“Foretastes are good. Unless they become substitutes. O, don’t let all the sweet things of this season become substitutes of the final great, all-satisfying Sweetness. Let every loss and every delight send your hearts a-homing after heaven.” —John Piper
“Are you in a season of winter? A lost job… A doctor’s report… A broken marriage? Maybe you feel stuck in winter, like Christmas may never come. As scripture says, God rewards those who diligently seek Him. So just like the wise men of the Christmas story…search for the Lord. Look for Him in the midst of your darkest nights and coldest winters. Hope may seem as distant as a star, but if the Christmas story tells us anything…God is still present. God is still working. And in this very moment, God is near.” —Max Lucado
“If there had been no prophet like Nathan—no piercing, prophetic word—David could have ended up like Saul: spiritually dead, with no Holy Ghost guidance, having lost all intimacy with God. … If you are being probed by God’s Word—if His Spirit isn’t letting you sit comfortably in your sin—then you are being shown mercy. It is the deep love of God at work, wooing you out of death and into life.” —David Wilkerson
“If regrets about yesterday’s decisions and actions help you do better work today, then they’ve served a useful purpose. … Most of the time, though, we use regrets to keep us from moving forward. They paralyze us in the face of possibility. We don’t want to do something if it reminds us of that black hole we have in our past. It’s useful if you can forgive yourself, because the regrets you’re carrying around are keeping you from holding onto the possibility that you can contribute even more tomorrow.” —Seth Godin
“To fulfill God’s destiny for your life, you likely don’t have to do more; you have to do less. … Enjoy the Christmas season. Wrap the presents. Prepare your home in a festive way. Make memories with your family. But don’t let this Christmas pass without spending some time at Jesus’ feet. Long after everything else fades from this Christmas, worshiping Jesus is all that will truly last.” —Rick Warren
“Holidays in America have come to be regarded as entitlements. They’re all about us, seasons of diversion, distraction, self-indulgence, and time off work. Even the great religious celebrations of the national calendar—Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter—are regarded by most Americans as opportunities to get some good bargains and enjoy a little time for relaxation, not for spiritual reflection and renewal, but just for doing whatever we want. Sort of like the way most Christians observe the Lord’s Day.” —T.M. Moore
“I am convinced many Christians today are troubled for the same reason Asa was [2 Chronicles 16:1-9]. They have war in their souls because they have traded faith for self-reliance. But the fact is, there is no way a follower of Jesus can have faith in any other source and not be troubled.” —David Wilkerson
“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. You do not see in them a deep cherishing of the great central things of the gospel—the holiness of God, the ugliness of sin, the helplessness of man, the death of Christ, justification by faith alone, the sanctifying work of the Spirit, the glory of Christ’s return and the final judgment. They always seem to be taking you down a sidetrack with a new article or book. There is little centered rejoicing.” —John Piper
“Whether one makes the observation light-heartedly or in all seriousness, one must observe that, when the male body unites for procreation with the female, the pleasure that goes along with it is understood to be in accordance with nature, but that when male joins with male, or female with female, it is outside the bounds of nature. This outrage was first done by people whose desire for pleasure was without self-control.” —Plato. This agrees with what the Bible says in Romans 1:26-27.
Seth Godin has some insight on whining—“Before starting, a question: Will it help? Like holding a grudge, or like panicking, whining rarely helps. If anything, any of the three make it far less likely that you’ll make progress solving the problem that has presented itself. And, like knuckle cracking, it’s best enjoyed alone.”
