Tag Archives: love and mercy

SMALL GROUPS FOR JESUS.110915

Group Of College Students Sitting And Talking Together

Where I come from small groups (especially ones for Jesus) are a relatively new phenomenon.  I guess when I was younger, we had small groups, but nobody called them that, and most of us didn’t recognize the benefits that arise from being members of one.  My first introduction was when I went on a “Walk to Emmaus”, and they talked about being a member of a “Reunion Group”, which was defined as: 3-5 people who meet together once a week to review how they’re doing in their walk with Jesus; to answer one or more of seven questions about things like: 1] Closest moment to God; 2] Discipleship denied, 3] Discipleship confirmed, and a few others.  They called it an “accountability” group.  That always sounded like you had a list of things you were supposed to be doing, and the other members of the group were supposed to hold you accountable, if you fail to live up to your duties as a Christian.  I almost didn’t join a Reunion Group because of the crushing weight of being held accountable.  However, it turns out to be a lot more about love, and a lot less about accountability.

I’m a member of three “small groups” now.  Two of them would loosely fall under the umbrella of Emmaus Reunion Groups.  The other one I’ve been having with my daughter (and a few others) early on Saturday mornings for more than 10 years.  Now that group includes my favorite son-in-law. It’s the best of the lot, even though the others are truly a blessing as well.  Continue reading

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WHAT HAPPENS NOW? 052115

[This is an excerpt from a Kairos Talk: Tomorrow]

Bible Group Praying TogetherCan we be changed?   Yes, but not by ourselves. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves.  It is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.”  To be changed, we must accept the gift of God.  We must realize how badly we need Him, and then give our whole selves to Him, and trust Him to take care of us, because we finally figured out we can’t take care of ourselves.

The guys at your family table are your brothers.  Christ’s challenge to you is to take care of them.  To stick up for them.  To meet regularly with them for prayer and share group. Continue reading

OUT OF THE DARK, INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT.051615

[Excerpts from the Kairos Talk, ‘A Christian’]

DIverse People Holding Text Church

After I came to Houston, I spent 10 years living in the dark.  The dark of running away, trying to hide from God.  The dark of being a criminal defense lawyer.  The dark of trying desperately to figure out what to do about my estranged wife.  The dark of finally getting a divorce.  I still wasn’t really looking for God, but I was getting real beat up, and desperately seeking help.  And crazy as it seems, Jesus was still there.

I started going to church; and praying; and reading and studying the Bible.  I got involved in a Sunday School class and met some guys that were involved in Kairos, and after that I just sorta took off.  I got closer and closer to God. I began to realize what it meant to experience the mercy of Jesus. I started to realize what God really wanted me to do with my life.  You want to hear what it is?  He wants me to seek His Face every day; to talk to Jesus; to commune with the Holy Spirit; to listen to what He says and try to do it, on a moment by moment basis. Continue reading

Kairos-A Christian.051415

[This is an excerpt from the Kairos talk “A Christian”]

the Good SamaritanLOVE is about mercy and forgiveness; Mercy is being nice to someone (cuttin’ them a little slack) even when they deserve to be punished.  That’s what God does for us.

Forgiveness is what love is in practice.  It’s what happens when we love people enough to forgive them, even when they are wrong and we’re right; even when no one is looking and it won’t help us a bit.  Forgiveness is the evidence of mercy in our individual personal relationships.

In 1 Corinthians 13:4, it says ‘Love is patient.’  In the King James version of the Bible, and in the original Greek the verse says, “Love suffers long.”  That means if you really love someone, you put up with them.  I’m thinking about my kids when they were teenagers.  It means that you put up with them, even though you’ve told them 15 times what you expect, and they’re still doing it wrong, very likely on purpose and not accidentally.  That’s what it means when it says love suffers long. Continue reading

FORGIVENESS CEREMONY.050615

forgive yourselfIn the Kairos program we focus a lot of attention on forgiveness.   We do it for two reasons: 1] because in the Bible Jesus devotes  a lot of attention to it; and 2] because in the prisons, there are a lot of people who really need it.

To bring this subject into focus: in Matthew 6:9-15, the Lord’s Prayer, forgiveness is a major point of the whole prayer.  In verse 12, it says, “Forgive us our trespasses (sins, debts) as we forgive those who trespass against us.”  And we usually think the prayer ends with verse 13, “And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.  For Yours is the kingdom .  .”

But that’s not really the end, because immediately, without taking a breath, Jesus adds, “If you forgive others their trespasses, then God will forgive you; but if you don’t forgive others, then He won’t forgive you.’  (Isn’t it interesting that He doesn’t make any comments about any other verses in the prayer, only about forgiveness.) Continue reading

Works of Righteousness. 041215

Ephesians 2.8In Ephesians 2:8-9: Paul says,“For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

And in his letter to Titus, in chapter 3, verse 5, Paul says again,  “ .  .  not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,”   Did you get that?  It is not by any works, not by any deeds we have done, or by any special actions we have taken, that God saves us.  Particularly not by “works of righteousness”, meaning good things we’ve done to make God like us. 

Continue reading

GOD’S GRACE.033115

Miracles HappenHere I am.  66.  Married to a good wife with three grown children and six grandchildren; and a 16 yr old son at home. I’m still working at a ‘real’ job, ‘cause my baby needs shoes.  Really because God wants me to keep on working so I get to talk to people about Him. Continue reading