20. March 2019

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You Live For…?

“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”  (2Corinthians 5:14-15  ESV Bold added)

I have been leading a Bible study on the Book of Acts in the New Testament for over a year now. One thing is evident! The Apostle Paul, once saved by the Lord Jesus Christ, no longer lived for himself.

He lived only for one Person: His Lord, Master, Redeemer, and Savior Jesus Christ, the Son of God, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords! “…but for him…” Who do you live for right now…today?

If the scales were brought out, would you and I be found wanting?

Are we merely Christian in name but just a millimeter under the surface, we are pure self?

This is a tough question. I do thank my God and Savior often that His love for me has nothing to do with my miserable and inconsistent track record as a Christian. Rather, His unconditional love for me is because of His amazing, never ending favor and kindness toward me, once so lost I couldn’t see my nose in my darkness.

It is because of His Son, His sacrifice, sin payment, and resurrection that I am set free! I thank Jesus who voluntarily went to the Cross for me where The Great Exchange occurred: His Righteousness for my filthy rags. Wow! Isaiah 61:10

Please send comments to: Jim.Grunseth@Cru.Org

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13. March 2019

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You Want What?

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.”  (Proverbs 19:21   ESV)

Someone once said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re trying to live it.” I confess I often don’t like that quote. However, if you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, you will find this verse absolutely true. I’ve had to learn it often kicking and clawing each step of the way. I am a proud, stubborn soul. I don’t learn His Truth easily. How about you?

Are you stubborn and often proud of heart like me? If you are human, and if you are reading this, you probably are like me. Oh…we don’t like others to know of our frailties and cracks in our armor, but we, if honest, are a pretty needy lot.

I find the way I am wired, I look for ways to self-protect or self-promote. Sadly, if at the end of the day, if I haven’t achieved one or both of these fleshly, worldly pursuits, I find myself both frustrated and discontent. Can some of you relate?

It’s as if I’m on a tropical island all alone building up my grass and stick hut 8 feet off the ground so wild beasts and ocean floods will not reach my safe, secure world.

The frustrating and sometimes funny thing is that while I’m trying to prop up my hut stilts and posts with rope and vine, God is there trying to kick out my protective slats and 8 foot posts ruining my attempt at solving my life’s problems, troubles, and insecurities.

At first thought, it seems like He is not for me but against me!

Humbly, let us pray that each of us will learn to yield unto His way, His timing, His honor.

“Though he slay me,

I will hope in him...” 

(Job 13:15a ESV)

Please send comments to: Jim.Grunseth@Cru.Org

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5. March 2019

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Are You Offended?

Like me, you’ve had those times in life where you’ve been praised or recognized for some accomplishment or achievement. Also, like me, you’ve no doubt had more than a few times when you’ve been back stabbed, slandered, stepped on or down right shafted.

There have been times when I have not responded well. I’ve been offended and gotten my feathers ruffled. Somehow during those miserable times, I lack good sense.


I choose to take control of things. I usurp command from Jesus, who is supposed to be my Lord, Master, and Shepherd. Instead of overlooking an offense, I look for ways to magnify the offense. I feel I deserve retribution! I want justice and I want it now! “Why…I did not deserve to be treated that way! No way! That person is a jerk! I’m going to demand justice! I’ll show them! I’ll teach them a lesson!”

Now I imagine you have never felt like that. Right!

When I yield unto the Lordship and rule of Jesus in my heart and when I ask Him to help me respond as He wants me to respond, He gives me what I lack: Good sense. Then and only then will I become slow to anger. Then and only then will I overlook the offense.

Let’s pray we each humble ourselves right now, today, that He would give us His calm, kind, good sense.

Please send comments to: Jim.Grunseth@Cru.Org

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26. February 2019

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Truth Matters Too.

“The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”  (John 1:29  ESV)

These days, if you watch the news and read about many main line churches, or what’s going on in many college campuses, the great passion of today is not what John, the Baptist, is saying here.

There is an overwhelming pressure for social justice, diversity, full acceptance of many minority identity groups, and the idea that “you are not a Christian church or a good person if you don’t love, promote, celebrate, and endorse just about every lifestyle and identity plea that is thrown at you." Inclusion! Inclusion! Inclusion!

