The Christian Life
There are two great days in a person’s life … the day we are born and the day we discover why.
The Church does not stand in a vacuum. Beginning from the beginning, however necessary, cannot be a matter of beginning off one’s own bat. We have to remember the communion of saints, bearing and being borne by each other, asking and being asked, having to take mutual responsibility for and among the sinners gathered together in Christ.
Protestant Theology in the Nineteenth Century (London: SCM, 2001), p.3.
Kyle David Bennett
The Christian life is not a life dripping with personal satisfaction or one of basking in feeling “positive.” It isn’t a life baptized in stimulation or excitement. It definitely isn’t a life of consecutive “highs” and “fixes.” Rather, it is a reformed and transformed lifestyle lived according to the Father’s design, the Son’s example, and the Spirit’s guidance. It is a life of reconciliation, restoration, and renewal. It is a life of loving our neighbor as ourselves. It is a life of doing everyday activities such as owning, thinking, eating, socializing, talking, working, and resting in ways that demonstrate love of others and bring life to the world.
Is life not full of opportunities for learning love? Every man and woman every day has a thousand of them. The world is not a playground; it is a schoolroom. Life is not a holiday, but an education. And the one eternal lesson for us all is how better we can love.
Thomas Howard and J I. Packer
Cross-bearing is the long lesson of our mortal life. It is a part of God’s salvation, called sanctification. It is a lesson set before us every moment of every day.” “If life were an art lesson…we could describe it as a process of finding how to turn this mud into that porcelain, this discord into that sonata, this ugly stone block into that statue, this tangle of threads into that tapestry. In fact, however, the stakes are higher than in any art lesson. It is in the school of sainthood that we find ourselves enrolled and the artifact that is being made is ourselves.
God’s utterance lovingly gives life; gives all life, all unfailing freshness; gives only life, and peace, and love, and beauty , harmony and joy. And the life God gives is nothing other, nothing less, than God’s own self. Life is God, given.
Should anyone knock at my heart and say, “Who Lives here? I should reply, “Not Martin Luther, but the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Before you long for a life that is imperishable, you must accept that you are perishing along with everyone you care about. You must recognize that anything you might accomplish or acquire in this world is already fading away. Only then will you crave the unfading glory of what Jesus has accomplished and acquired for you. And you need to recognize you are going to lose everything you love in this world before you will hope in an inheritance kept in heaven for you.
Christians are unique citizens in society because, formed by the “upside-down” kingdom of God, they move out into the world as self-sacrificers rather than self-actualizers.
Taken from: In Search of the Common Good: Christian Fidelity in a Fractured World by Jake Meador Copyright (c) 2019 by Jake Meador. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com
The ways Jesus goes about loving and saving the world are personal: nothing disembodied, nothing abstract, nothing impersonal. Incarnate, flesh and blood, relational, particular and local. The ways employed in our North American culture are conspicuously impersonal: programs, organizations, techniques, and general guidelines, informational, detached from place. In matters of ways and means, the vocabulary of numbers is preferred over names, ideologies crowd out ideas, the gray fog of abstraction absorbs the sharp particularities of the recognizable face and the familiar street.
The only opportunity you will ever have to live by faith is in the circumstances you are provided this very day: this house you live in, this family you find yourself in, this job you have been given, the weather conditions that prevail at the …moment.
The life of faith isn’t meant for tourists. It’s meant for pilgrims
When I look around the American church today, I see two primary targets people aim at in their spiritual lives: activity and information.
The Christian life is the life of Jesus Christ fleshed out in our lives—yours and mine—through the power of the Holy Spirit.
“Biological” or physical death is not the whole death, not even its ultimate essence …in [the] Christian vision, death is above all a spiritual reality, of which one can partake while being alive, from which one can be free while lying in the grave. Death here is man’s separation from life, and this means from God Who is the Giver of life, Who Himself is Life.
The scholastics used to say: Homo non proprie humanus sed superhumanus est—which means that to be properly human, you must go beyond the merely human.
A Guide for the Perplexed. (New York: Perennial Library, 1977), 38.
The problem is that if we are regularly taught to understand the spiritual life as mainly, if not exclusively, about giving up things, we will never hear the call to engage with life or particular issues in a passionate way.
The meaning of earthly existence lies not, as we have grown used to thinking, in prospering…but in the development of the soul.
He who provides for this life but takes not care for eternity is wise for a moment but a fool forever.
If we are to be disciples of Jesus who are being reformed and restored to become more like him, we need to have people in our lives, up close and personal.
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