Enjoy being loved by your Father. Today. Tomorrow....
It is only when we see that God rules his creation as a kind and loving Father that we will be moved to delight in his providence. We might acknowledge that the rule of some heavenly policeman was just, but we could never take delight in his regime as we can delight in the tender care of a father … Since God is, before all things, a Father, and not primarily Creator or Ruler, all his ways are...
Hidden in Him
Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee; let the water and the blood, from thy wounded side which flowed, be of sin the double cure; save from wrath and make me pure. Not the labors of my hands can fulfill thy law's commands; could my zeal no respite know, could my tears forever flow, all for sin could not atone; thou must save, and thou alone. Nothing in...
Requirements for leadership: hospitality. (Not a...
Church leaders are family leaders and must prove their ability to manage their own households before they can manage the household of God. One of the requirements for elders is that they must be ‘hospitable’ (1 Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:8, see Romans 16:23). Consider that many requirements churches typically lay down for leaders (like a theology degree) are not required by Paul in 1...
Bearing shame and scoffing rude, In my place condemned He stood, Sealed my pardon with His blood, Hallelujah, what a Saviour! - Philip Bliss
Use your dining table to model gracious community
We live in a graceless culture of competition in which we’re all trying to get ahead. It’s a culture of insecurity in which we’re all trying to prove ourselves…In this culture our shared meals offer a moment of grace. A sign of something different. A pointer to God’s coming world… Around the table we offer friendship and celebrate life. Our meals offer a...
Hospitality bought, not given
In his book ‘Bowling Alone’, Robert Putman reveals that there’s been a 33% decrease in families eating together over the last three decades. And more than half of those families are watching television as they eat together. Over the same period there’s been a 45% decline in entertaining friends… Friends is a television programme or a Facebook number, not people...
How do you treat wierdos?
Simon’s attitude to this woman exposes his heart. It’s always like that. ’Difficult’ people have a habit of exposing our hearts… Whenever we look down on someone for being smelly or disorganised or lazy or emotional or promiscuous or socially inept or bitter, then we’re like graceless Simon. And if we look down on people for not understanding grace, then we...
Jesus identifies with sinners
‘When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner”’ (Luke 7:39). Jesus is happy to link his identity to hers - just as he is happy to link his identity to yours and mine. Tim Chester, ‘A Meal With Jesus’
Jesus fulfills what it means to be human
When one looks up at the sky, and all the stars which are His work, it seems strange that He should be concerned at all with such things as man. Yet in fact, though he has made us inferior to the celestial beings, He has, down here on earth, given us extraordinary honour - made us lords of all the other creatures. But to the writer of Hebrews this suggested something which we, of ourselves,...
The frustrating disappointment of fallen man
What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god - the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me. William Shakespeare, ‘Hamlet’
We are rags of lordship; blurred images of a distant king– Tolkien
We are defaced statues with traces of former glory– John Calvin
The dignity of man
The psalmist’s contemplation of the marvels of the starry heavens makes him realise, by comparison, the smallness and insignificance of man. Yet God has assigned to man an exalted position on the earth, having given him dominion over the rest of creation. And this is even more to be wondered at than the heavens themselves. - Anthony Hoekema, on Psalm 8 (from ‘Created In God’s Image’)
When you look at a human being you are seeing a clearer representation and a...– Jerram Barrs, on Psalm 8 and what it means to be made in the image of God
Jesus is for losers
When Jesus eats with Levi, the message is clear: Jesus has come for losers, people on the margins, people who’ve made a mess of their lives, people who are ordinary. Jesus has come for you. The only people who are left out are those who think they don’t need God: the self-righteous and the self-important. Sadly that includes many people. - Tim Chester, ‘A Meal With...
In Luke’s Gospel Jesus got himself killed because of the way he ate– Robert Karris