Archive for the ‘favorite quotes’ Category
Today I read a prayer by Scotty Ward Smith for those who suffer from depression. I was struck by this phrase:
For friends who are depressed for no other reason than they are living with a graceless, gospel-less heart, keep them miserable until they rest in the finished work of your Son, Jesus. May they despair of their own unrighteousness and their wannabe righteousness, until they are driven to the righteousness that comes from faith in Jesus. It’s good to be miserable unto mercy.
I don’t know the cause of my depression but I do know the result – I came back to the gospel and my first love. I had become so wrapped up in doing more and doing it better to gain the acceptance of God and those around me that I forgot the message of the cross. The message that He is never disappointed with me. He never turns His face from me. I can never do anything to add to my salvation because it was paid for in full. I can never surprise Him with my sin. I can honestly say it was good to stay miserable unto mercy.
Here is the prayer. I hope you will read it and be encouraged if you are suffering right now. And if you aren’t suffering, perhaps you are like I was and had pat answers for those who do suffer, please read it and maybe gain a new perspective.
With the passing of Brennan Manning last week, there has been a lot of buzz on different social medias. I was most grabbed by these quotes from his book, The Ragamuffin Gospel:
Put bluntly, the American church today accepts grace in theory but denies it in practice. We say we believe that the fundamental structure of reality is grace, not works–but our lives refute our faith. By and large, the gospel of grace is neither proclaimed, understood, nor lived. Too many Christians are living in a house of fear and not in the house of love.
This certainly described me a few years ago. I talked about grace and the gospel, but they were buzz words void of power. They were things to say mostly because prominent Christian authors and speakers were saying them and shame on me if I fall behind or appear uninformed. On one hand, the gospel was faddish because I was eager to parrot what I was hearing to those around me but at the same time, I was being critical of those who spoke about it too much, or spoke of it as a present tense, relevant, and life-changing reality. I and others around me would never have put it the way Brennan did, but he’s right. That’s what happens when Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve never been to a masquerade party, but that hasn’t stopped me from wearing these masks at different times and in different settings.
Life in a fallen world is like attending the ultimate masquerade party. Impatient yelling wears the costume of a zeal for truth. Lust can masquerade as a love for beauty. Gossip does its evil work by living in the costume of concern and prayer. Craving for power and control wears the mask of biblical leadership. Fear of man gets dressed up as a servant heart. The pride of always being right masquerades as a love for biblical wisdom. Evil simply doesn’t present itself as evil, which is part of its draw. -Paul Tripp
I was going to write more here, but after re-reading Tripp’s words, I can’t really think of anything to add except to say thank you Jesus for rescuing grace!
Someone once asked me why anyone would look to the Psalms for comfort when we have the New Testament. It was reasoned that the Psalms are messy and not an accurate reflection of the Christian life today. The Christian is supposed to have it all together because after all, he or she has been given a new heart and this side of Pentecost, we have the fullness of God’s revelation in the New Testament. This is code for “we should be able to outperform the Psalmist and our lives should not reflect that same messiness.” I’ve seen the benefits of embracing the messiness of the Psalms reasoned away by statements like, “well, they were a loud culture. We shouldn’t be like that.”
I couldn’t disagree more. The Christian life is messy. I’m messy and I need Someone outside of myself to love me in my messiness. Paul Tripp said it better than I can,
The Psalms are in the Bible to keep us honest about the brokenness of our world and the messiness of our faith.
Take a look at this short video by Tripp. I think you’ll be encouraged.
Churches can produce an environment where the doctrines of grace may be correctly understood, but a gospel environment is non-existent. The facts of grace may be understood with our minds, but if a gracious environment where those truths can flourish in our one another relationships isn’t present, things can turn ugly. Ray Ortlund put it best in his recent message at the 2013 Liberate Conference. He said,
Grace on paper only creates churches where Christians beat each other up with a clear conscience because their doctrine is right.
When gospel doctrine and gospel culture converge in a church, that church become prophetic… Without the doctrines of grace the culture is weak. Without the [gospel] culture, the doctrines seem pointless. Even offensive and frustrating.
