Saturday, January 21, 2012

Junk In The Trunk

Matthew 6: 19-34 contains some very revealing and convicting words from Jesus. The Word is a mirror. Jesus talks about treasure. We all have a metaphorical treasure box that we daily place things in. Jesus ask me what treasure is in my trunk? I'm in a bad place lately where I've been pursuing the wrong treasure for the wrong person and the wrong kingdom.

Paul Tripp's comments on the passage:

"Christ's words alert us to the fact that either we are living for the physical treasures of the created world, which have a very short shelf-life, or we are living for the eternal satisfaction that can only be found in the treasures of God's Kingdom. This is why we cannot afford to live mindlessly, oblivious to the war of desire that rages in our hearts. God's accepting grace and transforming love are eternal treasures that will never pass away. They really are the only things in life worth living for. (Do I believe that?) When you live for the Kingdom of God, when God's purposes on earth become more precious and important to you than your purposes, you live for something that will never end. . . You see life always involves worship. Our lives revolve around the thing that has captured our attention and desire. We make continual offerings to it, sacrifices of time and energy and focus and resources, celebrating and holding up this thing to which we have ascribed such life-dominating value. This is true no matter what it is we worship: career (check) or wealth or comfort (check) or entertainment or reputation (check) or relationships or self-protection . . . or Christ (downcheck) . Whatever it is,we celebrate it."

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Great Tragedy

“One of the great tragedies of life is that men seldom bridge the gulf between practice and profession, between doing and saying. A persistent schizophrenia leaves so many of us tragically divided against ourselves. On the one hand, we proudly profess certain sublime and noble principles, but on the other hand, we sadly practice the very antithesis of these principles. How often are our lives characterized by a high blood pressure of creeds and an anemia of deeds! We talk eloquently about our commitment to the principles of Christianity, and yet our lives are saturated with the practices of paganism. We proclaim our devotion to democracy, but we sadly practice the very opposite of the democratic creed. We talk passionately about peace, and at the same time we assiduously prepare for war. We make our fervent pleas for the high road of justice, and then we tread unflinchingly the low road of injustice. This strange dichotomy, this agonizing gulf between the ought and the is, represents the tragic theme of man's earthly pilgrimage.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Path to Glory

Still borrowing from JT, who borrowed from Powlison, who borrowed from Warfield.

Read the below with your leadership lenses on. Imagine if more leaders fit the description. What would happen if you (or I) did?

. . . . . on to GLORY . . . . .

David Powlison says that the last page or so of B. B. Warfield’s sermon “Imitating the Incarnation” “offers the most riveting description of the goal of Christian living that I’ve ever read.”

Here is an excerpt:
It is not to this that Christ’s example calls us.
He did not cultivate self, even His divine self: He took no account of self.
He was not led by His divine impulse out of the world, driven back into the recesses of His own soul to brood morbidly over His own needs, until to gain His own seemed worth all sacrifice to Him.
He was led by His love for others into the world, to forget Himself in the needs of others, to sacrifice self once for all upon the altar of sympathy.
Self-sacrifice brought Christ into the world. And self-sacrifice will lead us, His followers, not away from but into the midst of men.
Wherever men suffer, there will we be to comfort.
Wherever men strive, there will we be to help.
Wherever men fail, there will be we to uplift.
Wherever men succeed, there will we be to rejoice.
Self-sacrifice means not indifference to our times and our fellows: it means absorption in them.
It means forgetfulness of self in others.
It means entering into every man’s hopes and fears, longings and despairs: it means manysidedness of spirit, multiform activity, multiplicity of sympathies.
It means richness of development.
It means not that we should live one life, but a thousand lives,—binding ourselves to a thousand souls by the filaments of so loving a sympathy that their lives become ours.
It means that all the experiences of men shall smite our souls and shall beat and batter these stubborn hearts of ours into fitness for their heavenly home.
It is, after all, then, the path to the highest possible development, by which alone we can be made truly men. Not that we shall undertake it with this end in view. This were to dry up its springs at their source. We cannot be self-consciously self-forgetful, selfishly unselfish.
Only, when we humbly walk this path, seeking truly in it not our own things but those of others, we shall find the promise true, that he who loses his life shall find it.
Only, when, like Christ, and in loving obedience to His call and example, we take no account of ourselves, but freely give ourselves to others, we shall find, each in his measure, the saying true of himself also: “Wherefore also God hath highly exalted him.”
The path of self-sacrifice is the path to glory.