“What matters most to God is not which sins we’ve committed or not committed, or how we stack up in comparison with other sinners. What matters most to God is whether we’ve bonded by faith […]
“Real holiness is not dull, drab, boring, or negative.
Those are marks of man-made religiosity. The real holiness Christ creates is beautiful.
And the holiness He gives will redeem every dirty thing we have ever done to ourselves or suffered from others.”~ Ray Ortlund
When men look for a bride, they often look for a beauty queen. But Christ chose the dirty one who needed His cleansing.
The Son Of God crossed the tracks to the wrong side of town, where we all live, to find His bride. We brought into the relationship our messy backgrounds, our ongoing problems, and our shame.
But we can face all of that now because of what He brought into the relationship: cleansing enough for all our dirty guilt.~ Ray Ortlund
“Loving others doesn’t come naturally for us.
We’re selfish creatures; we tend to put our needs and interests first. The needs of others? We’ll get to them…if there’s enough time.
It takes discipline to resist this selfish impulse and serve others. It’s hardly a natural thing to do.”~ Drew Dyck
“Over time, our status—in our churches and in our heads—can grow to an unhealthy level.
It may also cause us to believe the key to successful ministry is always having the right answers and advancing our knowledge and skills so that everyone who seeks our help can receive it.
This need to maintain our position as the expert can, ironically, prevent us from acquiring the quality that the very best Christian leaders possess—empathy.
We are happy to play the role of savior, but we don’t want to be identified as sinners.”~ Skye Jethani
“Let’s not automatically assume that our churches are faithful to the gospel.
Let’s examine whether they really are. After all, ‘Every institution tends to produce its opposite.’
A church with the truth of the gospel in its theology can produce the opposite of the gospel in its practice.”~ Ray Ortlund
“Social scientists define self-control as the ability to resist negative impulses. But when the Bible mentions self-control, it usually has something bigger in mind.
Yes, it involves the ability to resist doing something you shouldn’t. But it also has a proactive element.
It refers to the ability to do something you should.”~ Drew Dyck
“Self-control isn’t just one good character trait, a nice addition to the pantheon of virtues.
It’s foundational. Not because it’s more important than other virtues, but because the others rely upon it.
Think about it.
Can you be faithful to your spouse without self-control? Can you be generous without self-control? Peaceable? Selfless? Honest? Kind? No, even the most basic altruism requires suspending your own interests to think of others.
And that can’t happen without self-control.”~ Drew Dyck
“There’s a cruel irony that comes into play whenever we value something above God.
If we prioritize happiness above all else, we will never find happiness. If we grant marriage or family or work the highest place in our hearts, we will end up hurting those too.
These are all good things, but they were never meant to bear the full weight of our ultimate allegiance.”~ Drew Dyck
“I know that Christianity isn’t a success course. It’s not a self-improvement program.
In fact, it’s not really about me. Not primarily anyway.
The end goal for a Christian isn’t to become such an impressive, successful person that you can stand atop a mountain of accomplishments and declare, ‘Look at me’ !”~ Drew Dyck
“Not every Christian man with an entrepreneurial spirit and a gift for speaking should be a pastor.
I say this kindly—if your drive is not to feed the sheep, please quit. You may have missed your calling. Your gifts could be used more effectively elsewhere, perhaps for starting a business or a nonprofit.
We don’t need any more salesmen in the pulpit. We need tenders of the sheep. We need shepherds up to their elbows in Christ’s little lambs.
Pastor, if you do not get to the end of your week without at least a little wool on your jacket, you might not be a shepherd.”~ Jared C. Wilson
“Our Father is not accusatory by nature.
If He were, He wouldn’t have sent His only Son to die on a cross to redeem us, to buy us back.
He would have simply pointed a finger and said, ‘I told you so.’ ”~ Craig Jutila
“What I notice a lot every day in the Christian spheres of social media is just how incredibly adept we evangelicals are at doctrinal criticism, cultural rebuke, theological analysis, biblical exegesis, apologetic and ethical debates, pithy spiritual bon mots, religious advice, and of course the use of quotations from Christian leaders present and past.
But what seems less prevalent is love for Jesus.”~ Jared C. Wilson
“If we see the purpose of preaching as primarily instructing, then it will be confined to an individual exercise, a responsibility granted only to the most biblically educated, articulate, and proficient in the congregation.
But if we believe preaching is primarily the announcing of the kingdom, an unveiling of a vision of God’s glorious reign and our life in it, then the responsibility to preach cannot lie solely with the pastor.
It properly belongs with all of God’s people—even ignorant fishermen.”~ Skye Jethani