Yet everything that the Bible identifies as sin and our nature recognizes as such is something essentially good gone wrong. More precisely, it is something God has made that we have corrupted.
– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 28
A gospel-centered approach to reading the Bible means that you discipline yourself to read the Bible even when you don’t feel like it.
– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 198
Thus, if you are not where you should be spiritually, the answer is not simply to get busier for Jesus. It is not just to get more radical in your devotion to God. It is not only to seek greater spiritual gifts or even to learn more about the Bible. It is to make your home in God’s love given to you as a gift in Christ.
– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 18
Only when we come to the end of ourselves do we come to the beginning of God. This is a common theme in the Bible – desparation precedes deliverance. Grief precedes glory. The cross precedes the crown. Powerlessness is the beginning of freedom. This is not to say that every cloud has a silver lining, or some such nonsense. That would be a minimalization. It is only to say that if the past five years have taught me anything, it is this: I would never have received any clarity about the beauty of the gospel if I hadn’t first been forced to face the ugliness of my sin and idolatry at the foot of the cross. As the apostle Paul exclained in I Corinthians, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (I Corinthians 1:18);.
– Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 138
Unfortunately, Christians are never, ever promised in the Bible that God will rescue us from our suffering – Never.
– Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 89
The Bible is not a collection of timeless principles offering a gentle thought for the day. It is not a resource for our self-improvement. Rather, it is a dramatic story that unfolds from promise to fulfillment, with Christ at the center. It’s focus is God and his action. God is not a supporting actor in our drama; it is the other way around. God does not exist to make sure that we are happy and fulfilled. Rather, we exist to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.
– Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 26
Simply put, we’re in serious trouble in the church. It isn’t because we are sinners or because we don’t know enough, pray enough, or read the Bible enough. Our problem isn’t about being more faithful or not living a supernatural life of victory. Our problem isn’t going to be fixed with more programs, better methods of evangelism and stewardship, or discipline. Our problem isn’t spiritual formation or that we are not missional.
Our problem is that we have taken the best news ever given to the world, run it through a “religious grid” and made something unpalatable out of it. In short we’ve taken the good news and made it bad news. Ad if you listen carefully, you can hear old Slew Foot (that would be the devil) laughing.
– Brown, Steve; Three Free Sins: God’s Not Mad At You; Howard Books; New York, copyright 2012; Kindle Edition; Location 332