I love this quote by Martin Luther:
When it comes to experience, you will find the Gospel a rare guest but the Law a constant guest in your conscience.
That’s how we’re wired, isn’t it? We want to do something. We think we can fix ourselves and those around us. We want a rule, a list, guidelines, or some type of law to tell us what to do so that our conscience is relieved by the doing of the thing. We don’t naturally run to the gospel because the gospel doesn’t have a to-do list for us to keep. The gospel makes us uncomfortable because it presents us with a “done” list and tells us there’s nothing we can do to add to or take away from what’s already been done. Our minds are naturally hostile toward the gospel because each of us feels an innate need to earn what we get. This is true both prior to our conversion and after it. We’re thankful for the good news message of the gospel and it’s ability to get us into God’s kingdom, but then we marginalize it by thinking we now need to move beyond it. In our sanctification, our more natural tendency is to pursue law-keeping of some sort that will keep the gospel at bay in our conscience. We may never say it that way, but that’s what we do. We have a natural bent toward some kind of law and away from grace. That’s how we’re wired.
I remember leading a small group Bible study a number of years ago when I was in the throes of gospel-lite performance-ism and our text was James 2:8-13. Allow me to post it here:
8) If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9) But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10) For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. 11) For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12) So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. 13) For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Looking back, I remember that our entire time was spent discussing what laws we’re obligated to obey and which Read the rest of this entry »
We are doers. We like to do and we like to be in control, or at least feel like we’re in control. When we talk about justification, we’re usually pretty quick to to concede that we’re justified by grace alone, apart from anything we do. But when we come to the subject of sanctification, we tend to throw grace out the window to one degree or another, roll up our sleeves, and get down to the business of moral improvement. We may not say it that way, but when put under the microscope, that’s our tendency. It’s how the old self is wired and it’s one reason I need to hear the gospel over and over. I recently read an essay by Gerhard Forde on the subject of sanctification that I found extremely helpful. Here’s an excerpt from that essay:
Talk about sanctification is dangerous. It is too seductive for the old being. What seems to have happened in the tradition is that sanctification has been sharply distinguished from justification, and thus separated out as the part of the “salvationing” we are to do. God alone does the justifying simply by declaring the ungodly to be so, for Jesus’ sake. Most everyone is willing to concede that, at least in some fashion. But, of course, then comes the question: what happens next? Must not the justified live properly? Must not justification be safeguarded so it will not be abused? So sanctification enters the picture supposedly to rescue the good ship Salvation from shipwreck on the rocks of Grace Alone. Sanctification, it seems, is our part of the bargain. But, of course, once it is looked on that way, we must be careful not to undo Read the rest of this entry »
A few days ago I received an email promoting Tullian Tchividjian’s new book, One Way Love: The Power of Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World. That email included the intro to the book which was so good I wanted to pass an excerpt along to you. He said,
The Christian church has sadly not proven to be immune to performancism. Far from it, in fact. It often seems that the good news of God’s grace for those who don’t measure up has been tragically hijacked by an oppressive religious moralism that is all about rules, rules, and more rules; doing more, trying harder, getting better, and fixing, fixing, fixing–ourselves, our kids, our spouse, our coworkers, our boss, our friends, our enemies. Christianity is perceived as being a vehicle for good behavior and clean living—and the judgments that result from them—rather than the only recourse for those who have failed over and over and over again. Believe it or not, Christianity is not about good people getting better. If anything, it is good news for bad people coping with their failure to be good. Ask any of the “religious nones” who answered differently in past years, and I guarantee you will hear a story about either spiritual burn-out or heavy-handed condemnation from fellow believers, or both. Author Jerry Bridges puts it perfectly when he writes:
My observation of Christendom is that most of us tend to base our relationship with God on our performance instead of on His grace. If we’ve performed well—whatever ‘well’ is in our opinion—then we expect God to bless us. If we haven’t done so well, our expectations are reduced accordingly. In this sense, we live by works, rather than by grace. We are saved by grace, but we are living by the ‘sweat’ of our own performance. Moreover, we are always challenging ourselves and one another to ‘try harder’. We seem to believe success in the Christian life is basically up to us; our commitment, our discipline, and our zeal, with some help from God along the way. The realization that my daily relationship with God is based on the infinite merit of Christ instead of on my own performance is very freeing and joyous experience. But it is not meant to be a one-time experience; the truth needs to be reaffirmed daily.
