Monday, August 24, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

God is far more

“The gospel shows us that God is far more holy and absolute than the moralists’ god, because he could not be satisfied by our moral efforts, even the best! On the other hand, the gospel shows us that God is far more loving and gracious than the relativists’ god. They say that God (if he exists) just loves everyone no matter what they do. The true God of the gospel had to suffer and die to save us, while the god of the relativist pays no price to love us.”

- Timothy Keller

Monday, August 10, 2009

James May rides in a U2 spy plane

I totally envy this guy. He gets to see what few of us do.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

I'm an ambassador for Christ, cleverly disguised as _________

... you fill in the blank.

Our pastor today said something that really got me thinking. He asked us what the primary goal of the church in this age was. "Well", I thought, "To glorify God and enjoy Him forever". Yes, I suppose that's the chief end of man, sort of the ultimate goal in the grand picture, but the primary (to be more specific: immediate goal) here on earth now is to make disciples, which consequently glorifies God - all the other valuable things the church does on earth support that. Worship, study, etc... are to prepare us for and motivate us to... missions.

If the church's main goal here on earth was to study God's word (and I don't diminish the importance of this for a second), wouldn't it have been better for Him to take us to heaven immediately, so we could study in a more perfect and accommodating context? Yes. What about worship? Well, praising God is wonderful, but some Sundays my flesh really takes all the joy out of worship. I really get a sense of just how much better worshipping God in song will be on the new heaven and new earth.

So, why leave us on earth after He regenerates us and makes us His followers? To love, and share the good news with my neighbor (Christian and non-Christian alike) and work to see His kingdom spread, all under His power and direction. He IS returning someday, but we don't always act like we're on mission. You know, it might be easier to have that attitude if I WERE in a foreign land. To always have the feeling of being "sent" at every turn. Here's the challenge: whatever situation He's sovereignly set us, we are to be "on mission".

Does this mean obnoxiously cramming the gospel down someone's throat? No, but it does mean hanging out with people (like Jesus did), speaking the truth in love when the opportunity arrives (like Jesus did) and joyfully welcoming people into our company and kingdom (like Jesus did). ...and yes, you can have fun doing it. Find something you like to do, invite some non-believers to join you, and voila let the Holy Spirit bring opportunities to engage them! Genuine friendship is the goal. Even if they never become a follower of Christ, that's not your responsibility. I'm NOT talking about looking at people as "converts", "notches on your belt", etc... that's NOT loving people, that's legalism.

Think about your own life and vocation. Are you a stay-at-home-mom? A designer? A store manager? You might want to start thinking of yourself as an ambassador for Christ cleverly disguised as one of these vocations. Just something to think about...

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Legalism part 2

I love this quote:

“It is not easy to get the law killed; something of a legal disposition remains even in the believer while he is in this world: many a stroke does self and self-righteousness get, but still it revives again. If he were wholly dead to the law, he would be wholly dead to sin; but so far as the law lives, so far sin lives. They that think they know the gospel well enough bewray (reveal-J.F.) their ignorance; no man can be too evangelical, it will take all his life-time to get a legal temper destroyed.”

Ralph Erskine, The Works of Ralph Erskine, vol. 2, p. 27.
(Paramount Blog)

"No man can be too evangelical" - Wow. Amen to that.


"...Legalism is primarily a God-ward thing. It’s a way of making and keeping yourself acceptable to God. From this flows the legalism that is directed towards one another It’s a way of scoring sanctity points in our fellowships, and exerting what one postmodernist called a “truth regime” - it’s about pride, power and control. It simultaneously glorifies man and “unsecures” man. Thus its true opposites are grace and faith." - Dominic Smart, Minister of Gilcomston South Church in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Full article: