Category Archives: The Message

Make the Call

“Moses wrote that anyone who insists on using the law code to live right before God soon discovers it’s not so easy—every detail of life regulated by fine print! But trusting God to shape the right living in us is a different story— no precarious climb up to heaven to recruit the Messiah, no dangerous descent into hell to rescue the Messiah. So what exactly was Moses saying?

The word that saves is right here,
as near as the tongue in your mouth,
as close as the heart in your chest.

It’s the word of faith that welcomes God to go to work and set things right for us. This is the core of our preaching. Say the welcoming word to God—”Jesus is my Master”—embracing, body and soul, God’s work of doing in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it. You’re not “doing” anything; you’re simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That’s salvation. With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right out loud: “God has set everything right between him and me!”

Scripture reassures us, “No one who trusts God like this—heart and soul—will ever regret it.”” (Romans 10: 5-11 The Message)

Catching My Breath

I know I’ve mentioned this before but I’ve been reading and comparing many familiar verses in The Message translation. Most everyone is very familiar with the traditional translation of Psalm 23. If you opt for the King James Version you read “the Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters….Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…”

I feel very sophisticated reading all the -eths and shalls and yeas. I love the traditional version but am so familiar with it that often when I read it I feel like it has lost it “umpf”. I find myself skimming it and not really letting the words sink in. When I read different translations, the words seem to come back to life for me. I learn new lessons that I think would have stayed hidden on the pages had I not read them in a different translation. You can easily do this by going to Biblegateway.

Psalm 23 came to life again today. I was sitting by that “quiet pool” this morning and catching my breath.

God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.

Even when the way goes through
Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.

You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.

Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life.