What it looks like

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Repentance is not
something that God
demands of you before
he takes you back,
it’s simply a description
of what going back
to God is like.

–C. S. Lewis

Image: B. E. Murillo

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Published in: on 11/30/2013 at 2:24  Comments (1)  
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More than you think

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Truth is more important,
freedom is more complex
and Jesus is more liberating
than you think.

–Tim Keller

Image: Brett Maurer

Published in: on 11/29/2013 at 14:17  Leave a Comment  
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The gift of grace

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After centuries of handling and mishandling, most religious words have become so shopworn nobody’s much interested anymore. Not so with grace, for some reason. Mysteriously, even derivatives like gracious and graceful still have some of the bloom left.

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Grace is something you can never get but can only be given. There’s no way to earn it or deserve it or bring it about any more than you can deserve the taste of raspberries and cream or earn good looks or bring about your own birth.

A good sleep is grace and so are good dreams. Most tears are grace. The smell of rain is grace. Somebody loving you is grace. Loving somebody is grace. Have you ever tried to love somebody?

A crucial eccentricity of the Christian faith is the assertion that people are saved by grace. There’s nothing you have to do. There’s nothing you have to do. There’s nothing you have to do.

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The grace of God means something like: “Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are, because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It’s for you I created the universe. I love you.”

There’s only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can only be yours if you’ll reach out and take it.

Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.

–Frederick Buechner
Wishful Thinking

Image: Alan Ranger

Getting his family back

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In a nutshell,
the Bible from Genesis 3
to Revelation 22
tells the story of a God
reckless with desire
to get his family back.

–Philip Yancey

Part of the Family

A God, heaven

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners,
but . . . members of the household of God.
–Ephesians 2:19 (NKJV)

The home-life of the Triune God overflows with hospitality. A gracious host, God warmly invites us into his accepting presence. We are not rejected or ignored; we are welcomed and embraced. This divine welcome gives us freedom to express ourselves fully. It is life-giving and liberating.

God not only loves us; God likes us! Like all good families, our uniqueness is affirmed and embraced. We are appreciated, valued, cherished, prized, treasured, adored, and desired. We share fully in the love between Father and Son in the bond of the Spirit. We are called into this relationship. And when we enter it, we are home!

–Richard J. Vincent

Trinity changes everything

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Knowing that our God, the Trinitarian God, is the true God changes everything and happily so. Only in a God who is triune would we expect to find creativity, generosity, diversity, relationality and so much more.

What kind of a Bible would this God give to us? It would be a gift, not a burden. It would probably be chock full of different kinds of writings from different authors in different cultures and different languages. It would reflect the glorious multi-coloured diversity and abundant generosity of a world created by this kind of God.

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I suppose we’d expect to find everything from engaging narrative to stirring poetry to rousing speeches and thrilling epic adventure and glimpses into the past and visions of the future. I think it would make you want to sing, to cry, to laugh, to celebrate, to contemplate, to marvel, to thrill, to share, to give, to live in response to all that is found there…

Only a Trinitarian God would give us a Book like that.

–Peter Mead

What life is about

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In step with the Spirit

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How great and lovely, then, is the work of the Spirit! He unites us to the Son so that the Father’s love for the Son also encompasses us; he draws us to share the Father’s own enjoyment of the Son; and he causes us to share the Son’s delight in the Father. What could be more delicious than to keep in step with a Spirit whose purpose is that?

–Mike Reeves
Delighting in the Trinity

No more to offer

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If you are a Christian, I have no blessing to offer you, because you have them all in Jesus Christ. All you can do is begin to discover the blessings in Him that you already have but have not yet possessed in experience.

The moment you are redeemed and the moment the Lord Jesus is come to indwell your redeemed humanity, God has given you the plenitude of heaven. You will never be wealthier than the day you were redeemed, but you can live in self-imposed poverty for the rest of your life if want do. What we want to do is to discover how to explore and enjoy all that God has already given you if you are saved. It will be the Devil’s business to prevent it.

–Major W. Ian Thomas

Little decisions are big

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Good and evil increase
at compound interest.
That’s why the little decisions
we make every day are
of infinite importance.

–C. S. Lewis

Published in: on 11/21/2013 at 6:17  Leave a Comment  
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A different lot

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A real Christian is an odd number anyway. He feels supreme love for one whom he has never seen; talks familiarly every day to someone he cannot see; expects to go to heaven on the virtue of another; empties himself in order to be full; admits he is wrong so he can be declared right; goes down in order to get up; is strongest when he is weakest; richest when he is poorest; and happiest when he feels the worst. He dies so he can live; forsakes in order to have; gives away so he can keep; sees the invisible, hears the inaudible, and knows that which passes knowledge.

The man who has met God
is not looking for anything;
he has found it.

He is not searching for light, for upon him the light has already shined. His certainty may seem bigoted, but his assurance is that of one who knows by experience his religion is not hearsay. He is not a copy, not a facsimile. He is an original from the hand of the Holy Spirit.

