And thank God for that! From Seth Lewis……………………..
I personally take a lot of comfort from the scriptural truth of the presence of God, and this article is a great summation of this! Here is a takeaway for me: “Scripture is clear that all of life—and, principally, the gospel life—is about being in God’s relational presence. This is why David proclaims, ‘in your presence there is fullness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures forevermore’ (Ps 16:11).” From Crossway……………………..
Faith helps us know the voice of God
If you wish to know the voice of God as it comes to you individually, simply allow yourself to trust God to lead you into that. Ask God to speak to you and then wait attentively. He will probably speak to you clearly. But you have to understand and believe that this is even possible. Otherwise your faith will not rise to it, and you will not have the opportunity to learn. The reason I emphasize this here is because, when your friend asks about your relationship with God and the reason for your hope, you don’t want to be in the position of saying, “Well, he never speaks to me, but he speaks to lots of other people.”
From The Allure of Gentleness: Defending the Faith in the Manner of Jesus. Copyright © 2015 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
Some churches, speakers and authors give out the impression that we should expect or aim for dramatic and emotional experiences with God. But God most often is quiet with us, as this article argues for. Here is a takeaway for me: “We think we need a miracle to confirm God’s presence. We don’t. We need to slow down and listen. We need to drink deep of the quiet voice of God in the Scriptures, often, slowly, reflectively, and thoughtfully. Seeking the spectacular and ignoring the Scriptures is foolishness and not Christianity.” From Written For Our Instruction……………….
There is a lot of truth in this lovely article from Great and Noble Tasks. In discussing about being seen and heard, I always go back to Hagar when she and Ishmael were thrown out of the camp by Sarah, and God came to her rescue. And Hagar called God, “The God Who sees me.”
When we become believers, we should expect to grow spiritually, just like as parents we should expect to see physical and emotional growth in our children. And if that expected growth does not occur, then we should examine ourselves to see what may be hindering our growth. From Pastor Jim Erwin………………..
This article gives a nice, brief overview of what the Bible says about various human and divine love relationships. From Christian Crier……………..
What does that mean? Read this article from The Navigators to find out!……………………..
Recapturing the Wonder: Transcendent Faith in a Disenchanted World by Mike Cosper (IVP Books; 2017)
Recapturing the Wonder by Mike Cosper tackles the very real difficulties that Christians in the West face to try to connect with and commune with a transcendent God, while all the world around us screams that there is no God or no better place other than the broken and disenchanted world all around us. Cooper makes a point of discussing the “disenchantment” of society in the West in anything outside our sense experiences, and that there is no absolute truth, and nothing to hope for after one dies. While fully and honestly admitting that life is very hard —- even for Christians (no “name it and claim it”) —- still, God’s grace can be easy at times to appropriate. This is the aim of Cosper’s book.
After a brief review of our post-modern and materialistic society and its impact on all people, including Christians, the author quickly launches into what he calls “pathways” to regaining our enchantment for the world around us, as well as the spiritual realm which is actually more real than what we can see and experience with our five senses.
The pathways that Cosper fleshes out are: One —- Re-enchanting Our World; Two —- Experiencing Grace; Three —- Bringing Scripture to Life; Four —- Withdrawing With God; Five —- Practicing Abundance; Six —- Throwing a Feast; and Seven —- Writing a Rule of Life. Cosper writes not as an expert in mastering these pathways, but rather as a fellow struggler who is learning how to live a transcendent life through wrestling with God, like Jacob did in the Old Testament. I believe a vast majority of believers struggle mightily in this area of living as God being the most real Person and true reality, and would greatly benefit from a book like this one. Highly recommended!
THE IMPERFECT DISCIPLE by Jared C. Wilson ( Baker Books; 2017)
This book is about discipleship but takes a different approach from most Christian books on this subject. The typical book by a pastor or Bible teacher who wants to explain how the Bible defines discipleship and how a person can become wholly sold out to Jesus — like the author! But this book is written by a former pastor who had to give up his pastorate due to stress, depression, and burnout. And he sets the goal for himself to write a book that encourages the average Christian who is trying to walk with Jesus while raising kids, going to school, and working long hours at a job that they are not exactly crazy about.
Wilson accomplishes this goal by openly admitting how messed up and thoroughly ordinary he is. He is no kind of example for other believers to follow. But this is the point, because until a believer is honest enough to admit how hopeless they are in trying to walk like Jesus on their own skills and willpower, the sooner they will be able to recognize the extraordinary grace found in the gospel. The author makes an interesting point that our Christian lives can be summed up in Romans 7 and 8 — that we fail in our sins daily, but God has given us the Holy Spirit as a down payment of His intention to cause us to become like Christ through the efforts of the Spirit. And that God will not give up on us until we become glorified in heaven with Jesus and all of our spiritual brothers and sisters.
Wilson writes in a humorous and passionate style that is both engaging and encouraging. And he does a beautiful job in showing how spectacular and amazing God’s grace and love are and that any believer can live in confidence that by being a follower of Christ — even one who constantly stumbles — they are greatly loved and cared for by our heavenly Father. Highly recommended!