1. One of the reasons we follow Jesus is he loved us with a love like no other. One of the ways we follow Jesus is to love others with a love like no other.
2. Just as discouragement takes on many forms and comes at us in many ways, the “cure” can be just as varied. Sometimes I need a hike. Sometimes I need extended times of prayer. At other times, time with my kids. Sometimes, time away from them! A sandwich, a cup of coffee, or a good nap can also help. I need this reminder – in his goodness God lavishes upon us many good things.
3. The reason we are so shocked about the news of Ravi Zacharias is our expectations for discipleship are so low.
4. Repentance, by logic, demands a desire for change. So if all of life is repentance as Luther said, then all of life should be a desire for change.
5. When I was in High School, I discovered punk rock music. The Ramones. The Clash. Man, once I heard The Clash, I thought I had discovered a sound I had been listening to all my life. I loved that raw sound and the palpable energy. I understood their frustrations and their way of looking at the absurdities of life. My parents were afraid. And I understood it then and even more now why. Music is powerful. And it can be dangerous. And this music was dangerous because it pushed against the conventional wisdom of the day. But there was not much for Robert and Wanda to fear. Even then as a kid I thought punk rock suited the message of Jesus more than Sandi Patty. Now as I approach the age of 49, more than ever, I still do. Jesus stands against the conventional ways of thinking and living these days. The world says put all your trust on the seen things: your 401K, your looks, elections, etc. Jesus says to trust in the unseen and pursue the unseen Kingdom of the heavens. Of course, punk thrived on anger and now anger is the status quo. So, maybe the most “punk rock” thing we can do these days is love our neighbor and be kind to them the same way Jesus did. Maybe the most “punk rock” thing we can do these days is obey him without fear of what the world thinks of us and what we lose in the following.
6. I teach a class (via zoom) through Dallas Willard’s Divine Conspiracy and I am seeing a theme I have never noticed in all my other readings: letting go of control and giving it to God. Whatever it is. Think about it. So much anger and anxiety and distrust and fighting and contempt come from an inability to trust God and let go of outcomes. this is true all way from parenting and marriage to elections and geopolitics.
7. A truncated gospel of only forgiveness of sins will inevitable lead to a church full of those who look for life in sports and politics. And those two will inevitably bleed over into each other.
8. Don’t you want a peace, a contentment, and a joy that is real and lived despite your circumstances?
9. Kindness is one of those few things enjoyed in the giving and in the receiving. And the more this is done, the more plentiful it becomes. But it is still often rare.
10. “What would you live like if you had died/And been reborn with a second chance to live?/Would you loose your fear of being dead/And be afraid of something else instead?” – Jon Foreman
I think about these lyrics all the time and I am pretty sure Jon is thinking about Colossians 3:3, which says, “For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” I cannot stop thinking about that.