"How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose! You drove them from me, you who are the true, the sovereign joy. You drove them from me and took their place. O Lord my God, my Light, my Wealth, and my Salvation."-Augustine
Couldn’t have asked for a better conference to attend on Valentines Day weekend to point me back to my first and ultimate love; Jesus. This conference has been a balm to my weary soul.
"How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose! You drove them from me, you who are the true, the sovereign joy. You drove them from me and took their place! O Lord my God, my Light, my Wealth, and my Salvation." -Augustine
“You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.”—James 4:2-3
"If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful." Luke 6:32-36
“Be careful what value you give certain things, because the more value you give specific things, the more fear and anxiety will rule and reign around those things. If you hold too tightly to things that shouldn’t be held too tightly to, fear and anxiety will mark your life.”—Sanctification: Examining Fear and Anxiety, Matt Chandler
If you believe in Jesus and you rest in Him, then suffering will relate to your character like fire relates to gold. Do you want to know who you are – your strengths and weaknesses?
Do you want to be a compassionate person who skillfully helps people who are hurting? Do you want to have such a profound trust in God that you are fortified against the disappointments of life? Do you want simply to be wise about how life goes?
Those are four crucial things to have – but none of them are readily achievable without suffering. There is no way to know who you really are until you are tested. There is no way to really empathize and sympathize with other suffering people unless you have suffered yourself. There is no way to really learn how to trust in God until you are drowning.
But God is with us in the fire.
He knows what it’s like to live through the miseries of this world – He understands. He is near, available to be known and depended upon within the hardship. He walks with us, but the real question is – will we walk with Him? If we have created a false God-of-my-program, then when life falls apart we will simply assume He has abandoned us and we won’t seek Him.
”—Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, Tim Keller
“"Jesus lost all his glory so that we could be clothed in it. He was shut out so we could get access. He was bound, nailed, so that we could be free. He was cast out so we could approach. And Jesus took away the only kind of suffering that can really destroy you: that is being cast away from God. He took so that now all suffering that comes into your life will only make you great. A lump of coal under pressure becomes a diamond. And the suffering of a person in Christ only turns you into somebody gorgeous."- Tim Keller”—
Tonight as I was journaling I decided to go back a few months and read a few of my previous ones. Considering the circumstances of this past week, this old post absolutely wrecked me. So I just thought I’d share a piece of it with you guys.
May 17, 2013
“Our whole life we will wander and constantly run to people and things to satisfy our needs that will leave us empty. Not until our idols fail us will we begin to understand the futility of idolatry and how nothing else can truly satisfy us. Jesus will continually recapture our hearts and chase us in our rebellion.
If anyone else gets to read this and there’s one piece of advice I could give to you, is to allow Jesus to strip the falsehoods from your life when it’s time, no madder how naked and alone you may feel, let him strip you. ,because it is better to live naked in truth than clothed in fantasy.
That is one thing I can honestly say that the Lord has done with me these past two years. It has been grueling, depressing, and some of the darkest times of my life, but I know Jesus is pursuing me and wooing myself to Him for my good.
If there’s anything that I’m 100% sure of its that I need Jesus every waking moment of my life. I’m just a wretched sinner loved by Christ. The gospel HAS to be real to change this glory-thieving heart of mine. Soli deo Gloria”
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”—CS Lewis
Seeing the reactions to this video have laid a heavy burden on my heart. We can all learn something from these kids, I hope and pray for a transformation in the next generation that leads to acceptance and love one another regardless of ones race. (The video is actually hilarious lol the asian kid was too funny)
Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord because I have sinned against him, until he pleads my cause and executes judgment for me. He will bring me out to the light; I shall look upon his vindication. (Micah 7:8-9)
What a reassuring reminder on a day where we are forced to examine our family circumstances and personal sins. I don’t measure up as a daughter and won’t as a mother but I am free because Jesus measured up for me. Lord may I be able to grasp this truth all of my days.
“True faith takes its character and quality from its object and not from itself. Faith gets a man out of himself and into Christ. Its strength therefore depends on the character of Christ. Even those of us who have weak faith have the same strong Christ as others!”—Sinclair Ferguson
“I’ve got two choices they both require pain. One’s the pain of change or the pain of staying the same. One of them leads to joy the other one leads to shame. One of them leads to freedom the other one keeps me in chains.”—Andy Mineo “Tug Of War”
“I used to be continually examining myself, and studying and contriving for likely ways and means, how I should live holily, with far greater diligence and earnestness, than ever I pursued anything in my life; but yet with too great a dependence on my own strength; which afterwards proved a great damage to me. My experience had not then taught me, as it has done since, my extreme feebleness and impotence, every manner of way; and the bottomless depths of secret corruption and deceit there was in my heart.”—Jonathan Edwards
Last night at youth group, my boss and friend, Zach, talked about the secret to experiencing joy. He said that after 32 years, joy isn’t what he thought it was. I’m sure it’s because life isn’t what he thought it would once be either.
