Keep Back Nothing

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Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will ever 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

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Responding to Grace

blank squareRoad Home-744913 C copyThe only legitimate
and genuine answer
to the unconditional
Yes in which
God forgives us
is an equally
unconditional
human Yes.

–Karl Barth

To Enter Heaven

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TO ENTER HEAVEN is to become more human than you ever succeeded in being on earth; to enter hell is to be banished from humanity. What is cast (or casts itself) into hell is not a man: it is “remains.”

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To be a complete man means to have the passions obedient to the will and the will offered to God: to have been a man – to be an ex-man or “damned ghost” – would presumably mean to consist of a will utterly centered in its self and passions utterly uncontrolled by the will.

–C. S. Lewis
The Problem of Pain

The other point of view

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The moment you wake up each morning, all your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists in shoving it all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other, larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in.

– C. S. Lewis

Learning how to live

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Jesus rarely “takes the wheel.”
Being co-laborers with God
means we get choices.
God wants to teach us
how to drive.

–Jonathan Martin

Getting a real personality

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The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become – because he made us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be. It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.

–C. S. Lewis 
Mere Christianity

A New Epicenter

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At the Sea of Galilee, Christ called to the disciples to follow him. And they did so, leaving behind their boats and businesses. They were so taken with Christ that they never felt the cost of their renunciation. They walked in the epicenter of a new adoration that had silently slain their old affections. Renunciation that is self-aware is mere asceticism, subtly boasting its own magnificent sacrifice.

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The apostles came to Christ, having surrendered the possessions that stood between them and the will of God. Even so, we do not remember them because they chose poverty, but because they adored Christ. If we too are spellbound by His excellence, relinquishment will be more a byproduct of devotion than a prerequisite of it.

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True lovers of Christ can stand in the pain of self denial . . . The glory of the Spirit blinds them to the showy temporal treasures of earth. They see only the Host. His hands are bruised and scarred; his once broken fingers now break the loaf.

–Calvin Miller
Table of Inwardness

The Offer and the Dance

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The gospel of Jesus is not the Gospel of a Demand but the Gospel of an Offer. Christ offers life to men: “He that drinketh of the waters that I shall give him shall never thirst”…

Of course, at the center of that offer is a demand—for repentance, for self-surrender, for following—but once the offer is accepted, the demand dances its way into a delight and is gone.

–E. Stanley Jones
Christ at the Round Table

Make me new

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Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.

–John Donne
(1573-1631)

His will means life

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God is not concerned about you doing his will because he wants to be obeyed. He is concerned about you—about making you blessed with his blessedness. He is not thinking about himself, but about you.

–George MacDonald
(paraphrased)

Image: Nelleke Pieters

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

Gotta serve somebody

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I came to know . . . that each one’s uniqueness, or in modern parlance, each one’s identity, is experienced only through the Lord or through the demons to which one surrenders. No one belongs to himself or herself.

–Ernst Käsemann
(1906 – 1998)

Photo credit: BestMoviesEverNews

Alive with His life

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When you surrender to Christ, you surrender to the most creative and dynamic Person on this or any other planet.

You begin to be alive with His life,
enlightened with His light,
loving with His love.

You have surrendered to creativity. Therefore His yoke is easy, for you are made by the Creator for creation.

–E. Stanley Jones

Two kinds of people

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There are only two kinds
of people in the end:
those who say to God,
“thy will be done,”
and those to whom
God says, in the end,
“Thy will be done.

–C. S. Lewis
The Great Divorce

A kingdom of paradox

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It’s not what we do that matters, but what a sovereign God chooses to do through us.

God doesn’t want our success. He wants us.

He doesn’t demand our achievements; He demands our obedience.

The kingdom of God is a kingdom of paradox, where through the ugly defeat of a cross, a holy God is utterly glorified.

Victory comes through defeat; healing through brokeness; finding self through losing self.

–Charles Colson
Loving God

Stepping out of the parade

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The moment we make up our minds that we are going on with this determination to exalt God overall, we step out of the world’s parade… We acquire a new viewpoint; a new and different psychology will be formed within us; a new power will begin to surprise us by its upsurgings and its outgoings.

–A. W. Tozer
The Pursuit of God

Surrendering to Life

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Prayer is fundamentally and essentially self-surrender . . . It is self-renunciation in order to find self-realization. Your petty self is renounced in order that your potential self might be realized. Prayer is the wire surrendering to the dynamo, the flower surrender to the sun, the child surrendering to education, the patient surrendering to the surgeon, the part surrender to the whole—prayer is life surrendering to Life.

A branch not surrendered to the vine, but cut off and on its own, it not free; it is dead. A person who doesn’t pray isn’t free; he is futile. He is a blind man who won’t surrender his blindness to the surgeon in order to see. He is free—to remain blind.

–E. Stanley Jones

Choosing the way to life

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When we want to be something other than the thing God wants us to be, we must be wanting what, in fact, will not make us happy. Those Divine demands which sound to our natural ears most like those of a despot and least like those of a lover, in fact marshal us where we should want to go if we knew what we wanted.

–C. S. Lewis
The Problem of Pain

Everyone surrenders

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If you don’t surrender to God,
don’t think you don’t surrender.
Everybody surrenders— 
to something.

–E. Stanley Jones

A larger life

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If we will but let
our God and Father
work His will with us,
there can be no limit to
His enlargement
of our existence.

–George MacDonald

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