Westminster Bookstore has an amazing deal going a terrific commentary series. Get them while you can!
Back in 2010, we held our three-year-old son’s hand and walked in to a meeting with a school psychologist, occupational therapist, and speech pathologist. We walked out holding our autistic son’s hand.
That moment changed everything in our lives. Our family dynamics shifted as we opened our home to four different therapists each week. Dinner became not only time to eat together, but also to help James regain the language skills he had lost (“Who is this? Daddy. Say ‘Daddy.’”). I settled into the idea of working from home to be available to him. Since insurance only covered a portion of his therapies, we adjusted our finances to cover the rest. We began to look into the future as a family of three, rather than envisioning me and my husband as eventual empty-nesters. I also turned to the Psalms and Job more and more.
When we take up our ministry crosses and die to our visionary selves and follow Christ’s way of “doing church,” we show how costly grace really is. We show how powerful it really is.
Ironically, however, the way to show the enormous costliness of grace is not to heap on people an enormous burden of instructions. The logical mind wouldn’t think it should work this way. But you demonstrate how valuable grace is by emphasizing grace over the spiritual “to do” list. If you want to uncheapen grace, actually, you will throw it at everything.
If instead we treat grace like it’s just for conversion, we hold it cheap. If we assume grace, we hold it cheap. If we “of course” grace, we hold it cheap.
Good reminder from James Kinnard.
It’s pretty common these days for people to dismiss Christians as inconsistent because“they follow some of the rules in the Bible and ignore others.” The challenge usually sounds something like this: “When the Bible talks about certain sexual behaviors as sin, you quote that; but when it says not to eat shellfish or that you should execute people for breaking the Sabbath, you just ignore it. Aren’t you just picking and choosing what suits you best?”
So you’re a faithful pastor. You’re walking with the Lord. You’re preaching the gospel. You’re loving the people. You’re trying to evangelize, teach, pray, be an example, lead, do your job. You’re not perfect, and you admit it, but your heart is given to the Lord. And there is a faction in your church set against you.
When we had our first child in 1996, I wanted to be a good dad and a good husband. The problem was that I didn’t want to give up anything for either. In case you were wondering, selfishness doesn’t beget good relationships (Jam 3:16), and all of mine were train wrecks. I didn’t know it at the time, but what I needed most was to die (Rom 6:11), not physically but spiritually. I needed to die so that through Christ I could be resurrected and redeemed (Rom 6:4). Only He could redeem my relationship with God, and only he could redeem my marriage. I needed a gracious, merciful, loving Savior. I needed Jesus, and Sandy did too.
This is challenging stuff from Kevin DeYoung.