We naturally appreciate and thank God for what he has done for us. But it is too easy to be preoccupied with our benefits and overlook what God’s grace means to him. We are saved by grace because that is appropriate to God’s nature and purposes, bringing him glory as it brings us salvation. We are alerted to that at the very beginning of the epistle by the words “to the praise of his glorious grace” (Ephesians 1:6).
Walter l. Liefeld, Ephesians, page 87.
But wisdom is so much more than knowledge, even Bible knowledge.
It is knowing God, maturing in our relationship with him and walking with him
so closely and perceptively that we are enabled to develop a godly character,
live thoughtfully and make proper choices in life.
Walter L. Liefeld, Ephesians, p.132.
To embrace God is to allow his desires to rule in our hearts.
To know God is to share his joy and therefore also his grief. If any person is
to love God, he or she must be prepared to grieve over the things that grieve
God. To come to God is to have our hearts broken by God’s sadness, not only for
the world he loves but also for us. To be embraced by God is to be shattered by
the revelation of all that grieves God in our lives. It is to be devastated by
the reality that we are the cause of the greatest suffering in the
universe: the suffering of God.
Matthew Jacoby, Deeper Places, page 40.
is a sign that there is something wrong with our relationship with God. The
solution to disobedience, therefore, is not simply to start “doing the right
things.” If the fruit is bad, we don’t focus on curing the fruit; we cure the
tree. This is why so many Christians go around and around in circles when
trying to deal with personal sin. They deal with it by trying harder not to sin
It never works. Something has to change in the heart. Inevitably, the problem
comes down to some kind of relational breakdown, often between themselves and
others, and always between themselves and God.
Matthew Jacoby, Deeper Places, p. 22-23.
God did His greatest work while Jesus felt most abandoned by God.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46
There is a tendency among Christians to be engrossed in an attempt to determine God’s will for each decision in their lives. Many such decisions can be made with more precision and more legitimate reason, however, if they are measured against the long-range will of God that is revealed throughout God’s Word. Instead of seeking specific verses for turning points in our lives, we will be far better equipped to make sound decisions if we have a grasp of God’s revealed will for the Christian, for the church and for the world. This requires a sweeping understanding of Scripture as a whole. That does not mean we cannot pray for guidance day by day; it does mean that there should be a spiritual maturing in our lives that gives us a solid foundation for making biblically informed decisions.
Walter L. Liefeld, Ephesians, p. 45.
The praise even which one cannot accept is sweet from a true mouth.
George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie, p. 72.
We have no more the moral reasoning to arrive at all of this. So I think the last bastion of this that is left as far as I’m concerned, you can go to scientific proofs, you can go to design proofs, you can go to so many other things. But the average person who really opens up their eyes and is listening to you recognizes there has to be a moral framework with which I do my thinking. What is it that makes me a person or a creature of value? So in that essential nature is the image of God. The image of God gives to me moral reasoning. We cannot communicate truth while compromising the implications of truth.
So I would say how you communicate in this society is conviction with compassion. Convictions are very different to opinions. Opinions are something that you hold to. Convictions are those which hold you. You can change an opinion – one time you might like blue and next year you might like green – it’s okay. But you cannot change your convictions about the sacredness of life or the sacredness of sexuality or love and those that you put into this category. The challenge to the Christian is how to communicate conviction with compassion.
starting at 35:19 in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtOhPCp1XXo
My gravest warning for a pioneer (though this applies to any
believer) is the hazard of duty without beauty. If Jesus Himself needed to
withdraw from crowds to be with His Father, and could not manage a ministry of
relief and humanitarian aid without a plumb line of prayer, we certainly cannot
either, and should not try.
Stephanie Quick, To
Trace A Rising Sun, p. 215.
One of the most fascinating of all the preacher’s tasks is to explore both the emptiness of fallen man and the fullness of Jesus Christ, in order then to demonstrate how he can fill our emptiness, lighten our darkness, enrich our poverty, and bring our human aspirations to fulfillment. The riches of Christ are unfathomable.
John Stott, Between Two Worlds, p. 154.