The beauty, inter-depdence and resiliency that our Creator masterfully designed into His creation is breathtaking! As I watched this video, I couldn’t help but imagining God’s smile as scientists learn what He knew all along!
Imagine you are taking a nice autumn color tour. As you are enjoying the beautiful fall colors, you come upon a quaint town, where the speed limit through town drops to 25 mph.
As you make your way through town, enjoying the scenery, you suddenly become aware of the flashing lights of a police car behind you. Quickly glancing down at your speedometer, you notice that you are traveling at 35 mph!
Since you did break the law, the officer might return to your car with a traffic ticket, indicating that you were driving 10 mph over the speed limit. You may have all kinds of excuses, and even a spotless driving record, but the truth of the matter is you broke the traffic laws of that city. The ticket you received is, in fact, justice.
Now imagine the officer returns to your car and says, “You have a pretty good driving record, and I believe that you were enjoying the fall scenery, so I’m going to let you off with a warning this time.” Even though you broke the law, this police officer extended mercy to you by not giving you the penalty you deserved.
Have you ever experienced this kind of justice or mercy? Most of us probably have.
But here’s something you have probably never experienced. Imagine you are driving through the same quaint town, admiring the beauty, when you see those flashing lights in your rearview mirror. Quickly glancing down at your speedometer you see that you are traveling under the speed limit. You double-check that your seatbelt is fastened and you are obeying all of the traffic laws.
When the officer approaches your car, he says, “Do you know why I pulled you over? I pulled you over because you are following all of the traffic laws and I wanted to give you a $50 gift certificate to one of the best restaurants we have in town.”
If this ever happened to you, this would be the definition of grace: getting a blessing you didn’t deserve to receive!
Christians certainly understand justice averted, when the penalty for our sins fell on Jesus instead of on us. Christians also understand mercy, when we don’t have to pay for the sins we have committed. But have you ever stopped to consider the amazing grace God continues to pour over your life?
John describes it like this: For out of Christ’s fullness we have all received—all had a share and we were all supplied with—one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift heaped upon gift (John 1:16 AMP).
All of us have blessing upon blessing, favor upon favor, gift upon gift heaped onto our lives. The Apostle Paul then asks, “What am I going to do with all of this grace I’ve received?”
His answer: I’m going to make sure I pass it along to others! (see Ephesians 3:1-9)
Gordon MacDonald wrote, “The world can do almost anything as well as or better than the church. You need not be a Christian to build houses, feed the hungry, or heal the sick. There is only one thing the world cannot do. It cannot offer grace.”
So here’s my question to you: how are you handling the grace God has lavished on you? Are you even aware of His grace gifts? Are you hoarding them for yourself?
Or are you making sure that those around you are recipients of the overflow of grace from your life? In other words, are you demonstrating what the world can never show?
Christian, make sure the world sees your grace-filled life in action! This is what brings glory to God and draws others to their own personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Please check out this video…
Horatius Bonar always gives lots of thought-provoking content in his commentaries, and his commentary on the Book of Revelation is no exception. Here are a few more quotes for you.
“What man needs, then, is Jesus; not mere knowledge or wisdom. What humanity—unconsciously and ignorantly, it may be—sighs for, is Jesus. What earth, ruined and accursed because of sin, groans for, is Jesus—nothing less than this. No other prophet or priest or king can meet the exigencies of the race and its dwelling, the earth, but Jesus only.”
“What is your hope? What is judgment to do for you? What is resurrection to bring? Look at the following alternatives, and ask which is to be yours: Everlasting gladness, or everlasting sorrow? Everlasting glory; or everlasting shame? Everlasting songs, or everlasting wailing? The marriage supper of the Lamb, or the perpetual banishment from all that is good and holy? The new heavens and earth, or the eternal wilderness, with its parched and burning wastes? The heavenly Jerusalem, with the Lamb as its light, or the blackness of darkness? The fruit of the tree of life and the waters of the celestial river, or the eternal hunger and the unquenchable thirst? (Luke 16:24). The first resurrection, or the second death? These are the alternatives before you; and there is no middle room.”
“The first book of Scripture and the last fit well into each other; the first two chapters of Genesis and the last two of Revelation fit together like the two halves of a golden clasp set in gems. Enclosed between the two is the history of six thousand years. And what a history! What a beginning, and what an ending! It began with the new, and it ended with the new—the strange checkered ‘old’ lying mysteriously between. ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.’ ‘I saw new heavens and a new earth.’”
“Such is the love of God. It is the love of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The Father chooses in His own sovereignty; the Son washes in His own blood; the Spirit purifies and prepares by His mighty power. Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us! It is free love; sovereign love; eternal love; unchanging love; boundless love; love which not merely delivers from wrath, but which makes the delivered one an heir of God, nay, the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”
“Our title to all this surpassing and eternal glory is simply the blood of the Lamb. He has bought it for His Church; and it is hers forever. The nightless day, the unsetting sun, the incorruptible life, the undefiled inheritance, the new name, the heavenly city, the everlasting kingdom— all are hers; hers through ‘the blood of the everlasting covenant.’ She is to walk worthy of it here—worthy of such a crown, such a heritage, such a city, such a Bridegroom, such a joy. ‘Be holy;’ ‘be perfect;’ ‘walk worthy of the Lord.’”
