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.

Becoming poor in self-sufficiency and self-righteousness

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

Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them! Matthew 5:3 (TEV)

When Jesus says, “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs” (Matthew 5:3 NLT), he means we must come to the end of ourselves. We have to leave behind any self-sufficiency or self-righteousness and come to the place where we realize our only hope is in Jesus Christ, our Lord.

We must be desperate for God: “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule” (Matthew 5:3 MSG).

The original disciples had no experience in how to be a Christian. All they could do was follow Jesus for each next step; they couldn’t rely on worn-in traditions that we so easily lean on instead of our relationship with Jesus. They had nowhere else to turn but to Jesus — and that is how we are meant to follow Jesus too.

By becoming poor in self-sufficiency and self-righteousness, we become blessed heirs of the kingdom.

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.

Stay Focused with Your Family Priorities

Posted on: February 15th, 2013 by Jon Walker |

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)

Running the race with perseverance means we stay focused on our priorities. We don’t let other things step in and hinder us from the priority of deepening our relationship with Jesus. We don’t let other things entangle us, tying us up so that we no longer place priority on our families or our health.

Consider this — One day the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water and Peter yelled out that he wanted to walk on the water too (Matthew 14:22-31). Jesus told him to come and so Peter, with all his focus on Jesus, stepped out of the boat and started walking on the water toward Jesus.

But then, the Bible tells us, Peter got distracted by the waves and the wind — just like you and I can get distracted by all the good and bad things we come across everyday. And, once Peter’s eyes were no longer fixed on Jesus, “the author and perfecter of our faith,” he began to sink into the water.

We cannot walk on water while trying to focus on whatever we want — sometimes Jesus, sometimes the wind and waves; sometimes God’s priorities for our lives, sometimes trivial pursuits; sometimes the purpose God created us for; sometimes “the sin that so easily entangles.”

What do you need to do to maintain the priorities in your faith, your life, your marriage, your family, and your health over the next year?

Jon Walker is the author of Breakfast with Bonhoeffer, Costly Grace, and Growing with Purpose. He is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope devotionals. This devotional is copyrighted 2013 by Jon Walker. 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 Takes My Mistakes and Uses Them For His Glory

Posted on: February 13th, 2013 by Jon Walker |

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

Read this as a prayer

In faith, I know this to be true:

God takes my mistakes and uses them for his glory.

After Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, he told them later, “But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance” (Genesis 45:7 NIV).

God took the brothers’ self-centered action, motivated by jealousy and anger, and he worked it into his plan of redemption. They meant it for bad; God used it for good (Genesis 45).

I know it is true that God can take my sins and mistakes and he can use them for good.

Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat” (Luke 22:31 NIV). But when Peter failed, Jesus knew he’d reached the point of, “I can’t, but God can,” and Jesus said, “Feed my sheep” (John 21:17 NIV).

I know it is true that God will still use me in ministry, even after I sin or make mistakes.

God says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV).

Jon Walker is the author of Breakfast with Bonhoeffer, Costly Grace, and Growing with Purpose. He is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope devotionals.

This devotional is copyrighted 2013 by Jon Walker. 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.

Faith Requires Specific Steps

Posted on: February 12th, 2013 by Jon Walker |

“‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’ ‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’ ‘Come,’ he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.” (Matthew 14:27-29 NIV)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer says Jesus calls us to a concrete faith. We can’t just have faith in general; we must take specific steps of faith — visible, concrete steps. And the steps can’t just be anything; they must be the steps Jesus tells us to take. We can take great risks, thinking they will please Jesus, but unless Jesus initiates them, they are faithless steps.

What Jesus does, Dietrich Bonhoeffer says, is continually push us into new situations that will require us to trust him. It “is the impos­sible situation in which everything is staked solely on the word of Jesus,” says Bonhoeffer.

When Jesus walked on water, he called out to his disciples, “‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’ ‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’ ‘Come,’ he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus” (Matthew 14:27-29 NIV).

When Jesus called Peter to step out of the boat and walk to him across the water, the disciple didn’t just jump out of the boat and yell, “Catch me, Lord, I’m coming!” He asked Jesus to call him, and Peter only stepped onto the water after Jesus told him to come on. It was a call to give up voluntarily the security of the boat for the insecurity of walking on rough water.

As Peter put his foot down on the water, he was totally dependent upon Jesus. He was taking an irrevocable step, because either Jesus would help him walk on water or Peter would sink beneath the waves.

Peter took the first step and, in that moment, he believed. His faith increased because he saw that Jesus was coming through. Then, he took another step, and his faith increased even more because he saw the consistency of Jesus.

