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Happy Birthday, Son

“Twelve years ago, today, God gave mea gift in you beyond compare . . .”I cradled you like a football in my left arm as you sucked on my pinky. Your eyes were shut, but mine were enlarged soaking you in – a miracle, blessing, gift and joy unlike any...

Understanding Grace & Mercy

“In order to succeed at anything, you’ve got to cut through the noise . . . if you fail in this, nothing else matters.”IN ORDER TO SUCCEED AT ANYTHING, you’ve got to cut through the noise, chatter and distractions and get down to the meat and...

Back in the Saddle

“A new beginning is here . . .”It’s hard to stop blogging, but that’s exactly what I had to do while we had Godfactor.com totally revamped. Today is the official launch day of our new site – and it gives me a chance to get back into the...

THE ROOTS OF COMMUNION AND BAPTISM

Think you understand the Lord’s Supper and baptism? Think again. If you’re not Jewish, and are unfamiliar with the Old Testament, you probably don’t appreciate them the way you will after listening to this special message. This podcast, like all...

Happy Birthday, Son

“Twelve years ago, today, God gave me
a gift in you beyond compare . . .”

I cradled you like a football in my left arm as you sucked on my pinky. Your eyes were shut, but mine were enlarged soaking you in – a miracle, blessing, gift and joy unlike any other I had ever been given. Mom, recovering from her battle wounds, was now breathing gently by our side, resting. You came into this world with a great deal of pain, Titus, but the moment you arrived, you delivered unspeakable joy. That joy has never – not even once – diminished. In fact, it continues to grow.

I remember cutting the glistening cord that connected you to Mom, and in so cutting brought you closer to us both. With you by my side, I am a better man. Your infancy transported me into adulthood, and helped make me become a better, although far from perfect, man. You are handsome, kind and gentle. Your character literally stops me in my tracks, forcing me to examine my own life, which seems to be so quickly fading.

My son, and my friend, you are pleasing to God, and pleasing to me. Not because of what you’ve done, but because you are my son – and you mean all the world to me. You will be special, important, unique and my priority until my dying breath. You inspire, fulfill, reward and thrill me every time I look at you. No moment with you is long enough. No gift can compare with you. You are one of a kind, and have been entrusted to me by the Almighty hand of God. I do not deserve the priceless gift I have in you – but you, my son, I do so very much, enjoy!

TITUS MICHAEL, I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY HEART, AND WILL, FOREVER.

Enjoy this day, enjoy this year and enjoy your life. I enjoy mine because of YOU.

 

Understanding Grace & Mercy

“In order to succeed at anything, you’ve got to cut through the noise . . . if you fail in this, nothing else matters.”

IN ORDER TO SUCCEED AT ANYTHING, you’ve got to cut through the noise, chatter and distractions and get down to the meat and potatoes of life. If you fail in this, nothing else matters. Take, for instance, our understanding of “grace” and “mercy.” We often confuse these two – as if they are the same thing – but they are not. Understanding their difference – and how they are each tied to the other – will enable you cut through life’s noise and succeed as a follower of the grace and mercy Giver, Jesus Christ. After all, the whole point of being a Christian is to follow Christ, not simply know about Him, right? Talk is cheap, action is priceless. Grace and mercy are not the same. Understanding them will change how you live today for you – and every day hereafter.

Hebrews 4:14-16 will blow your mind and change your life:

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every aspect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (ESV)

If mercy and grace were the same thing, two different words would not be used.

WHILE TRAVELING COMPANIONS, MERCY AND GRACE ARE NOT THE SAME. ONCE YOU REALIZE THIS, YOUR RIDE WITH GOD WILL BECOME EXHILARATING . . .

WHILE TRAVELING COMPANIONS, MERCY AND GRACE ARE NOT THE SAME. ONCE YOU REALIZE THIS, YOUR RIDE WITH GOD WILL BECOME EXHILARATING . . .

The Greek word translated as “mercy” is “eleos” (ἔλεος). By comparison, the word translated as “grace” is “charin” (χάριν). Here is how these words differ – and how they are related: Mercy is when God withholds judgment. Grace is when God extends a gift. We need and receive both the instant we accept Christ as Savior – and we keep getting them every single moment thereafter.

