During my time in seminary I took a leadership course taught by the late-great Dr. Howard Hendricks. As we studied the life of David, Prof shared a study he conducted with a group of men in full-time ministry who had fallen into a morally disqualifying sin.
Salvation is for us, of course—God doesn't need it—but it's not mainly about us. It is mainly about God. How so?
Turning to the deep well of Ephesians 2, we read:
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—- by grace you…
"The Christian life is the life of sons and daughters; it is not the life of slaves. It is freedom, not bondage. Of course, we are slaves of God, of Christ, and of one another. We belong to God, to Christ, to one another, and we love to serve those to whom we belong. But this kind of service is freedom.
"What the Christian life is not, is…
In The Holiness of God, R.C. Sproul calls this "Luther's own private Gethsemane."
O God, Almighty God everlasting! how dreadful is the world! behold how its mouth opens to swallow me up, and how small is my faith in Thee!… Oh! the weakness of the flesh, and the power of Satan! If I am to depend upon any strength of this world - all is over……
For Christians, the Bible is the most precious and important book we possess. In its pages are the divinely inspired words that guide us to know and love our God.
After the Bible there are a few books that every believer should probably read, reread, and apply. On this short list would be works like Foxe's Book of Martyrs, Pilgrim's Progress, Augustine's Confessions, Mere Christianity, Knowing God…
To those who trust in him for salvation, Jesus will never say:
"Go play somewhere; I'm busy."
"Fake it til you make it."
"I just don't think it's gonna work out between us."
"I knew you were a screw-up, but this one really surprised me."
"It's too late."
"I don't care."
"My assistant will get back…
What if we looked at 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 from the reverse angle? I think it helps us put so much of our pettiness and self-interest in stark perspective and shows love as that much more beautiful.
Impatience and unkindness is hatred.
Hate is envious and ego-centric.
Hate is arrogant and rude.
Hatred is insisting on one's own way;
hatred is irritable or resentful;
Eternal love moved the heart of Jesus to relinquish… heaven for earth;
a diadem for a cross;
the robe of divine majesty for the garment of our nature;
by taking upon Himself the leprosy of our sin.
Oh, the infinite love of Christ!
What a boundless, fathomless ocean!
Ask the ransomed of the Lord, whose chains He has dissolved, whose dungeon He…
(35) Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. (36) But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. (37) All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. (38) For I have come down…
But Moses' hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.—Exodus 17:12
Yesterday I sat with Natalie and read to her from 2 Corinthians (at her request)…