Love this quote from Jared Wilson’s new book, Your Jesus is Too Safe.
“Children of God, we’ve been rescued once. And that rescue was a promise kept and a promise of glory to come. Someday, we’ll be rescued again in such a way that we may laugh at all things that make us cry today. Our anguish over this world and our hurt from the experience of living in it will become joy in the new world and the worshipful pleasure it brings.” p. 35
Great quote by Spurgeon:
The first effort of the devil was to sap the foundations of the Savior’s strength with a doubt. The devil whispers to him, “If – if thou be the Son of God.” Faith is the Christian’s strength; he who doubts not staggers not. Unbelief is the source of our chief weakness. As soon as we begin to distrust our feet begin to slide. Hence, Satan, knowing this, injects that cruel and wicked suspicion, “If – if thou be the Son of God.”
Notice the point of attack: it was our Lord’s sonship. Satan knows that if he can make any of us doubt our interest in the Father’s love, doubt our regeneration and adoption, then he will have us very much in his power. How can I pray, “Our Father which art in heaven,” if I do not know him to be my Father? If the dark suspicion crosses my mind that I am no child of his, I cannot say with the prodigal, “I will arise and go unto my Father,” for I do not know that I have a Father to go to. Having a Father, I feel sure that he will pity my infirmities, that he will feel for my wants, redress my wrongs, protect me in the hour of danger, and succor me in the moment of peril; but if, if I have no Father in heaven, if I be not his child, then, miserable orphan! what shall I do – whither shall I flee? Standing on a pinnacle as God’s child I shall stand there erect, though every wind should seek to whirl me from my foothold; but if he be not my Father, and I am upon a pinnacle, then my destruction is inevitable, and my ruin will be swift and total. “If thou be the Son of God.” Oh, dear friends, beware of unbelief…
From a sermon entitled “Temptations on the Pinnacle,” delivered May 6, 1866.
[HT: The Daily Spurgeon]
As I personally wrestle with God’s call on my life and do this with my wife we are constantly faced with the temptations to remain comfortable. I also hear this from friends and folks that I talk to daily. My wife shared this quote with me this morning. It encouraged her heart deeply. It also encouraged me.
“Go beyond what human reason can do and taste the spiritual reality of Christ’s worth and embrace it.” John Piper
Just as it is beyond human reason to embrace Christ as our greatest treasure, it is beyond the world’s reason to embrace His mission to change the world. When we adopt, foster, care for the homeless, feed the hungry, care for the widows and elderly we are going beyond. Apart from Christ’s resurrection it would be foolish.
I posted the other day about what moves people to great acts of service. Today I came across this quote by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis in their book Total Church and it hit me as very true –
“Most gospel ministry involves ordinary people doing ordinary things with gospel intentionality.” – p.61
Now apply that to something like caring for orphans. It is interesting that the act of adopting, doing foster care, or going overseas to care for orphans is often seen as a “great act of service” involving great sacrifice. I think in light of this quote and in light of God’s heart and the Gospel that these acts for the church ought to be seen as “ordinary things.” God has called us and commanded us to care for orphans. Our obedience to this surely ought to be the “ordinary activity” of our lives as His people. Now, if you want to argue that caring for orphans really is “great” then it is not not because they involve great sacrifice but because they are great manifestations of a great Gospel and there is great joy involved in living this way. If that is what we mean by “great” then I will accept that.
This is incredibly encouraging because I have met so many people who think that in order to do something like this they need to be some sort of extraordinary kind of person. Absolutely not. What is required is an extraordinary Gospel and Holy Spirit empowered Gospel-intentionality. That is what changes us and through us changes the world for God’s glory.
After carrying the book around for the past 6 months and hearing again and again that I need to read it, I finally started Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I will blog more on my thoughts later as there are some great applications to adoption and orphan care already.
I read Chapter 2 last night before bed. The title is “you might not finish this chapter”. I was sobered and have not been able to get it out of my mind all morning.
You could die before you finish reading this chapter. I could die while you’re reading it. Today. At any moment.
But it’s easy to this about today as just another day. An average day where you go about life concerned with your to-do list, preoccupied by appointments, focused on family, thinking about your desires and needs.
On the average day, we live caught up in ourselves. On the average day, we don’t consider God very much. On the average day, we forget our life truly is a vapor.
In light of this reality how will I live my life differently today? How will you?