Posted tagged ‘grace’

If You’re God’s Child, Part 2

May 8, 2012

Part 1 |

Last year, I compiled a series of 36 blogposts based on tweets from Scotty Smith on “Signs You’re Growing in Grace.” I, and I know countless others, were greatly encouraged in the gospel by those daily tweets.  Another person who brings the gospel to bear regularly on twitter is Paul Tripp.  He has recently begun a series of tweets called “If You’re God’s Child . . . ” and I have compiled them for you as well.  Depending on how many tweets he does, I may make this into another blogpost category/series. But for now, here’s the second installment of “If You’re God’s Child . . .”

If you’re God’s child you have greater potential than the sum of your parts because you’re blessed with Almighty God living inside of you.

If you’re God’s child you needn’t fear exposure – nothing could be revealed about you that hasn’t been covered by the blood of Jesus.

If you’re God’s child you don’t have to search for meaning and purpose – you’re part of the most important work in the universe, Redemption.

If you’re God’s child you don’t have to wonder about how your story will end because your future is sealed and secure in Christ.

If you’re God’s child, you needn’t run to the creation to satisfy your hungry heart – you’re now connected to the only One who can satisfy.

If you’re God’s child you live between the “already” and the “not yet” where sin still lives and grace is daily needed.

If you’re God’s child you live between two realities – enemies greater than your strength and grace that’s greater than these enemies.

If you’re God’s child you live between the war inside and temptation outside and sufficient provision has been made for both in Christ.

If you’re God’s child you are greeted every morning with new mercies, form fit for the needs of the day.

If you’re God’s child you’ve been called to obey and been given every resource you need to do what you’ve been called to do.

Grace Saturated Community

August 16, 2011

The more I dwell on the amazing grace of God, the more I realize how deeply I need to grow and be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus (2 Tim. 2:1; 2 Pet. 3:16).  I have been dwelling on it quite a bit lately as I have been preaching a mini-series on how the grace of God sets people free to experience generosity toward others, genuine love in community, and now this week empowerment for life of mission.

As I wrapped up my message, I tried to give some specific examples and points of application as to how grace builds and defines Christian community (as opposed to moral community that is often Christless).  Here’s some that came to mind based on my meditation last week on Luke 7:36-50.

A grace saturated community will . . .

* have a warm disposition to the very worst of sinners (while moral community often be cold and careful to avoid people with big “messes”)

* show no pressure to perform or pretend; you are set free from lying about yourself (while moral community often centers on religious performance and convincing one another we are better than we really are)

(more…)

Signs You Are Growing in Grace, Part 9

May 9, 2011

Part 1 || Part 2 || Part 3 || Part 4 || Part 5 || Part 6 || Part 7 || Part 8

Your weekly installment of 20 grace tweets from Scotty Smith:

A sign you’re growing in grace: You park your conscience under God’s grace & when it drifts towards law, you yank it back.

A sign you’re growing in grace: You don’t guilt very easily, either as victim or agent.

A sign you’re growing in grace: No matter what anyone says about you, you realize the cross is your greatest critic & cure.

A sign you’re growing in grace: Your recovery time from irritability, resentment and smugness is getting shorter.

A sign you’re growing in grace: You don’t privatize your relationship with Jesus. You’re using more plural pronouns.

A sign you’re growing in grace: You’re thankful Jesus hasn’t just forgiven all your sins, but also all your good works.

(more…)

Signs You Are Growing in Grace, Part 8

May 1, 2011

Part 1 || Part 2 || Part 3 || Part 4 || Part 5 || Part 6 || Part 7

Your weekly installment of 20 grace tweets from Scotty Smith:

A sign you’re growing in grace: There are things you no longer do only because of your love for Jesus.

A sign you’re growing in grace: You want to trust again more than you want to stay stuck in your hurt.

A sign you’re growing in grace: The older you get the more you remember stuff your parents actually did right.

A sign you’re growing in grace: You expect to discover more of your need for Jesus today & more of the riches of Jesus.

A sign you’re growing in grace: You define success less by how much you do in a day & more in terms of how well you love.

A sign you’re growing in grace: Less and less seems really whine-worthy.

A sign you’re growing in grace: An exponentially growing appetite for the gospel and a shrinking appetite for junk food.

