Trustworthy

Why we trust

God’s Utterance

christ-27d-copy

Jesus of Nazareth is God’s utterance. He is the Word of God because no more thorough, personal, and beautiful revelation of God is possible.

He who is the perfect statement and rhetoric of the Father, the revealer of divinity, shows up in the form of a servant and sufferer and overturns our notions of deity. The One who is to be worshiped, exalted, and obeyed comes to serve and to give and to lay down His life for others. He unveils the essential truth and unsurpassing glory of the divine nature—a God who pulsates with goodness and power and love and beauty. Jesus reveals a God whose blessedness lies in giving rather than receiving, whose essence is an overflowing, unstoppable tsunami of grace. “Jesus Christ is the mercy of God,” wrote Karl Barth, “he is the love of God, he is the open heart of God.”

The Lord of glory has made Himself know in His Son—and He turns out to more wonderful than we ever imagined.

-J.O. Schulz

Goodness Came Among Us

babf7852ac8d4c376ca6800acc9a8fa4

If, so to say,
the Idea of the Good
has actually entered
the room and spoken,
we have to stop
our former discussion
and listen.

–Lesslie Newbigin

A Narrative Reversal

christ-1d-copyBecause the true story of the world has been lost in the seemingly endless epic of sin, Christ must retell — in the entire motion and content of his life, lived both toward the Father and for his fellows — the tale from the beginning. Says Athanasius, the Logos became flesh in order to reestablish the original pattern after which the human form was crafted in the beginning, and to impress anew upon creation the beauty of the divine image . . . It is because Christ’s life effects a narrative reversal, which unwinds the story of sin and death and reinaugurates the story that God tells from before the foundation of the world . . .

–David Bentley Hart,
The Beauty of the Infinite

When God Became Visible

christ-1e-copyNo one has ever seen God until they see Jesus. Every other portrait of God — from whatever source — is subordinate to the revelation of God given to us in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Word of God, the Logos of God, the Logic of God in the form of human flesh. Christians are to believe in the perfect, infallible, inerrant Word of God — and his name is Jesus. Jesus is the icon of the invisible God.

–Brian Zahnd,
The Faceless White Giant,
http://brianzahnd.com/2016/06/the-faceless-white-giant/

Moments of Glory

light in forest 5

Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved
said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”
(John 21:7)

We don’t see Him, nor does it happen every day of the week, or every time we read the Scriptures or on every occasion that we do some work for Him, but from time to time in the midst of life’s studies, griefs, and duties, true to His promise, He comes to us and manifests Himself in a way that is overwhelmingly real to our hearts. We sense the glow of His presence, the vibrancy of His life. We hear with the heart’s inner ear the rustling of the Shepherd’s robes beside us, and we say with deep conviction, “It is the Lord!”

–David Gooding,
In the School of Christ

The man who shut down the storm

jesus-calms-the-storm-1

When he saw a big crowd approaching, he figured he didn’t have enough steam left to do much for them that day, so he went and climbed into a boat for a few hours’ peace, only to find that the disciples were hot on his heels and wanted to go along too. So he took them. Then he lay down in the stern of the boat with a pillow under his head, Mark says (4:34), and went to sleep . . .

He didn’t doze off in the bow where the spray would get him and the whitecaps slapped harder. He climbed back into the stern instead. There was a pillow under his head. Maybe somebody put it there for him. Maybe they didn’t think to put it there till after he’d gone to sleep, and then somebody lifted his head a little off the hard deck and slipped it under.

decorative_divider

He must have gone out like a light because Mark says the storm didn’t wake him, not even when the waves got so high they started washing in over the sides. They let him sleep on until finally they were so scared they couldn’t stand it any longer and woke him up. They addressed him respectfully enough as Teacher, but what they said was reproachful, petulant almost. “Don’t you see that we’re all drowning?” (Mark 4:38).

It was the wind rather than the disciples that Jesus seems to have spoken to first, as soon as he’d gotten his eyes open. “He rebuked it,” Mark says (4:38). “Cut that out!” — you can almost picture him staring it down with the hair lashing his face as he holds on to the gunwales to keep from being blown overboard. He was gentler with the sea. “Take it easy,” he said. “Quiet down.” When it came the disciples’ turn, he said, “Why did you panic?” and then “What kind of faith do you call that?” but they were so impressed to find that the wind had stopped blowing and the sea had flattened out again that they didn’t get around to answering him (4:39-41).

