247 results for tag: Christ-centered


Spitting Into the Wind – Greg Albrecht

Call me the "Quester." I've been king over Israel in Jerusalem. I looked most carefully into everything, searched out all that is done on this earth. And let me tell you, there's not much to write home about. God hasn't made it easy for us. I've seen it all and it's nothing but smoke— smoke, and spitting into the wind. Life's a corkscrew that can't be straightened, a minus that won't add up. I said to myself, "I know more and I'm wiser than anyone before me in Jerusalem. I've stockpiled wisdom and knowledge." What I've finally concluded is that so-called wisdom and knowledge are mindless and witless—nothing but spitting into the wind. Much ...

Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word

What've I got to do to make you love me? What've I got to do to make you care? —Sorry Seems to Be The Hardest Word, Elton John, 1976 Unrequited love normally brings to mind memories of romantic, "puppy love" that failed to hear an echo. But teenage infatuations that end in agonizing, emotional dramas are surpassed in intensity by the crushing heartbreak experienced when, for some reason, a parent or child fails to respond to each other. This is a story of a girl and the relationship she yearned to have with her father. Like many others in her generation, Karen grew up in a home ruled over by an authoritarian veteran of World War 2. Karen, ...

Downward Mobility – Greg Albrecht

Jesus tells his disciples, in no uncertain terms, if you think that my kingdom is going to replicate the power-hungry, authoritarian, serve-the-big-shots-first-and-foremost kind of authority this world often sees, then think again. "Not so with you." Jesus tells his disciples that if they choose to be ministers in his kingdom then they will choose love over power. If we want to follow Jesus, serving others in his name, then our lives will be exemplified by sacrificial love as he demonstrated on his cross rather than the crass control mechanisms of authoritarianism, whereby Christ-less religion and its leadership always gets served first, many times ...

How Big Is God?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.    The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and ...

Getting Caught Up In a Religious Show

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God's grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means "son of encouragement"), sold a field he owned and brought the ...

Downward Mobility

They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. "We are going up to Jerusalem," he said, "and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise." Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. "Teacher," they said, "we want you to do for us whatever we ask." "What do you want me ...

Righteousness by Law or By Faith – Greg Albrecht

There's an old story about a young man who asked his rich grandfather, "Grandpa, how did you get so rich?" "Well," said grandpa, "during the Great Depression my family had no money whatsoever. I found two pennies in my old piggy bank, and I bought an apple with those two pennies. I shined that apple up, took it out on the street where people were hungry, and sold it for five cents. Then I took that nickel and bought two more apples for two cents each. I shined them all up, took them back out on the street, and sold them for five cents each."The grandfather paused, and then continued, "That was my first real job. I did real well selling apples during ...

What Is Our Eternal Reward? – Greg Albrecht

Q: What is our eternal reward? A:The Bible does speak of a reward, but should that reward be viewed as a prize given as a response for our diligent performance of deeds, then our reward would not be by grace through faith, but of works. According to the gospel of Jesus Christ a measured reward we receive on the basis of our own efforts cannot be the reward the biblical writers have in mind. The New Testament is clear and absolute: our eternal reward is given, rather than earned. Everything we as Christ-followers are able to produce by ourselves here in this temporal life is physical and has a shelf life. Nothing we can produce, apart from God, is ...

What is Our Eternal Reward?

Q: What is our eternal reward? A:The Bible does speak of a reward, but should that reward be viewed as a prize given as a response for our diligent performance of deeds, then our reward would not be by grace through faith, but of works. According to the gospel of Jesus Christ a measured reward we receive on the basis of our own efforts cannot be the reward the biblical writers have in mind. The New Testament is clear and absolute: our eternal reward is given, rather than earned. Everything we as Christ-followers are able to produce by ourselves here in this temporal life is physical and has a shelf life. Nothing we can produce, apart from God, ...

Righteousness by Law or by Faith?

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will ...

Grace and Truth Come Through Jesus Christ – Greg Albrecht

  Here's a news flash! Religion is confrontational and hostile to anyone that dares to differ with it. Religion is, at best, irrelevant to our relationship with God. Christ-less religion actually leads people away from God! Grace-less religion advances its agenda, which is all about the relationship it offers (or inflicts upon) its followers. The relationship religion offers usually includes a relationship with a building, with real estate, with icons, with treasures (real or imagined) and with rituals and performances and traditions which are themselves reputed to be of heavenly value. In many cases religion promises spiritual rewards based ...

The Law was Given Through Moses – Grace and Truth Come Through Jesus Christ

by Greg Albrecht For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. —John 1:17 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the ...