A sign you’re growing in grace: You long & pray for the Holy Spirit to visit your heart & church in transforming power.

(more…)

Signs You Are Growing in Grace, Part 7

April 26, 2011

Part 1 || Part 2 || Part 3 || Part 4 || Part 5 || Part 6

Your weekly installment of 20 grace tweets from Scotty Smith:

A sign you’re growing in grace: You don’t feel the need to pose and pretend as often or as much.

A sign you’re growing in grace: The main work you’ll be about the rest of your life is believing in Jesus – John 6:29.

A sign you’re growing in grace: You don’t appeal to the sovereignty of God as an excuse for your being lazy or foolish.

A sign your’e growing in grace: If you don’t know, you don’t pretend you do.

A sign you’re growing in grace: Somebody with redemptive wisdom knows about your struggle with sexual sin.

A sign you’re growing in grace: You’re better about responding to calls and invitations, and sending thank you notes.

(more…)

Signs You Are Growing in Grace, Part 6

April 19, 2011

Part 1 || Part 2 || Part 3 || Part 4 || Part 5

Your weekly installment of 20 grace tweets from Scotty Smith:

A sign you’re growing in grace: You laugh with louder gufaws, & cry with hotter tears, because the gospel is at work.

A sign you’re growing in grace: The Bible reads you as much as you read the Bible.

A sign you’re growing in grace: You notice a person’s dignity before you notice their depravity.

A sign you’re growing in grace: There are fewer pages in the little book in which you keep a record of wrongs done to you.

A sign you’re growing in grace: Your cry for a changed heart is louder than your cry for relief.

A sign you’re growing in grace: The word “overcomer” in Revelation makes you think about Jesus, THE Overcomer, not you.

A sign you’re growing in grace: Repentance is becoming less something YOU do and more Someone you trust, namely, Jesus.

A sign you’re growing in grace: The more you understand your union with Christ the more you crave communion with Him.

(more…)

Signs You Are Growing in Grace, Part 5

April 11, 2011

Part 1 || Part 2 || Part 3 || Part 4

Your weekly installment of 20 grace tweets from Scotty Smith:

A sign you’re growing in grace: You’re aware of the racist that lives in you, not just in the Bubbas & rednecks near you.

A sign you’re growing in grace: You waste less food & time, and your committed giving is becoming cheerful giving.

A sign you’re growing in grace: You think about fixing people less and loving them more.

A sign you’re growing in grace: Your family and friends can relax around you more than they did last year.

A sign you’re growing in grace: You’ve given up trying to be the 4th member of the Trinity.

A sign you’re growing in grace: You will do everything you can NOT to do unnecessary damage to a person’s reputation.

(more…)

Signs You Are Growing in Grace, Part Four

April 4, 2011

Part 1 || Part 2 || Part 3

Your weekly installment of 20 grace tweets from Scotty Smith:

A sign you’re growing in grace: It’s getting easier not to retaliate, get even, or even crave God’s vengeance.

A sign you’re growing in grace: The work “trafficking” moves you to work for justice, not complain about too many cars.

A sign you’re growing in grace: You don’t care squat about infralapsarianism, but you’ll defend the gospel with your life.

A sign you’re growing in grace: Less cynicism about other people’s sins and more tears over your own.

A sign you’re growing in grace: You feel like you’re just beginning to appreciate all the riches and depth of John 3:16.

A sign you’re growing in grace: You argue less about the timing of the Spirit’s baptism & thirst 4 more of his fullness.

(more…)

Signs You Are Growing in Grace, Part Three

March 30, 2011

Part 1 || Part 2

Scotty Smith keeps them coming, so I keep them compiling.  Here’s a recent installment of 20 grace tweets for you gospelicious friends.

A sign you’re growing in grace: You’re thinking more about the new heaven & new earth than the intermediate state.

A sign you’re growing in grace: Missions isn’t a budget line item but a core passion & preoccupation.

A sign you’re growing in grace: You desire less stuff rather than simply buying more.

A sign you’re growing in grace: Places like Haiti, Dafur and Somolia aren’t “missions targets”, but family.

A sign you’re growing in grace: You don’t debate eschatology, you live it.

