From the Word
“So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:21-24)
“Our hope is not found in the passing of tests but in the forgiveness of failure.” (David Zahl)
“Christianity is not for good people who try hard. It’s for bad people who have finally given up.” (Tullian Tchividjian)
“Well may the accuser roar, of sins that I have done; I know them all and thousands more, my God, he knoweth none.” (Samuel Grandy)
“Each time you fall he’ll pick you up. He knows your own efforts are never going to bring you anywhere near perfection.” (C. S. Lewis)
“My trust is not that I am holy, but that being unholy, He is my righteousness.” (Charles Spurgeon)
Around the Net
“The task was simple: Engage someone in conversation—ask about her life, work, class-load, past, or dreams—and don’t interrupt once while she shares. I’ll never forget when I received this assignment as a junior in college. I considered myself a good listener and was excited for an easy A. Then I learned how often I interrupt. The next day, as one of my dear friends shared her heart over a mug of coffee, I quickly realized that this assignment was not easy. It became apparent how naturally I interject with my own stories as people share theirs.”
Like the Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials before them, Gen Z’s have their own ways of seeing the world—even if it is primarily through that little glowing screen. And, as always, parents and pastors must know their audience. “We have to be students of the culture,” says Jim Burns, executive director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. “We have to look at who and what is affecting their generation. And it’s complicated.” Morning presents 10 traits of Z Nation.
“Pride is the enemy inside us that speaks to us like a friend. Its counsel sounds so much like self-protection, preservation, and promotion that we’re often blinded to the fact that it’s destroying us and others. It rises in great indignation as a prosecuting attorney when others’ pride damages us, but it minimizes, qualifies, excuses, rationalizes, and blame-shifts our behavior when we damage others. We can be easily deceived into believing that our pride wants to save us, when really, it’s our internal Judas betraying us with a kiss.”
Persecuted believers around the world need the prayer support of other believers. “I want to grow in faithfulness to pray for persecuted saints, both those imprisoned and those who are ‘free,’ but live under oppressive governments. Here is a suggestion: consider taking a portion of your prayer time one day a week to pray specifically for the Christ’s persecuted saints.” For more information and ways to pray, see Voice of the Martyrs and Open Doors.
“The Bible employs a variety of literary devices to convey its message. This dynamic is especially true of Hebrew poetry, which often features an array of verbal imagery and artistry to express the writer’s theological meaning. Perhaps even more so than straight prose, poetry captures the attention, stirs the emotions, and stimulates the imagination, thus helping readers discover new dimensions of familiar truths. Consequently, it also has the ability to provoke deeper reflection on, and greater appreciation of, those truths.”
Something to Ponder
Sharing the Grace We Need Ourselves
“Peter’s healing of a lame beggar drew a crowd, so he used the opportunity to tell them about the God who heals. He told them about Jesus, whom they had rejected and handed over to Pilate. ‘You rejected this holy, righteous one . . . . You killed the author of life’ (Acts 3:14-15). Peter knew what he was talking about. The same Greek word that is translated “rejected” was used by Jesus for Peter’s denial. ‘I tell you the truth, Peter—before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me’ (John 13:38).
“Peter ‘broke down and wept’ after his denial; and though Jesus later restored him, that moment of betrayal was seared in his memory (Mark 14:72). I wonder what pangs of remorse Peter felt as he told the crowd they were guilty of the same offense. As he had denied his friend during His hour of need, so they had rejected Jesus and demanded His death. But perhaps Peter found solace in knowing the crowd was equally in need of the grace he had received.
“This is good to remember when we’re crushed by guilt. Yes, we should be ashamed. Yes, we deserve judgment. But we’re all guilty. We’re not alone. And by His grace, God hasn’t left us alone. The very sin that led to Jesus’ death led Him to sacrifice His life for our salvation.”
– Mike Wittmer
The Glory of Creation
Open Flowers by the Morning Sea
Image Credit: Ross @OurEarthGrace
Into All the World
“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” (Unknown)