Meeting God

LUTHER

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A fresh look at Jesus’ most famous story

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It finally happened! The book, “What Jesus Wished People Knew About God” has been launched and is now available on Amazon, Kobo, Chapters, Barnes & Noble, Apple ibooks, etc.

This book takes a close look at the stunning portrait Jesus painted of His Father in His famous Parable of the Prodigal Son. Jesus’ parable is loaded with spiritual dynamite that could seriously alter your concept of God. It may rearrange your theology. It may make your heart skip a beat. It may lead you to experience the extravagant embrace of the Father and bring you to a freedom and joy you have never known.

Find a comfortable spot, put your religious preconceptions on hold, and prepare for a heart-stopping journey into the heart of God.

In the Father’s House

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He invites us into the living room of his heart, where we can put on old slippers and share freely. He invites us into the kitchen of his friendship, where chatter and batter mix in good fun. He invites us into the dining room of his strength, where we can feast to our heart’s delight. He invites us into the study of his wisdom, where we can learn and grow and stretch . . . and ask all the questions we want. He invites us into the workshop of his creativity, where we can be co-laborers with him, working together to determine the outcomes of events. He invites us into the bedroom of his rest, where new peace is found…

–Richard Foster,
Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home

Our chief purpose

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So it may be said that
the chief purpose of life,
for any one of us, is to increase
according to our capacity
our knowledge of God
by all the means we have,
and to be moved by it
to praise and thanks.

— J.R.R. Tolkien
Letters

Knowing God

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We do not know God
by defining him
but by being loved by him
and loving in return.

–Eugene Peterson

Not just survival

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It is worth mentioning . . .
that this God . . .
is the one who created kites,
and sex, and good wine,
and spring flowers,
and children’s eyes.
Coming home to him
will not just be survival—
it could turn out to be
an awful lot of fun.

–Adrian Plass
When You Walk

The hiddenness of God

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God, who is everywhere, never leaves us.
Yet He seems sometimes to be present,
sometimes absent. If we do not know Him well,
we do not realize that He may be
more present to us when He is absent
then when He is present.

–Thomas Merton

Costly relationship

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Relationships are costly.
Whatever it cost you
to be with God is nothing
compared to what it cost Him
to be with you.

–Tim Keller

Lifelong journey

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To read the Bible for knowledge is tiresome. To read the Bible as a docudrama is boring. To read the Bible as a book of rules is deadening. But to read the Bible as a love letter from a Friend, and to meet that Friend in the text of Scripture, is to pack your bags for a lifelong journey.

–Leonard Sweet
Viral

We can only point

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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

The goal of faith

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The goal of faith
is not to create a set
of immutable, rationalized,
precisely defined and 
defendable beliefs
to preserve forever.
It is to recover
a relationship
with God.

–Daniel Taylor

Easy to live with

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Unfortunately, many Christians cannot get free from their perverted notions of God, and these notions poison their hearts and destroy their inward freedom . . . Their idea of God rules out the possibility of His being happy in His people, and they attribute the singing and shouting to sheer fanaticism. Unhappy sods, these, doomed to go heavily on their melancholy way, grimly determined to do right if the heavens fall and to be on the winning side in the day of judgment.

How good it would be if we could learn
that God is easy to live with.

He remembers our frame and knows that we are dust. He may sometimes chasten us, it is true, but even this He does with a smile, the proud, tender smile of a Father who is bursting with pleasure over an imperfect but promising son who is coming every day to look more and more like the One whose child he is.

–A. W. Tozer
The Root of the Righteous

His passion is to share

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No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. (Mt. 11:27 NIV)

Jesus is not another in the long line of religious leaders dispensing divine advice and direction. What is unique about Jesus is his knowledge of the Father. I don’t mean mere intellectual or academic or theological knowledge. I mean personal, experiential, relational knowledge. He knows the Father. He sees the Father’s face. He lives in communion with the Father in the Spirit. The shocker about Jesus is that he has no interest whatever in hoarding his exclusive communion with His Father: His passion is sharing.

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Mark it well, Jesus crossed all worlds to come to us, and he did not come to give us a religious manual to follow, or to leave us with fresh insights about a distant God. He came to give himself to us, and all he has and knows.

He crossed all worlds to establish
a personal relationship with us,
to include us in his own relationship
with his Father and Spirit.

He came to share his soul with us, and thus his own knowledge of his Father, his own peace, his own assurance and hope and joy, so that we could know what he knows, so that we could taste and feel and experience the life he alone lives with his Father in the fellowship of the Spirit.

–C. Baxter Kruger
Across All Worlds

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

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

Friendship with God

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There is tremendous relief in knowing that His love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery can disillusion Him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench His determination to bless me. There is, certainly, great cause for humility in the thought that He sees all the twisted things about me that my fellow-men do not see (and I am glad!), and that He sees more corruption in me than that which I see in myself (which, in all conscience, is enough).

There is, however, equally great incentive to worship and love God in the thought that, for some unfathomable reason, He wants me as His friend, and desires to be my friend, and has given His Son to die for me in order to realize this purpose.

–James I. Packer
Knowing God

Listening for His voice

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The Christian’s interest in Scripture
has always been in hearing God speak,
not in analyzing moral memos.

–Eugene Peterson

Spirituality, intimacy and illusions

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Many people assume that spirituality is about becoming emotionally intimate with God. That’s a naïve view of spirituality. What we’re talking about is the Christian life. It’s following Jesus. Spirituality is no different from what we’ve been doing for two thousand years just by going to church and receiving the sacraments, being baptized, learning to pray, and reading Scriptures rightly. It’s just ordinary stuff.

