Truth be Told, Ted Turner was Right

People were offended back when media mogul Ted Turner called Christianity “a religion for losers” (he later expressed regret for that and similar remarks).  But the fact is, in one sense Ted Turner was exactly right.  Christianity is for losers.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 103

All We Need is a Little Perspective

When we realize that he’s God and we’re not – that he’s massive and we’re minute – that’s all it takes for us to become a par of great and powerful God-things.  God chooses defeated people to do dominate things.  Unimaginable, undreamed-of accomplishments and experiences await those who’ll recognize and admit just how small they are.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 101-102

Cheer Up, It’s Better Than It Looks

Jack Miller, a noted Presbyterian pastor and author in Philadelphia in the last century, often summed up the gospel this way: Cheer up; you’re a lot worse off than you think you are, but in Jesus you’re far more loved than you ever could have imagined.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 89

Only God Can Take You Beyond That….

If you want to live for things that bring only temporary comfort and happiness, there’s plenty to choose from – plenty of ships sailing for Tarshish.  Only God can take you beyond that – if you want to go beyond what you could ever become on your own.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 88

God Has a Strange Way of Keeping Score

Through the gospel God counts your sins against Christ, not against you.  He offer us acceptance based not on what we do or don’t do, but on what Christ has already done.  It’s an acceptance that can be neither gained by our achievements nor forfeited by our failures.  Nothing in this world can promise you such total acceptance and favor – nothing.  And that’s what makes his grace so amazing.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 87-88

What Jonah’s Story Tells Us About God’s Amazing Grace

God’s second commissioning of Jonah lets us glimpse three aspects of God’s amazing grace:

  • First, God doesn’t hold grudges.
  • God doesn’t necessarily lighten the load.
  • God is more interested in the worker than he is the work.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 86-89

Second Chances are Not Guaranteed

But again, its wise to remember from Scripture that second chances aren’t guaranteed once we’ve disobeyed God in a certain matter the first time.  Just ask Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5).  Or Lot’s wife (Genesis 19).  Or King Saul.  While Saul disobeyed the Lord’s guidelines for defeating and destroying the Amalekites, the prophet Samuel brought him a blistering response from God.  Nothing matters more than Obedience, Samuel told him; to disobey is “rebellion” and “presumption”, just as bad as idolatry (I Samuel 15:22-23).

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 86

He Arrives Even Before We Do

When we hear the call go to go and we run in the opposite direction, God has a way of having us thrown off the boat, swallowed by a larger fish and spit onto the shore where we are to serve.  God allows us to run and yet to know that he will arrive at our place of flight before we arrive, so he can direct our steps again.

– Dan Allender

as quoted by Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 85

He Always Welcomes These…

When those who’ve fled from him are finally turned around, God always welcomes them back.  The cross is God’s greatest statement of that.  He always welcomes – with open arms – those who realize that their only hope is to turn from themselves and race toward him.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 84