Grace Creates

I recently learned an interesting fact regarding the history of the Omega Seamaster collection. The Seamaster and Seamaster Planet Oceans that we know today are hardy tool watches suitable for diving, James Bond, and overall feeling like high-function instruments that is made really well. You'd think these pieces started out as serious dive watches. That isn't the case actually. When the first Seamaster watches came out, Omega had other pieces in its collection that were more focused on sport. The Seamaster was meant to be a fashionable watch that one could wear up in the Hamptons while playing with their kids and not worry if it got splashed on. It was meant to be a luxury watch from day one. Overtime the Seamaster became an icon and important watch www.attrinity.com for Omega - especially as the brand continued to focus on a range of important high-intensity activities from racing to diving, and everything else where sturdy and reliable watches were needed (not to mention space travel). Flash-forward to now and we have an incredibly wide range of Seamaster watches, and its higher-end cousin the Seamaster Planet Ocean. For review I am checking out two 2011 Seamaster Planet Ocean Co-Axial Chronometer watches which well represent where the collection and brand are at today. In short the Seamaster Planet Ocean Co-Axial Chronometer of today comes in over 20 references, is available in 42mm wide or 45.5mm wide cases, and is available with blue or black dials with various color differences. Inside is an in-house made Omega movement, and it is a comfortable beauty on the wrist. The "Co-Axial Chronometer" part of the watch name replica omega Seamaster separates these Planet Ocean watches from others that do not contain the Omega produced caliber 8500 movements. The other new Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean watches with in-house made movements are the Seamaster Planet Ocean Co-Axial Chronometer Chronograph watches that contain Omega's caliber 9300 automatic chronograph movements. Those are excellent pieces, with fantastic movements, but I personally like my dive watches three-handed. For a super chrono, Omega has the Speedmaster which now also comes with the 9300 movement. I got to visit Omega and see the caliber 8500 movements being produced. Debuted in 2007, these large diameter movements are made for big watches and are amazing instruments that come from one of the most sophisticated timepiece movement assembly lines ever created. The need for such a production line is due to the fact that Omega must (relatively speaking) mass produce these - but with a very high quality output. They use a very cool automated assembly line that combines mostly human labor with robots that help with precision tasks. It takes about a full day to assemble and test just one 8500 movement. The movements are then sent to COSC for Chronometer testing, which takes another three weeks.

Why would Jesus want you to reprioritize?

Posted on: January 31st, 2013 by Jon Walker |

“Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:29-30 MSG).

Jesus calls us to a level of intimacy that can only be sustained by his constant presence in our lives. He won’t allow us to pretend Christianity is an add-on philosophy to a life we’ve mapped out for ourselves.

Instead, we must see our relationship with Jesus like the man who finds hidden treasure in a field. He reprioritizes his whole life because nothing is as important as buying the field.

We must become like the shopkeeper who finds a rare pearl and realizes everything else he has is unimportant in comparison, so he never looks back to the things that once demanded his loyalty (Matthew 13:44-50). Where we have been loyal to many things, now we must be loyal to one thing: the person, Jesus Christ.

When you see things through the eyes of Jesus, you see that nothing apart from Jesus is relevant or practical. And that changes everything about the way you live.

This means that cranky spouse becomes an eternal being you must love and respect. It means you will see the neighbors or the co-workers who have that unique ability to push your buttons as people who matter to Jesus, so now they all must matter to you.

They are, in a sense, the voice of Jesus calling you to become more like him. He calls you to an intimacy: “Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:29-30 MSG).

OK, I know it won’t be easy. But when someone irritates you today, consider it an opportunity to learn to love like Jesus loves.

  • Who do you need to see through Jesus’ eyes today so that you can love him or her as Christ loves you?
  • What steps do you need to take to reprioritize your life so that it reflects a total commitment to Jesus Christ?

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and the author of Breakfast with Bonhoeffer. This devotional © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author: Jon Walker

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and a contributing editor at pastors.com. © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. Used by permission.

Spiritual maturity follows truth wherever it leads

Posted on: January 30th, 2013 by Jon Walker |

“The Jews still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents.” (John 9:18 NIV)

When Jesus healed the man born blind, the religious leaders initiated an investigation to found out exactly what happened. Yet, it appears they’d determined the outcome beforehand.

So, when they found facts that didn’t support their predetermined conclusions, they just kept searching until they could find something that did support their prejudgments.

A sign of our spiritual maturity is when we follow truth wherever it leads; we face the truth no matter how much it hurts; we stand on truth no matter how much it costs.

We’re called to come out of the darkness by being obedient to the truth, who is Jesus Christ, our Lord: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 NIV).

Jesus calls us to a level of such extraordinary intimacy that it can only be sustained by his constant presence in our lives. He says, “Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:29-30 MSG).