  • Obedience doesn’t merely reflect faith; obedience leads to faith.
  • In what situation has God placed you so that you will learn to trust and grow your faith?
  • What is it that keeps you from being obedient to Christ?

Jon Walker is the author of Breakfast with Bonhoeffer, Costly Grace, and Growing with Purpose. He is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope devotionals. This devotional is copyrighted 2013 by Jon Walker. 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.

Submission: Altering Our Lives in Obedience

Posted on: February 11th, 2013 by Jon Walker |

“It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. This life that I live now, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me.” (Galatians 2:20 TEV)

If you want to start a heated debate among a group of Christians, just bring up Paul’s admonition that wives should submit to their husbands. But that debate is a distraction from the bigger issue: All Christians must submit to Jesus.

Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer has convinced me that the number one reason so many of us are stuck in spiritual immaturity is that we commit to Christ rather than submit to Christ.

The difference is this: We may commit to bringing dinner rolls to the church social and have the best of intentions to provide them, even getting off work early in order to serve our locally famous, family-recipe yeast delicacy. But no one expects you to quit your job and spend all your savings in order to provide the rolls, let alone center your whole life on the rolls. In fact, people would think you were crazy.

Have we reduced following Jesus to a similar commitment? If we’re barely willing to adjust our schedules to serve Jesus, is there any hope we’ll adjust our whole lives?

Commitment still leaves us in control, deciding, according to our own agendas, when or where we’ll serve Jesus. Submission means we yield to the will of Christ and do what he tells us to do day in and day out, altering our lives in obedience to him and his Word.

Jesus makes it very plain that it is an either/or decision. We cannot live for Christ and live for ourselves. As Paul explains, “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. This life that I live now, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me” (Galatians 2:20 TEV).

Bonhoeffer adds, “The life of discipleship can only be maintained so long as nothing is allowed to come between Christ and ourselves — neither the law, nor personal piety, nor even the world.” We cannot submit to Christ and still arrange things to suit ourselves; we cannot treat discipleship like a career we map out for ourselves, saying, “I’ll do this for Jesus after I get the kids through school and build my retirement fund.”

Paul suggests our submission to Christ should look like an Olympic athlete training for the games, sacrificing many things in order to focus on the one. We must see the Kingdom of Heaven like the man who finds hidden treasure in a field. He re-sorts all of his priorities 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 pales in comparison, so he never looks back to the things that were once important (Matthew 13:44-50).

  • Where we have been loyal to many things, we must now be loyal to one thing: the person, Jesus Christ.
  • How do you show Christ that you are willing to alter your life to be obedient to him, even if it is not comfortable or convenient?
  • What do you need to change about your priorities so that your life reflects a loyalty to Christ?

The devotional is excerpted from Breakfast with Bonhoeffer.

 

Jon Walker is the author of Breakfast with Bonhoeffer, Costly Grace, and Growing with Purpose. He is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope devotionals.

This devotional is copyrighted 2013 by Jon Walker. 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 do you prepare yourself for worship?

Posted on: February 7th, 2013 by Jon Walker |

“May … God … give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,  so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 15:5-6 NIV)

When we worship together, we become the instruction manual of Heaven’s reality. We show our oneness with God’s glory and our unity with other believers, praising God with our hearts as one.

At least that’s the way the manual says it should be. More often than not, though, we put this worship-thing together, ending up with extra parts and an outcome that doesn’t look like the picture on the box.

If you’re like me, that’s about the time you actually read the instructions, which include two very important tools necessary to master your worship project.

First, we cleanse ourselves of anything that comes between us and God, the things that keep us from oneness with him.

The Holy Spirit makes us aware of our sins, and, once he’s done that, we confess those sins and jettison them from our lives.

What is sin? It is anything that separates you from oneness with God; anything the Holy Spirit says is sin; anything that pushes God down in your life or out of your life; anything you wouldn’t do with Jesus right by your side; anything you wouldn’t do knowing the Holy Spirit is right inside you.

This is where the ancient worship leader sings us into the throne room of God: “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart” (Psalm 24:3-4a NIV).

Second, we intentionally remove any obstacles to our unity with other believers: “If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God” (Matthew 5:23b-24 MSG).

– How do you prepare yourself for worship?

– What does it mean to have an attitude of worship?

Jon Walker is the author of Breakfast with Bonhoeffer, Costly Grace, and Growing with Purpose. He is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope devotionals.

This devotional is copyrighted 2013 by Jon Walker. 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.

Strength is for Service, Not Status

Posted on: February 4th, 2013 by Jon Walker |

Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?” Romans 15:1-2 (MSG)

An exceptional example of bearing the burdens of another is Samwise Gamgee in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Although Frodo gets most of the credit, he never could have completed his journey through Mordor had he not been accompanied by Sam, his loyal and faithful friend.

