“We live in a time where lying is considered “good business.” Truth is begging in the streets. Within and without the family of God it is increasingly difficult to get a straight answer.
We cover up our deception with pious phrases: “After all, it’s to advance God’s kingdom,” “it’s really the result that matters anyway,” “if her husband can’t supply her need I guess I’ll have to,” or “surely God wants us to use our common sense.”
God doesn’t need our religious lies to advance His kingdom. He calls us to “walk in the light” (I John 1:7); to deal honestly with our brothers: “Do not lie to one another, since you have laid aside the old self with its evil practices” (Colossians 3:9); and to give honest responses: “But let your statement be, Yes, yes, or No, no; and anything beyond this is of the evil one” (Matthew 5:37).
-from p.70-71 of “A Prophet’s Heart” by Charles Brown.
“It is not only truth, but truth that can hardly be too deeply felt, that salvation is wholly of God’s mercy. None are heirs of salvation, but the vessels of mercy. Grace made all the promises and grace will fulfil them. Grace provided a Saviour, and grace unites us to him. While life lasts we shall not be done asking for mercy. While eternity lasts, we shall not be done praising mercy.” – William S. Plumer
Some people flee from those who are depressed. Others feel compelled to do their best to lift their spirits. Did you react the same way as C.S. Lewis to the suffering of others?
Recently I’ve had the privilege of sharing the anguish of several people who see no solution to their personal challenges. In truth, even though I sincerely believe “with God, all things are possible,” it is likely that these particular dilemmas will trouble these people the remainder of their lives.
Some people are “fixers,” or problem-solvers. They want to step in, quickly resolve the difficulty, and return to their normal routine as soon as possible. When faced with an intransigent challenge, they typically get called away by other matters, or they fade into the background.
There is a sort of spectrum when it comes to offering comfort to people. At one end, we have the people who offer…
“It is more than a little strange that persons who modestly decline to risk an opinion on matters that do not touch them at all closely, such as philosophy or science for instance, are often ready and eager to pronounce with finality on religion which above all else is vital to their welfare for this world and that which is to come. This follows the popular notion that everyone is capable of discovering for himself the true way to heaven and that one man’s belief is as good as another’s in any kind of weather. A second tenet in this creed is that no one has the right to question the belief of anyone else or to try to influence him in any way in religious matters. This leads naturally to the third tenet which is that we should practice complete tolerance toward every expression of religious belief, however base or ill-founded it may be, and accept it as someone’s way of worshiping God even if it isn’t ours.
All this has about it a certain savor of charity and slips well off the lips of politicians, who are forced to try to please everyone, and liberal ministers who find it profitable to do so. But the man who has knelt before the burning bush or heard the sound of thunder on the mount can never bring himself to sell out his soul in that manner. The man who has walked beside the sea and has heard the voice of Jesus saying “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6), can ever get the consent of his heart thus to trifle with religion. He has been smitten with the love of God and the wonder of the cross and he can never again be tolerant in things that touch his soul and the souls of his fellow men. He will live beside, be patient with, minister to, pray for and love any religionist of whatever color or creed from a cardinal to a medicine man from the long grass, but never will he compromise the truth to stay on good terms with anyone. He may die for men, but he will never trifle with them.”
“How God can be just and yet justify the ungodly, how He can condemn sin and yet let the sinner go free, how He can declare and manifest His awful righteousness, and yet be righteous in bestowing life on the guilty, how He can magnify the law and make it honorable, while yet its penalty is not borne by transgressors but by their voluntary substitute, are but a few of the hard problems, which find solution in the cross of Christ. For near a half century I have been hearing and reading good discourses from time to time on this theme, yet it is as fresh and delightful as ever. Oh that I may see into it better before I die, and infinitely better after I die.” – William S. Plumer
“This is your secret to overcoming loneliness: Fix your eyes on Him. People suggest lots of prescriptions: get busy, get involved in your church and community, do things for others, find a friend, join a small group — no, no! Not first!
First in your loneliness, draw from Jesus. See how He drew and drew from His Father, His ever-flowing Source of all love and comfort and hope and pleasure and fullness:
Very early in the morning, when it was still dark, Jesus got up . . . and prayed (Mark 1:35).
He even deliberately sought aloneness, for the best togetherness of all:
Crowds of people came to hear him . . . but Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed (Luke 5:15-16).
You do the same. Sit at His feet, and spread out your loneliness before Him. Apologize! Admit you’ve been fixing your eyes on yourself — no wonder.
He is complete in the Father, and He says you are complete in Him (Colossians 2:9-10). He — and only He — is full of fullness for you. When, humanly speaking, you feel all alone, your heart can still be happy and satisfied: You are complete in Him.
Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me (Psalm 27:10).”
-from p.30 of “Fix Your Eyes On Jesus” by Anne Ortlund.
“He who would have religion without theology would build a house without a foundation. The nature of God is the sole, solid ground on which to base our hopes for eternity, or our systems of morality. Let us not curiously pry into the inscrutable things of God. They are high as heaven, what can we know? deeper than hell, what can we do? But we must believe in God.” – William S. Plumer