  • How would you describe your relationship with God? Would you use the word “intimate” or talk about his constant presence?
  • In what ways do you “keep company with God”?

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and the author of Breakfast with Bonhoeffer.

This devotional © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author: Jon Walker

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and a contributing editor at pastors.com. © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. Used by permission.

Trust Jesus, even when he puts mud in your eye

Posted on: January 29th, 2013 by Jon Walker |

“The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.” (John 9:11 NIV)

A sign of our spiritual maturity is when we follow truth wherever it leads; we face the truth no matter how much it hurts; we stand on truth no matter how much it costs.

We’re called to come out of the darkness by being obedient to the truth, who is Jesus Christ, our Lord: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 NIV).

The man, formerly blind, could now see because he did exactly what Jesus told him to do. And because he could see with new eyes from Jesus, his whole perspective changed.

Yet, when his neighbors realized the man was no longer blind, they couldn’t believe their eyes because they were blind to the ways of Jesus: “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14 NIV).

As the now-seeing man walked back from Siloam, those who’d ridiculed him saw a man transformed. He was a new man re-created by Jesus — from a man born blind into a man who, through the eyes of Christ, could see all the way to eternity.

If you grasp “how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:18-19a NIV), then you will understand the extraordinary value of every human life, how each individual is a masterpiece created by God.

You, too, are a masterpiece created by God.

  • How has Jesus re-created you? What is different about your life since becoming a Christian?
  • How does being considered a masterpiece by God change your self-image?

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and the author of Breakfast with Bonhoeffer.

This devotional © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author: Jon Walker

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and a contributing editor at pastors.com. © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. Used by permission.

Believe: Jesus has your best interest at heart!

Posted on: January 28th, 2013 by Jon Walker |

“’Go,’ he told him, ‘wash in the Pool of Siloam’ (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, ‘Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?’” (John 9:7-8 NIV)

Then Jesus said, “Go … wash in the pool of Siloam” (John 9:7a NIV).

At first, the blind man may have hesitated, confused about how going to Siloam would give him sight. He may have been wondering, “Why would Jesus make me do this when he could have simply healed me back there?”

But his desperation pushed him toward the Pool of Siloam, just as Jesus uses your desperation to push you toward your purpose.

The blind man may have heard the laughter and ridicule as people watched him stumble toward the pool: “Look at that fool with the mud on his face.” “Even we can’t see with mud in our eyes!” “Are you crazy enough to think you’ll really be healed?”

But the blind man could not be shamed from doing whatever it took to be healed. Jesus told him what to do, and if that meant washing his face in the Pool of Siloam, then that’s what he’d do, no matter what anyone else said.

Siloam means “sent.” Jesus sent and the man went, and once he’d washed his face, the man could see!

It is important to do exactly what Jesus says to do. When Jesus finished rubbing mud into the blind man’s eyes, he didn’t say, “Now quickly wipe away the mud.” He didn’t say, “Go to the nearest well for water and then wash your face.” He said, “Go to Siloam.”

When Jesus tells us what to do, we need to pay close attention to the details. Otherwise, we may act according to our assumptions, failing to follow Jesus, who not only knows what he is doing but also has your best interest at heart.

  • In what ways have you tried to adapt God’s direction to what you think is best? Do you think you know better than God?
  • Are you a “details” person? What steps can you take to better understand what God is telling you to do?

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and the author of Breakfast with Bonhoeffer.

This devotional © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author: Jon Walker

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and a contributing editor at pastors.com. © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. Used by permission.

Jesus is never subject to our expectations of him

Posted on: January 25th, 2013 by Jon Walker |

“Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. ‘Go,’ he told him, ‘wash in the Pool of Siloam.’” (John 9:6-7 NIV)

Jesus came upon a man who’d been blind since birth. The man was begging on the streets of Jerusalem. Then, this stranger knelt next to him and, perhaps, said quietly, “If you do exactly what I tell you to do, you’ll be able to see. I will heal you.”

The blind man was desperate to be healed; he was desperate for change; he was desperate for a sign from God, to know his life counted for something.

The blind beggar may have turned toward the voice, expecting the one speaking to command his eyes to open, expecting this man to speak light where there had only been darkness for a lifetime.

Just speak, Lord, so it will be done.

But Jesus didn’t give such a command. Instead, he was working his saliva into the dirt, creating mud to spread across the man’s eyes like a mask.

And only then did Jesus give a command — an unexpected one that required the blind man to get up and walk in faith.

“Go,” Jesus told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam.”

Jesus is never subject to our expectations of him, but we are subject to his expectations of us.

Our faith begins with a real and tangible step of obedience. In other words, being a disciple of Jesus doesn’t mean simply agreeing with him or even heading in the same general direction as Jesus. We’re called to sever the ties to our current lives so we can follow after Jesus into our new lives — our real lives (Colossians 3:3) — toward our destiny and purpose.

