Amnesty Is Yours

I was at The Gospel Coalition national conference recently with my bride, and among the many excellent and encouraging sermons and workshops, I keep coming back to one of the introductions. It came compliments of Sandy Wilson. I love how he pulls out the aspect of amnesty — forgiveness — within the good news.

As soon as he arrived at the pulpit, he exulted in the evangel:

The good news is news — it is a proclamation, it’s an announcement. And the announcement is that there’s a kingdom,
and the King of that Kingdom is here,
he has touched base on earth,
he has broken the power of the evil one,
and he is coming back soon to consummate his great kingdom.
Meanwhile, between the two comings, there is a period in which amnesty is being offered,
to all of those of us who have rebelled against the kingdom (which is all of us),
and it is important for us to know that this amnesty is the real deal,
it really works!
And we know that it really works because we find in the Scriptures that someone has paid the price for us.
And his name is Jesus.
And we need to know how that works, because it really is the core of this good news, it is critical to know the terms of amnesty, for it makes it good news, and not bad news.
It would not be good news to know that the King of this kingdom is coming back and I am going to be confronted with all of my rebellion against him, in all his authority and power.
It’s good news if he’s coming back, and real amnesty is provided for me.

You can find his sermon, a recap of the conference, pictures, and sessions from the conference HERE. I commend them to you!

At Least They Fail Daring Greatly

I read an encouraging article from Jason K. Allen over at the For The Church blog last week. It included within it one of my favorite quotes from Teddy Roosevelt, which I’ve attached below from Allen’s post. Before you read it, here’s a thought on how to apply it.

In the course of the next week, when you are observing someone making an effort — whatever that effort is, your local barista, your waiter or waitress at the restaurant, the guy working on your home, maybe even the preacher serving up a Good Friday and Easter sermon with all the pressure that can bring — instead of feeling an inclination toward criticism because of a potentially less than stellar performance, be grateful for their willingness to at least try.

Teddy Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States, was one of the greatest elected officials in our nation’s history and one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known. He was a tsunami of energy, one who never saw a mountain too tall to scale or a fight too threatening to join. He shook the nation, invented the modern presidency, and left a changed country in his wake. In other words, there is a reason why his face, along with Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln is chiseled on Mount Rushmore. 
Teddy Roosevelt, reflecting on the burden of leadership and the willingness to risk all and attempt great things, famously observed, 
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”