Monday, August 6, 2012

Free from the prison of pretending

Children like candy, not fine wine or espresso. ... The finer pleasures are more complex, and to a child seem to taste horrible and bitter, to sound like so much noise, to make no sense at all. ...

...The greater pleasures are hidden. So God is invisible, and so God’s greatest work in expressing mercy and justice is hidden in the horrendous act of the crucifixion. God’s wisdom is concealed in foolishness, and God’s beauty is concealed in ugliness.

So in preaching the message of radical grace, the constant fear is that the hearers will be released to run after damaging and sinful pleasures. It actually frees us from the prison of pretending to like what we hate, from the obligation to adhere to a practice that we only wish to escape from.  In the prison of obligation, we are not allowed to let our desires mature. The law does not allow us to touch on the subject of our actual loves, so they remain puerile and fixed on childish things.

--Jim McNeely
snippets from a blog post: here

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Works that arise from this belief

“I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance...
I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake...

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.” 
(Rev 2:2-5)


What if we have abandoned the love we had at first because we’ve forgotten the news that "He first loved us?"  Is it possible that the works we did at first arise from the belief that Jesus’ works are all we need? What if keeping with repentance is simply going back to the start again and again?

-- John Dink

Source: here