Grace is the great equalizer of all men, and women–I am a woman.

Before God we are all the same: naked, helpless, desperate, in dire need of Him.

We come to God based on nothing we have done ourselves, no work or service, no bank account or social standing, no title or leadership position, no education or worldly success.

We come to God based solely on the work of Christ on the cross; all men are the same at the foot of the cross. 

So it shouldn’t be any different in church. No work or service, no bank account or social standing, no title or leadership position, no education or success we have achieved, no past experience, nor any past great service we have rendered to God can gain for us any more standing with Him than we already have.

So why in our churches is there this very weird favoring of some people? Why are some seen as superior, or better, while others are shown a seat further in the back?

In a very weird way we honor people with gifts and talents and titles, as if they somehow are responsible for them. Isn’t God the giver of all things?

Why, when we come to God naked, do we suppose to stand before people clothed in our strengths as if to impress? The only clothing we have is Christ Jesus Himself. All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ, Gal 3:27.

If we miss this, the fact that grace equalizes, it shows we missunderstand the magnitude of God’s grace. And we are tending toward a religious kind of Christianity, rather than one based on grace.

Grace equalizes so no man can boast. It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast, Ephesians 2:8,9.

Worship out loud

April 18, 2015

Worship is not deep silent respect, as in solemn reverence. It’s loud. It’s passionate. It’s exuberant. It’s moving.

There can be no careful dignified restraint in worship because this is no response to a crucified Christ.

We are made free by a crucified Christ so our worship is free, unfettered, unchained, and full of passionate love. It’s moving. It’s roaring. It’s explosive. It’s joy-filled. It’s unapologetically loud. It’s not looking for the approval of people. It’s to busy looking to a glorified King.

Prayer and fasting

April 2, 2015

You are the God who performs miracles; You display Your power among the people, Psalm 77:14.

The early church was birthed in power. Their normal-Christian experience was one of hundreds of people being saved daily; miracles, daily; the power and presence of God in their midst, daily. This was normal.

So was prayer and fasting.

Many of us can read through the New Testament in awe as we think about the early church and the impact it had. We can read about the rapid expansion of the church, their meeting places, the extraordinary miracles God did among them, and we can think, They were the super apostles. They were the super Christians…

The fact is they were no different from you and me. They were people in desperate need of a savior and in desperate need of His help everyday of their lives. But, they leant into God through prayer and fasting.

An easily overlooked yet very important mark of the early church was their devotion to seeking God through prayer and fasting. It was common for whole churches to gather, sometimes daily, to pray. They would pray overnight. They would meet in people’s homes, sometimes in the Jewish temples, at times they would meet just outside the walls of their city. And all the people fasted twice a week, no food till sundown—even the kids!!

This was no small devotion.

Their commitment to prayer and fasting was in essence a humbling of themselves in recognition of their desperate need of God, seeking Him so that His will would be done through their lives powerfully.

The New Testament stories can be our stories. Miracles can be our normal. God still wants to move through His people powerfully. He wants to show up in our lives to show us He is good and strong and generous. He wants to provide for us and be our ever-present help (Psalm 46:1).

God wants us to live lives that are full of His power because when we live full of His power our lives are made better, and so are the many people’s lives we come in contact with everyday.

There are no short cuts to accessing God’s power. No magic bullets. It’s simply when we get desperate for Him, humbling ourselves and devoting ourselves to prayer and fasting to seek Him.

We can have as much of God in our daily lives as we want. The question is, How desperate are we for His presence and His power?

He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted, Job 5:9.