A short while ago I came across a summary of the gospel from John Stott’s commentary on the book of Acts. I appreciated the summary but wondered what place gospel-motivated social transformation has in it. How does the gospel make us make the world better?
Experiences don’t make or break the Christian life. They can be a great boost for faithful Christian living, but in the end they count for nothing if what God has already clearly spoken has little value to you. Do seek to hear God, but make sure you aren’t neglecting to listen in the right place. He has already spoken.
Photography isn’t able to capture the eerie majesty of the Red Crater or the imposing bulk of the mountain slopes. It just doesn’t have the capacity. This reminds me of the way we fail to truly grasp the characteristics of God. We might agree with them mentally, but not really comprehend the scale.
The parable of the Unforgiving Servant spells out in severe terms the necessity of forgiving those who wrong us “from the heart”. An issue that arises here is the very real difficulty people can have in bringing themselves to forgive.
Difficult texts that say unexpected things are worth a harder look.
When we sing together as a fellowship, we join the reality hinted at by the coming of the wise men to Jesus. We who are not ethnic sons and daughters of Israel have joined the ‘wise men’ in their wisdom when we come to Christ and raise our voices together to him. One day we will join that multitude of Revelation 7. Today we sing as a small sample of that.
The Christian faith frequently conflicts with current ideas. Given this has happened since Christianity’s inception, this should neither surprise nor dismay us. Rather, we should establish its difficult teachings in our hearts and minds so we can preserve them, present them, and faithfully pass them on.
The wise men were prompted to travel far and bring costly gifts and worship him because of what they understood about this new-born Jesus.
||Pastoral Passage|| The sweetness of salvation must be more than a fond memory. It must be the fuel of the Christian life that propels us forward in the present and all the way to the end.