In this devotional by John Piper, he looks at the 23rd Psalm, and how the writer — King David — switches back and forth between talking about God (“He”) and to God (“You”):
The lesson I have learned from this form is that it is good not to talk very long about God without talking to God.
Every Christian is at least an amateur theologian — that is, a person who tries to understand the character and ways of God and then put that into words….
But what I have learned from David in Psalm 23 and other psalms, is that I should interweave my theology with prayer. I should frequently interrupt my talking about God by talking to God.
Not far behind the theological sentence, “God is generous,” should come the prayerful sentence, “Thank you, God.”
On the heels of, “God is glorious,” should come, “I adore your glory.”
What I have come to see is that this is the way it must be if we are feeling God’s reality in our hearts as well as describing it with our heads.’
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C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity:
Nobody can always have devout feelings: and even if we could, feelings are not what God principally cares about. Christian Love, either towards God or towards man, is an affair of the will. If we are trying to do His will, [then] we are obeying the commandment, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.’ …We cannot create [feelings of love] ourselves, and we must not demand them as a right. But the great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him.
image via: morguefile
So how does fear of God, who is perfect love, take away fear? William D. Eisenhower puts it this way in his article ‘Fearing God’ in Christianity Today:
‘Unfortunately, many of us presume that the world is the ultimate threat and that God’s function is to offset it. How different this is from the biblical position…. When we assume that the world is the ultimate threat, we give it unwarranted power, for in truth, the world’s threats are temporary. When we expect God to balance the stress of the world, we reduce him to the world’s equal …. As I walk with the Lord, I discover that God poses an ominous threat to my ego, but not to me. He rescues me from my delusions, so he may reveal the truth that sets me free…. He sits in judgment of my sin, but forgives me nevertheless. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but love from the Lord is its completion.‘”
photo credit: HAMED MASOUMI via photopin cc
From the book Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young:
Interesting factoid about the book Jesus Calling:
As of this summer, Jesus Calling had sold 9 million copies in 26 languages, and Publishers Weekly reported that it remained the No. 5 bestseller of the first half of 2013—for all books, not just Christian ones: It outsold Fifty Shades of Grey. (source)
(Continuing in this theme of eggs…)
It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.
Image: via Flickr
Quote found in Unfinished: Believing Is Only the Beginning
Posted in discipleship/spiritual formation, faith, life wisdom
- Tagged C.S. Lewis, change, christian, formation, God, growing, growth, Jesus, spiritual
Jonathan Vias, who moved his family from America to Africa, in order to complete their family:
Sometimes, God will ask you to do something — and will be actively involved in making it difficult. Because sometimes there’s a greater glory and a greater story that only comes through prolonging the trial. God’s telling a bigger story….
Two views of the calculator Pascal invented
A prayer of Blaise Pascal (via Nick Martineau):
I ask You neither for health nor for sickness, for life nor for death…. Give to me, or take away from me, only conform my will to Yours. I know but one thing, Lord, that it is good to follow You, and bad to offend You. Apart from that, I know not what is good or bad in anything. I know not which is most profitable to me, health or sickness, wealth or poverty…. That discernment is beyond the power of men… and is hidden among the secrets of Your providence — which I adore, but do not seek to fathom. Amen.