To Be A Christian

4 05 2011

“To me to live is Christ”
(Apostle Paul, Philippians 1:21)

To be a Christian is nothing less than to have the glorified Christ living in us in actual presence, possession and power. It is to have Him as the Life of our life in such a way and to such a degree that we can even say as Paul did, “To me to live is Christ.” To be a Christian is to grow up into Christ in all things: it is to have that divine seed which was planted in our innermost spirit blossom out into a growing conformity to His perfect Life. To be a Christian is to have Christ the Life of our minds, our hearts, our will, so that it is Christ thinking through us, living through us, willing through us. It is increasingly to have no life but the Life of Christ within us filling us with ever-increasing measure.

–Ruth Paxson, Life On The Highest Plane

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What Lauren Said

10 05 2007

“But whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: he one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”
(1 John 2:5,6)

The purpose and love of my life is Jesus Christ. I don’t have to argue rlauren-mccain.jpgeligion, philosophy, or historical evidence because I KNOW Him. He is just as real, if not more so, as my ‘earthly’ father.

–Lauren McCain, 20, on her MySpace website
(Lauren was one of 32 Virginia Tech students killed last month)





A Liturgy That Shapes Us

4 04 2007

“My little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!”
(Galatians 4:19, ESV)

The operating biblical metaphor regarding worship is sacrifice. We bring ourselves to the altar and let God do to us what God will. We bring ourselves to the eucharistic table, entering into that communion.jpggrand fourfold shape of the liturgy that shapes us: taking, blessing, breaking, giving—the life of Jesus taken and blessed, broken and distributed; and that eucharistic life now shapes our lives as we give ourselves, Christ in us, to be taken, blessed, broken and distributed in lives of witness and service, justice and healing.

–Eugene Peterson





For The Tired Of Pacing

9 03 2007

I found Foster’s prayer refreshing. I’m making it my prayer today…perhaps it is yours as well…

Blessed Savior,

I pace back and forth at the altar of commitment. I really do want a fixed habit of prayer. At least, that is what I want right now. I’m not sure if that is what I will want two weeks from now. I do know thatfeetandsurf.jpg without some kind of consistent communion with You I will not know holy obedience. So, as best I can, I promise to set aside time regularly for prayer, meditation and spiritual meditation. Strengthen me in this covenant. Help me to so delight in Your presence that I will want to come home to You often.

In Your Name and for Your sake I make this covenant.

Amen.

–Richard Foster, Prayer: Finding Your Heart’s True Home, p77 (Chapter Seven: “Covenant Prayer”)





Quit (And Ask)

24 02 2007

“You do not have because you do not ask.”
(James 4:2)

child-praying.jpg

Sometimes you will hear people stand up in a meeting, not so frequently perhaps in these days as in former days, and say, “I am trying to serve God in my poor, weak way.” Well, if you are trying to serve God in your poor, weak way, quit it! Your duty is to serve God in His strong, triumphant way. But you say, “I have no natural ability.” Then get some supernatural ability.

The religion of Jesus Christ is a supernatural religion from start to finish, an we should live our lives in supernatural power, the power of God through Jesus Christ; and we should perform our service with supernatural power, the power of God ministered by the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is promised to every believer in order that he may obtain the supernatural gifts which qualify him for the particular service to which God calls him (1 Corinthians 12:11). It is ours to have the power of God if we will only seek it by prayer in any and every line of service to which God calls us.

–R.A. Torrey (successor to D.L. Moody, Moody Memorial Church, Chicago)
Ask? You Have Not Because You Ask Not





Standing Close To The Flame

22 02 2007

“For our God is a consuming fire.”
(Hebrews 12:29)

burns_for_you.jpgThere comes a time in the life of faith when Jesus must die. For many people, the Christ who dies is an amalgam of their fantasies and our culture’s fancies. In our time, that often means this: Jesus is the nicest person we can imagine. He is a kindergarten teacher of humanity that is as vulnerable as a group of five-year-olds. So, of course, He does not raise His voice. He affirms and re-affirms our fragile self-esteem…

…This Jesus puzzles us, of course. He seems so nice; we can’t imagine why He doesn’t answer all our prayers or why He allows evil to run free. Consequently, we have our doubts, like everyone else in this age, wondering how a congenial Lord can be, well, so inattentive. Maybe He’s not really in charge after all. Then suddenly our faith is bolsetered by an inspirational best-seller about the best life of the purpose-driven life or the border-expanding life, and we’re ready to be patient with Jesus a little longer—as long as He keeps us feeling good about ourselves and optimistic about the tomorrow…

…Our culture would have us put our faith in a Jesus who is a mere bed of carnations. Interesting. Pretty. He adds color and fragrance to life and little more…The vision of the true Jesus compels reverence, silence and, yes, fear.

…We should be afraid…But we are nonetheless drawn near to the very thing that can hasten our death if we are not careful. We are sane to be afraid. And we would be fools not to draw closer.

–Mark Galli
Jesus, Mean and Wild: The Unexpected Love of an Untamable God, pp175-9





Getting Pushy With God

19 02 2007

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
(James 4:8)

If we could mechanically draw Him into an encounter, force Him to meet us, simply because we have chosen this moment to meet Him, there would be no relationship and no encounter. We can do that with an image, with the imagination, or with the various idols we can put in front of us instead of God; we can do nothing of the sort with the living God, any more than we can do it with a living person. A relationship must begin and develop in mutual freedom.

If you look at the relationship in terms of mutual relationship, you will see that God could complain a great deal more than we about Him. We complain that He does not make Himself present to us for the few minutes we reserve for Him, but what about those twenty-three and a half hours during which God may be knocking at our door and we answer ‘I am busy, I am sorry’ or when we do not answer at all because we do not even hear the knock at the door of our heart, of our minds, of our conscience, of our life.”

–Anthony Bloom
Beginning to Pray, p29