God’s Grace

Many years ago I was driven to the conclusion that the two major causes of 
most emotional problems among Christians are these:

the failure to understand, receive, and live out God’s unconditional grace and forgiveness;
and the failure to give out that unconditional love, forgiveness, and grace to other people…

We read, we hear, we believe a good theology of grace. But that’s not the way we live.
The Good News of grace has not penetrated the level of our emotions.

 What’s So Amazing About Grace by Philip Yancey (quoting counselor David Seamands)
     (ht to Rhett Smith)

Our Issue With Grace

Perhaps the most difficult task for us to perform is to rely on God’s grace 
and God’s grace alone for our salvation. 
It is difficult for our pride to rest on grace.

  Grace is for other people – for beggars.
  We don’t want to live by a heavenly welfare system.
  We want to earn our own way and atone for our own sins.

We like to think that we will go to heaven because we deserve to be there.

                      -R.C. Sproul

Another Paradox

You are stronger than you think you are…
… and weaker than you realize.

You are uniquely and wonderfully special…
… and you are broken.

You strive for love and acceptance…
… and you’ve never been unloved.

Everything you need
is nowhere that you’re looking.

Look up.

(Check out Hebrews 12:1-3 for further reflection.)

Paradox

When we give,
we receive what matters most.
When we serve,
our deepest needs are met.
When we love,
our hearts are fullest.

In living for God and others,
we finally find real life for ourselves.

Live Deeply

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, “Wow! What a ride!”

Hunter S. Thompson

The Cross of Christ, II

Excerpt from The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis:
Found here.

OF THE FEWNESS OF THOSE WHO LOVE THE CROSS OF JESUS

Jesus hath many lovers of His heavenly kingdom, but few bearers of His Cross.
He hath many seekers of comfort, but few of tribulation.
He findeth many companions of His table, but few of His fasting.
All desire to rejoice with Him, few are willing to undergo anything for His sake.
Many follow Jesus that they may eat of His loaves, but few that they may drink of the cup of His passion.
Many are astonished at His Miracles, few follow after the shame of His Cross.
Many love Jesus so long as no adversities happen to them.
Many praise Him and bless Him, so long as they receive any comforts from Him.

But if Jesus hide Himself and withdraw from them a little while, they fall either into complaining or into too great dejection of mind.

But they who love Jesus for Jesus’ sake, and not for any consolation of their own, bless Him in all tribulation and anguish of heart as in the highest consolation.
And if He should never give them consolation, nevertheless they would always praise Him and always give Him thanks.

Love Thy Neighbor

When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her.
It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.
We have refused to be instruments of love in the hands of God to give the poor a piece of bread, to offer them a dress with which to ward off the cold.

Mother Teresa