Friday, June 27, 2014

Humble and Bold. Bold and Humble.

 And here is the source of true kindness. The salvation of Jesus humbles us profoundly – we are so lost that he had to die for us. But it exalts and assures us mightily — we are so valued that he was glad to die for us. Because we are sinners totally accepted by grace, we have both the humility and the boldness necessary to serve others for their sake, not ours.
       — Tim Keller

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It is Finished.

“We can put it this way–the man who has faith is the man who is no longer looking at himself and no longer looking to himself. He no longer looks at anything he once was. He does not look at what he is now. He does not even look at what he hopes to be as the result of his own efforts. He looks entirely to the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work, and rests on that alone. He stops saying, ‘Ah yes, I used to commit terrible sins but now I have done this and that.’ If he goes on saying that, he has not got faith. Faith speaks in an entirely different manner and makes a man say, ‘Yes I have sinned grievously, I have lived a life of sin, yet I know that I am a child of God because I am not resting on any righteousness of my own; my righteousness is in Jesus Christ and God has put that to my account.’”  
     -----D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Monday, June 16, 2014

Mercy and Grace

Our assurance, our glory, and the sole anchor of our salvation are that Christ the Son of God is ours, and we in turn are in him sons of God and heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven, called to the hope of eternal blessedness by God’s grace, not by our worth.

— John Calvin

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Driving a nice (but not too nice) car.

By Tullian Tchividjian at Liberate Blog:

In 1 John 5:3-4 John makes what seems, on the face of it, to be a ridiculous claim: the commands of God are not burdensome.

What? Has John not read the Old Testament, with its 613 commandments? Was he not there for the Sermon on the Mount, complete with Jesus’ proclamation that his followers are required to be perfect, just as their father in heaven is perfect? As if those laws weren’t burdensome enough, we could add all of the self-imposed Christian commandments, like the kinds of movies we allow ourselves to watch (maybe a swear word or two is okay, but nudity isn’t), the cars we drive (we like nice things as much as the next person, but we don’t want to be showy, do we?), or even the expressions on our faces (we want to be cheerful, to show people what a good life Christ has given us). We are burdened…perhaps more than anyone.

The idea that God’s commandments are not burdensome seems to diametrically oppose our experience: to us, they feel super burdensome.

And yet, we do have Jesus offer of an easy yoke and a lightened burden. He does promise rest. But how does that work? How do the obviously burdensome commandments of life become not burdensome? How is it that Jesus’ yoke is easy when he is the one asking us to be perfect?

The answer, though incredibly profound, is actually quite simple. Though the commandments are indeed burdensome, that burden has been laid on the shoulders of another. Jesus Christ, who demands that we be perfect, achieves perfection in our place. Jesus Christ, the culmination of the Old Testament story, fulfills the Old Testament laws. That same weight that threatens to break our backs actually did crush our savior. The weights that we bear every day are simply aftershocks of our human attempts to save ourselves. The weights we feel are a phantom; they’ve already been taken to the cross, carried up the Via Dolorosa on Christ’s back. We are free. We are, in Christ, unburdened.
This is true today, and every day.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Unbiblical expectations of what Christian growth should look like.

"Perhaps our greatest problem is not the reality of our sin, but our unbiblical expectations of what Christian growth should look like. What if growing in grace is more about humility, dependence, and exalting Christ than it is about defeating sin. … It is a radical and almost frightening thought to see that God is actually as much at work in our worst moments of sin and defeat as he is in our best moments of shining obedience.”

----Barbara Duguid, Extravagant Grace

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Slave or Free?

“According to most philosophers, God in making the world enslaved it. According to Christianity, in making it, He set it free. God had written, not so much a poem, but rather a play; a play he had planned as perfect, but which had necessarily been left to human actors and stage-managers, who had since made a great mess of it.” 
 – G.K. Chesterton