  • What do you think is the difference in committing your life to Christ and submitting it to him?
  • What step of obedience has God been telling you to take but which you have resisted?
  • What do you need to do today to move forward in obedience?

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and the author of Breakfast with Bonhoeffer.

This devotional © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author: Jon Walker

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and a contributing editor at pastors.com. © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. Used by permission.

How to stop being self-absorbed

Posted on: January 24th, 2013 by Jon Walker |

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ …. Colossians 2:9-10 (NIV)

Perfect love desires communion, the sharing of life together, and so it cannot be expressed from a distance. God so perfectly loved the world that he came up close in Christ, stepping into the brokenness of our lives (1 John 1:1-3):

  • Into our emptiness, Jesus brings fullness and completion (Colossians 2:9-10).
  • Into our deficit, Jesus brings supply (Philippians 4:19).
  • Into our death, Jesus brings life (Ephesians 2:1, 5).
  • Into our separation, Jesus brings reconciliation (Romans 5:10-11).
  • Into our imperfect love, Jesus brings his perfect love (1 John 4:10).

When we know, and believe, that God is determined to love us perfectly, we can stop being self-absorbed and we can start being conformed to Christ (Romans 12:2). When we don’t believe God is determined to love us perfectly, we end up living like our best choice is to take care of ourselves.

And then, we become so busy taking care of ourselves that we have little time for authentic, transparent, loving community with others.

Why do you think we have been given the fullness of Christ? How should that change the way we live?

Jon Walker’s new book is Breakfast with Bonhoeffer:

  • “Best Christian book this year!!”
  • “Amazing vulnerability, I could not put it down!”
  • “Practical, painful and true.”
  • “This is a real life book about the trials we face in an evil world.”
  • “Unique writing style and perspective on living out the Christian faith ….”
  • “One of my favorite books of the year.”

This devotional © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author: Jon Walker

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and a contributing editor at pastors.com. © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. Used by permission.

Sit down, rest in God’s truck of faith

Posted on: January 23rd, 2013 by Jon Walker |

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest. Hebrews 4:9–11 (NIV)

Most of us think of the Sabbath as a day of rest, originating from the day of rest God took after he created the universe, as recorded in Genesis. That view is correct; it’s the reason we should take a Sabbath, a day of rest, each week.

Yet the Sabbath has a larger sense: an invitation to rest in God’s healing grace, trusting in his power and his purpose for your life. We rest in our Father’s arms, knowing he goes before and behind, knowing that his plans for us are good and not evil (Jeremiah 29:11).

God wants us to focus our efforts toward entering this Sabbath-trust in God, a restful, radiant certainty that God’s got a handle on it all, and that he’s got our best interests in mind.

Ian Thomas illustrates this point by telling the story of a man walking down a dusty, rural road on a hot and humid day. The man is loaded down with a heavy backpack and carries a duffle bag in each hand. A pick-up truck comes along, and the driver lets the man hop in the back.

The driver heads on down the road, but when he looks in the rearview mirror he sees that his passenger is standing in the bed of the truck still holding both duffle bags, still wearing the over-packed backpack on his back.

Truth is: We stand in the truck of faith, still carrying our burdens, thinking they’re independent of our ride with God. We think God can carry us, but not our burdens. But God’s truck of faith is big enough to carry us and to carry all our burdens.

Sit down and rest in the ride of God, our Father, carrying us home to him.

 

Jon Walker’s new book is Breakfast with Bonhoeffer:

  • “Best Christian book this year!!”
  • “Amazing vulnerability, I could not put it down!”
  • “Practical, painful and true.”
  • “This is a real life book about the trials we face in an evil world.”
  • “Unique writing style and perspective on living out the Christian faith ….”
  • “One of my favorite books of the year.”

This devotional © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author: Jon Walker

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and a contributing editor at pastors.com. © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. Used by permission.

God supports your every need as you follow Jesus

Posted on: January 22nd, 2013 by Jon Walker |

May the God of peace . . . equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20–21 (NIV)

God gives you everything you need to succeed in your life with Jesus.

The writer of Hebrews refers to this as equipping, and it’s similar to providing a sports team with the necessary training and equipment to succeed. They are given the equip-ment to win.

A common phrase among pastors is, “God doesn’t call the equipped; he equips the people he calls.”

And God is calling you.

The Bible says God will richly and lavishly support your every need as you begin your Jesus-journey. It’s not just your material needs that he’ll provide; he’ll also be a constant presence, going before you on your journey and sweeping in behind as you move forward.

God will be your strength, your wisdom, and your guidance. He’ll open doors of support and close doors that will take you in the wrong direction. He created you to succeed, and he’s been using people and circumstances throughout your life to equip you for your journey.

God equips you through others. One way God equips is through your family, friends, and co-workers. They may support you through material needs, but more importantly they can model a Jesus-life for you and help you bring your fears, concerns, and struggles into the light, so God can move you from fear to faith.

