This is the stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...
This is so good!
If you read only one of these links, read this one…
A Pharisee in Tax Collector’s Clothing –Barnabas Piper
We have learned to revel in our weakness, to lead with our flaws. We call it “authenticity” – we are real in what we reveal. We aren’t hypocrites; hypocrisy is the new unforgiveable sin. We are the tax collector, or at least we play one on TV. We are so elated in our role as tax collector we, well, we can’t help but be a bit smug that we’re not like that person. That judgmental jerk on Twitter. That fundamentalist crank. That whoever-is-on-the-other-side-of-my-ideological-fence.
By becoming the tax collector we have become the Pharisee. In pursuing the position of authenticity we have puffed ourselves up. In distancing ourselves from those with whom we differ we have revealed our true selves…
…Which posture do we find ourselves taking – “I am so glad I am not like _____” or “Have mercy on me, a sinner.” We cannot do both.
I think about this every time my grandson asks to play ball or throw a Frisbee with me…
5 reasons why throwing a ball matters –Jamie Dew
5. Most of all, taking the time to invest in your child by throwing a ball, or anything like this, shows them that they mean something to you and that you love them. There’s hardly anything more important to them that you can show them.
The title alone makes this piece worthwhile…
God Values Those who Don’t Share His Values
This parable powerfully portrays the value God places on those who don’t share his values. This posture of gracious pursuit stands in stark contrast to the separatist Pharisees who refused to associate with any such “sinners” in the name of honoring the Lord through personal holiness.
Can you believe it? Can you believe that God’s posture towards sinners is one in which He diligently pursues them for His joy? If so, you will have joy yourself, and will mirror this same posture to the lost.
You will value those who do not share your core values.
I’ve never understood why so many people want to sit at the back for church worship services…
Why I Sit At the Front –Tim Chester
Whenever I find myself at the back of church meeting I feel like I’m hedging my bets. I kind of involved, but I’m also detached. I don’t know what comes first for most people – the half-hearted participation or the sitting at the back. But I notice that it’s the people at the back who are more likely to be looking at their phones during the meeting. Certainly for me sitting at the back makes me feel detached. I feel like an observer.
And why would you want that? Speaking for myself, I need to the public preaching of God’s word, corporate acts of confession, affection-stirring singing. I can’t afford to be peripheral to these moments because that makes them peripheral to my life.