Archive for October 2011

The Hallmark Gospel

October 27, 2011

On Sunday I talked about the “Hallmark Gospel.” It’s a gospel that says God loves us just as we are, and nothing is going to change that, as long as we’ve accepted what Jesus did for us on the cross. Embracing this gospel basically gives us a ‘pass’ on Judgment Day, and guarantees that heaven is pretty much in the bag. One version of the Hallmark Gospel says that until Jesus comes back, he’s about the business of helping us fulfill our dreams and destinies.

The Hallmark Gospel sells. It sells really well. And it contains some truth, like the fact that God loves us. But as it stands, it’s not the gospel that Jesus preached, or for that matter Paul or anyone else in the New Testament. (more…)

Have Chord, Will Travel

October 24, 2011

Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me” (John 15:4).

The last couple of Sundays I’ve made reference to a series of three specific invitations that Jesus extended to his followers: “Abide in me. Come to me. Follow me.” I’ve called them my C Chord or Christ-shaped Chord, which obviously works for me because I’m a guitar player. These are three strings that I can play anywhere along the “neck” or path of my life. The chord may produce different sounds, depending upon the circumstances. The reason this chord works is because Christ himself is the Singer of my days. He is the Lord of history as well as of my particular story. What I like most about this chord is that it keeps my life Christ-centered. (more…)