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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

4 Quotes With Many Applications

Have you ever had one of those moments when you read or heard something  and the saying just clicked in your head, and you can say 'I get it now'?

Like most, I've had many of those moments, but four of them stand out especially in my mind and I'd like to share them with you.

The following are four quotes that have profoundly impacted how I approach my Christian walk and have helped me to better understand why I believe certain spiritual truths.

Perhaps these quotes can assist you in your spiritual journey as they have assisted me in mine.

The Glory of God

A common attack on or concern with the God of the Bible is His apparent affinity for exaltation.

We are commanded to love God, worship Him, put Him first, seek His ways, praise His name, follow after Him faithfully for all of our days. (Matt. 23:37; Matt 6:33; Matt. 4:19; 1 Cor. 11:1; Psalm 147:1)

God is even seen in Scripture exalting Himself. (Isaiah 48:11; Ephesians 1)

As a Christian, I see no problem with this, in fact, I delight in it, but I won't pretend that it wasn't somewhat...awkward when I was faced with the question of 'is God a narcissist'.

I thought I knew the answer to the question, but I couldn't convey it with adequate persuasiveness to a questioner.

I understood that God is God, but God, as I see Him in Scripture, isn't primarily concerned that He be praised simply because He is worthy of praise.

Then I read this quote from influential preacher John Piper:

In view of God's infinitely admirable beauty and power and wisdom what would his love to a creature involve? Or to put it another way: What could God give us to enjoy that would show him most loving? There is only one possible answer, isn't there? HIMSELF! If God would give us the best, the most satisfying, that is, if he would love us perfectly, he must offer us no less than himself for our contemplation and fellowship. - John Piper

Something just clicked.

It made sense that God would exalt Himself, draw attention to Himself, and command us to do the same, not just so that He could enjoy the praise, but so that we could benefit in the sharing of God's glory.

God doesn't need us to glorify Him, but our ultimate spiritual health depends on God being glorified.

And by glorifying Himself and commanding us to do the same, God is showing His love for us by drawing our attention to the only thing we really need: 


Hollow Religion

This next one hurt.

If you know me, you  I love to debate, and study theology.

I am a firm believer in the ability of the sanctified mind to come to rational decision based on the truth, which is one reason why I wholeheartedly support healthy robust debate in the Church.

I began studying all the "ologies" that I could and it seemed every day I found a new "theo-group" I belonged too.

Until one day I read this and it clicked:

"When the exhaustive exegesis of God's Word doesn't create people transformed into the image of Jesus, we have missed the forest for the trees" - Jen Hatmaker from her book "7".

I felt ashamed.

 I often found myself getting so caught up in systematizing my theology that I forgot stop and think about what affect it should have in the way I live my life, in general, and especially how I walk with the Lord.

What does it matter if I can explain why I reject speaking in tongues, if the earthly words I speak don't communicate Christ.

What good are all my "ists", and "ologies" and "isms", if I they don't motivate me to better love God, know Him and help others know and love Him as well?

Worse than that I had spurned the faith tradition I was brought up in, for the Restoration Movement had long put an emphasis on tearing down all of the theologies and dogmas that separate believers, and instead looking for the lowest common denominator, so as not to leave anyone out of the fellowship of the Body that God Himself has not left out.

Since reading that quote, I try now to give precedence to those doctrines which are explicitly taught in Scripture and to focus on the more practical aspects of theology.

But, more than that, I've fallen again in love with my beautiful king by re-making Him the center of my life, having been released from the chains of a dusty religion that stimulates the brain, but leaves the soul longing.

My Eyes Have Seen...

 “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” -C.S. Lewis

I only discovered this next quote a week or so ago, and the "aha moment" was immediate.

I have been a Christian since August 20th 2006 and was adopted by Christian parent's who raised me to know, love, and respect God.

Before 2008 I was couldn't thoroughly explain to you the many arguments for God's existence, nor could I have rebutted many of the critiques of my faith (praise God I have learned much since then!)

Nonetheless, my faith in God, the inspiration of Scripture, and the deity of Christ have been unmoveable pillars in my life, not because of any argument, but because I have seen with my eyes the truth of Christianity.

And not only with my eyes, however, but with my heart too.

Christian theism just makes sense to me.

That God, the Creator and Designer of the cosmos, Ground of objective moral values and duties, our Heavenly Father, Risen Lord and Holy Spirit, Three in One, is living and active.

Not only because I have "seen" God, but because in seeing God I see everything else. 

He In I and I In Him

There is a song that says "every move I make, I make in You" which accentuates 
that fact that, as Christians, we are not our own.

We are the adopted offspring of the living God, called, protected, and sustained by Him.

His Holy Spirit indwell us and we have put on His Son in our baptism.

God's influence touches every aspect of our lives, and in him we delight ourselves.

Our goal is to be in lock step with God and His holy commands. (2 Corinthians 7:1)

For the Scriptures say:

'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' (Acts 17:28)

What else needs to be said?


Do you have a favorite quote spiritual or otherwise? Feel free to leave it in the comment box below.

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