Its now been nearly a year and a half since Tim Challies started his series of blog posts on productivity. The beginning of that series of articles was a new chapter in my own personal growth. I knew that my life needed a great deal of growth in the areas of discipline and productivity, and so I took that as my opportunity to try and tidy things up. As I look back, its amazing to me how long it has taken to really see some of the deeper fruit of change. And yet, I also realize that the lessons I am learning are foundational and will stick with me for a long time. The first is one that I have already written about. It is this: that real change takes time. Today I want to take it a step further. Continue reading
“For He claims all, because He is love and must bless. He cannot bless us unless He has us. When we try to keep within us an area that is our own, we try to keep an area of death. Therefore, in love, He claims all. There’s no bargaining with Him.”¹
Our greatest good is all that we really ever care about. Its the only reason we do anything. Its the fundamental reason in everything we do – we believe it will bring us good. Its the main reason we get up for work early in the morning when we would rather sleep. Its the main reason we take out the garbage. It’s the main reason we bend over backwards for difficult people and situations in life – because we believe that, at the end of the day, doing it will bring us more good than not doing it.
We are perhaps never more aware of our pace through life, as we are at the year’s end. It is a time when I realize how full the year has been; how many things have happened in such a seemingly short time. Life seems to become more and more compressed and time itself seems to bend as the months slide by, like a sleigh ride down a hill that gets steeper and steeper. And yet despite all the speed and the clutter of happenings, one of the frustrating facts that seems to hit me every year is ME. Although the scenery around me is in constant flux, I find over and over that I am still very much the same weak me that I was before.
We live in a world where personal happiness and well being are at the center of life. The church has unfortunately caught on to this idea as well. Very often, we are given the impression that life with Christ is supposed to answer all our questions and untangle all our knots. We are told that if there are problems and challenges in our lives its a sign that we are not spiritual enough, not working hard enough, not doing good enough.
But when Jesus called his disciples to follow him he did not invite them into a journey of smooth sailing and wide and easy travels through life. He called them to take up their cross, to deny themselves, and to follow him being ready to face anything. That is because the kingdom that he calls us to be a part of is not of this world. The hope that Christ gives spans far beyond our mere physical, psychological or material well being. Continue reading
There is an ancient teaching called Gnosticism which has, throughout the centuries, constantly sought to wriggle itself into the life of the church. At its essence, the idea is that there is a fundamental division between the spiritual and the physical. The Gnostic believes that he is saved by the possession of special knowledge. The physical world however, along with the body, is fallen and beyond saving or repair.
Many variations of this idea have surfaced and resurfaced in the history of christianity, with each following version tending to be more and more subtle and sneaky. And our day is indeed no exception¹. But how can this be so?? Don’t we live in a day of peak theological growth? Before a false teaching even appears, we already have a good book published on the issue! We have hundreds of sermons, articles, websites and magazines being put out every week defending and defining the Gospel of Jesus!