[VIDEO] Bobby Conway asks Lenny Esposito how to handle the claim “The Bible has contradictions in it”—
“Build God-centered anticipation and expectancy and excitement into your home—especially for the children. If you are excited about Christ, they will be too. If you can only make Christmas exciting with material things, how will the children get a thirst for God? Bend the efforts of your imagination to make the wonder of the King’s arrival visible for the children.” —John Piper
“The only people whose soul can truly magnify the Lord are people like Elizabeth and Mary—people who acknowledge their lowly estate [Luke 1:43, 48] and are overwhelmed by the condescension of the magnificent God.” —John Piper
“I try to read every book—Christian and secular—touted as ground-breaking. None of them are. We are driven by a reality placed in us by the Creator God with legitimate ways, context, and relationship to express our sexuality. If we don’t find those legitimate outlets, we will spend our lives searching for fulfillment in self-destructive ways to fill that God-given need for community, intimacy, relationship, and meaning. We cannot live without intimacy, and here I don’t mean sex. Sex is simply one of the most powerful forms of intimacy. We are not asexual beings. Being Christ-followers, striving for integrity in all things, doesn’t neuter us.” —Becky McDonald, founder and president of Women At Risk (WAR) International
“We must discipline our minds in all things to submit to the Word of God. We have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16), and we are commanded to let His mind hold sway in all our thinking (Philippians 2:5). What the Scripture teaches concerning the disciplined life may not always seem the reasonable thing to do—because we cannot square its teaching with our experience or logic—but it is always the Word of God. Our duty is to get behind it and order all our steps accordingly.” —T.M. Moore
“Life is better when we act like we might see someone again soon, isn’t it?” —Seth Godin
“The whole duty of the Christian can be summed up in this: feel, think, and act in a way that will make God look as great as He really is. Be a telescope for the world of the infinite starry wealth of the glory of God.” —John Piper
What a comfort we can have in this—“This very day I am being saved by the eternal intercession of Jesus in heaven. Jesus is praying for us and that is our salvation [Hebrews 7:25]. We are saved eternally by the eternal prayers (Romans 8:34) and advocacy (1 John 2:1) of Jesus in heaven as our High Priest. He prays for us and His prayers are answered because He prays perfectly on the basis of His perfect sacrifice.” —John Piper
“No man can murder his brother who has not first murdered God in himself.” —Oswald Chambers
“We love our neighbors when, like Jesus, we seek them out to love them (cf. Luke 19:1-10). Jesus did not wait for lost or hurting people to find their way to Him. He went looking for them. He learned the names of many of them, and used their names freely. He took the initiative in making certain contacts, some of which He repeated many times during His earthly sojourn. Jesus started conversations with people and was doubtless a good listener. And He prayed often for others, seeking their wellbeing before the Father. We can know that we love our neighbors when, like Jesus, we go seeking them, in order to touch them with His love.” —T.M. Moore
“The Word of God is our only hope. The good news of God’s promises and the warnings of His judgment are sharp enough and living enough and active enough to penetrate to the bottom of my heart and show me that the lies of sin are indeed lies. Abortion will not create a wonderful future for me. Neither will cheating, or dressing provocatively, or throwing away my sexual purity, or keeping quiet about dishonesty at work, or divorce, or vengeance. And what rescues me from this deception is the Word of God.” —John Piper
“If you spend too much time looking for your next big break, you’ll be stealing your opportunity to do your best work. Which is the the most important break of all.” —Seth Godin
“God’s definition of promotion isn’t a move up the ladder, it is a move toward your call. Don’t let someone ‘promote’ you out of your call!” —Max Lucado
“In the parable of Matthew 18:23-27 did the king overlook his servant’s sin? Did he wink at his debt and merely excuse it? No, not at all. The fact is, by forgiving him, the king placed upon this man a weighty responsibility, a responsibility even greater than the burden of his debt. Indeed, this servant now owed his master more than ever. How? He was responsible to forgive and love others, just as the king had done for him.” —David Wilkerson
“I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.” —C.S. Lewis
“Jesus spilled His blood for you. You can spill your heart before God.” —Max Lucado
“Too often, when issues of sexual abuse come up, the Church simply stays silent. But a Gospel-centered response to sexual violation of anyone at any age begins with understanding that silence is not an option.” Read more in The Scandal Of Silence.