This promise of intimacy is both right and wrong. There is an intimacy with God, but it’s like any other intimacy; it’s part of the fabric of your life. In marriage you don’t feel intimate most of the time. Nor with a friend. Intimacy isn’t primarily a mystical emotion. It’s a way of life, a life of openness, honesty, a certain transparency . . .

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It involves following Jesus. It involves the Cross. It involves death, an acceptable sacrifice. We give up our lives. The Gospel of Mark is so graphic this way. The first half of the Gospel is Jesus showing people how to live. He’s healing everybody. Then right in the middle, he shifts. He starts showing people how to die: “Now that you’ve got a life, I’m going to show you how to give it up.” That’s the whole spiritual life. It’s learning how to die. And as you learn how to die, you start losing all your illusions, and you start being capable now of true intimacy and love.

–Eugene Peterson
Spirituality for All the Wrong Reasons
Interview by Mark Galli, Christianity Today

Knock boldly

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When you stand before His gate, knock loudly and boldly. Do not knock as a beggar knocks, but as one who belongs to the house. Not as a vagabond, who is afraid of the police, but as a friend and an intimate acquaintance. Not as one who is apprehensive of being troublesome, or of coming at an improper time, but as a . . . [son] who may rest assured of a hearty welcome.

–F. W. Krummacher
(1796 – 1868)

 

Infinite attention

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God has infinite attention
to spare for each one of us.
You are as much alone with Him
as if you were the only being
He had ever created.

–C. S. Lewis

Finding freedom

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Freedom comes when we encounter God . . . Knowing God, His character, how much He loves us, how trustworthy He is, causes us to worship and take pleasure in Him. We’re now forgiven and can draw near to God. We’re new creations whose core identity is no longer sinner but saint. We have a new appetite within us, a desire for God that is stronger than every other desire, waiting to be discovered and nourished.

–Larry Crabb
Shattered Dreams

Meeting the real God

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Only if God can say things
that make you struggle
will you know that you have met
a real God and not a figment
of your imagination.

–Tim Keller

Published in: on 02/17/2013 at 4:25  Leave a Comment  
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The most wonderful idea of all

To know GOD is Life Eternal . . . To know God is to know Goodness. It is to see the beauty of infinite Love . . . It is to see the King of Heaven and Earth take infinite delight in Giving. Whatever knowledge else you have of God, it is but Superstition. Which Plutarch rightly defines, to be an Ignorant Dread of His Divine Power, without any joy in His goodness. He is not an Object of Terror, but Delight.

To know Him therefore as He is,
is to frame the most beautiful idea
in all Worlds.

He delights in our happiness more than we: and is of all other the most Lovely Object. An infinite Lord, who having all Riches, Honours, and Pleasures in His own hand, is infinitely willing to give them unto me. Which is the fairest [most wonderful] idea that can be devised.

–Thomas Traherne
(1637 – 1674)

This is not heaven

For now we see in a mirror dimly,
but then face to face;
now I know in part,
but then I shall know fully
just as I also have been fully known.
(1 Cor. 13:12)

God wants us to know right up front that this is not heaven on earth. He knows me intimately, and He also knows that I don’t know Him in the same way.

Sometimes we can fatigue ourselves greatly
in a never-ending quest to feel
closer and closer to God.

We feel second-rate, because our knowledge of God is so imperfect. Of course we are right in one sense; none of us knows our Creator the way we should, the way we long to. But the true fulfillment of those desires awaits another age. To know that my present dim apprehension of God is only to be expected is incredibly comforting. I am eager for more, but I don’t have to thrash myself with guilt for not knowing God better.

The important thing now is not that I know God,
but that He knows me.

One day He will lift the veil totally and irrevocably in a way that all my spiritual strivings never could.

–Ron Julian
(emphasis added)

Knowing God

The Word we study has to be the Word we pray. My personal experience of the relentless tenderness of God came not from exegetes, theologians, and spiritual writers, but from sitting still in the presence of the living Word and beseeching Him to help me understand with my head and heart His written Word. Sheer scholarship alone cannot reveal to us the gospel of grace. We must never allow the authority of books, institutions, or leaders to replace the authority of “knowing” Jesus Christ personally and directly. When the religious views of others interpose between us and the primary experience of Jesus as the Christ, we become unconvicted and unpersuasive travel agents handing out brochures to places we have never visited.

— Brennan Manning

Published in: on 01/26/2012 at 9:00  Leave a Comment  
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Interaction with God


God will not come into certain corners of our lives until we open those corners to him. Certainly, God knows our hearts better than we know our hearts. But he will not work in those areas unless we say, “Come.” That’s part of the active relationship of God giving us perfect freedom to invite him to come. It isn’t just amounts of knowledge we’re talking about. It is the life relationship, the interaction with God, that changes us.

–Richard Foster

To know God

To know God
is to experience his love in Christ
and to return that love
in obedience.

–C. H. Dodd (1884 – 1973)

Knowing is loving

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. . . if we knew him we would love him. “God is love,” as St. John said. He who does not love him does not know him, for how can we know love without loving him? Therefore it stands to reason that all those who only fear God, do not know him.

–Fenelon
(1651-1715)


Friendship with the Father

The great danger facing all of us…is that some day we may wake up and find that we have been busy with husks and trappings of life and have really missed life itself. That is what one prays one’s friends may be spared—satisfaction with a life that… has in it no tingle or thrill that comes from a friendship with the Father.

–Philip Brooks

Published in: on 02/09/2011 at 13:19  Leave a Comment  
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