The Apostle Paul emphatically states in 1Corinthians 14:1a “Pursue love,” (ESV). Another version says, “Make love thy great quest.” The KJV renders it, “Follow after charity,”. Paul, earlier in 1Corinthians 13:3 says, “…but have not love, I gain nothing.” (ESV)

God is love and God is for love. We dare not forget that!  

But He is also the God of eternal, unchanging, inerrant truth. I believe John, the Baptist, knew about this ‘never to be separated duo’ of love and truth.

Proverbs 3:3 states this essential connection. “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the tablet of thine heart.”  (KJV   Bold added)

These two, mercy and truth are never to be found separate. Yes, Jesus was, is and always will be about love. But as John declared here, may we never forget the eternally important truth that Jesus came to save sinners from being damned and lost forever!

I guess in these days of the watered down or forgotten Gospel, I’d like to see us all return to a more healthy balance of mercy and truth.  Concepts like conviction, repentance from sin, and a holy reverence for the Word of God are desperately needed in our churches, our campuses, and our culture. Please join me in praying for this if you are led.

Please send comments to: Jim.Grunseth@Cru.Org

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19. February 2019

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He Will Quiet You By His Love.

“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”   (Zephaniah 3:17  ESV Bold added) 

It is possible that you have suffered a father wound from your past. You might not even know who your dad was. I am so sorry if this is true. I hurt with you. You might have experienced the blessing of having a great dad in the family you grew up in. For some, the accepting fellowship with dad didn’t come until later in adult life. That was my case.


The good hope we saved ones of the Lord have is that we have a Heavenly Father who knows us, formed us, saved us, and will always be there to love, guide, provide for, and cheer you on.

When you read the above verse, what comes to your mind? For me, right away, I see a loving, affirming dad cradling his young son or daughter tenderly in His arms almost cooing over his child. He is so proud, so caring, so thankful for such a gift! This, and much more, is how our Heavenly Father thinks of you, if you are His. Let’s pray for each other that we’d experience this afresh right now.

Please send comments to: Jim.Grunseth@Cru.Org

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14. February 2019

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Unashamed?

“You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame.

You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God and there is none else. And my people shall never again be put to shame.” (Joel 2:26-27  ESV Bold added)

What a great and faithful God we serve! His love for us believers, His children, knows no bounds. If you look at the bold words especially, there is just no reason not to praise the Lord! Yes, the world may hurt and shame us, His disciplines for disobedience can be memorable, but shame?

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1  ESV Bold added)  The Apostle Paul reiterates this great promise to the ones who have been saved by Christ’s shed blood on the Cross. Whatever you have done, oh Saint of God, whatever has been done to you, right now, Jesus takes away all shame, all guilt, all stain, and all disdain. You are free! You are made clean. And He will care for you forever! Let us pray for each other today that we would grasp these truths and share them.


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12. February 2019

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Has The Swarming Locust Eaten?

“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…”  (Joel 2:25a ESV Bold added)

Just 2 days ago, it was Sunday morning and I had the privilege of helping to serve the elements in Communion. I had been struggling with a discouraged and heavy heart for several months. I was anxious, fearful, and despondent over some things some very ungodly, lying, and fraudulent people had done to my wife Barbara and me. The Communion servers serve the congregation row by row the small pieces of crackers on trays representing the bread.

No one, with the exception of Barbara, knew about my inner struggle. I was standing in the back of the church sanctuary waiting for the others to walk up to the altar together when the Lord clearly impressed upon my heart the verse shown above.

Being in the back, I don’t think anyone could see my eyes welling up with tears…tears of great relief! A peace came over me that I will never forget! Right then and there, I knew my Lord Jesus not only understood my pain but that He took this burden from me and assured me He would take care of things. This word restore means “to cause to be at peace”,  “to be complete, be finished, be ended”, “to make safe, whole or good.” His compensation His way will be made. Let us pray this wonderful verse over each other and over your loved ones this day!

Please send comments to: Jim.Grunseth@Cru.Org

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