This is the stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...
The Church Helps Us Take Off the Grave Clothes
“We, like Lazarus, were dead in our transgressions and sins. But as with Lazarus, Jesus loved us deeply, and made us alive together with Him when we were born again. But as we come into this new life, we are still bound by the marks of our old ones. We are still covered in the habits, patterns of thinking, vengeful motives, bitter attitudes, and everything else that comprise the walking around clothes of all those who are dead in sin.
But Jesus has not given us new life alone, but rather birthed us into a community of faith. In this community, we are responsible for one another. As we live, move, talk, pray, and love together, we help each other take off the clothes that once defined us. We are, daily, helping one another take hold of the new life that’s in us and yet not on us.”
Homophobia Has No Place in the Church –Nick Roen
“Biblical exegesis is a wonderful underpinning for belief, and love is a worthy motive for action. Fear is a horrible reason for both.
It would do us well to humbly examine our hearts to reveal the motives and fears behind our attitudes toward people who identify as “gay.” Happily upholding Christian sexual ethics is not the same as harboring animosity toward an entire group of people simply because you find them yucky…
…The truth is that sin is sin, temptation is temptation, and “men who have sex with men” is listed right alongside greed, drunkenness, deception, and slander as worthy of exclusion from the Kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:9–10). All equally damnable. Who among us is innocent?
So let us examine our hearts, identify attitudes of fear and the roots of pride, wherever they exist, and put to death ungodly prejudices that ultimately hinder the truth. In our quest for biblical fidelity, we must not only uphold the truth, but do so in love (Ephesians 4:15).”
Love and Entitlement –Melissa Edgington
“I read through the never-ending wishes for someone to attend to the girl’s every want and feeling, and I wondered how the definition of true love became a demand for pampering. I wondered when we decided that love is about entitlement. About looking out for number one. About making sure that our relationships are about US getting what WE want, and if the other person can’t deliver on our list of demands, then they just aren’t worthy of us.
But, you’re getting it all wrong, girls. Love isn’t a laundry list of behavior requirements. It isn’t an attempt to grab as much attention as you can, setting up ultimatums to try and control your loved one’s thoughts and actions. There’s a word to describe that type of attitude: abusive.”
Faithlessness Shrinks You Down To a Grasshopper
“When your God is small, your obstacles seem big. But when your view of God is small and your view of your obstacles is big, your view of yourself shrinks.
That’s the insight that rocked me. I’d always thought that “trusting in myself” was the sign that I was failing to trust in God. As if faith in God and faith in myself is a zero-sum game…
…Failure to see the grandeur of God squashes our hope in what He can accomplish through us. A distorted vision of God leads to a diminished view of ourselves. In the end, we no longer think we are capable of doing what God has called us to do.
Reading the narrative in Numbers, I want to step into the scene, shake the Israelites by the shoulders and say, “God sees you as His children! He has called and equipped you. Take the mountain! You are not lowly insects cowering under the feet of your enemies – you’re the children of the King whose footstool is the entire cosmos!”