(more…)

Paul Tripp on Twitter on Grace

September 30, 2010

There are several reasons why I’m on Twitter, not the least of which is the numerous gospel tweets from men like Scotty Smith, Tullian Tchividjian, and Paul Tripp.  Yesterday, I took some time to compile all of Paul Tripp’s tweets on the subject of “grace” in one document.  Several people have asked me to share this, which I am glad to do.   Here’s a small sampling of the hundreds of tweets by Tripp on grace:

The unrelenting power of transforming grace is greater than the unyielding idolatry of your wondering heart.

Jesus did for you what you couldn’t do, so that you could give to him what you couldn’t give apart from his grace-your whole heart.

Face it, you and I don’t need to be tweaked, you tweak a poorly written sentence, you and I need to be radically rebuilt by grace.

Grace frees you from the weight of the law, not so you would despise the law, but so you would use the resources of grace to keep it.

Grace frees you to live horizontally what you’ve given vertically. While others hope to get, you can celebrate what you’ve been given.

Grace calls you to abandon your reliance on you because God knows that true righteousness only begins when you come to the end of yourself.

Grace: No love greater, no forgiveness more complete, no hope more secure, no peace more permanent than are found in Jesus.

Grace tells you all the things about you that you don’t want to face, while assuring you that they have all been covered by the cross.

Grace doesn’t excuse your sin, rather it pays the price for what is inexcusable.

Grace means you don’t have to hide what’s already been forgiven, or fear what’s already been defeated, or earn what’s already been given.

I encourage you to download this document and use these tweets to preach the gospel to yourself.  We need to be strengthened by the grace that is in Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 2:1), and God has been gracious to give us a brother like Tripp to help us understand, appreciate, appropriate, and celebrate God’s sweet and sovereign grace.

Preach it.
Believe it.
Share it.
Rest in it.

Download: Paul Tripp Tweets on Grace

Wellum Says It Well

May 6, 2008

Kirk Wellum, a professor at Toronto Baptist Seminary, has written an excellent review/response to Collin Hansen’s book, Young, Restless, Reformed. Over the past month or so, I have read dozens of reviews and responses from Hansen’s book, but I have to say that I believe this is the best one yet. In this response, Wellum gives five areas where we need caution and provides us with wise words for our consideration. While I wanted to simply give you the five points in bullet form, I found his subsequent commentary quite good as well, so I decided to include it here. Wellum writes,

First, those who are young, restless and reformed must not become too self-conscious.

This is always a danger when the media picks up the story. More important than the headlines is our loyalty and commitment to Jesus Christ. If we start to read and believe our own press-clippings we are finished before we start. The world does not need another lobby group or evangelical Christian faction. What it needs are authentic followers of Jesus who keep their eyes on the master and are deaf and blind to the recognition of others. Self-consciousness leads to pride of reputation which short circuits God’s blessing.

Second, we (and I include myself in all of these things) must avoid a triumphalistic attitude.

It is good to gather in the name of the Lord Jesus and to give him praise, but as fallen creatures who are imperfectly sanctified it is so easy for our praise of Jesus to morph into praise for our group and then for us to feel superior to others who do not see what we see. The gospel of God’s grace is deeply humbling. It reminds us that we are debtors to mercy alone. But even here we can be proud of our humility, and we can glory in the repetition of our unworthiness in such a way that it comes across as arrogant and self-righteous. One mark of true humility is an appropriate silence in the presence of God and a reticence to speak about ourselves to others. Ironically too much talk of humility smacks of deeply seated “Aren’t I something! Look at me!”

Third, we must put our hope in God and not in our theological systems.

It is easy to criticize others for trusting in their programs and techniques to build their churches and evangelize the lost and then turn around and do the same thing in a different way. I have seen people adopt reformed theology, just like people adopt the tenents of the church growth movement or the emergent church, because they believe that if they get their theology right that will guarantee revival and blessing. However, it is not that simple as a survey of church history will reveal. God is sovereign and he reserves the right to use whom he will to accomplish his purposes. Theological precision is important but there are many times when God has used those whose with imprecise theology in powerful ways. Our relationship with God is first and foremost. Dotting all our theological ‘i’s’ and crossing all our theological ‘t’s’ will not guarantee revival, nor will setting up our churches according to the regulative principle, etc. as important as these might be in the grand scheme of things.

Fourth, with regard to the way we structure our churches we need to give people some breathing room.