The process of growing up could, in many ways, be said to be…
“Who am I? What kind of man am I? What evil have I not done? Or if there is evil that I have not done, what evil is there that I have not spoken? If there is any that I have not spoken, what evil is there that I have not willed to do? But you, O Lord, are good. You are merciful. You saw how deep I was sunk in death, and it was your power that drained dry the well of corruption in the depths of my heart. And all that you asked of me was to deny my own will and accept yours. But, during all those years, where was my free will? What was the hidden, secret place from which it was summoned in a moment, so that I might bend my neck to your easy yoke and take your light burden on my shoulders, Christ Jesus, my Helper and my Redeemer? How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose and was now glad to reject! You drove them from me, you who are the true, the sovereign joy. You drove them from me and took their place, you who are sweeter than all pleasure, though not to flesh and blood, you who outshine all light yet are hidden deeper than any secret in our hearts, you who surpass all honour though not in the eyes of men who see all honour in themselves. O Lord my God, my Light, my Wealth, and my Salvation.”—Augustine
"This clearly shows that if the foundation of your identity is your things—the thing that makes me who I am is this position, these relationships, having this name, having this money, and so on—then suffering will be pulling you away from the uttermost foundations of your joy–and that will make you mad, bitter, and sad. But if your identity is anchored in Christ, so that you are able to say, “Everything I need I already possess in Him”, then suffering drives you deeper into your source of joy. Suffering, in other words, shows us where we are locating our identity. Our response to suffering reveals what we’re building our life on and what we’re depending on to make life worth living.
This means that suffering itself does not rob you of joy—idolatry does. If you’re suffering and you’re angry, bitter, and joyless it means you’ve idolized–and felt entitled to–whatever it is you’re losing. Entitlement and self-pity stem from our belief that we deserve more than what we’re getting–love, attention, respect, approval. The gospel, however, frees us to revel in our expendability! The gospel alone provides us with the foundation to maintain radical joy in remarkable loss. Joylessness and bitterness in the crucible of pain happens when we lose something (or think we deserve something) that we’ve held onto more tightly than God.” - Tullian Tchividjian
Over 2,000 years ago on this day He came down and humbled himself to died for sinners like you and me. He left his throne, He left his glory, and this good news has changed my life forever. It is finished. #GoodFriday
“There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation.
The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”—C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves (New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1960), 169-170
“I cannot pray but I sin. I cannot hear or preach a sermon but I sin. I cannot give an alms or receive the sacrament but I sin. Nay, I cannot so much as confess my sins, but my very confessions are still aggravations of them. My repentance needs to be repented of, my tears need washing, and the very washing of my tears needs still to be washed over again with the blood of my Redeemer.”—William Beveridge, Private Thoughts (London, 1720)
If I could explain my whole life in one quote this is what it would be.
"When I get honest, I admit I am a bundle of paradoxes. I believe and I doubt, I hope and get discouraged, I love and I hate, I feel bad about feeling good, I feel guilty about not feeling guilty. I am trusting and suspicious. I am honest and I still play games. To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God’s grace means. My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.” -
“Only grace can change a heart and produce law-fulfilling works of mercy. Grace alone produces the conditions that induce change, but grace is not conditional on change. It is pure gift. Our greatest hope. Our only comfort. Our deepest relief.”—Tullian Tchividjian
It’s the kindness of the Lord and His pursuit of me that keeps me at the foot of the cross. Even on my weakest days and seasons I am reminded of His forgiving love for me. When I cling to the message of grace is when I find myself stooped at the throne of Jesus clinging to “It Is finished”. He has came to deliver weak and needy sinners like you and me, and I’m more thankful for that than I have ever been.
“The Christian faith is not a one word faith (law or gospel) but a two word faith (law then gospel). The law shows us what holiness, justice, and goodness looks like but the law cannot make us holy, just, and good. The law can crush but only the gospel can cure; the law can kill but only the gospel can make us alive.”—Tullian Tchividjian
“Cheap law weakens God’s demand for perfection. And in doing so, breathes life into our quest for a righteousness of our own making. Cheap law creates people of great zeal. But they lack knowledge concerning the question, “What would Jesus do?” Here is the costly answer: Jesus would do it all perfectly and that’s game over for you! The Father is not grooming you to be a replacement for His Son! He is announcing that there is blessing for those who take shelter in His Son! Cheap law tells us that we’ve fallen but there’s good news: you can get back up again! There-in lies the great heresy of cheap law! It is false gospel! It cheapens — no — it nullifies grace.”—John Dink
A year ago today the Lord took my precious sister Megan home, I am joyful but sorrowful on this bittersweet day. Through her life and death, Gods sovereignty, compassion, and grace were undeniably displayed through her, even through her disability she beheld His glory and was such a great depiction of constant grace in my life. The power of death has been defeated and through Christ, my time without her is but a sliver compared to the time I will have with her in eternity! By His grace I will hope in Him and praise Him, for the help of His countenance. Pray that I would not waste my mourning. Thank you.
I just really want intimacy that has nothing to do with sex. I want to sit in a room in comfortable silence with someone who knows the worst parts of my soul, and for whatever reason actually wants to just be with me.
