“Jesus didn’t come primarily to solve the economic, political, and social problems of the world. He came to forgive our sins.” PRIMARILY.
Because he died and rose for us, he is our representative in heaven (so we are completely forgiven) and companion on earth (so we are intimately loved). And someday we will not just sense him at our side but see him face to face.
Either you worship God or you will be worshipping something else—there is not the alternative of not worshipping. Either you will be looking to God for your significance and security or you will be looking to something else (even if it is your own abilities).
Today we believe that we can create our own identity through our own free choices. We may think we are being “true to ourselves” when we shed the constraints of traditional values and morality, but in reality we are simply allowing a new community to tell us who we are.
Remembering God’s past love is the only way to face present stress with confidence and poise.
In Jesus Christ, we’ve already had our judgment day.
When Job was prospering, he prayed. When he was suffering, he still prayed.
God loves and defends those with the least economic and social power, and so should we.
Change happens not just by giving the mind new arguments but also by feeding the imagination with new beauties.
Pray and pray a lot. Especially when you don’t feel like praying at all.
Christ gives us great resources for turning enemies into God’s friends. He died for us while we were yet God’s enemies (Romans 5: 10), which motivates us to overcome evil with good (Romans 12: 14–21).
The paths of love and of selfishness lead to two different end points. But they also differ along the way. One path brightens gradually and the other darkens. The darkness represents increasing self-deception.
Jesus is the temple to end all temples, the priest to end all priests, and the sacrifice to end all sacrifices.
The gospel will always cause offense, because it reveals us as having a need that we cannot meet. So we will always be tempted to be ashamed of it. We need to remember that it is the power of God.
To say doctrine doesn’t matter, only how you live matters, is itself a doctrine. It’s the doctrine of salvation by works.
Lord, if my perspective and sense of proportion were right, I would realize that everything I experience that is better than hell is a gift of mercy from you.
Our self-image rests in a love we cannot lose, and a beauty that does not dim.
Sometimes the best wisdom is to not speak much at all. There are situations such that nearly any words will make conditions worse. When you meet with a grieving person who just lost a loved one, words should be sparing.
Disagreements become deadly conflicts when you move from rightly pointing out wrong behavior to assuming the ability to completely understand a person’s inner purposes, which is something only God can do (Romans 2: 16).
Let me be the first to admit my fault, and to repent quickly, without grudging, without excuses, without bitterness, knowing that repentance is a path through grief to greater joy.
Faith is not primarily a function of how you feel. Faith is living out, trusting, and believing what truth is despite what you feel.
The ultimate power in the universe showed that it was strong enough to become weak (Philippians 2: 5–8). Humility is the only way out of foolishness and into honor.
The goal of prayer is not just the sharing of our ideas, but also of ourselves.
And now in Christ it is literally true that the person we adore most in the universe adores us. In the eyes of God, in the opinion of the only one in the universe whose opinion ultimately counts, we are more valuable than all the jewels that lie beneath the earth.
When we are bitter, it is because we have forgotten that we are already totally saved by grace alone—so how can we withhold grace?
While we count every minute of sorrow as an eon, God’s mercies remain new every morning that we wake up breathing.
Your feelings come from where you find your hope. Where is your happiness and your significance?
Prejudice assumes somebody is the way “all those kinds of people are” instead of caring enough about the truth to find out what this particular person is like, what this particular person is really saying.
All creation will rejoice at God’s final coming to earth, when the long night of oppression, evil, and sin will be ended. The trees will sing praise when the world healer finally returns to judge and renew the earth.
Lord Jesus, if you were prejudiced, you not only would not have died for people from every tongue, tribe, and nation, but you wouldn’t have come to human beings at all! When I am tempted to look down at “that type,” help me to remember your unprejudiced, free grace for me. Amen.
God hates evil and permits into Job’s life only the evil that will completely defeat Satan’s intention. Yet at the end Job is never told the plan. He never learns why he suffered.
Vows give love a chance and create stability so the feelings of love, always very fitful and fragile, can grow strong and deep over time.
There is ultimately no such thing as unanswered prayer. If the answer at first is “no” or “not yet,” it is because he gives us what we want in ways better than we asked.
Inordinate love creates inordinate, uncontrollable anguish if anything goes wrong with the object of our greatest hopes.
The fleeting pleasures of life are senseless, useless, and insignificant if we try to live without reference and gratitude to God. What circumstances in this life under the sun do you imagine would fulfill you if you had them? Are you sure?
The serpent told the human race that disobeying God was the only way to realize their fullest happiness and potential, and this delusion has sunk deep into every human heart.
To trust God is to obey him in whatever he says and to submit to his will in whatever he sends.
God created the world, so when we disobey him we unleash forces of chaos and disorder. When you, a being created to live for God, live instead for yourself, you violate your design.