(Matthew 13:44-42) We must understand what the Kingdom of God is about if we are to be Kingdom-people. Christ’s parables draw our attention to the principles of the Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is Seeking and Finding God (v. 44-46)Some boys were constructing a shanty on the flats of the old Mystic River in Massachusetts
"God treat[s] His Creation with integrity: each thing in its own order, each thing the way He made it…if God treats the tree like a tree, the machine like a machine and the man like a man, shouldn't I, as a fellow-creature, treat the machine like a machine, the man like a man, the plant like a plant - each thing in integrity in its own order? And for the highest reason: because I love God - I love the One who has made it! Loving the Lover who has made it, I should have respect for the thing He has made." - Francis Schaeffer in Pollution and the Death of Man
"It is curious that people who are filled with horrified indignation whenever a cat kills a sparrow can hear the story of the killing of God told Sunday after Sunday and not experience any shock at all. - Dorothy Sayers, quoted in God in Pain, by Barbara Brown Taylor, Christianity Today, March 2, 1998
"Our evangelical culture tends to take the awesome reality of a transcendent god who is worthy to be feared and downsize Him so He could fit into our 'buddy system.' The way we talk about Him, the way we pray, and, more strikingly, the way we live shows that we have somehow lost our sense of being appropriately awestruck in the presence of a holy and all-powerful God. It's been a long time since we've heard a good sermon the the fear of God. If God were to show up visibly, many of us think we'd run up to Him and high-five Him for the good things He had done." - Joseph M. Stowell in Moody (Nov./Dec. 1997) Christianity Today, February 1998
"The danger is a popular democracy is that we may try to democratize God. If we don't like God's program, we can simply vote Him out and run for office ourselves." - Cornelius Platinga, Jr. (quoted in Christianity Today, September 1997
"I often wonder if my knowledge about God has not become my greatest stumbling block to my knowledge of God." - Henri Nouwen in A Cry for Mercy
"God doesn't have to be good to anybody. He doesn't owe us the breath we breathe. I figure if God has given us salvation, that's way more than we deserve, and I won't judge Him for not giving me something else."
"For me the greatest joy that I have is knowing that I do have a Father who loves me, and that He doesn't love me in a passive way. That He loves me so much that He sent Christ to take away the guilt of my sin, and that it is a real thing, that it really did happen. If I will experience joy in this life, it will be when I let other people know that there is a God who loves them, and He has taken away the sin that separates them. There is no greater joy than just that proclamation."
"Psychobabble is that language spoken by sailors who become so interested in navigating their way around the boat that they've forgotten to read the stars and the sea. They may be able to get from the galley to the head, but they will be lost in their journey from point to port. Jesus being God is the perfect picture of who God is. Jesus being man is the picture of perfect humanity. To find Him, to meditate on Him is to find God and our own true selves. It is to see the brilliant design of the boat and its course and the beauty of the sea." - Rich Mullins CCM 11/97
"As the farthest reach of our love for each other is loving our enemies, as the farthest reach of God's love for us is loving us at our most unlovable and unlovely, so the farthest reach of our love for God is loving him when in almost every way that matters we can neither see him nor hear him... when the worst of the wilderness for us is the fear that he has forsaken us if indeed he exists at all." - Frederick Buechner in A Room Called Remember
"We - or at least I - shall not be able to adore God on the highest occasions if we have learned no habit of doing so on the lowest. At best, our faith and reason will tell us that He is adorable, but we shall not have found Him so, not have 'tasted and seen.' Any patch of sunlight in a wood will show you something about the sun which you could never get from reading books on astronomy. These pure and spontaneous pleasures are 'patches of Godlight' in the woods of our experience." - C.S. Lewis in Letters to Malcolm
"Far back in my boyhood I remember an old saint telling me that after some services he liked to make his way home alone, by quiet byways, so that the hush of the Almighty might remain on his awed and prostrate soul. That is the element we are losing, and its loss is one of the measures of our poverty, and the primary secret of our inefficient life and service. And what is the explanation of the loss? Preeminently our impoverished conception of God. Men who are possessed by a powerful God can never themselves be impotent. But have we not robbed the Almighty of much of His awful glory, and to that extent are we ourselves despoiled? We have contemplated the beauties of the rainbow, but we have overlooked the dim severities of the throne. We have toyed with the light, but we have forgotten the lightening. We have rejoiced in the fatherhood of our God, but too frequently the fatherhood we have proclaimed has been throneless and effeminate."