“Thirty-nine lashes left little flesh intact. He heaves with His breath up and down against the rough vertical beam of the cross. Each breath puts splinters into the lacerations. The Lord gasps. From time to time He screams out with intolerable pain. He tries to pull away from the wood and the massive spokes through His wrist rip into the nerve endings and He screams again with agony and pushes up with His feet to give some relief to His wrists. But the bones and nerves in His pierced feet crush against each other with anguish and He screams again. There is no relief. His throat is raw from screaming and thirst. He loses His breath and thinks He is suffocating, and suddenly His body involuntarily gasps for air and all the injuries unite in pain. In torment, He forgets about the crown of two-inch thorns and throws His head back in desperation, only to hit one of the thorns perpendicular against the cross beam and drive it half an inch into His skull. His voice reaches a soprano pitch of pain and sobs break over His pain-wracked body as every cry brings more and more pain.
Now, I am not thinking about the [seductive image] any more. I am at Calvary. These two images are not compatible. If you will use the muscle of your brain to pursue - violently pursue with the muscle of your mind - images of Christ crucified with the same creative energy that you use to pursue sexual fantasies, you will kill them. But it must start in the first five seconds - and not give up.
Do you fight, rather than only praying and waiting and trying to avoid? It is image against image. It is ruthless, vicious mental warfare, not just prayer and waiting.”
This might be the best If not one of the best John Piper quotes I’ve heard. Dang.
“I have never ever once met a person who was so captured by God’s grace and forgiveness that they say, “Woohoo! I can now go do whatever I want!” Never! The people who go, “This is unbelievable! Now I can go do whatever I want! I can sin as I please and still have remission! This is amazing!” That’s a demonstration, that is proof that they don’t get grace. Not that they do! Licentious people are people who need grace more, not less. It hasn’t gone down deep and captured them to the point where they’re are able to say, “Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee. Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise.” This is the deal, doing will become instinctive and spontaneous when our hearts become increasingly gripped by what’s been done. Fear and guilt does not cause people to do more and try harder. That was the Pharisee’s problem. Fear and guilt does not make people do more and try harder, it makes them give up. Legalism produces lawlessness ten times out of ten.”—Tullian Tchvidjian God Comes Down Part 2
“Some think that those who talk about cheap ggrace have a low view of God’s law. It’s actually just the opposite. The reason we talk abut grace as much as we do is because we have an infinitely high view of God’s law. And it’s God’s law that exposes us, it’s God’s law that exposes them. Those who revel in grace are those who have a high view of the law because they realize the bar is so high that they’re forced to say, “I can’t do it. Unless help comes, I’m ruined!” It’s the incarnation of Jesus, I said last week that the arrival of Jesus was a guarantee that none of our self-salvation projects would ever be successful.”—Tullian Tchvidjian God Comes Down Part 2
“The problem in the church today is not cheap grace but it’s actually cheap law, not cheap grace but cheap law the idea that God excepts anything less than the perfect righteousness of Jesus. Cheap law; lowering Gods standards to the place where I can actually get it done. The pharisses were accusing Jesus of was lowering Gods standard and lessining Gods law was exactly what they were guilty of. They were lowering Gods standard, they were lessening Gods law, they had to in order to believe that they were actually getting it done that they were actually pulling it off, that they were actually achieving the righteousness that God requires in and of themselves.”—Tullian Tchividjian God Comes Down Part 2
“You called, You cried, You shattered my deafness. You sparkled, You blazed, You drove away my blindness. You shed Your fragance, and I drew in my breath, and I pant for You. I tasted and now I hunger and thirst. You touched me and now I burn with longing for Your peace.”— St. Augustine
“Give us what we need to love and to serve the broken and beloved well. When we’re fearful and confused, when we are fed up and used up, give us all the wisdom, compassion, and faith to love to your glory. Jesus, there are days like this one that make me wish for miracles-on-demand. Help us trust you for supernatural intervention and grace for supernatural long-term caring. Write the stories that will maximize your glory.”— Scotty Smith
Jesus show me the difference between not letting people’s opinions about me define me as opposed to being a relational jerk and not caring in the slightest to what they think. I desperately desire to see this change in my heart. #MyPrayer
“”If our single, all-embracing passion is to make much of Christ in life and death, and if the life that magnifies him most is the life of costly love, then life is risk, and risk is right. To run from it is to waste your life.” John Piper, “Risk is Right””—
“Can I say something to young ladies here? I’m trying to pick my words carefully here. Your husband, whoever he is, single ladies, will have an unbelievable amount of influence over your sons and daughters in regards to spiritual things. If you want your children to love Jesus deeply, hold out for a man that is Godly. And let me tell you this: I am well aware that Godly men are rare. Lots of neat Christian boys, not a lot of Godly men. And we’re working our tails off for you to try to develop some into that. But don’t settle, because it’s better that you be lonely now than you be married and lonely later. Are you tracking with me? It is better that you be lonely now than for you to get married to a man that will teach your kids everything but the way of Jesus.”—Matt Chandler (via sarah-bick)