What Bridges describes is nothing less than the human compulsion for taking the reigns of our lives and our salvation back from God, the only One remotely qualified for the job. “Works righteousness” is the word that the Protestant Reformation used, and it has plagued the church–and the world—since the Garden of Eden. It might not be too much of an overstatement to say that if Jesus came to proclaim good news to the poor, release to the captives, freedom for the oppressed, sight to the blind, then Christianity has come to stand for, and in practice perpetuate, the exact opposite of what its founder intended (Luke 4:18-19).
I’ve been in the church long enough to listen for certain things when Christians talk about grace. I listen for “buts and brakes.” Christians often speak about grace with a thousand qualifications. Our greatest concern, it seems, is that people will take advantage of grace and use it as a justification to live licentiously. Sadly, while attacks on morality typically come from outside the church, attacks on grace typically come from inside the church. The reason is because somewhere along the way we’ve come to believe that Read the rest of this entry »
Andy Naselli wrote a short piece some time ago on one-issue organizations that is well worth the read. He says,
I still remember one of my theology professors taking our class to a room with a piano in it. He sat down at the piano and presented a “Middle C concert” to us. He just kept hitting Middle C over and over.
His point was that that’s a bad way to do theology because truth is truth proportionally.
And that’s a danger for one-issue organizations—whether they are advocating a particular view of worship, creation, gender roles, revival, or whatever—because they tend to overemphasize the importance of their one issue:
[I]t often seems to be the case that organizations with such narrow focus and which have been formed for the conscious purpose of advocating that position in opposition to a position viewed as biblically flawed . . . tend to over-speak their case. —Rodney J. Decker, “The English Standard Version: A Review Article,” Journal of Ministry and Theology 8, no. 2 (2004): 11n17.
I’m not opposed to one-issue organizations in principle; I happily support some and thank God for them. I’m merely pointing out a common weakness.
I have to agree… http://andynaselli.com/one-issue-organizations
Here’s a link to a blog by Lauren Larkin that reflects the beauty of the gospel by reminding us that He loved us first and He continues to love us even in our brokeness. I hope you are as encouraged by it as I was. Here’s the link:
Here are some recent quotes from my Twitter feed I thought you might like. The first group is on the need to be right and the second bunch is on failure. I can relate to both!
On the need to be right:
If you feel compelled to respond every time you’re criticized it reveals how much you’ve built your identity on being right. -Tullian Tchividian
Jesus, show me the difference between believing I’m right about a matter and needing to be right. -Scotty Smith
Too many Christians live to not make mistakes instead of resting in the love of the One whose blood covers all our mistakes. -Tullian Tchividjian
Theological arrogance devalues grace. It confuses knowledge with maturity, so it doesn’t treasure the grace alone that causes you to grow. -Paul Tripp
Jesus, show me the difference between faithfully guarding the gospel and arrogantly Read the rest of this entry »
I think Ray Ortlund’s words on how to read the Bible are insightful,
If we read the Bible as law, we will find on every page what God is telling us that we should do. Even the promises will be conditioned by law. But if we read the Bible as promise, we will find on every page what God is telling us he will do. Even the commands are conditioned by promise…. The laws and commands and examples are all there, fulfilled in Christ and revered by us. But they do not provide the hermeneutic with which we make sense of the whole. We can and should understand them as qualified by God’s gracious promise, for all who will bank their hopes on him.
Here are a few quotes I wanted to pass along on the perils of gospel-lite or gospel-less introspection:
If our goal is to discover, analyze, and root out every aspect of sinfulness in our hearts, then we will never come to the end of the task.
Satan loves to take the tender conscience and stir up doubt of salvation, doubt of sanctification, and doubt of progression in holiness. Then, he turns the gaze of the introspective person inward, where the dark recesses of our hearts continue to lead to darker recesses still. Instead of living in the shining light of gospel truth, the gospel that dispels all this darkness and grants us a new heart, we travel deeper and deeper into the cavernous rooms of our remaining sin.
