The deepest fear we have, 'the fear beneath all fears,' is the fear of not measuring up, the fear of judgment. It's this fear that creates the stress and depression of everyday life.
When the Christian faith becomes defined by who we are and what we do and not by who Christ is and what he did for us, we miss the gospel - and we, ironically, become more disobedient.
Jesus is not the man at the top of the stairs; He is the man at the bottom, the friend of sinners, the savior of those in need of one. Which is all of us, all of the time.
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.
Hollywood is not known as a culture of grace. Dog-eat-dog is more like it. People love you one day and hate you the next. Personal value is very much attached to box office revenues and the unpredictable and often cruel winds of fashion.
The law is God's first word; the gospel is God's final word.
The gospel alone liberates you to live a life of scandalous generosity, unrestrained sacrifice, uncommon valor, and unbounded courage.
To be Biblically balanced is to let our theology and preaching be proportioned by the Bible's radically disproportionate focus on God's saving love for sinners seen and accomplished in the crucified and risen Christ.
Contrary to popular assumptions, the Bible is not a record of the blessed good, but rather the blessed bad. That's not a typo. The Bible is a record of the blessed bad. The Bible is not a witness to the best people making it up to God; it's a witness to God making it down to the worst people.
My observation of Christendom is that most of us tend to base our relationship with God on our performance instead of on His grace.
Contrary to what we conclude naturally, the gospel is not too good to be true. It is true! It's the truest truth in the entire universe. No strings attached! No fine print to read. No buts. No conditions. No qualifications. No footnotes. And especially, no need for balance.
When everyone in the world spoke the same language, God came down in judgment, breaking the world apart. But at just the right time, he came down again, this time to reconcile that sinful world to himself.
The good news of suffering is that it brings us to the end of ourselves - a purpose it has certainly served in my life. It brings us to the place of honesty, which is the place of desperation, which is the place of faith, which is the place of freedom.
There is no better story in the Old Testament, or perhaps the whole Bible, for depicting the difference between the ladder-defined life and the cross-defined life than that of the Tower of Babel.
Passive righteousness tells us that God does not need our good works. Active righteousness tells us that our neighbor does. The aim and direction of good works are horizontal, not vertical.
For un-subscribe please check the mail footer.