“Christian parents! For which of the two worlds are you training your children? For this world, or that which is to come? Be assured that the same training will not do for both.”
I loved Chase The Lion by Mark Batterson! If this book doesn’t inspire you to do great things for God, I’m not sure what will. Be sure to check out my review of this book by clicking here, and then enjoy some more quotes from this amazing book.
“You may doubt yourself because of your lack of education or lack of experience. But if God has called you, you aren’t really doubting yourself. You’re doubting God. God doesn’t call the qualified. God qualifies the called.”
“An opportunity isn’t an opportunity if you have to compromise your integrity. It’s the decisions when no one is looking that will dictate your destiny. In fact, your integrity is your destiny! Killing Goliath was an epic act of bravery. Not killing Saul was an epic act of integrity.”
“One of the most important decisions you make every single day is what time you set your alarm to go off.”
“God doesn’t promise us happily ever after. He promises so much more than that—happily forever after.”
“In God’s kingdom the outcome isn’t the issue. Success isn’t winning or losing; it’s obeying. … In God’s book success is spelled stewardship. It’s making the most of the time, talent, and treasure God has given you. It’s doing the best you can with what you have, where you are.”
“Just as courage is not the absence of fear, success is not the absence of failure. Failure is a necessary step in every dream journey.”
“Fighters don’t walk away when the going gets tough; they fight to the finish for their convictions. Fighters don’t give up when everyone is against them; they fight against the status quo. And fighters don’t shrink back when the odds are against them; they fight for what they believe in.”
“It’s okay to talk to God about your problems, but at some point you have to flip the script. You need to talk to your problems about God.”
“Valor is less an action and more a reaction. If you judge a person by his or her actions, you’re judging a book by its cover. Reactions are far more revealing than actions. How you react in difficult circumstances is the litmus test of character. And you never really know how you’ll react until you’re the one who crosses paths with a lion. Valor is running toward trouble when everyone else is running away. Valor is going above and beyond the call of duty. Valor is putting yourself in the line of fire for someone else.”
“You know why some of us have never killed the giant, chased the lion, or walked on water? We’re afraid of looking foolish. But it’s the fear of looking foolish that is foolish!”
“Sometimes the circumstances we’re trying to change are the very circumstances God is using to change us. … Instead of expending all your energy trying to get out of them, get something out of them.”
“Don’t be in such a hurry to begin the next chapter of your life that you fail to ace the lessons the current chapter is trying to teach you.”
You can check out the first set of quotes I shared from Chase The Lion by clicking here. And be sure to follow me on Tumblr and Twitter, where I daily share quotes from all sorts of inspirational authors.
It’s amazing with all the books I’ve read that I’ve never before read How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren.
This book was originally published in 1940, but there is a reason it has stood the test of time. You may have been reading before, but this book will show you how to really read a book for all it’s worth. The opening paragraph states it well: “This is a book for readers and for those who wish to become readers. Particularly, it is for readers of books. Even more particularly, it is for those whose main purpose in reading books is to gain increased understanding.”
If you read simply to be entertained or to escape reality, don’t waste your time on this book. However, if you read to learn new things, expand your worldview, or increase your understanding, then the science and insight packed into How To Read A Book will revolutionize your approach to reading.
This is a challenging read, and a couple of times I almost gave up on getting through all of the information. But I’m glad I persevered!
If you’re ready to read better than before, please spend some time with this classic.
“It was a sad infidelity to America’s highest ideals when this Court said that it did not matter, or could not be determined, when the inalienable right to life began for a child in its mother’s womb.
“America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father’s role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts—a child—as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered domination over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters. And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners.” —Mother Theresa, addressing the Supreme Court of the United States
Some of the greatest discoveries and revelations came about because people were curious. They refused to just go along with what they had always been told, what they grew up believing, or what the conventional wisdom told them was impossible.
Archimedes had his “Eureka!” moment because he refused to believe that it was impossible to measure the volume of an irregularly-shaped object.
Isaac Newton formulated the laws of gravitation because he curiously wondered about why apples fell perpendicular and at the same velocity.
The Apostle Peter saw a vision from God with animals, but didn’t stop there. His openness helped him realize that God didn’t have “favorites.”
Far too many people live their lives cursed with low expectations. They say, “That’s all there is.” and they put a period on it.
God wants us to soar above those low expectations! He tells us things like:
For example, Paul uses the word “mystery” multiple times in his letter to the Ephesians. He explains that a mystery is something hidden from those who have it all figured out (the “period” people), but is revealed to those who will ask God (the “question mark” people). Only the “question mark” people get to see the “exclamation points” God has for them. Things like…
Don’t stop with “.” but go on to “?” and experience “!”
With great expectation, read God’s Word, approach His throne, dig into His riches, wrestle with the difficult things, learn more of God’s purpose for your life. He wants to give you so much more “!”