The Incomparable Christ

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How sifted from the local and temporary and the trivial his mind was! He was always on the worthwhile, on the thing that mattered. He was never misled by a subordinate issue; not once did he slip away from the primary into the secondary. His finger goes unerringly to the essentials in every matter.

–E. Stanley Jones,
Christ At The Round Table

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Surrendering To God

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Surrender does involve loss,
but that loss is finite.
What is gained is infinite,
eternal, belonging to
another world without end,
and worth far more than
any price we might pay.

–Christie Purifoy

Pressing Forward

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I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that country and to help others to do the same.

–C. S. Lewis

Published in: on 06/02/2018 at 8:13  Leave a Comment  
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Living By Faith

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As believers, we no longer live under the law, looking to it to tell us what to do or not do, then trying our best to do it. Instead, we live on the faith principle, the inner life principle, of who really is our life—Christ.

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We trust that He directs us, opens or closes doors for us, and speaks directly to us, giving us a message or whatever is needed for the occasion. We trust that He is living through us. We may not feel it at any given moment, but we live by faith that He is our life.

–Dan Stone and David Gregory

God Likes Matter

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There is no good trying to be more spiritual than God. God never meant man to be a purely spiritual creature. That is why He uses material things like bread and wine to put the new life into us. We may think this rather crude and unspiritual. God does not: He invented eating. He likes matter. He invented it.

–C. S. Lewis,
Mere Christianity

The Bright Field

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I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was
the pearl of great price, the one field
that had treasure in it. I realise now
that I must give all that I have
to possess. Life is not hurrying on
to a receding future, nor hankering
after an imagined past.
It is the turning aside like Moises
to the miracle of the lit bush,
to a brightness that seemed transitory
as your youth once, but is the
eternity that awaits you.

–R. S. Thomas,
The Bright Field

Published in: on 04/21/2018 at 11:00  Leave a Comment  
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Facing The Son

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Published in: on 04/19/2018 at 5:34  Leave a Comment  
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He Seeks The Unruly

220px-Brooklyn_Museum_-_The_Good_Shepherd_(Le_bon_pasteur)_-_James_Tissot_-_overall copy 2We are misled by the religious pictures which depict Jesus as the good shepherd carrying a cuddly white lamb on his shoulder. A lamb will hardly stray from its mother. It is the troublesome, obstreperous sheep which is likely to go astray, going through the fence, having its wool torn and probably ending up in a ditch of dirty water. It is this dirty, smelly, riotous creature, which the good shepherd goes after, leaving the good, well-behaved ninety-nine in the wilderness, and when he finds it, why, he carries it on his shoulder and calls his friends to celebrate with him.

–Desmond Tutu,
Hope and Suffering

Published in: on 04/11/2018 at 19:23  Leave a Comment  
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Everything Is Different

9b08e837610f10f0246efe94cdb30340The New Testament writers speak as if Christ’s achievement in rising from the dead was the first event of its kind in the whole history of the universe. He is the “first fruits”, the “pioneer of life”. He has forced open a door that has been locked since the death of the first man. He has met, fought, and beaten the King of Death. Everything is different because He has done so. This is the beginning of the New Creation: a new chapter in cosmic history has opened.  –C. S. Lewis

The Beginning of the End

He is Risen

Christ’s resurrection is the beginning of God’s rebellion. That rebellion is still going on in the Spirit of hope and will be completed when, together with death, ‘every rule and every authority and power’ is at last abolished (1 Cor. 15:24).

–Jürgen Moltmann

When God Gave His Life

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When Jesus Christ
shed his blood on the cross,
it was not the blood of a martyr;
nor the blood of one man
for another; it was
the life of God poured out
to redeem the world.
         –Oswald Chambers

Unshakable Love

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There is a love
that blazes up
and is forgotten;
then there is love
until death.
–Soren Kierkegaard

Published in: on 03/30/2018 at 3:12  Leave a Comment  
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A Matter of the Heart

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Above all else, the Christian life is a love affair of the heart. It cannot be lived primarily as a set of principles or ethics. It cannot be managed with steps and programs. It cannot be lived exclusively as a moral code leading to righteousness. In response to a religious expert who asked him what he must do to obtain real life, Jesus asked a question in return:

“What is written in the Law? . . . How do you read it?”
He answered: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” (Luke 10:26-28)

The truth of the gospel is intended to free us to love God and others with our whole heart. When we ignore this heart aspect of our faith and try to live out our religion solely as correct doctrine or ethics, our passion is crippled, or perverted, and the divorce of our soul from the heart purposes of God toward us is deepened.