By giving us mercy, God does not treat us as our sins deserve. The “white throne judgment” spoken of in Revelation 20:11-15, reserved for those who have not given their lives to Christ, is a judgment of eternal, conscious separation from God. If one’s name is not in the “book of life,” the life of separation from God experienced on earth will continue throughout eternity. The moment we give our lives to Christ, however, our name is written in that “book of life,” and we are given mercy – a permanent pardon from God from the judgment of separation we each deserve. Mercy is when God does not judge us as we deserve.

By giving us grace, God treats us as if we had done nothing wrong. It means that God gives us gifts we do not deserve.

MANY OF US HAVE A FAULTY, LIMITED VIEW OF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE

MANY OF US HAVE A FAULTY, LIMITED VIEW OF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE “ADOPTED” AS A SON OR DAUGHTER OF GOD. IT’S TIME WE UNDERSTAND THAT ADOPTION IS HUGE – MUCH, MUCH MORE SIGNIFICANT THAN WE CAN COMPREHEND . . .

Through faith in Christ as Savior, not only are we spared divine judgment (mercy), we also are given favored status. God’s undeserved favor, His grace, is what gives us a new, favored status as a son or daughter of God:

“What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” – Galatians 4:1-7, NIV

Being spiritually adopted by God is no small thing. It’s HUGE.

The laws of the Roman world, upon which our modern laws of adoption descend, made it so that there was no legal distinction between adopted and a naturally born children. This is why God deliberately used the elevated imagery of adoption – not as a concession, but as a means of affection, value and worth. It was, and is, the way for God to make it so that it is the next best thing to Him having you as his natural-born son or daughter. This is undeserved. This is unspeakable favor. This is grace. THIS IS AMAZING.

You have mercy and you have grace if you’ve given your life to Christ. And if you haven’t yet done this, right now is the perfect time to do it. No one who truly accepts Christ as Savior will ever live to regret it. Why postpone the grace and mercy you need, and want? Today is the day to let grace and mercy reign. Let them cut through the noise, clutter and confusion of life so that you live today in the freedom, acceptance and beauty for which you were created. Don’t let anyone tell you differently – including yourself.

Have you mistaken grace for mercy? How does appreciating these two traveling companions change your thinking? How do you think it will change your life?

Back in the Saddle

“A new beginning is here . . .”

It’s hard to stop blogging, but that’s exactly what I had to do while we had Godfactor.com totally revamped. Today is the official launch day of our new site – and it gives me a chance to get back into the blogging saddle and write, write, write. Now I get to scratch that itch.

Here are some of the things you can expect from the all new Godfactor.com, and my blog:

  1. VIDEO BLOGS: I’ll be doing weekly video blogs with thoughts about relationships, leadership, biblical truths, world events and more. You won’t want to miss them.
     
  2. LIFE-IGNITING AUDIO: Every message I give, whether on our Monday-Friday radio broadcasts, the messages at Grace, or other keynote messages, will all be here, in the blog. My blog is the place to go if you want to watch, read and listen to things I hope will inspire and enable you to discover and enjoy God deeply.
     
  3. SOCIAL SHARING: Everything on our site is now shareable on social media, giving YOU the ability to spread the Word, encourage your friends, and ignite lives for God. The people you know need encouragement, and we’ve given you the tools to be an encourager by enabling you to share everything we offer.
     
  4. PRACTICALLY, EVERYTHING. The main reason we had the site revamped is so it would provide a better experience for YOU, our viewers, listeners and readers. It’s easier to navigate, more visually appealing, and more . . . practical.

ENJOY THE ALL NEW GODFACTOR.COM. A WHOLE NEW BEGINNING IS NEAR!

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NEW GODFACTOR.COM? WE ALWAYS APPRECIATE SUGGESTIONS BECAUSE WE KNOW GOOD ONES WILL HELP IMPROVE THE EXPERIENCE OF OUR VIEWERS, LISTENERS AND READERS. WE’RE ALL EARS . . .

 

THE ROOTS OF COMMUNION AND BAPTISM

Think you understand the Lord’s Supper and baptism? Think again. If you’re not Jewish, and are unfamiliar with the Old Testament, you probably don’t appreciate them the way you will after listening to this special message.

This podcast, like all Godfactor resources, is made possible through generous listener and viewer support. You can donate by texting the word “Godfactor” to 50155, visiting Godfactor.com, or by hitting the “Connect” tab on the Godfactor app.

C&P Copyright, Michael Anthony. All rights reserved.

The Roots of Communion and Baptism

Think you understand the Lord’s Supper and baptism? Think again. If you’re not Jewish, and are unfamiliar with the Old Testament, you probably don’t appreciate them the way you will after listening to this special message.

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