–A. W. Tozer

Love seeks entry

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Nor will God force any door to enter in. He may send a tempest about the house; the wind of His admonishment may burst doors and windows, yea, shake the house to its foundations; but not then, not so, will He enter.

The door must be opened
by the willing hand,
ere the foot of Love
will cross the threshold.

He watches to see the door move from within. Every tempest is but the other side of His love; it is love outside, that would be inside — love that knows the house is no house, only a place, until it enter.

–George MacDonald

Published in: on 11/19/2013 at 5:37  Leave a Comment  
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Rabbi, begone

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He had wrought for them a sign
of love, and hope,
and tenderness divine—
They wanted swine.
Christ stands without your door
and gently knocks;
But if your gold, or swine,
the entrance blocks,
He forces no man’s hold—
he will depart,
And leave you to the treasures
of your heart.

–John Oxenham
(1852 – 1941)

Image: James Tissot

Relying on grace

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True spirituality
consists in living
moment to moment
by the grace of
Jesus Christ.

–Francis Schaeffer
(1912 – 1984)

Running from God

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You can run from God
either by breaking His rules
or by keeping them.
The former says:
God doesn’t own me.
The latter says:
God owes me.

–Tim Keller

Image: Tor Håkon

Life out of death

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The principle runs through all life from top to bottom. Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favourite wishes every day . . . and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing.

Nothing that you have not
given away will be really yours.

Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.

–C. S. Lewis
Mere Christianity

Life is rooted in love

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Love seeks no cause beyond itself and no fruit. It is its own fruit, its own enjoyment. I love because I love; I love that I may love. Love is a great thing provided it recurs to its beginning, returns to its origin, and draws always from that Fountain which is perpetually in flood.

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Of all the feelings and affections of the soul, love is the only one by which the creature, though not on equal terms, is able to respond to the Creator and to repay what it has received from Him. For when God loves us He desires nothing but to be loved. He loves for no other reason, indeed, than that He may be loved, knowing that by their love itself those who love Him are blessed.

–Bernard of Clairvaux
(1091 – 1153)

The gravity of grace

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Grace is
the gravity of God
grabbing us
and drawing us in
to God’s never
ending love.

–John Manz

He still seeks

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As in paradise,
God walks in
the Holy Scriptures,
seeking man.

–St. Ambrose of Milan
(339 – 397)

Image: Lars van de Goor

Published in: on 11/12/2013 at 5:03  Leave a Comment  
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He still walks in the garden

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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
(1897-1963)

Image: Thomas Kinkade

Looking for a Person

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I do not approach
the Scripture looking
for principles to practice.
I approach the Scriptures
looking for a Person to know,
a Lord to worship, and
a King to yield to.

–Stephen Crosby

Essential ingredient

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When a person
doesn’t have gratitude,
something is missing in
his or her humanity.

–Elie Wiese

Published in: on 11/09/2013 at 4:09  Leave a Comment  
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Growing up into childhood

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There is a childhood into which we have to grow, just as there is a childhood which we must leave behind; a childlikeness which is the highest gain of humanity, and a childishness from which but few of those who are counted the wisest among men, have freed themselves in their imagined progress towards the reality of things.

–George MacDonald
(1824 – 1905)

Under God’s hand

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No natural feelings are high or low,
holy or unholy, in themselves.
They are all holy when
God’s hand is on the rein.
They all go bad when
they set up on their own
and make themselves
into false gods.

–C. S. Lewis
The Great Divorce

Not a blessed thing

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Neither the lost coin nor the lost sheep was capable of any repentance at all. The entire cause of the recovery operation in both stories is the shepherd’s, or the woman’s determination to find the lost. Neither the lost sheep nor the lost coin does a blessed thing, except hang around in its lostness. On the strength of this parable, therefore, it is precisely our sins, and not our goodnesses, that most commend us to the grace of God.

–Robert Farrar Capon
Kingdom, Grace, Judgment

Image:  James Tissot

Pride slays gratitude

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A proud man is
seldom a grateful man,
for he never thinks he gets
as much as he deserves.

–Henry Ward Beecher
(1813 – 1887)

Published in: on 11/05/2013 at 1:26  Leave a Comment  
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Where it starts

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The beginning
of man’s rebellion
against God was,
and is, the lack of
a thankful heart.

–Francis Schaeffer
(1912 – 1984)

The grace of life

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Listen to your life.
See it for the fathomless mystery it is.
In the boredom and pain of it no less
than in the excitement and gladness:
touch, taste, smell your way
to the holy and hidden heart of it
because in the last analysis
all moments are key moments,
and life itself is grace.

–Frederick Buechner
Now and Then

His will is glorious

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Anytime we emphasize
the difficulty of obeying
the will of God above
the rewards and fruits
of doing His will,
we will have a victim’s
approach to obedience.
His will is glorious.

–Bill Johnson

Image: Paul Klenck

Published in: on 11/02/2013 at 6:49  Leave a Comment  
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Just say thank you

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The life of grace
is simply believing
that Somebody Else
has made it all right, and
you just say thank you
and shut up.

–Robert Farrar Capon

Published in: on 11/01/2013 at 5:58  Leave a Comment  
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