Posts tagged gospel
Finding Rest in God's Grace

I’ve been reading Elyse Fitzpatrick’s book, Good News for the Weary Women.  It’s about escaping the bondage of perfectionism and the striving to please.  She explains that as Christians, we don’t have to earn God’s favor because we already have it, through Jesus.  I wasn’t feeling like the book was especially relevant to me, because I felt that I do understand a few things about God’s grace and forgiveness.  I write about those things here on the blog, often.  I know he loves us, no matter what. And yet, I identified with the “weary woman” part- the rules, the lists, etc.  I figured my motivation was different, though, and that since I wasn’t doing those things to measure my worth with God, this book wasn’t for me.  Then I read these words,  

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Grace is for all of us
“Grace is for the desperate, the needy, the broken, those who cannot make it on their own.  Grace is for all of us.”- Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew

I’m reading a book called, The Jesus I Never Knew, by Philip Yancey, and in it, he tells the stories of two famous Russian novelists, Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky.  Yancey explains how these two men helped him better understand what Jesus was saying when he preached the Sermon on the Mount.  I highly recommend Yancey’s book, and encourage anyone to read it for themselves, but I will give you a brief synopsis, because I’m excited to share what I’m learning about Grace and who God is.  This is good stuff!

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God Has Found a Place for Us in His Story
The point is not to find a place for God in our story but to receive the good news that God has found a place for us in His- Michael Horton. 

It’s a shift in thinking that makes all the difference.  Who is the story about?  The gospel, which encompasses the stories of creation, the fall, redemption, and renewal, is God’s story, and we are invited into it.  As Christians, we must approach our life, the world, God, and others through this lens.  When we turn it around, trying to find a place for God in our story, we’re missing the point.  When we make God’s story about us, we have religion.

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The Miracle of Jesus's Incarnation and What it Means for Us
“The incarnation brings unceasing hope and an end to our exile, wandering, and despair.  There is great comfort for our souls in the truth that he is just like us.  Here’s why:  the incarnation tells us that even though we sin, we are not alone; even though we’re weak and finite, he knows what weakness and mortality are because he was weak and mortal just like us; and even though we continually fail, he has committed himself to be part of a race of failures- and he has done so forever.”  
-Elyse Fitzpatrick, Found in Him

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Incarnation means God became a man.  Jesus is both fully God, and fully human.  It’s a concept full of mystery.  What does it mean for us?  

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Why Does Jesus’s Presence With Us Matter?

“No matter how popular we might be, none of us has ever experienced deep unity or authentic union with another.  Since the day that our forefather and mother were exiled in the garden of Eden, we’ve been lost, trying to get back in, trying to find oneness with each other and the Lord." Elyse Fitzpatrick, Found In Him

All of us know what it's like to feel alone, sometimes, even, when we're in a crowd of people we can feel that way.  We long for true unity and union. This is why Jesus’s presence with us matters.  We were made in the image of God.  We were made to live in unity with God and others, but without the love and work of Jesus Christ, his grace, we are lost.

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5 Realities of the Gospel Worth Considering

I’ve been a church girl my whole life.  There was a time when I thought of the message of the gospel as something that I didn’t need to hear anymore, something that maybe other people needed to hear, particularly if they weren’t Christian yet- but if it came up in church, in boredom, I’d let my mind wander. What good did hearing it again do for me?  I was already saved

“We have spoken freely to you Corinthians; our heart is wide open.  You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in our own affections.  In return I speak as to children, widen your heart also!”  2 Corinthians 6:11-13

True, I was a Christian, saved by grace, but a very immature one, and I was wrong about the message of the gospel.   The message of the gospel is not just a message of one time salvation or a ticket to heaven. 

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