Monday, April 22, 2013
Tuesday, April 02, 2013
We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
If you live inside this massive promise, your life is more solid and stable than Mount Everest.
Nothing can blow you over when you are inside the walls of Romans 8:28. Outside Romans 8:28, all is confusion and anxiety and fear and uncertainty. Outside this promise of God's all-encompassing future grace, there are straw houses of drugs and pornography and dozens of futile diversions. There are slat walls and tin roofs of fragile investment strategies and fleeting insurance coverage and trivial retirement plans. There are card-board fortifications of deadbolt locks and alarm systems and antiballistic missiles. Outside are a thousand substitutes for Romans 8:28.
Once you walk through the door of love into the massive, unshakable structure of Romans 8:28, everything changes. There come into your life stability and depth and freedom. You simply can't be blown over anymore. The confidence that a sovereign God governs for your good all the pain and all the pleasure that you will ever experience is an incomparable refuge and security and hope and power in your life.
When God's people really live by the future grace of Romans 8:28 — from measles to the mortuary — they are the freest and strongest and most generous people in the world.
Their light shines and people give glory to their Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
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Sunday, March 24, 2013
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Sunday, January 20, 2013
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end… (Lamentations 3:21–22)
One of the great enemies of hope is forgetting God's promises. Reminding is a great ministry. Peter and Paul wrote for this reason (2 Peter 1:13; Romans 15:15).
The main reminder is the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). But don't be passive. You are responsible only for your own ministry of reminding. And the first one in need of reminding by you is you.
The mind has this great power: It can talk to itself by way of reminder. The mind can "call to mind." For example, "But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases" (Lamentations 3:21–22).
If we don't "call to mind" what God has said about himself and about us, we languish. O how I know this from painful experience! Don't wallow in the mire of godless messages. I mean the messages in your own head. "I can't . . ." "She won't . . ." "They never . . ." "It has never worked . . ."
The point is not that these are true or false. Your mind will always find a way to make them true, unless you "call to mind" something greater. God is the God of the impossible. Reasoning your way out of an impossible situation is not as effective as reminding your way out of it.
Without reminding ourselves of the greatness and grace and power and wisdom of God, we sink into brutish pessimism. "I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you" (Psalms 73:22).
The great turn from despair to hope in Psalm 77 comes with these words: "I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds" (Psalms 77:11–12).
This is the great battle of my life. I assume yours too. The battle to remind! Myself. Then others.
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