Receive

Mark Fackler

READ : John 1:1-13 To all who did receive him . . . he gave the right to become children of God. (v. 12) God’s School offers a curriculum in redemption, repentance, reconciliation, and all the rest. But there is one item without which it all remains merely informational. You must receive. “OK already, I’ll add it to my schedule.” Not really. To receive Christ is not like picking up the mail, or downloading a song. Receiving Christ is a …

Resurrection

Mark Fackler

READ : Philippians 3:7-11 . . . that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings. (v. 10) The eighth R in God’s classroom for life sends us first to the most startling, miraculous, and baffling moment in history. It’s all about an empty tomb and a dead man rising. The Bible describes Easter as so unexpected that even those closest to Jesus were shocked to witness it. Some feared, some doubted, some …

Reward

Mark Fackler

READ : Genesis 15:1-6 Your reward shall be very great. (v. 1) In a teaching career now almost three decades old, I have given hundreds of final A’s, and a bucket full of F’s. Each is reward for work well done – or not. If you counted all the graded papers, oh my, A’s, B’s, and C’s in the thousands have been given out as students’ rewards. But not really. The real reward for scholarship is a keener appetite for …

Righteousness

Mark Fackler

READ : Hebrews 12:7-11 . . . discipline . . . yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (v. 11) No lesson in God’s School of Life Blessings is more important (or less welcome) than this one. It’s the internship in discipline, and that means hard times. The Bible is so clear on this point that it even uses the learning pattern of an old-fashioned childhood as an illustration – listen, learn, obey, disobey, get smacked, get loved up, then listen …

Renewal

Mark Fackler

READ : Matthew 19:27-30 . . . at the renewal of all things. (v. 28 NIV) Is there a greater promise than this? God has sent out a notice for the renewal of all things, and the terms of the notice are prepaid. What are those terms? For starters, sin’s penalty has been erased. That’s huge. We could not pay it ourselves even with a lifetime of charity campaigns. To have that bill cleared means we have a future, instead …

Repentance and Refreshment

Mark Fackler

READ : Acts 3:17-20 Repent therefore, and turn again . . . that times of refreshing may come. (vv. 19-20) This fourth R in God’s classroom is a two-for-one. That’s how Peter told it in his sermon on Solomon’s Portico. He urged listeners to surrender the weight of their pride, turn from their sins, and come to God for refreshment. Cartoons have pictured the woebegone prophet carrying sandwich boards announcing “Repent, the end is near.” Those cartoons suggest that the …