18 February 2011

love bears all things

So it's been a long hard week and six months at work. Then i read this:

'If you are in a season of struggle with those God has called you to love, God doesn't expect you to change your loved one. His call is to bear long in love, to endure, and to believe the best for that person while he changes them. And if you are not in that season but are friends with someone who is, weigh carefully the tone of your suggestions or encouragements. Hold your friend up as they bear long and patiently endure. Believe with them that grace works and that loving unconditionally for the long haul is the most effective tool we have for influencing change in the ones we love. May you and I rest from our attempts to change our loved ones and find refuge in God's ability and promise to do so. And may the greatest peer pressure we put on each other in such situations be to bear in love for the long haul.'

. . . walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, (Eph. 4:1-2)

by Wendy Alsup, from Desiring God.

05 February 2011


i've been trying to read more books and spend less time online. Just finished reading Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris and now working through Tim Keller's Generous Justice. i recommend both. Here are some excerpts from both that challenge me:
'We must have a strong concern for the poor, but there is more to the Biblical idea of justice than that. We get more insight when we consider a second Hebrew word that can be translated as 'being just,' though it usually is translated as 'being righteous.' The word is tzadeqah, and it refers to a life of right relationships. Bible scholar Alec Motyer defines 'righteous' as those 'right with God and therefore committed to putting right all other relationships in life.' This means, then, that Biblical righteousness is inevitably 'social,' because it is about relationships. When most modern people see the word 'righteousness' in the Bible, they tend to think of it in terms of private morality, such as sexual chastity or diligence in prayer and Bible study. But in the Bible tzadeqah refers to the day-to-day living in which a person conducts ALL relationships in family and society with fairness, generosity, and equity...' (Generous Justice, p 10)
'In those moments [when I have the impulse to wall myself off from the world] I have to remind myself: it's not enough for me to be holy. When Jesus left, he didn't say, 'Stay on this hill and be holy.' He told his followers to be holy and to go share the gospel with the world. For the church to be faithful, we need both a concern for holiness and a heart to reach the world... There's no contradiction between consecration and evangelistic mission. If our hearts are consecrated, we can live in the darkest culture and powerfully shine forth the truth of the gospel. If our hearts are not consecrated, no amount of separation or man-made rules will keep us from the influence of worldliness (1 John 2:15-17). It will be in us no matter how high we build the walls around ourselves.' (Dug Down Deep, pp 208, 209)
Harris includes this quote from John Stott, 'So Jesus calls his disciples to exert a double influence on the secular community, a negative influence by arresting its decay and a positive influence by bringing light into its darkness. For it is one thing to stop the spread of evil; it is another to promote the spread of truth, beauty and goodness.' (p 209)
'If we would obey Jesus, we must go into the world. I've been challenged by the example of other churches to study my local community with the evangelistic intentionality of a missionary. To ask questions like 'If I were a missionary to another nation, how would I view my life? What decisions would I make about where I live or how much I need to live on? Where would I spend my time so I could form friendships with unbelieving people? What would I seek to learn about the culture so I could befriend and clearly communicate the gospel? What are the idols and false gods people are worshiping?' (DDD, p 210)