We live in a society that honours personal autonomy, that promotes prosperity, wealth and pleasure. Australians are wedded to the worship of increasing our lifestyle. Ultimately this lifestyle only delivers disillusionment and death.
But we are called to something more. Jesus offers redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of His grace (EPH 1:7). In Him we find true life, true joy, true salvation. In Christ is true pleasure found.
"The two great gospel words are ‘come’ and ‘go’, the one a word of invitation, the other of command. The first speaks of intimacy, and the second of activity. Both are important in the Christian life, but our coming to Jesus must always precede our going out from Him. For many of us, there has been too much ‘going’ and not enough ‘coming’, resulting in lives that are spiritually impoverished and lacking in both depth and passion. At this time the Spirit is reminding us that the gracious invitation of Jesus to intimacy with Himself remains His priority and is the foundation of everything else in the Christian life."
I’ve just started reading a book called ‘Rhythms of Grace: Finding intimacy with God in a busy life”. These are the opening words of the first chapter. This is my greatest need in life right now: to rest in Him, find a greater intimacy with Jesus, to be set on fire for Him and brought out of the numbness that has characterised my faith for far too long. I need my passion for Him to be reignited, and my identity to be founded in what He has done for me and in me. I need #moreofjesus.
"The reality of living with an iPhone, or any smart, connected device, is that it makes reality feel just that little bit less real. One gets over-connected, to the point where the thoughts and opinions of distant anonymous strangers start to feel more urgent than those of your loved ones who are in the same room as you. One forgets how to be alone and undistracted…
The greatest, deepest, most glorious thing that we can know is what God has revealed to us of himself in his love and his holiness,” Wells reminds us. “Everything else pales into insignificance. If you focus on the shiny stuff that glitters for a moment, at the end of your life you will find that your hands are empty.”
Read more at: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/get-alone-undistracted
She was, in fact, beginning very much to wonder that she had ever thought him pleasing at all; and his sight was so inseparably connected with some very disagreeable feelings, that except in a moral light, as a penance, a lesson, a source of profitable humiliation to her own mind, she would have been thankful to be assured of never seeing him again. She wished him very well; but he gave her pain, and his welfare twenty miles off would administer most satisfaction.
Life’s little pleasures. The melting of cinnamon and butter on the tongue late at night. Fingering the pages of old books, dusty sheets of type, crinkled and worn. Grass between naked toes, rubbery and damp against hardened skin. Whips of hair blown against one’s face in a gust of wind, blinding.
Life is made up of these innumerable moments. In and of themselves they are inconsequential. Yet added up they become one’s whole existence. A totality of being. I am the sum of things felt, things noticed, things endured. Without them, I would be nothing.
Yet most days pass without my accounting for them. I simply am. I do, I think, I feel, without reflection. I wake, I live, I sleep. I experience more in each day than I could ever note down or remember. The tragedy of experience is that it can never be captured and kept in perfect memory.
And yet this life is still worth being lived, and lived well. What can be remembered is worth remembering. Life, though fleeting and tragic, is good.
In an effort to gain converts, Christians often refrain from telling the full story. We want people to follow so like cheap salesmen we share the benefits without explaining the cost. We tell them about Jesus’ promises of life and forgiveness, but we don’t mention His calls for repentance and obedience. We avoid His promise that we will experience persecution. When we do this we cheapen the gospel. The beauty of the gospel is that Christ is of such supreme worth that we would gladly sacrifice all to have Him. He is so beautiful, that we would be fools to resist becoming like Him.
'Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
~ Matt 16:24-25
— Francis Chan, from You and Me Forever | #whatimreading
Quiet times with God // being challenged in how I perceive Him as a Father and how this affects how I approach Him in prayer.
Sleepovers // for cooking lessons, pinball playing, djembe jamming, staying up past midnight talking and praying, morning bushwalks; for the joy it is to share life with three beautiful sisters in Christ whose encouragement and support and love is just amazing.
Family // for being able to cook for my family and love them by serving them in practical ways; for being able to point each other to God in the midst of hard times.
Tess // for this beautiful sister who shares my love for books, people and Jesus; for afternoons spent sharing the things that we are struggling with, that God is challenging us with and the things that make us joyful; for being able to pray for each other.
Sisterhood // for the beautiful sisters who regularly check up on me and pray for me so faithfully; for being able to catch up over the phone and pray together, for encouraging messages and the way God speaks truth into our lives through each other.
'Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.' ~ Psalm 136:1