Tag Archives: Divine grace

How do you view Jesus?

What follows is part of a conversation David Platt had with a Buddhist leader and a Muslim leader. They were discussing how all religions are fundamentally the same and only superficially different.

“We may have different views about small issues,” one of them said, “but when it comes down to essential issues, each of our religions is the same.”

I listened for a while, and then they asked me what I thought. I said, “It sounds as though you both picture God (or whatever you call god) at the top of a mountain. It seems as if you believe that we are all at the bottom of the mountain, and I may take one route up the mountain, you may take another, and in the end we will all end up in the same place.”

They smiled as I spoke. Happily they replied, “Exactly! You understand!”

Then I leaned in and said, “Now let me ask you a question. What would you think if I told you that the God at the top of the mountain actually came down to where we are? What would you think if I told you that God doesn’t wait for people to find their way to him, but instead he comes to us?”

They thought for a moment and then responded, “That would be great.”

I replied, “Let me introduce you to Jesus.”
~ Excerpted from Radical by David Platt

It is a popular notion today that all religions lead to the same God but there are fundamental differences that cannot be overlooked.

Only in Christianity does God make the first move to come to us with the offer of redemption.

Only in Christianity is forgiveness received as a gift of grace rather than earned by human efforts.

Only in Christianity does the founder come back from the grave.

And then there’s the issue of how we view Jesus.

Many religions see Jesus as a good, moral teacher; perhaps even a prophet but nothing more. Yet Christianity views Jesus as the only Son of God. Jesus even claimed to be the only way to the Father (John 14:6). Therein lies a fundamental difference between Christianity and all other world religions.

How do you view Jesus?


© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.


Filed under Christianity, Evangelism, God, Grace, Jesus

It’s not my fault!

Last week I came across a blog written by a late twenty-something male from another country (not the USA). One of his statements caught my attention like the last chocolate chip cookie on a plate of crumbs.

It seemed very obviously flawed, but perhaps I was missing something. To be safe I ran it past my wife Susan – she saw it too.

Later, at the dinner table, I tossed it out to get a response from my kids. We’re talking twin 17-year-old girls and two guys; 15 years old and almost 12 years old. Yep! They saw it too! Here it is…

“I believe in destiny. If I fail, it’s because of destiny only. If I succeed, it’s because of my own efforts only.”

Go ahead, read it again. Notice anything peculiar?

Destiny, however that might be defined, is to blame for failure but success is due to personal effort alone! I.e. – I’m not to blame if it goes wrong, but I get the credit if it goes right! No responsibility, no blame, no guilt… no problem!


Certainly there are events and circumstances in life beyond our control, but to use something or someone else as the excuse for our failings is sad on many, many levels. But it’s not new!

When confronted with his sin Adam pointed to Eve and told God, “That woman you gave me…” Eve followed suit and said, “The serpent deceived me…”

Many years ago a newspaper in England ran a question for the public to consider – “What is wrong with the world?”

G.K. Chesterton, a well-known Christian, replied with a letter to the editor that read, “I am.”

Until we admit our sin and brokenness, God’s grace will be powerless to transform us. And if we don’t change, how can the world change?

May God’s grace empower us to own our own shortcomings!



Filed under Accountability, Brokenness, Grace, Guilt, influence with the world, Morphing, Sin

Grace invites us to be real!

The other day I was reading one of the various blogs I follow and the guy was making the point that we have to be careful with what we say yes to because our time is limited and precious. I whole-heartedly agree but have issue with the example he gave.

He talked about how he had agreed to have lunch with someone he had recently met at a workshop but was frustrated that the guy came unprepared and seemed to talk in circles. He felt like he had completely wasted his time with this guy.

But perhaps what this guy needed most was not a solution to his dilemma but rather just the affirmation that another human being cared enough to listen? Is’s not about where we want someone to be on the journey, it’s about where they are and what God is doing in their life.

One person who commented on the blog asked if getting paid for the time of meeting for lunch would make a difference. Would $100 make him feel any better about taking the time to have lunch? This commenter openly admitted that he was trying to discern the bloggers motives.

To my surprise and shock the blogger replied that while money would not have changed his opinion about the time he spent with this guy, he got way more than $100 for an hour of his time.

Really?! My first thought was…

“I’ll bet Jesus would sit and talk with me for nothing!”

I was completely appalled by this guys’ comment that he gets way more than $100 for an hour of his time. He could have simply answered the commentors question with a simple yes or no. This blogger recently resigned as president of a major Christian book company and even has a few books to his credit. Yet with all that success he felt the need to protect or boost his image with a statement about getting way more than $100 an hour.

What this blogger did made me want to puke… but I’ve done the very same thing. It’s called Image Management and we all do it on a fairly regular basis. We make little comments here and there explaining our actions or defending something we said. We desperately want others to have a good opinion about us, even if it’s maybe less than accurate.

Truth is… we’re all screwups and Ragamuffins; but God loves screwups and Ragamuffins so it’s OK. God’s grace invites us to be real. Only when we’re real can God’s grace transform us and make us more like Jesus.

So, how easy is it for you to be real?


Filed under Authenticity, Christianity, Courage, Grace, Morphing