May the God of love and peace be with you on this fine day.
At Westminster Books this week you can get a deal on Richard Gamble’s massive three-volume series on the whole counsel of God.
(Yesterday on the blog: What Matters Is Not the Size of Your Faith)
This is a good and necessary reminder. “Christmas is not in the Bible. You don’t have to do it and you don’t have to avoid it either. We are entirely free. Your spiritual temperature is not determined by whether you celebrate Christmas or not. Neither does your love for Jesus depend on whether you manage to make Jesus the absolute epicentre of your celebration, with every bauble reflecting gospel truth, or you just enjoy having a nice time and give thanks to God for it like you would any other enjoyable thing. None of it, really, tells you very much about your love for Christ.”
If you’ve never read about the fiasco related to Jesus’ supposed wife, this article may be of interest. (Also consider reading the book Veritas which offers far more detail).
This is a helpful thought from John Piper: “I risk a generalization to warn you: people who are exercised and preoccupied with such things, as how the star worked and how the Red Sea split and how the manna fell and how Jonah survived the fish and how the moon turns to blood, are generally people who have what I call a mentality for the marginal.”
Sticking with the Christmas theme, here’s Al Gooderham on getting Christmas wrong. “Yes our world so often loses Jesus in the suffocating press of the tinsel and gifts and experiences and meals. But what if we had too? What if instead of haranguing society and preaching a gospel that seems to be dead against joy we showed them what they were missing?”
Here’s a fairly lengthy look at one of those age-old mysteries.
Deborah McQuilkin: “My life as a Christian is not what I expected. In fact, at one point I said to God, ‘Is this worth it? Thirty years I have followed you as closely as possible, and this is how it turns out? Should I just leave you now? What is the point?’ Shock and disappointment filled my heart and I wondered what my life meant.”
Today we are watching people all around us revolt away from justice, away from truth, away from common sense, away from the common good. The revolution rages around us and sometimes within us.
Shaky preaching tends to make shaky Christians. —Theodore Cuyler