"We have picked and chosen according to the weakness of our own tastes, and not according to the full-orbed revelation of the truth, and we have selected the picturesque and rejected the appalling." - John Henry Jowett in Listening to the Giants
"Divine speech is articulation of God's presence…the magnificat is a biblical theology in miniature, because it begins and it ends in an exaltation not of Mary but of the Word." - Samuel Terrien in The Magnificat: Musicians as Biblical Interpreters
"Capitalism gets to stride around our society as objective truth. Everybody from Girl Scouts to collectors for the IRS agrees that money works. Why doesn't God's love enjoy so high a reputation? It makes more sense than money. God's love can be freely exchanged, there are no security problems at ATMs; and God's love brings more possibilities to every day than any other assets we have." - W. J. Sappenfield in the Christian Century, (April 23-30, 1997) Christianity Today, October 6, 1997
"The saints' love to God is the fruit of God's love to them; it is the gift of that love. God gives them a spirit of love for Him because He loved them from eternity. His love is the foundation of their regeneration and the whole of their redemption." - Jonathan Edwards in Religious Affections
"God's love is too good to be true, too great to be missed." - Max Lucado
"The repeated promises in the Qur'an of the forgiveness of a compassionate and merciful Allah are all made to the meritorious, whose merits have been weighed in Allah's scales, whereas the gospel is good news of mercy to the undeserving. The symbol of the religion of Jesus is the cross, not the scales." - John Stott in Authentic Christianity
"You must learn, you must let God teach you, that the only way to get rid of your past is to make a future of it. God will waste nothing." - Phillips Brooks, quoted in Heirlooms
"What happened to the reality that forgiveness of sin, before God or before human-kind, is a spiritual cleansing, not just a coping skill?" - Katie Funk Wiebe in Border Crossing
"Forgiveness cannot mean that we cover up a fault with the 'mantle of charity.' Divine things are never a matter of illusion and deception. On the contrary, before the sin is forgiven the mantle with which it is covered must be removed. The sin must be unmercifully - yes, unmercifully - exposed to the light of God's countenance." (Psalm 90) - Helmat Thielicke, Our Heavenly Father
"Pardon is an inherent characteristic of the Christian community. To pardon means not to fixate [on] the past but to create possibilities for persons to change and to realign the course of their lives…pardon forges Christian community." - Gustavo Gutierrez, We Drink from Our Own Wells
"God wants us to be merciful with ourselves. And besides, our sorrows are not our own. He takes them on Himself, into His heart." - George Bernanos, The Diary of a Country Priest
"True mercy is, so to speak, the most profound source of justice." - Pope John Paul II, 'Dives in Misericordia'
"He that cannot forgive others break the bridge over which he himself must pass if he would ever reach heaven; for every one has need to be forgiven." - George Herbert, quoted in N.T. Wright, The Lord and His Prayer
"Our first task is not to forgive, but to learn to be the forgiven. Too often to be ready to forgive is a way of exerting control over another. We fear accepting forgiveness from another because such a gift makes us powerless, and we fear the loss of control involved…only by learning to accept God's forgiveness as we see it in the life and death of Jesus can we acquire the power that comes from learning to give up control." - Stanley Hauerwas, The Peaceable Kingdom
"Instead of genuine forgiveness, our generation has been taught the vague notion of 'tolerance.' This is, at best, a low-grade parody of forgiveness. At worst, it's a way of sweeping the real issues in human life under the carpet…Jesus' message [of forgiveness of sins] offers the genuine article and insists that we should accept no man-made substitutes." - N.T. Wright, The Lord and His Prayer
"Confession is nothing but humility in action…when there is a gap between me and Christ, when my love is divided, anything can come to fill the gap. Confession is a place where I allow Jesus to take away from me everything that divides, that destroys." - Mother Teresa, No Greater Love
"Christian forgiveness should not be a refusal of strength, but rather ought to manifest an alternative power; Christian love, whether of neighbors or of enemies, should be a sign not of repressed anger and hatred but of anger and hatred confronted and, eventually, overcome and transcended; it should not be an internalized guilt that further diminishes and destroys but a truthful engagement with the causes and motivations underlying the situation of brokenness." - L. Gregory Jones, Embodying Forgiveness
"What I envy most about you Christians is your forgiveness. I have nobody to forgive me." - Novelist Marghanita Leski, shortly before dying, quoted in Servant, Fall 1997
"Fear not that your life shall come to an end, but rather that it shall never have a beginning." - John Henry Newman
"The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else." - Oswald Chambers in The Highest Good, Christianity Today, Feb. 9, 1998
"Fear is a tremendous detriment in coaching or any other endeavor. So many times coaches think of all the bad things that can happen. We fret about the reaction of the public if we lose. Pretty soon we get stilted in what we're doing as a coach. But if my primary goal is to serve and honor God, I'm able to do what I think I need to do and then accept the consequences in relatively good grace by knowing I have served him. Then I measure success by how faithful I've been in honoring and serving God, not by wins and losses. A very freeing attitude!" - Tom Osborne, longtime football coach at the University of Nebraska
"Fear is not a bad place to start a spiritual journey. If you know what makes you afraid, you can see more clearly that the way out is through the fear." - Kathleen Norris in Dakota: A Spiritual Geography
"I have this terrible fear that I'm going to be forced to take a general knowledge test in public." - Dick Cavett
These are real signs, observed all over: At a car dealership, “The best way to get back on your feet-miss a car payment.” At a number of military bases: “Restricted to unauthorized personnel.” At a Santa Fe gas station: “We will sell gasoline to anyone in a glass container.” At a used car lot: “Second
Dain bramaged Eat well, stay fit, die anyway All men are animals, some just make better pets Boldly going nowhere Body by Nautilus; brain by Mattel Caution – driver legally blonde IRS – we’ve got what it takes to take what you’ve got How many roads must a man travel down before he admits he
October 5 Jonathan Edwards was born, 1703.Ocober 7 Spurgeon preached to 23,654 people at the Crystal Palace, 1857.Georgia Tech beat Cumberland University, 222-0! 1916.October 8 Chicago fire began, 1871.October 21 Edison’s incandescent lamp experiment worked after 14 months of experimenting, 1879. 2ProphetU2ProphetU is an online magazine/website, started by Warren Wiersbe and Michael Catt, to build
– Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Crossway Books. This volume, based on a series of sermons preached in the fall of 1963, was founded on the text, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world.” Preached during a
The American Circumstance – Martin E. Marty. Beacon Press. Martin Marty is one of the most prolific and influential pens in contemporary Christianity. He has authored or edited a small library of books. This is a collection of essays, articles, and addresses published or delivered in the past fifteen years. The collection is a veritable
– H. Beecher Hicks. Zondervan. The sermons included are rich in depth and flavored with the idiom of the Black church. A challenging resource for those on either side of the storm. 2ProphetU2ProphetU is an online magazine/website, started by Warren Wiersbe and Michael Catt, to build up the church, seek revival, and encourage pastors.