“You can be saved, Spirit-filled, and walking holy before God, yet still be guilty of unbelief. You may think, ‘I don’t have any unbelief.’ But do you get upset when things go wrong? Are you fearful of failing God? Are you restless, afraid of the future? The believer who has unconditional faith in God’s promise enjoys complete rest. What characterizes this rest? A full, complete confidence in God’s Word, and a total dependence on His faithfulness to that Word. Indeed, rest is the evidence of faith.” —David Wilkerson
“The issue is not how much a person makes. Big industry and big salaries are a fact of our times, and they are not necessarily evil. The evil is in being deceived into thinking a six-digit salary must be accompanied by a six-digit lifestyle. God has made us to be conduits of His grace. The danger is in thinking the conduit should be lined with gold. It shouldn’t. Copper will do. Copper can carry unbelievable riches to others.” —John Piper
“I would prefer to combat the ‘I’m special’ feeling not by the thought ‘I’m no more special than anyone else’ but by the feeling ‘Everyone is as special as me.’ In one way there is no difference, I grant, for both remove the speciality. But there is a difference in another way. The first might lead you to think, ‘I’m only one of the crowd like anyone else.’ But the second leads to the truth that there isn’t any crowd. No one is like anyone else. All are ‘members’ (organs) in the Body of Christ. All different and all necessary to the whole and to one another: each loved by God individually, as if it were the only creature in existence. Otherwise you might get the idea that God is like the government which can only deal with the people in the mass.” —C.S. Lewis
“Life will always bring challenges. But God will always give strength to face them.” Read more encouraging words from Max Lucado’s post Here’s What You Need To Know.
Seth Godin started writing about too much salt, but he took it somewhere I wasn’t expecting. Wow!
“What a great responsibility God has laid upon us preachers of His gospel and teachers of His Word. In that future day when God’s wrath is poured out, how are we going to answer? How am I going to answer? I fear there is much we are doing in the name of the Christian church that is wood, hay and stubble destined to be burned up in God’s refining fire. A day is coming when I and my fellow ministers must give account of our stewardship: What kind of a gospel did we preach? Did we make it plain that men and women who are apart from Christ Jesus are lost? Did we counsel them to repent and believe?” —A.W. Tozer
“Prayer pursues God’s glory by treating Him as the inexhaustible reservoir of hope and help. In prayer, we admit our poverty and God’s prosperity, our bankruptcy and His bounty, our misery and His mercy.” —John Piper
“We love beauty with simplicity, and we love the pursuit of knowledge without effeminacy. We employee wealth properly, for use rather than for noisy display, and we do not consider poverty to be a disgrace but do regard it as shameful for someone not to seek to escape poverty through labor. We citizens of Athens care for both our own domestic concerns and for the affairs of state; those of us engaged in business are not lacking in understanding of public matters. For we alone consider those who avoid engagement in public affairs not as ‘uninvolved’ but as useless. And we, as we judge and reflect carefully on matters, do not consider words to be a hindrance to actions. Rather, the real hindrance to action is to enter into whatever must be done without taking forewarning through discussion.” —Pericles, speaking about Athenian culture, quoted in the Archaeological Study Bible
I like Seth Godin’s thoughts on our vocabulary. “It’s not about knowing needlessly fancy words (but it’s often hard to know if the fancy word is needless until after you learn it). Your vocabulary reflects the way you think (and vice versa). It’s tempting to read and write at the eighth-grade level, but there’s a lot more leverage when you are able to use the right word in the right moment.” Read more in Does Vocabulary Matter?
“The question, then, isn’t, ‘when am I going to get promoted?’ No, I think the question is, ‘will I grab these openings to become someone who’s already doing work at a higher level?’” Read more from Seth Godin’s post.
“Faith is not a distant view but a warm embrace of Christ.” —John Calvin
“The honest truth is that I have seen God do more in people’s lives during ten minutes of real prayer than in ten of my sermons.” Read more of Jim Cymbala’s post The Day Jesus Got Mad.
“Success is a tale of obstacles overcome, and for every obstacle overcome, an excuse not used.” —Robert Brault
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Wishing is not enough; we must do.” —Goethe
“The good news of the Bible is that God is not at all disinclined to satisfy the hearts of those who hope in Him. Just the opposite: The very thing that can make us happiest is what God delights in with all His heart and with all His soul. With all His heart and with all His soul, God joins us in the pursuit of our everlasting joy because the consummation of that joy in Him redounds to the glory of His own infinite worth.” —John Piper