I am lost for words.
No one expects to spend their one year anniversary without their spouse.
I can’t imagine what Sunday (the 22nd) will be like.
Please strengthen me Jesus.
At the moment I am being super challenged by the following excerpt from David Platt’s book, ‘Radical’.
Actually, I am being challenged by the whole book. I highly recommend it.
We live in a church culture that has a dangerous tendency to disconnect the grace of God from the Glory of God. Our hearts resonate with the idea of enjoying God’s grace. We bask in sermons, conferences, and books that exalt a grace centering on us. And while the wonder of grace is worthy of our attention, if that grace is disconnected from its purpose, the sad result is a self-centred Christianity that bypasses the heart of God.
If you were to ask the average Christian sitting in a worship service on Sunday morning to summarise the message of Christianity, you would most likely hear something along the lines of “The message of Christianity is that God loves me.” Or some might say, “The message of Christianity is that God loves me enough to send his Son, Jesus, to die for me.”
As wonderful as this sentiment sounds, is it biblical? Isn’t it incomplete, based on what we have seen in the Bible? “God loves me” is not the essence of biblical Christianity. Because if “God loves me” is the message of Christianity, then who is the object of Christianity?
God loves me.
Christianity’s object is me.
Therefore, when I look for a church, I look for the music that best fits me and the programs that best cater to me and my family. When I make plans for my life and career, it is about what works best for me and my family. When I consider the house I will live in, the car I will drive, the clothes I will wear, the way I will live, I will choose according to what is best for me. This is the version of Christianity that largely prevails in our culture.
But it is not biblical Christianity.
The message of biblical Christianity us not “God loves me, period,” as if we were the object of our own faith. The message of biblical Christianity is “God loves me so that I might make him – his ways, his salvation, his glory, and his greatness – known among all nations.” Now God is the object of our faith, and Christianity centres around him. We are not the end of the gospel; God is.
What does it look like to live life in a manner worthy of the gospel? It looks like dying with Christ to one’s self and being raised in Christ to walk in the newness of life with our brothers and sisters. It means living grace-filled lives that grant patience and mercy and gentleness for the spiritual journeys of others and a respect for the differences and idiosyncrasies we all bring to the Lord’s table.
– Matt Chandler, ‘To Live is Christ, to Die is Gain’
The thing about anger is that it seems very bad, but it feels very natural, like hunger, or cold. Except that when you’re hungry, you know to eat, and when you’re cold, you grab a jumper. Sometimes, when I’m angry, I eat and grab a jumper, but it doesn’t really work. Anger is a feeling that comes when something’s wrong: the keys are lost, the bus is late, politicians lock children on islands. No matter how many times you count to 10, or listen to whales meditating in Thailand, the anger doesn’t leave.
– Samantha Prendergast, Frankie Magazine
“So, what do you?”
“At the moment? Not a lot.”
When I meet new people, this question always (and I mean always) comes up. I don’t think that this is a bad thing – I often ask ask this question of others as I gives me insight into who they are. The problem that I do have though, is that people often define us by what we do. This has never really been an issue for me until I stopped doing things; until Matt’s accident.
When I answer with my generic “not a lot”, the asker of the question frequently replies with an “oh”, and a confused look.
In general, society tells us that we must always be doing something – working, studying, parenting, retiring, etc. – and if at any point in our lives we aren’t taking part in one of these things, then there is something wrong with us. It frustrates me that I feel less of a person because I don’t fit into one of these categories at this time in my life. I am not working. I have had to withdraw from my studies for the time being. I’m not a Mum. I’m not retired. I am taking the time I need to breathe. I am getting involved in the church again. I am reading. I am resting. I am grieving.
I am not defined by what I do or don’t do – I am defined by Christ and what He has done and what He is doing in me – and I am so comforted by this truth.