Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Perhaps I can help ... what you must know

Dear Elise,

... Perhaps I can help you if you will recognize that all I can do is be a small finger pointing to a large Christ. But if you trust yourself to Him, be confident He is not only willing to help you but has the power to help you.

What do you need to know? . . . When you turn to Christ, you don't have a repentance apart from Christ, you just have Christ. Therefore don't seek repentance or faith as such but seek Christ. When you have Christ you have repentance and faith. Beware of seeking an experience of repentance; just seek an experience of Christ.

The Devil can be pretty tricky. He doesn't mind you thinking much about repentance and faith if you do not think about Jesus Christ. . . . Seek Christ, and relate to Christ as a loving Savior and Lord who wants to invite you to know him.

--Jack Miller,
The Heart of a Servant Leader: Letters from Jack Miller (P&R, 2004), 244-45

Monday, February 20, 2012

The one fatal temptation in life

"Life is a web of trials and temptations", says Robert Capon, "but only one of them can ever be fatal - the temptation to think it is by further, better, and more aggressive living that we can have life." The truth is, that you can’t live your way to life – you can only "die your way there, lose your way there"...

"For Jesus came to raise the dead. He did not come to reward the rewardable, improve the improvable, or correct the correctable; he came simply to be the resurrection and the life of those who will take their stand on a death he can use instead of on a life he cannot."

Moral renovation, in other words, is to refocus our eyes away from ourselves to that Man’s obedience, to that Man’s cross, to that Man’s blood-to that Man’s death and resurrection!

Learning daily to love the glorious exchange (our sin for his righteousness), to lean on its finishedness, and to live under its banner is what it means to be morally reformed!

--Tullian Tchividjian quoting Robert Capon
in a blog post: here

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Why must we die to the law?

"Why is it that we must die to the Law?"

"Why die to the very thing we long to fulfill?"

"The Law is not the goal of our being in Christ, but rather our being in Christ is the goal of the Law."

-- John Piper

Listen to John Piper expound on these important issues for 8 minutes:

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Make Jesus your okay-ness

In a world of secrets, outward success is everyone’s goal. If we can just succeed, we won’t have to face ourselves. No wonder that doesn’t work. It can’t work. The reality of what we are will always topple this house-of-cards persona we so earnestly wish were true.

The gospel is not God’s way of giving us an even better self-improvement goal. The gospel is God’s judgment on our better selves and his replacement of it all with Jesus.

Every one of us thinks, “If only I could do __________ or be __________, then I would arrive.” So, what does “arrival” look like to you? If it isn’t Jesus, the risen Lord himself, every arrival you achieve is only another set-back.

If you make financial security your arrival, you are already trapped in anxiety. If you make a thin body your identity, you will hate yourself more. If you make a porn-free life your okayness, you are doomed to compulsion. God’s remedy for you is not more money or better looks or perfect control. God’s gift to you is Jesus. With Jesus, we are saved. Everything is going to be okay. Without Jesus, we are damned. Nothing will go right.

Forsake all fraudulent success. Make Jesus your goal, your arrival, your identity, your comfort, your okayness, and he’ll gladly give himself to you — and on terms of grace. But reach for anything else, and it will turn into its opposite and betray you.

--Ray Ortlund
from his blog post: here