We will never be effective missiologically if the main source of our energy is spent rooting out every sinful tendency we have in our hearts. There is no end to discovering our depravity. The paradoxical truth is that the more we rest in the goodness of our Savior, the more progress we make in our fight against sin.
Trevin Wax tweeted this today:
The beauty of assurance is undercut when we stress “the fruit of sanctification more than the fact of justification.”
Somewhere along the way we’ve managed to convince ourselves that the focus of the New Testament is the personal holiness of the Christian. We’re encouraged to look at ourselves and how we’re doing in our sanctification for our assurance instead of looking outside of ourselves to what Jesus has accomplished for us and placed into our account. We’re encouraged to focus on our sin and point out the sin of those around us because we’re supposed to be getting better at this whole Christian life thing. Were told that if we’re not improving, maybe we’re not Christians at all.
If you want to struggle with assurance, or lose your assurance altogether, keep your Read the rest of this entry »
An idol is something that we look to for things that only God can give. Idolatry functions widely inside religious communities when doctrinal truth is elevated to the position of a false god. This occurs when people rely on the rightness of their doctrine for their standing with God rather than on God himself and his grace. It is a subtle but deadly mistake. The sign that you have slipped into this form of self-justification is that you become what the book of Proverbs calls a scoffer. Scoffers always show contempt and disdain (ether inwardly or outwardly) for opponents rather than graciousness. This is a sign that they do not see themselves as sinners saved by grace. Instead, they trust in the rightness of their view (which) makes them feel superior. -Tim Keller
I love to read Tim Keller on idols. He goes straight to my heart in a good and much needed way.
Ray Ortlund has re-posted a piece on his blog that first appeared about a year ago. I posted it here when he first posted it and I’m posting it again now that it’s been re-posted. It’s that important and I need to hear it over and over. He said,
It’s what everyone needs. Everyone. Gospel + safety + time. A lot of gospel + a lot of safety + a lot of time.
Gospel: good news for bad people through the finished work of Christ on the cross and the endless power of the Holy Spirit. Multiple exposures. Constant immersion. Wave upon wave of grace and truth, according to the Bible.
Safety: a non-accusing environment. No finger-pointing. No embarrassing anyone. No manipulation. No oppression. No condescension. But respect and sympathy and understanding, where sinners can confess and unburden their souls.
Time: no pressure. Not even self-imposed pressure. No deadlines on growth. Urgency, but not hurry, because no one changes quickly. A lot of space for complicated people to rethink their lives at a deep level. God is patient.
This is what our churches must be: gentle environments of gospel + safety + time. It’s where we’re finally free to grow.
When we pressure other Christians to change in ways we think they should change (because after all, a believer looks a certain way), or if change doesn’t happen according to our time table (because after all, a believer looks a certain way), we are putting our own egos ahead of grace and the gospel. We are not preaching Christ, but ourselves. The Holy Spirit has His own time table for change. The church is called to be a gentle, patient, safe haven for broken sinners like us while the Holy Spirit gently works. Colossians 3:12-15
These quotes really spoke to me. Nothing robs us of our joy faster than fixing our gaze on our performance. They’re from Tullian Tchividjian’s latest book, Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free.
Think about it: Do you walk out of church feeling burdened or comforted? Does your pastor direct you inward or outward? Does the worship service revolve around the Christian or Christ?
When the goal becomes conquering our sin instead of soaking in the conquest of our Savior, we actually begin to shrink spiritually.