–Frederick Buechner,
Beyond Words

The Truth is a Person

7b8575f1051bd7d55f17e3aa06a0adff copy 2Make sure that your study of the truth of God leads you to the Truth, that your study of words of God leads you to the Word, that your study of the ways of God leads you to the Way. Jesus said . . . “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

–J.O. Schulz

 

What God Does

Cross and sunset 2

Jesus Christ is what God does,
and the cross is where God did it.
–Frederick Buechner

You cannot blot Him out

Hagai Sophia

The Mosque of Saint Sophia in Constantinople [now Istanbul] is a transformed Christian church. It was one of the most beautiful churches in the world. All the Christian inscriptions and symbols have been painted out and Moslem inscriptions and symbols put in their places. As we stood under the great dome we could see that the figure of the ascending Christ with out stretched hands in blessing, which had been painted out, was coming back through the wearing off of the covering paint. I turned to a friend and said: “He is coming back. You cannot blot him out. Through the accretions and daubs of the centuries he is coming back again. He shall reign. The future belongs to him.”

–E. Stanley Jones,
Christ at the Round Table

Infinitely Greater

Tolkien copy 2

Not a code or an idea

Jesus in color 15F
If the Word had become printer’s ink, it would have become a code. If the Word had become an idea, it would have been a philosophy. But the Word became flesh and therefore became a gospel—good news.

–E. Stanley Jones
The Way to Power and Poise

Celestial matchmaker

bride copy 3bIt is as if the Spirit stands behind us, throwing light over our shoulder, on Jesus, who stands facing us. The Spirit’s message to us is never, “Look at me; listen to me; come to me; get to know me,” but always, “Look at him, and see his glory; listen to him and hear his word; go to him and have life; get to know him and taste his gift of joy and peace.” The Spirit, we might say, is the matchmaker, the celestial marriage broker, whose role it is to bring us and Christ together and ensure that we stay together.

–James I. Packer
Keep in Step with the Spirit

Everything changes

index copy 3If the Lord is indeed our shepherd, then everything goes topsy-turvy. Losing becomes finding and crying becomes laughing. The last become first and the weak become strong.

Instead of life being done in by death in the end as we always supposed, death is done in finally by life in the end. If the Lord is our host at the great feast, then the sky is the limit.

–Frederick Buechner
Secrets in the Dark

Glimpses of paradise

Healing blind man

Jesus is like a walking,
talking garden of Eden –
a sphere of paradise on earth.
With him wrongs are righted,
darkness is dispelled
and everything that’s twisted
gets smoothed out again.

―Glen Scrivener

The way, the truth, and the life

1353029-bigthumbnail

Any lights shining on the wrong subject will mislead you. I focus on my Lord Jesus, the true light that enlightens every man. He does not blind me, dazzle me, or confuse me. He shines on my path to show me the way, shines on my thoughts to show me the truth, and shines on my life to lead me to Life, because He is the way, the truth, and the life. His light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot resist it.

–Luis Fernando Aragon 
Pilgrim: One Thousand Days on the Road

Following a Person or a Belief?

Christ 9C2We must call men, not to loyalty to a belief but loyalty to a Person. We may be loyal to a belief and dead spiritually, but we cannot be loyal to this Person and be other than alive spiritually. He creates belief. He is the great Believer himself, and in the light of his radiant faith we cannot but believe. We do not get Jesus from our beliefs, we get our beliefs from Jesus. And they must of necessity be under constant correction by his mind and spirit.

–E. Stanley Jones
The Christ of the Indian Road

Wonderful, plentiful grace

heat-in-the-morning-210690

Christ’s boundless grace confronts our deep necessities. Christ’s promised presence confronts our sad and gloomy loneliness. Jesus thus filled with grace so overflowing, with love so tender, with sympathy so exquisite, with power so illimitable, with resources so boundless, with a nature so changeless, stands before us and says to each trembling heart, “Fear not!”

―Octavius Winslow
Evening Thoughts

In contact with Life

Autumn_Forest_and_Landscape_Color copy

Christ’s communion with His Father was the life-center, the point of contact with Eternity, whence radiated the joy and the power of the primitive Christian flock… When the young man with great possessions asked Jesus, “What shall I do to be saved?” Jesus replied in effect, “Put aside all lesser interests, strip off unrealities, and come, give yourself the chance of catching the infection of holiness from Me!”

–Evelyn Underhill

The corrective to blurry vision

Christ A5BNo one in the Old Testament could claim to know the face of God. No one, in fact could survive a direct gaze. The few who caught a glimpse of God’s glory came away glowing like extraterrestiales, and all who saw them hid in fear. But Jesus offered a long, slow look a the face of God. “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father,” he said. What Jesus is, God is. As Michael Ramsey put it, “In God is no unChristlikeness at all.”

People grow up with all sorts of notions of what God is like. They may see God as an Enemy, or a Policeman, or even an Abusive Parent. Or perhaps they do not see God at all, and only hear his silence. Because of Jesus, however, we no longer have to wonder how God feels or what he is like. When in doubt, we can look at Jesus to correct our blurry vision.

–Philip Yancey
Disappointment with God

He is what God is like

Christ 38BLet us be rid of that horrid, sly idea that behind Jesus, the friend of sinners, there is some more sinister being, one thinner on compassion and grace. There cannot be! Jesus is the Word. He is one with is Father. He is the radiance, the glow, the glory of who his Father is.

–Michael Reeves
Rejoicing in Christ

Brokenness, hope and joy

Daily_Muse_widescreen_wallpaper 2 copy

Brokenness is realizing
Jesus is all we have.
Hope is realizing
He is all we need.
Joy is realizing
He is all we want.

–Larry Crabb

Published in: on 03/02/2015 at 17:09  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

He was the message

Christ 1D copy 2Fundamentally, our Lord’s message was Himself. He did not come merely to preach a Gospel; He himself is that Gospel. He did not come merely to give bread; He said, “I am the bread.” He did not come merely to shed light; He said, “I am the light.” He did not come merely to show the door; He said, “I am the door.” He did not come merely to name a shepherd; He said, “I am the shepherd.” He did not come merely to point the way; He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.

–J. Sidlow Baxter
Explore the Book

Meekness and majesty

Christ 68

He was the meekest and lowliest of all the sons of men, yet he spoke of coming on the clouds of heaven with the glory of God. He was so austere that evil spirits and demons cried out in terror at his coming, yet he was so genial and winsome and approachable that the children loved to play with him, and the little ones nestled in his arms. His presence at the innocent gaiety of a village wedding was like the presence of sunshine.

z - page divider2

No one was half so compassionate to sinners, yet no one ever spoke such red hot scorching words about sin. A bruised reed he would not break, his whole life was love, yet on one occasion he demanded of the Pharisees how they ever expected to escape the damnation of hell. He was a dreamer of dreams and a seer of visions, yet for sheer stark realism He has all of our stark realists soundly beaten. He was a servant of all, washing the disciples feet, yet masterfully He strode into the temple, and the hucksters and moneychangers fell over one another to get away from the mad rush and the fire they saw blazing in His eyes.

z - page divider2

He saved others, yet at the last Himself He did not save. There is nothing in history like the union of contrasts which confronts us in the gospels. The mystery of Jesus is the mystery of divine personality.

– James S. Stewart
(1896–1990)

The Great Divide

The most important verse in Scripture is “And the word became
flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory of the only Son from the Father . . .”

christ_rembrandt_1This verse—“The Word became flesh”—is the Great Divide. In all other religions it is Word became word—a philosophy, a moralism, a system, a technique, but for all time and all men everywhere, “the Word became flesh”—the Idea became Fact.

Then I got hold of this difference (between all world religions and Christianity) in all other religions it is the Word become word, but only in Jesus Christ, did the Word become flesh. Then (and only then) Everything fell into its place. I had the Key, and this Key fitted everything in East and West . . . Religions are man’s search for God. The gospel is God’s search for man. Therefore, there are many religions, but only one gospel.

–E. Stanley Jones

Painting: “Head of Christ”
Rembrandt van Rijn

He became one of us

footsteps of jesus 6 copy-001

God has not kept himself immaculately sterilized in some hermetically sealed Heaven. He is not some huge Ego stubborning clinging to his distant invulnerable Majesty, refusing to give an inch. No, he became one of us literally sweating, thirsting, suffering—even to the point of being loaded down with our sins, even to the point of dying.

–Mike Mason

Squarely in the center

Cleansing temple 7 copyJesus will break our idols, complicate our assumptions, overturn our tables and put himself squarely in the center of every question. He is the way, the truth, the life. He is the answer. He is the one way we think about, know, love, worship and relate to God.

–Michael Spencer
(1956 – 2010)

We can only point

171195_e97fcca344e561f7e39d1edbb36a6b25_large

It is impossible for man to demonstrate the existence of God as it would be for even Sherlock Holmes to demonstrate the existence of Arthur Conan Doyle. All-wise. All-powerful. All-loving. All knowing. We bore to death both God and ourselves with our chatter. God cannot be expressed but only experienced.

In the last analysis, you cannot pontificate but only point. A Christian is one who points at Christ and says, “I can’t prove a thing, but there is something about his eyes and his voice. There is something about the way he carries his head, his hands, the way he carries his cross—the way he carries me.”

–Frederick Buechner
Wishful Thinking

Grace and Truth

Christ 67

Never did word and work so blend in harmony as they did in him. They blended like the words and music of a song. He taught men, and this words had the ring of reality about them. Others quoted authorities; he taught with authority of his own insight. Others came seeking truth; he came proclaiming it. Truth gushed forth from his soul like a fountain from a hillside… and men listened to these words as if they were hearing some long-lost chord, something that belonged to them, that belonged to the very structure and make-up of their being. They felt that this was the soul’s homeland.

–E. Stanley Jones
The Christ of Every Road

The cruciform God

He-carried-the cross 18c

When the crucified
Jesus is called
“the image of the invisible God,”
the meaning is that
THIS is God, and
God is like THIS.

–Jürgen Moltmann

%d bloggers like this: