108 results for tag: Front page


Grace Without Reservations

By Greg Albrecht And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, then grace would no longer be grace.—Romans 11:6 Have you ever had an altercation, a conflict or misunderstanding with your wife or husband, adult child or a good friend and wondered how in the world you could patch things up? We've all been there, haven't we? Perhaps we are "there" right now. Let's suppose (and it's a safe supposition, isn't it?) that the mess we are thinking about is a mess that is our fault. We are to blame. After all, at some point in our lives, we have all been in the wrong, haven't we? At some point in our lives we have all been the major ...

Scandalous Grace – Part 2

by Greg Albrecht Our story centers on Jacob's deception, but more than that, it centers on God promising a reversal. God essentially told Rebekah, Jacob and Esau's mother, that Jacob would receive the blessing the older brother, Esau, should have had. Amazingly, the life of Jacob after he had deceived both his father and his brother was an ongoing saga of deceit and conflict. When Esau realized that he had been duped and deceived, Jacob had to run for his life to escape Esau's anger. The story of Esau and Jacob is an illustration of God's scandalous grace, a grace that reaches into the murky depths where right and wrong seem to be blurred, where ...

Scandalous Grace – Part 1

by Greg Albrecht This is the account of Abraham's son Isaac. Abraham became the father of Isaac, and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean. Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, "Why is this happening to me?" So she went to inquire of the LORD. The LORD said to her, "Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, ...

Reforming Grace

by Greg Albrecht For this is what the high and lofty One says—he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite."—Isaiah 57:15 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.—Matthew 23:12 Over 490 years ago, on the day now known as Halloween—October 31, 1517—a young Roman Catholic priest named Martin Luther posted 95 theses, or statements, on the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. These 95 issues were a summary of what this ...

How Free is Free Will?

by Greg Albrecht How much choice does any individual human actually have? We speak of "free will"—but how much of a choice to accept God's grace does anyone have, given the brainwashing and propaganda to which they are subjected? How much of a choice to accept God's grace does a young boy in a radicalized Muslim school have? How much of a choice to accept God's grace does someone have who is ensnared by some ultra fundamentalist church, where performance-based religion rules? Being in Christ is a divine invitation to an eternal relationship, open to everyone. But being in Christ is not an automatic, divinely bestowed or imposed gift. Being in ...

The Master’s Voice

by Greg Albrecht "I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was ...

I Want to See

By Greg Albrecht— For the last time during his earthly ministry, Jesus was en route to Jerusalem. He had only a few days left in his earthly life—with every step he took toward Jerusalem he knew he was that much closer to the awful pain and suffering that awaited him. The road took him through Jericho, a city located about 17 miles northeast of Jerusalem. It was just before Passover—one of the three times in the year when pilgrims traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate the feasts of the old covenant. So the road was crowded with travelers, and as a result there were many others alongside the road—small businessmen and entrepreneurs, as well as ...

Does God Forgive and Forget?

Q: While attending a Bible study one night in a church I used to attend the pastor stated, "when we ask forgiveness of God, he does forgive us but he never really does forget." He was "clarifying" Hebrews 10:17. The pastor said, "After all, he is God, he knows everything, it would be impossible for him to forget." I find myself angry at this minister even today and I haven't seen him in years. I believe God does forget—however in the back of my mind this minister's comments still haunt me. Please, tell me, does God forget or not? A: I think I know what the minister may have meant. Part of what he may have been trying to say might be true, but ...

Have You Forgiven God?

  "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."—Isaiah 55:8-9 A few years ago I officiated at a funeral service for someone I had never known. I interviewed people who had known the deceased, and in the process I found out some dark and disturbing things. What do you say at a funeral when you can't find anyone who ever knew the person who has anything good to say about them? What can you say at a memorial service when surviving friends and relatives are having a difficult time ...

Two Brothers

by Greg Albrecht Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them. "Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. "W...

How Far Will God Go For Love?

by Greg Albrecht Lending institutions place a cap or limit on the total amount of purchases you can charge to their card. They will only let you go so far before your credit runs out. How far can we go with God before he says to us "That's it—my grace has its limits!" Is it possible to use so much of God's love that our account will be "maxed out"? Of course God's mercy, grace and love are endless. As and when we request forgiveness, God will always forgive us. That's one of the attributes that makes him God. But, is it possible to take advantage of God's good graces? Surely he isn't like an indulgent grandparent who just sits on his throne, ...

Why Did Jesus Call a Woman a Dog?

by Greg Albrecht The Canaanites became mortal enemies of the Jews some 1,500 or so years before the time of Jesus when they resisted the new nation of Israel as it attempted to inhabit the Promised Land. Matthew 15:21-28 relates the story of a Canaanite woman who was so desperate to seek healing for her daughter that she defied social and religious conventions as she publicly spoke to Jesus (a man she didn't know) —beyond that, a Jewish man. We know, from everything else we read in the Gospels, that Jesus, God in the flesh, loved this woman, but it didn't seem that way to her when she first started talking to Jesus. She cries out, "Son of ...