I thought this was insightful and well worth sharing. How true it is…
A lot of Christian fellowship, Bible studies, and focus groups in the church are little more than efforts to fix one another. We become obsessive over fixing one another, almost to the point of mass hysteria. No wonder pagans don’t want to be around us. -Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom, p.90
Paul Tripp has said that most of the strategies for Christian growth amount merely to “rose-stapling techniques.” Give away more money. Be more serious about your sin. Be more disciplined in your life. Read your Bible and have accountability partners. Go to a small group. Spiritual disciplines have their place (we’ll get to that later). But nothing can take the place of organic change in the heart. – JD Greear, Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary
The fundamental elements in our personality and temperament are not changed by conversion and by re-birth. The ‘new man’ means the new disposition, the new understanding, the new orientation, but the man himself, psychologically, is essentially what he was before. – D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
I’m reading a book by Tullian Tchividjian called Glorious Ruin. I’ve only read the introduction and chapter one and its already rocking my world. Tullian knows what it means to suffer and he doesn’t offer pat answers for those who are suffering. I can’t wait to finish it but until then, here is a taste of what its like:
We are not responsible for finding the right formula to combat or unlock our suffering. The good news of the gospel does not consist of theological assertions or some elaborate religious how-to manual. The good news is Jesus Himself, the Man of Sorrows, the crucified God who meets us in our grief. Indeed, information, even information about Jesus, is relatively useless when it comes to the aching soul. Only the Holy Spirit can comfort a person in the depths of grief. Neil Young claims that “only love can break your heart.” But only God can heal it.
How many times have I offered up pat answers to someone else’s pain? How many times have I quoted Romans 8:28 to someone in the midst of a dark trial? How many times have I had a list of things for someone to do so that they could “get right with God”? Only God knows this and I cling to the truth that I am forgiven for my brutality toward other brothers and sisters. He took me into my own deep waters of pain and suffering to teach me that He meets me in my sorrow. It’s the precious work of the Holy Spirit to bring soothing balm to a wounded spirit. How great is that? There is still much pain, much sorrow in my heart but He is with me, showing me his love and acceptance. I can’t wait to read more of this book.
I’m listing to Tullian Tchivijian’s excellent podcasts on the book of Galatians. The series is entitled Free at Last and this morning I listened to part 4. It knocked my spiritual socks off because it described how I used to be perfectly. Here are a few quotes,
We think it’s honoring to God when we spiritually navel gaze – when we dive into the depths of our internal life and we wade around in there. We think that it’s actually a good thing. That it’s honoring to God.
We’re not just discovering the first layer of sin, but the second layer of sin, and we spend our lives trying to plumb the depths of the layer under the layer, under the layer, under the layer. And just in case you’re not interested in doing that, real Christian accountability and friendship is that you’ll be surrounded with people who for the rest of your life, will do it for you.
So often, this is our default position. It was mine for years. Policing my own sin and the sin of others became my identity and preoccupation. It was in the midst of that, that God in his mercy brought some severe trials our way in order to bring us to gospel centeredness where we took our eyes off of our performance and the performance of those around us, and by his grace, fixed them on Jesus and his performance for us (Hebrews 12:2).
Here’s a concluding quote from this podcast that described me and the wrong thinking that is behind so much of our spiritual navel-gazing:
We’ll never be free until our lifelong fear that God is keeping score, collapses.
This quote is from Scotty Smith’s prayer that he posted this morning on the Gospel Coalition web site. He said,
You’re the great warrior of the heart, who has come to overthrow the reign of sin by the reign of grace.
We make a big mistake when we think we can conquer sin apart from the grace given us in the gospel. The reign of sin is only conquered by the reign of grace and never by redoubling our efforts or trying harder to do things better. The Apostle John said this,
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2)
John’s inspired solution to sin is grace. He doesn’t pile rules and law on us to bolster our performance so that we stop sinning. He loads us up with more grace. He doesn’t say, “Well, what are you reading?”, “Who are you meeting with?”, “Are you practicing hospitality?”, “How’s your prayer life?”, or “Are you in an accountability group?”. He pushes us back toward our Advocate and Substitute.
Lest we think Scripture is inconsistent on this, Paul said the same thing,
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:11-14)
The reign of grace is the only remedy for the reign of sin. Grace alone teaches us to say “no” to ungodliness and worldy passions, and to say “yes” to living self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age.
Ray Ortlund nails it again. Here’s an excerpt:
The religious flesh relishes theology, because it requires no death of ego, no surrender of control, no apologies. Theological disputation can feed a spirit of superiority. But because it’s about truth and right, our smugness can go undiscerned.
Check it our here: Theology can be overrated – Ray Ortlund.
I ran across this great quote on the Gospel Coalition website. It’s part of an excerpt from the upcoming book, Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free, by Tullian Tchividjian. Check it out:
Make no mistake, in this context, Romans 8:28 can be a bona fide conversation stopper. A spiritual “shut up,” if you will. And lest we think only Christians are prone to such insensitivity, the secular translation, “Don’t worry; it’ll all work out,” is no less ubiquitous. This is classic minimization of suffering.
There’s something in us that minimizes suffering. There’s something in us that has a sense of urgency to move past the suffering and get back to our definition of normal, as though that is the goal. We have good intentions but when you’re suffering, the last thing that brings comfort is pat answers and quick fixes.
I remember a conversation I had with someone several years ago right after my mother died. I was explaining to this person how I anticipated that taking care of my dad was going to be so much harder now and he responded, Read the rest of this entry »
How true is this?
The greatest attacks on the gospel will always come from within the church because somewhere along the way, we’ve come to believe that this whole thing is about behavioral modification and personal moral improvement and grace just doesn’t possess the teeth to scare us into changing. -Tullian Tchividjian
As someone who was formerly steeped in performance Christianity, this blog post by Tullian Tchividjian really encouraged me. I had started to write on this subject but when I came across his blog dealing with the same issues of looking at one’s own performance and progress for assurance, I decided not to reinvent the wheel. He says things much better than I can. Regrettably, I used to use terms like “a believer looks like…”, “a believer looks this way…”, “a true believer responds this way…”, and “if you profess to believe, our expectations for you go way up…”. Ironically, as I would throw out these canned phrases, I would, at the same time, insist that I had no expectations of others to perform.
I’ve since come to realize that my former way of thinking betrayed the extent to which I was looking at my own (and others!) performance and progress in our Christian lives instead of looking solely to Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith (Hebrews 12:1-2)! The saga worsens when and if you start to look to your own progress and performance as the source of your assurance and then tell others that their performance is the basis for their assurance as well. The results can be devastating because as my progress or performance goes, so goes my assurance of salvation and my joy.
Here are Tullian Tchividjian’s words on this subject. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did:
A month or so ago I made the point in this post that confidence in my transformation is not the source of my assurance. Rather, the source of my assurance comes from faith in Christ’s substitution. Assurance never comes from looking at ourselves. It only comes as a consequence of Read the rest of this entry »
I finished reading Red Like Blood last week. It’s one of those rare books that stays with you because of it’s content. I’ve been mulling it over in my mind since finishing it. It spoke to my heart and it spoke to my soul. In a word, I would sum it up as “raw”, but raw in a good, gospel-centered way. Before I say more I think these editorial reviews of Red Like Blood are worth reading.
Warning: this book is not for everyone. The Apostle Paul defined the gospel mission very plainly, ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst.’ You cannot sugarcoat sin or filter depravity, no matter what level of greatness you achieve. Joe Coffey and Bob Bevington tell their personal stories of sin and grace from the front stage of life. They pull no punches and make no excuses. Their writing is open, honest, transparent and raw.
But it is not raw for the sake of shock. It is raw for the sake of hope a – saving hope that the worst of sinners might not only find grace in the shadow of the cross, but that the darkest of lives can become Read the rest of this entry »
I have the privilege of being in a gospel email group. Yes, it’s cool. I only personally know a few of the guys in it, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is what God is doing in giving all of us a renewed love for Him and the gospel. The other day this quote about D.A. Carson and the place of the gospel in this amazing scholar’s ministry arrived in my email. It’s from an article entitled D.A. Carson’s Theological Method that appeared in Read the rest of this entry »
I’m reading Tullian’s book, Jesus+Nothing=Everything and really enjoying it. It draws you right in. Granted, I’m only 9% of the way through it on my Kindle, but it’s very good. He makes this observation early on,
Through my pain, I was being convinced all over again that the power of the gospel is just as necessary and relevant after you become a Christian as it is before.
In my own life I’ve discovered that if I leave the gospel behind, something else fills the void and that something, no matter how good in and of itself, begins to function as an idol. When the gospel gets replaced by an idol, my heart grows cold and hard over time.
Here are a few things I’ve allowed to take the place of the gospel that the Lord has shown me:
My hermeneutic and theology. There was a time not too long ago when Read the rest of this entry »