God equips others through you. Just as God uses others to equip you, he will also use you to equip others. Jesus-in-you can help others see God as an encourager and a supporter, and Jesus as a loving “friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24 NIV).

Jon Walker’s new book is Breakfast with Bonhoeffer:

  • “Best Christian book this year!!”
  • “Amazing vulnerability, I could not put it down!”
  • “Practical, painful and true.”
  • “This is a real life book about the trials we face in an evil world.”
  • “Unique writing style and perspective on living out the Christian faith ….”
  • “One of my favorite books of the year.”

This devotional © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author: Jon Walker

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and a contributing editor at pastors.com. © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. Used by permission.

When God disrupts your plans, drop your own

Posted on: January 21st, 2013 by Jon Walker |

When they had testified and proclaimed the word of the Lord, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages. Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” Acts 8:25–26 (NIV)

There is an old joke among journalists about a beginning reporter sent to do a story about a town meeting. He comes back a few hours later with sooty smudges on his face and tells his editor that there’s nothing to report.

The editor asks why, and the young reporter says the meeting never took place because the town hall burned to the ground. Wiping the soot from his face, he says, “Some of us barely got out with our lives!”

He’d missed a story far more important than the town meeting because he didn’t yet understand the need to be flexible. Journalists must be willing to drop everything they’re doing at a moment’s notice in order to chase a new story that’s a higher priority.

As believers, we need to develop a similar flexibility. We can plan and prepare, but when God tells us to head in a different direction, we should set aside our agenda and join God where he’s calling us to work.

For Philip, he was on the way back to Jerusalem with some of the other disciples, and in every town they stopped, there were people ready to receive the good news of Jesus. But God told Philip to take a different route, and in his obedience, he found God already working within the treasurer of Ethiopia, and from this conversation, an entire nation learned about Jesus.

When God disrupts your plans, his agenda takes priority over your own. Ask God to give you discernment in these moments and to help you develop obedience. Be encouraged, God knows you’re learning and growing.

Praise for Jon Walker’s new book, Breakfast with Bonhoeffer:

  • “Best Christian book this year!!”
  • “Amazing vulnerability, I could not put it down!”
  • “Practical, painful and true.”
  • “This is a real life book about the trials we face in an evil world.”
  • “Unique writing style and perspective on living out the Christian faith ….”
  • “One of my favorite books of the year.”

This devotional © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

 

Author: Jon Walker

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and a contributing editor at pastors.com. © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. Used by permission.

Still trying to decide for yourself what is good and what is evil?

Posted on: January 18th, 2013 by Jon Walker |

Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” Matthew 19:16 (NIV)

When the rich young man came to Jesus, the Lord would not allow him to perpetuate the myth that we can get to the God-life on our own terms. He won’t allow us to live in that myth either.

He won’t allow us to be double-minded in discipleship, where we agree to follow after Jesus but then get sidetracked—chasing hypothetical moral or intellectual dilemmas down trails that get us nowhere nearer righteous living, let alone into the kingdom of heaven.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer suggests that our many “what ifs” about discipleship keep us from the “necessity of obedience.”

We get so wound up trying to understand each step along the way —or, like the rich young man, trying to figure out that one thing we must do—that we become enslaved by doubt. Yet our freedom is found in simple, single-minded obedience to Jesus.

We must do what we know we’re supposed to do, and as we take each step of obedience, Jesus will reveal the next thing for us to do. Otherwise, we end up picking and choosing which commandments to obey, and our lingering debates lull us into thinking we are in a negotiation with Jesus when, in fact, we are simply disobeying him.

Bonhoeffer writes that the rich young man is actually attempting to “preserve his independence and decide for him self what is good and evil.” And that echoes back to the Garden and the hiss of the snake: “Did God really say that?” Surely there must be more to this than what God says?

Ask Jesus to question you in the places where you remain independent of him. Where are you still trying to decide for yourself what is good and what is evil?

Jon Walker’s new book is Breakfast with Bonhoeffer:

  • “Best Christian book this year!!”
  • “Amazing vulnerability, I could not put it down!”
  • “Practical, painful and true.”
  • “This is a real life book about the trials we face in an evil world.”
  • “Unique writing style and perspective on living out the Christian faith ….”
  • “One of my favorite books of the year.”

This devotional © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author: Jon Walker

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and a contributing editor at pastors.com. © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. Used by permission.

About Jon

Jon Walker has worked closely with Rick Warren for many years, first as a writer/editor, later as vice president of communications at Purpose Driven Ministries, and then as a pastor at Saddleback Church.

He's also served as editor-in-chief of LifeWay's HomeLife magazine and founding editor of Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox.

He is the author of Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship. His articles have appeared in publications and websites around the world. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

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