In truth, Sam is the real hero of the story. He does everything he can to ease his friend’s burden, providing sacrificial service through the harshest conditions. Sam listens, he serves, he encourages, and he confronts by speaking the truth in love.

As the two begin to run out of food, Sam eats less in order to give Frodo more. When he realizes they probably won’t return from the journey, Sam presses on with Frodo, even though he knows it will most likely cost him his own life. When Sam thinks Frodo is dead, he takes the ring intending to finish the journey on Frodo’s behalf. When he discovers Frodo is alive, Sam gives the ring back to Frodo, instead of insisting it belonged to him. In fact, Sam is one of only two people who give the ring up voluntarily (the other one being Frodo’s uncle, Bilbo). When Frodo can’t go on, Sam picks him up and carries him up a mountain. Sam wasn’t concerned about credit, and he never thought twice about sharing Frodo’s burden.

Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer says bearing the burdens of others is how we become like Christ. In fact, Bonhoeffer says this is “precisely what it means to be a Christian.”

By the way, Sam also shows us that a servant is the hero. Why? Because, in the end, Sam gets the girl.

During a difficult time in your life, you may feel more akin to Frodo, who says he wishes the ring had never come to him. He wishes none of this had happened. His friend, Gandalf, says anyone who lives to see such difficult times wishes the same. But they have no choice about facing such times; they only have a choice about what to do with the time they are given. Gandalf says Frodo was meant to take his journey and to carry a burden for others, and he should be encouraged by that.

  • Oswald Chambers says we may be uncertain of where God will lead us, but we can always be certain he is leading us.
  • What situation have you recently faced where you asked God to take away your circumstances or your suffering? How or for what do you think God wants you to pray in these kinds of circumstances?
  • For whom do you think God is asking you to share or carry a burden?

Jon Walker is the author of Breakfast with Bonhoeffer, Costly Grace, and Growing with Purpose. He is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope devotionals. This devotional is copyrighted 2013 by Jon Walker. 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.

Don’t Be Good — Be Godly

Posted on: February 1st, 2013 by Jon Walker |

“How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look fine on the outside but are full of bones and decaying corpses on the inside. In the same way, on the outside you appear good to everybody, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and sins.” (Matthew 23:27-28 TEV)

Jesus doesn’t want you to act like a good person. In fact, he doesn’t even want you to be a good person, where you are aware of your own piety.

Jesus wants you to be a godly person whose behavior is connected to your intimacy with him and whose service flows from God through Jesus through you to others.

When we start thinking about what we should look like or whom we should impress with Christian behavior, we’ve changed the very nature of what we’re doing. We may do good things and provide noteworthy service, but that doesn’t mean it’s connected to Jesus and something recognized in the Kingdom of Heaven.

“Genuine love is always self-forgetful in the true sense of the word,” says theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. “But if we are to have it, our old man must die with all his virtues and qualities, and this can only be done where the disciple forgets self and clings solely to Christ.”

It’s unfortunate, Bonhoeffer says, that many followers of Jesus get stuck right at this point — at the threshold of the Kingdom but unwilling to die to self. The truth is, the image of the good man or woman easily becomes a form of idolatry because we place that image and our own abilities to be nice above our intimacy with Jesus.

Jesus had a major problem with the Pharisees because they focused on behavior and image and not on their relationship with the Father. So he was blunt and brutal in his criticism of them because they taught others to act like a believer instead of how to be a believer: “How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look fine on the outside but are full of bones and decaying corpses on the inside. In the same way, on the outside you appear good to everybody, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and sins” (Matthew 23:27-28 TEV).

This hypocrisy and idolatry leave us in a state of denial — perhaps the great condition of the modern Church — where we act as if we’re living the abundant life while secretly living in quiet desperation. The truth is, Bonhoeffer says, we’d rather have a saint in our small group than a sinner because we don’t want to deal with the mess. But the problem is, this creates an unsafe environment to bring our problems and our pain, so we all try acting like saints because we’re afraid people will see the mess in our own lives.

We try to interact with a shadow of Jesus instead of meeting him face-to-face; but he will have none of that. He wants an intimate relationship, and he also has the end game in mind. He has to push us into the reality of the Kingdom so that we can begin learning how to be a citizen there, even as we follow him down the narrow path and through the narrow gate.

  • In what ways have you focused more on being good than godly?
  • Pray for your small group, church, or community of believers, that you would move toward godly transparency and away from inauthenticity.

Jon Walker is the author of Breakfast with Bonhoeffer, Costly Grace, and Growing with Purpose. He is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope devotionals. This devotional is copyrighted 2013 by Jon Walker. 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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