Archive for June, 2011

For the joy set before Him…

Absolute footnote gold dust from John Piper as he defends the idea that love goes far beyond our actions. Love has something to do with our feelings, they are not simply a happy by-product. We love what we find our joy in.

‘One popular book says, “Love isn’t something you necessarily feel; it’s something you do. Good feelings may accompany loving deeds, but we are commanded to love whether we feel like it or not. Jesus didn’t feel like giving His life to redeem humankind (Matthew 26:38-39).” Josh McDowell and Norman Geisler, Love is Always Right: A Defense of the One Moral Absolute (Dallas: Word, 1996), 73. It is an oversimplification to say that Jesus did not feel like giving His life to redeem mankind. Yes, He knew it would be excruciating, and yes, He shrank back from the pain. But Hebrews 12:2 says it was “for the joy set before” Him that He endured the cross. The joy of the future flowed back into the present in Gethsemane, and the taste of it sustained Him. Yes, there are acts of love that are more pleasant than others. But that does not mean that there is no painful joy in the hard ones.’ (Desiring God, p117)

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Justification – Sermon Jam

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Identity from relationships and opinions

Humble dignity in Christ

  • Need people to affirm me
  • Avoid those who make me feel worse about myself
  • Respond badly to criticism
  • Look up to some people wishing I think are better than me
  • Feel threatened by those I think are better than me
  • Treat people like an audience I have to impress
  • Can serve people without their affirmation
  • Can be with, and embrace, anyone
  • Can accept and listen to criticism
  • Am able to be myself
  • Can rejoice in other people’s abilities and gifts
  • Treat people as individuals I can love

I have been reading ‘Mirror, Mirror’ by Graham Beynon over recent weeks after a pretty barren spell of reading books.

This book often has a bit of a stigma attached to it as being a feminine book (partly due to its shiny cover), but I really think it is a valuable read for blokes too.

Self-image and identity are certainly not issues that only women struggle with. Far from it, many men (myself included) find their identity in goals that they achieve, status that they are seen as having, or even in same or different sex relationships.

This fairly short book is very easy to read, and with refreshing simplicity, it cuts to the core of how we see ourselves. How do we measure success in our life? Who am I? What does the Bible teach about identity? These three questions are just some of the crucial questions that Graham addresses.

The table posted above is found toward the end of the book. Man, it is challenging! Consider all the things you do in life, and think about whether your motivations fall more to the left or the right. Then confess your sin and thank God for his forgiveness achieved in the death of His Son at the cross and for His life transforming Spirit freely given which means meaningful change is possible.