Monday, September 15, 2014

Are You Nice, Or Compassionate?

Jesus calls us to be compassionate and loving, and that's not the same as just being "nice."

Sentimental love bleeds into the Christian mind in a form of niceness.  It's easy to confuse nice with compassion, kindness or love.  But nice is not a biblical word.  Jesus was extremely un-nice at times, because he wanted to go deeply into people's lives, into their sin with the truth, and that's never nice.  ~ J. Mack Stiles, Marks of the Messenger

Monday, September 8, 2014

What Does It Mean To Be Bold?

Sharing our faith and proclaiming Christ with our lives may sometimes seem a daunting task, yet we are urged to be bold.

Boldness is not a lack of fear.  It is faith in something bigger than our fears to that we appear fearless.  Confidence in something bigger than our fears gives us the strength to do the right thing in spite of opposition or persecution.  ~ J. Mack Stiles, Marks of the Messenger

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Importance of Understanding Sin

If we don't understand the problem, we won't understand how badly we need an answer. For people to recognize their need for Jesus, they must recognize the problem of sin.

We want people to see their sin in all its horror, not so they are motivated to "clean up their act," but so they fall at the feet of Jesus knowing that he is their only hope.  People need to see the depth of their sin so that they come to a fuller understanding of the depth of God's grace.  ~ J. Mack Stiles, Marks of the Messenger

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pretenders In The Spirit

"The ragamuffin gospel reveals that Jesus forgives sins - including sins of the flesh - that he is comfortable with sinners who remember how to show compassion, but that he cannot and will not have a relationship with pretenders in the Spirit." ~ Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

Monday, August 18, 2014

Honoring God's Love

"We are enamored and enchanted by God's power.  We stutter and stammer about God's holiness.  We tremble before God's majesty...and yet we grow squeamish and skittish before God's love... 
[The] gifted English mystic Julian of Norwich: 'The greatest honor we can give Almighty God is to live gladly because of the knowledge of his love.'"  ~ Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

Monday, August 11, 2014

Good News

"The Good News means we can stop lying to ourselves.  The sweet sound of amazing graces saves us from the necessity of self-deception.  It keeps us from denying that though Christ was victorious, the battle with lust, greed, and pride still rages within us....When I go to church I can leave my white hat at home and admit I have failed.  God not only loves me as I am, but also knows me as I am."  ~ Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

Monday, July 28, 2014

God of Wrath?

"Some people are repulsed by the idea of God being a God of wrath.  But if you think about it, a God who doesn't hate evil is terrifying.  True goodness hates evil.  True righteousness and justice must stand in opposition to injustice and unrighteousness. God's wrath, writes John Stott, 'is in fact his holy reaction to evil.'" ~ Joshua Harris, Dug Down Deep