The Bible has much to say about the worship of God and it clearly outlines various things (like, prayer, the reading of scripture, the preaching of the word) which should be part of Christian worship. But at the same time it does not give us an ‘order of service’ nor is it so explicit that there is only one right way of worshiping the Lord. In the 70’s and 80’s there were too many fruitless discussions and more and more extreme positions taken with regard to ‘reformed’ worship. Generally, I think people had the best of intentions, but they got carried away by their own logic and needlessly restricted the freedom we have in Christ to creatively use our gifts and abilities within the overall boundaries of God’s word.

Fifth, we need to work and pray when it comes to evangelism.

Although there are many who have been reached for the Lord Jesus by those committed to reformed theology, there is more to be done. Too many in our “church plants” come from other churches rather than from the world. Even though there is definitely a place for ministering to and instructing those who are not being fed elsewhere, our primary concern should be to take the gospel to those who have never heard it before. One reason, from a human standpoint, that we have not been as effective as we should be is that we forget how to talk to those outside our circles and we are not meaningfully involved in their lives. If we are ‘restless’ is should be to see more people won to the Lord and not just to our theological position, or our particular style of worship, or pastoral ministry.

In conclusion, Wellum offers a sobering reminder:

If we combine our zeal for the word with a passionate love for God and a lost world then great opportunities lie ahead. But if our zeal turns inward and we start judging and dividing along party lines as if we alone have the truth, God will raise up help from somewhere else, as he has done many times before.

Well said, Dr. Wellum, well said!

Piper on Kinder Calvinists

November 27, 2007

Piper.

No, not that Piper. I am talking about Abraham Piper, John’s son. He has written an excellent article in response to a recent post by Scot McKnight regarding advice on handling ungracious and intemperate Calvinists. Piper concludes with these poignant words:

In my marriage, it doesn’t matter whether I’m thankful if I don’t seem like it. And in the church, it doesn’t matter whether we have the fruits of the Spirit if no one can tell.

It won’t be easy to change the pejorative stereotype that clings to Calvinism, but we can start by admitting that it is accurate far too often. Then we can make sure we are manifestly not self-righteous, condescending, arrogant, unfriendly, or argumentative. Also, you can count on us to buy dinner or coffee sometimes.

Paying attention to those who disagree with us and taking them seriously, even if we’re pretty sure we’ll still disagree, is part of what it means to be in the body of Christ. It’s humbling; it sanctifies. It will make us better husbands and wives. It will make us better Christians, and maybe even better Calvinists.

Thank you, Abraham, for such a timely and helpful admonishment. May all who embrace sovereign grace display it in our words and treatment of one another.

Is not the light of his countenance better than life?

September 28, 2007

For the past week, I have been devotionally reading some letters by John Newton. Time and time again I came across rich quotes and began to mark them as I continued reading. I recently talked with a friend about the writings of yesteryear as seen in the writings of the Puritans and Newton, how their wells ran so deep, which was often expressed in the gushing springs from their pens. On the contrary, it seems that today our words seem so weightless, trivial, and flippant (at least mine). Reflecting on this reality, I am starting a series called Nuggets of Newton in which I hope to share some quotes by Newton on the Christian life. Over a period of time, I hope to have a topical compilation of excerpts (digital quote book) of Newton as a devotional resource for myself and others. For ease of perusal, I will provide the topic before each quote.

Topic: Jesus, affliction/loss

“Is He not rich enough to give us something better than ever He will take away? Is not the light of his countenance better than life and all its most valued enjoyments? Is not this our time of trial; and are we not traveling towards a land of light? . . . one [drop] of the river of pleasure at God’s right hand will make us forget our sorrows for ever; or the remembrance, if any, will only serve to heighten our joys. Further, what life did He lead whom we call our Master and our Lord? Was not He a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief? Has He marked out one way to heaven with his painful footsteps, and shall we expect, or even wish, to walk in another? With such considerations as these, we should endeavour to arm our minds, and pray to the Lord to fix a sense of them in our hearts, and to renew it from time to time; that when changes are either feared or felt, we may not be like the people of the world, who have no hope, no refuge, no throne of grace, but may be enabled to glorify our God in the fire, and give proof that his grace is sufficient for us in every state.”

John Newton, to Daniel West (January 25, 1766)