All I Have Is Christ

September 18, 2008

Continued…

But as I ran my hell-bound race,

Indifferent to the cost,

You looked upon my helpless state

And led me to the cross.

And I beheld God’s love displayed,

You suffered in my place.

You bore the wrath deserved for me.

Now all I know is grace. 

All I Have Is Christ

September 17, 2008

Here’s a new one from Jordan Kauflin:

I once was lost in darkness night,

Yet thought I knew the way.

The sin that promised joy and life

Had led me to the grave.

I had no hope that You would own

A rebel to Your will.

And if You had not loved me first,

I would refuse You still.

More on the way…

After reading a few pages from David Powlison’s article, Idols of the Heart and “Vanity Fair”, I was struck by a few lines, which I would like to share with you, the reader.

“Has something or someone besides Jesus the Christ taken title to your heart’s trust, preoccupation, loyalty, service, fear and delight?”

“The inwardness of motivation is captured be the inordinate and proud ‘desires’ of the flesh’ (1 John 2:16), our inertial self-centeredness, the wants, hopes, fears, expectations, ‘needs’ that crowd our hearts.  The externality of motivation is captured by ‘the world’ (1 John 2:15-17; 4:1-6), all that invites, models, reinforces, and conditions us into such inertia, teaching us lies.  The ‘demonological’ dimension of motivation is the Devil’s behavior-determining lordship (1 John 3:7-10; 5:19), standing as ruler over his kingdom of flesh and world.”

“Idolatry is a problem both rooted deeply in the human heart and powerfully impinging on us from our social environment.”

“The deep question of motivation is not ‘What is motivating me?’ The final question is, ‘Who is the master of this pattern of thought, feeling, or behavior?'”

“For all our differences, the Bible speaks to every one of us.”

“But the Bible’s answer is always powerfully applicable: turning from idols to the living God, renewal of the mind and heart in the truth, activities captured in shorthand by the phrase ‘repentance and faith.'”

“The Gospel is better than unconditional love.  The Gospel says, ‘God accepts you just as Christ is.  God has ‘contraconditional’ love for you.’  Christ bears the curse you deserve.  Christ is fully pleasing the Father and gives you His own perfect goodness.  Christ reigns in power, making you the Father’s child and coming close to you to begin to change what is unacceptable to God about you.  God never accepts me ‘as I am.’  He accepts me ‘as I am in Jesus Christ.'”

From the 9 Marks blogsite:

“I don’t know about you, but I don’t talk a lot about divorce. Sure, when it comes up in a text I preach about it. When I do pre-marital counseling, I warn against it. Occasionally I’ll get a question from a church member trying to understand the Bible’s teaching about it.

But even in a congregation where only a few members are actually divorced from their spouse, divorce has left it’s fingerprints all over. Why? Because so many in our midst are the adult children of divorced parents.

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The challenges that face adult “children of divorce” are many. There are obvious emotional wounds, some struggle with fears about their own marriages, others have difficulty trusting in God as their Father when home life hasn’t seemed safe and stable.

As I thought about it, I realized that I really hadn’t given the matter too much pastoral thought and I didn’t have a ton of insight in the issue.

With that said, I want to plug a new book that just came out from IVP. Child of Divorce, Child of God is an excellent resource. Kristine Steakley* is a child of divorce and a faithful follower of Christ, and she has written this book in order to bring hope and healing to those who have been wounded by divorce.

Two things commend this book:

1. First, the author is very sensitive to the particular struggles that plague adults (and children) with divorced parents. The book is full of personal testimonies and reflections by the author that shed light on the difficulties that this group faces. I found that very helpful pastorally as I seek to love and care for those who have suffered with divorce in their family.

2. Second, the author is very clear on the sovereignty of God. There wouldn’t be much hope if the book simply wallowed in the bad news. But the good news is that God is sovereign over suffering and he promises to make all things new. Readers are urged to reflect of God’s character, trust Him, forgive those who have wronged them, and flee to Christ.

If this is an issue in your church or in your life, you’ll find Child of Divorce, Child of God very helpful.

 

*full disclosure: Kristine is a member of the church I pastor. But if the book wasn’t good, I wouldn’t recommend it.”