From the Word

“Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.’ Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh.” (Jonah 3:1-3a)

Notable Quotables

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.” (John Newton)

“We count on God’s mercy for our past mistakes, God’s love for our present needs, God’s sovereignty for our future.” (Augustine)

“Your pain (self-induced, or heaped on you by others, or both) is a stewardship to be used as a pathway for others to find grace.” (Victor Oliver)

“It’s such a comfort to know that God’s grace isn’t limited in any way by our struggle with sin or the degree of our weakness.” (Paul Tripp)

“If your identity is found in Christ, then it matters less and less what people think of you.” (Leonard Sweet)

Around the Net

“But God . . .” (Tullian Tchividjian)

Tullian Tchividjian is back, and his new website reminds me of the scene where Obi-Wan Kenobi says to Darth Vader, “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” God is still in the resurrection business. “Come with me to your deepest bottom, and together, there, let us find hope and comfort and love and forgiveness and grace and mercy. Because the bad news that we are all guilty is met with the best news that God loves, forgives, and heals the broken hearts of guilty people.”

“Daddy, How Do I Look?” (Tim Challies)

My daughter once was the age of Tim Challies’ daughter. Maybe that’s why this little piece got me choked up. “I’d die for her. Does she know that? Does it even matter? I’d throw myself in front of a bus for her. I’d take a bullet. I’d do anything to keep her safe, to protect her from harm. I’m her daddy and it’s my duty. I’m her daddy and it’s my joy to love her fiercely, to love her gently, to love her without any contradiction between the two. I do.” So do I. And if you have a daughter, I hope you do, too.

Agnostic Turned Believer After Vegas Shooting (Dan DeWitt)

Russel Black was an agnostic before the Las Vegas concert last week that claimed the lives of 58 country music fans. He now believes in God. A selfless, heroic act of sacrificial love by his sister during the hail of gunfire caught his attention and changed his mind. Her bravery was a mini, living illustration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. “Some will see this as an emotional decision made out of fear. Others will assert it as evidence for God. I see it as someone whose commitment to agnosticism was ungrounded and ultimately dismantled.” (Video: 1:51)

The Most Important Thing Leaders Bring to a Hurting World (Brian Dodd)

“The world is in desperate need of leadership. Wayward people need direction. Broken people need options. Under-resourced people need solutions. Hopeless people need to know there is a brighter tomorrow. When you add each of these things up, the most important thing leaders bring to a hurting world is hope.” Brian Dodd considers the restoration work of Drew Brees, quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, after Hurricane Katrina in 2006. “Brees,” he writes, “became a symbol of hope and was instrumental in the its rebuild.”

God’s Word Never Returns Void (Courtney Reissig)

Isaiah 55:11 says that God’s Word will not return to him empty; rather, it will accomplish the purpose for which he sends it out. This promise speaks not only of our evangelistic preaching, but also of our Bible study in general. “If God’s Word doesn’t return void in our gospel proclamations to the lost, then it doesn’t in our own lives as well. . . . Ordinary faithful time spent in God’s Word is never for naught. The deposits of Scripture that we make in our own life, through personal Bible study, will be used by God when we are drawing on the reserves.”

Something to Ponder

Christians Who Reject Grace for Christians

“I don’t think the ministers of grace are ever going to ‘persuade’ the Christian community that grace applies to Christians. I have failed utterly at this for well over 30 years. Outsiders love the message; insiders resist it, even hate it. Probably we just have to ‘let them go’—the ‘Christians’ I mean. Something about the way the religious (sub-)culture works just makes it impossible to hear the grace word there.

“I’ll try to keep on going, and ‘I won’t . . . back . . . down’ (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers). But have no illusions: You’ll never persuade the ‘religious.’ Better maybe just open up a hospital for these people when they crash (they always crash). Take ’em in then, offer the Old, Old Story, and maybe then, after crashing and burning, they’ll hear it with new ears.”

– Paul Zahl

The Glory of Creation

Scene of the Season

fall-leaves-trees-pond

Image Credit: Photo by Chris Asche

Into All the World

“You will never understand the heart of God unless you see that mercy should govern all our relationships to one another.” (Dallas Willard)

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