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A Terribly Good God

The dichotomous nature of my One Christ.

I fuss to absorb Him in one small life.

To love an enemy, die to live.

But God is Love?

Who sends sinners to hell?

Saved by grace, but saved for works?

Justice and mercy so juxtaposed.

Confusion, angst, frustration grows.

King in a feed trough.

Revolutionary fishermen.

Surrender and stand firm.

Sing in suffering?

The only way this equation works,

Imbalanced as it is on any given day.

My momentary whim, or colored lense.

The only way to reconcile the polar jealous vengeance of my sweet Savior.

Subtract myself.

Excise my views and reputation,

My desires and interpretation.

Remove my notions,

Seal my questions.

It is solely Him, I am souly His.

I don’t matter. That they see Jesus –

instead of – not beside me.

I don’t wield the gavel or weigh the merit of goodness.

I don’t have in view earth’s timeline, stretched through eternity.

I don’t weigh my pain against my joy.

I don’t balance the scales of faith and works.

I am not, but that He Is…is enough.

Shared at Gooseberry Garden

How to Remember 9/11

Oh Dearest Friends,

I am struggling this week with how to treat the anniversary of September 11, 2001. Undoubtedly, flags will flutter at half-mast, comic strips will cease to strike at funny bones, somber expressions will roll across faces with the simple word, “remember.” And it’s not that I don’t remember, but I wonder if we don’t begin to trivialize the day’s significance with our dramatic television and radio replays. Does it seem to you that each year, each public medium tries to surpass what they did last year, or trump the emotional display put on by another venue?

So, this week I am not going to draw concentric circles around 9/11, deepening sadness and calling for patriotism.  September 11 was sad and Americans should be the most patriotic people on earth. But the day is past, we have a future to pursue and an obligation to tell everyone about Jesus.

That brings me to a compelling article written by John Piper. If you have ever entertained the idea or the question: Where was God on 9/11, then you MUST read this article.

WHY I DO NOT SAY, “GOD DID NOT CAUSE THE CALAMITY, BUT HE CAN USE IT FOR GOOD”

What is a “Good” Person?

It’s a common cultural assumption that there is value in being a good person. Indeed, there is value in being well behaved: you will have more friends that if you’re ugly, you will likely stay out of jail, others will usually be good to you and other obvious benefits. But, contrary to this common cultural assumption, there is NO LIFE-SAVING value in being a good person.

Watch this:

This morning I was reading “Table Talk”  a devotional magazine published by Ligonier Ministries. Dr. Sproul explained concisely the impossibility and worthlessness of being a good person prior to faith in Jesus Christ.

“[The] desire to please God is a mark of conversion, and the Bible finds it inconceivable that any regenerate person would lack a desire to please the Lord. Some people might consider an emphasis on our need to do what pleases God incompatible with the gospel of justification by faith alone. Indeed, a stress on pleasing the Lord would be improper if we were to believe that we must please God before He will save us. Our best deeds fall far short of our Creator’s perfect standards, so pleasing Him is not our ticket to heaven. But it is not inconsistent to seek to please the Lord following salvation. In fact, a desire to please God is the necessary and inevitable consequence of the new birth.” (Table  Talk, August 24, 2011)

Christians aren’t always good people, in fact, unfortunately, Christians are often (rightly) held to a higher standard of morality and fall disgracefully short. Good people aren’t necessarily Christians.  Christians are the worthless sinners who have recognized their need for a savior and have recognized Jesus Christ as that perfect, righteous Savior. AFTER believing Jesus, it is a Christian’s reliance on Him that enables goodness. And it is AFTER believing in Jesus that God requires a life that is a worthy representation of His Son.