix movement was driven in part by DJs who put dance beats on top of old tunes. You … [Read more...]