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Magnum Opus

16 Sep

Doing Nothing for Jesus

13 Sep

A few weeks ago I heard a story about a Navy Search and Rescue swimmer who went to the aid of a downed aviator. The aviator began to flail and flounder making the situation dangerous for both himself and his would-be rescuer. The rescue swimmer responded by diving down deeper into the water to get away and to wait for the aviator to give up struggling. In other words, he withdrew from the scene until the aviator exhausted himself.

This is exactly how it is with us and Jesus. We are saved by trusting in him, and we must do nothing to help. Trying to help only makes things worse and leaves us exhausted. And yet, we try. Ever since Adam took up sewing to hide his sin, it has been the nature of the flesh to take control and try and fix things. I can save myself from drowning. This is why we should thank God for the magnificent law which reveals the hopelessness of our situation. But you’re in the middle of the ocean! You can’t swim that far. And then thank him even more for good news of his grace that saves us. Jesus the Savior is here. Stop struggling and submit to his righteousness.

Paul_EllisPaul Ellis

The Gospel in Ten Words, KingsPress, 2012, 93.



9 Sep

Green apples

A Beautiful Story

6 Sep

Christianity is a story. It is a meta-narrative. It is a grand over-arching story that enables us to make sense of human history. It is the story of how God is setting right a world gone wrong and doing it through Jesus Christ. It is the story that starts with Creation in Genesis and takes us all the way through to new creation in Revelation. It is a story with Jesus Christ at the center of it…

The end of the Christian story is beautiful. It is the beautiful “they lived happily ever after” culmination we long for. It’s the true hope that myths and fairy tales allude to. It is restoration, new creation, the New Jerusalem, and all things made new. This is what we mean when we say Christianity is eschatological. The end is important, because it determines how we should act within the present as we head toward an appointed future. So we must be absolutely clear about this – the eschatological hope of Christianity is restoration and new creation. But the end of the story the Bible tells is an end that has been inaugurated.

brian_zahndBrian Zahnd

Beauty Will Save the World (2012), Zondervan, 133-4.


Because of Him!

2 Sep


Divine Passion Never Runs Out

30 Aug

Divine passion will take us further than human zeal can imagine. It will produce greater fruit and do it without sweat. It is that divine energy which propels one through obstacles in a quest for the object of its love. It’s a simple fact: Causes require more resources than they create. When people are motivated by zeal, they can never produce the amount of energy required to complete the task.

Again, we are familiar with the cries for help from those who have given themselves to fulfill a mission or a dream. When they run a little short of money or a little short of energy or commitment, the tendency is to create a larger cause to create more anger, thus more resources. It happens on a national level, too. In the past we have had to portray the communists as bigger than they really were, the devil as bigger than he really is, the situation worse than we first had thought. All this to get people stirred up so that their anger will release enough resources to get the job done.

But here’s another simple fact: Love has enough energy to accomplish the task it has been called to do. Love will never find itself without enough resources, because “love never fails” (1 Cor 13:8).
Dudley_HallDudley Hall

Grace Works, Vine Books, 1992, 79-80.



26 Aug


Waiting in Galilee.

23 Aug

On-and-off salvation never appears in the Bible. Salvation is not a repeated phenomenon. Scripture contains no example of a person who was saved, then lost, then resaved, then lost again… Trust God’s hold on you more than your hold on God… “All of you will stumble,” Jesus told them. Fall away. Turn away. Run away. Their promises would melt like wax on a summer sidewalk. Jesus’ promise, however, would stay firm. “But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee” (Mat 26:32). Translation? Your fall will be great, but my grace will be greater. Stumble, I will catch you. Scatter, I will gather you. Turn from me, I will turn toward you. You will find me waiting for you in Galilee.
Max_LucadoMax Lucado

Grace: More Than We Deserve, Better Than We Imagine, Thomas Nelson, 2012, 133-5.


Key Words

19 Aug


The End of Competition

16 Aug

Trust defines the meaning of living by grace rather than works… It’s over for all huffing, puffing piety to earn God’s favor; it’s finished for all sweat-soaked straining to secure self-worth; it’s the end of all competitive scrambling to get ahead of others in the game.

brennan_manningBrennan Manning

The Ragamuffin Gospel, Multnomah 1990/2000,77.

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