–Brent Curtis & John Eldredge
The Sacred Romance

Published in: on 03/29/2018 at 8:50  Leave a Comment  
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Business Closed

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Christianity is not a religion, it is the announcement of the end of religion. Religion consists of all the things (believing, behaving, worshipping, sacrificing) the human race has ever thought it had to do to get right with God. About those things, Christianity has only two comments to make. The first is that none of them ever had the least chance of doing the trick: the blood of bulls and goats can never take away sins (see the Epistle of Hebrews) and no effort of ours to keep the law of God can ever succeed (see the Epistle of Romans). The second is that everything religion tried (and failed) to do has been perfectly done, once and for all, by Jesus in his death and resurrection.

For Christians, then, the entire religion shop has been closed, boarded up and forgotten. The church is not in the religion business. It never has been and it never will be, in spite of all the ecclesiastical turkeys through two thousand years who have acted as if religion was their stock in trade. The church, instead, is in the Gospel-proclaiming business. It is not here to bring the world the bad news that God will think kindly about us only after we have gone through certain creedal, liturgical, and ethical wickets; it is here to bring the world the Good News that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly.” It is here, in short, for no religious purpose at all, only to announce the Gospel of free grace.

–Robert F. Capon
Kingdom, Grace, Judgment

A Book To Live In

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Published in: on 03/17/2018 at 20:29  Leave a Comment  
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He Walks Among the Trees

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A loving Personality dominates the Bible, walking among the trees of the garden and breathing fragrance over every scene. Always a living Person is present, speaking, pleading, loving, working, and manifesting himself whenever and wherever his people have the receptivity necessary to receive the manifestation.

–A. W. Tozer,
The Pursuit of God

Limitless Goodness

CS Lewis

Symphony of Joy

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To be right with God is to be right with the universe: one with the power, the love, the will of the mighty Father, the cherisher of joy, the Lord of laughter, whose are all glories, all hopes, who loves everything and hates nothing but selfishness.

–George MacDonald‏

The Pursuit of Happiness

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Faith Is Rest

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Faith is rest, not toil. It is the giving up all the former weary efforts to do or feel something good, in order to induce God to love and pardon; and the calm reception of the truth so long rejected, that God is not waiting for any such inducements, but loves and pardons of His own goodwill, and is showing that goodwill to any sinner who will come to Him on such a footing, casting away his own poor performances or goodnesses, and relying implicitly upon the free love of Him who so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son.

–Horatius Bonar,
The Everlasting Righteousness

He Will Finish What He Started

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Published in: on 02/18/2018 at 3:29  Leave a Comment  
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The Influence of a Godly Life

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He was not merely of the salt of the earth, but of the leaven of the kingdom, contributing more to the true life of the world than many a thousand far more widely known and honored. Such as this man . . . radiate help and breathe comfort; they reprove, they counsel, they sympathize; in a word, they are doorkeepers of the house of God. Constantly upon its threshold, and every moment pushing the door to peep in, they let out radiance enough to keep the hearts of men believing in the light. They make an atmosphere about them in which spiritual things can thrive…

—George MacDonald

On the Path of Life

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Published in: on 02/09/2018 at 16:09  Leave a Comment  
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The Bridge

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Published in: on 02/07/2018 at 14:04  Leave a Comment  
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Future Joy

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There is a place called heaven where
the good here unfinished is completed;
and where the stories unwritten,
and the hopes unfulfilled, are continued.
We may laugh together yet.

–J.R.R. Tolkien

Published in: on 01/29/2018 at 15:51  Leave a Comment  
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Keep On Looking

Christ 9J copyIf you want to know who God is, look at Jesus. If you want to know what it means to be human, look at Jesus. If you want to know what love is, look at Jesus. If you want to know what grief is, look at Jesus. And go on looking until you’re not just a spectator, but you’re actually part of the drama which has him as the central character.

–N. T. Wright

Delightful and Disturbing

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The gospel is delightful and disturbing, simple and profound, free and costly, affirming and unsettling, tender and tough, beautiful and offensive, winsome and shocking, comforting and frightening, liberating and binding, wonderful and dangerous, marvelous and mysterious. Leonard Sweet put it well: “Truth is not found in the mediocrity of the middle but in the paradoxical harmony of a double-edged sword.”

–Jurgen O. Schulz

Eternal Vibrations

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Every action of our lives
touches on some chord
that will vibrate in eternity.

–Edwin Hubbel Chapin
(1814-1880)

When Heaven Stoops

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Welcome! all wonders in one sight!
Eternity shut in a span!
Summer in winter, day in night!
Heaven in earth, and God in man!
Great little One, whose all-embracing birth
Lifts earth to heaven, stoops Heaven to earth!

–Richard Crashaw
(1613-1649)

The Humanity of God

Giovanni copyWrinkled, Crinkled
Red-skinned Squirmer
Famished Squealer,
Manger Wetter.
Gabriel salutes you!
Michael bows!
We here in Bethlehem
Bed you with cows.
We here in Bethlehem
Bed you with cows.

–Stephen Mahan

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