Thursday, April 1, 2010
Reflective Thought: Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, ... Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.
Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble, it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him." -Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship.
Is the Bible Your Authority?
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
You will never have the power to live a full and fruitful godly life until you choose God's Word as your final authority.
So let me ask you: Have you made the choice to obey God's Word? Sadly, many people treat the Bible as a sorry substitute for their authority.
Some People Treat the Bible as an Hors d'oeuvres Tray
If Kathy and I came over to your house for dinner, I bet we wouldn't be in the door five minutes and you'd offer us a tray of some hot goodies. I'd look at it and say, "That one looks really good. Aw-that probably has too many calories . . . I want this one."
Many people pick and choose Bible passages based on what suits their taste: "I really like the part in Romans 8 about how much God loves me, and I really like that 2 Corinthians 12 about how 'God's grace is sufficient,' but I'll skip the parts about forgiveness, or repentance, or hell."
The Bible is not your authority as long as you're picking and choosing what you accept.
Some People Treat the Bible like Rental Car Insurance
I would guess that most people waive the extra rental car insurance. The costs are plenty already. I haven't had an accident in ten years. What are the chances that I'm going to have an accident today? Slim. No, I don't need the insurance.
A lot of people treat the Bible like that. In an emergency I need the Bible, but I doubt I'll have a crisis today, so I think I'll pass. Technically, you should get up and spend some time in God's Word, but instead you grab a cup of coffee and rush out the door. I'll probably be OK today without it.
Some People Treat the Bible like a Seat Belt
Of course you wear a seatbelt-but only because it's the law. And that crazy bell won't quit ringing until you click it. If you could get behind the dashboard and rip that bell out, I think you'd wear your seat belt less.
Some people treat the Bible like that. Yeah, I read the Bible because it's the law. And also because I can't get the guilt to quit ringing in my ears if I don't. So to silence the alarm, you spend a few minutes perusing it every day.
Instead of an authority to guide your life, people minimize the Bible by treating it like:
An hors d'oeuvres tray - where you can pick or choose.
Rental car insurance - that you're glad to have, but only in an emergency.
A seat belt - a nuisance that cramps your style.
How sad. If this characterizes your thinking in any way, come back to the priority of God's Word in your life and let it be your authority. -
Your law, LORD, is perfect, reviving the soul; Your testimony, LORD, is sure, making wise the simple; Your precepts, LORD, are right, rejoicing the heart; Your commandment, LORD, is pure, enlightening the eyes. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Amen. (Psalm 19)
What is the Bible to me? How do I know? Can I think of a time when the Bible changed what I did or what I thought about something?
Source: - James MacDonald - Walk in the WordMarch, 2010 - Crosswalk Faith Update http://www.crosswalkmail.com/
LET THIS MIND BE IN YOU
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5).
In this exhortation the apostle Paul is telling the people of God, "Let the mind that is in Christ—the very thinking of Jesus—be your thinking also. His mindset is the one we all are to seek."
What does it mean to have the mind of Christ? Simply put, it means to think and act as Jesus did. It means making Christ-like decisions that determine how we are to live. It means bringing every faculty of our mind to bear on how we actually can have the mind of Christ.
Every time we look into the mirror of God's Word, we're to ask ourselves: "Does what I see about myself reflect the nature and thinking of Christ? Am I changing from image to image, conformed to Jesus' very likeness by every experience that God brings into my life?"
According to Paul, here is the mindset of Christ. "(He) made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men" (Philippians 2:7).
Jesus made a decision while he was still in heaven. He made an agreement with the Father to lay down his heavenly glory and come to earth as a man. He was going to descend to the world as a humble servant. And he would seek to minister rather than be ministered to.
For Christ, this meant saying, "I go to do your will, Father." Indeed, Jesus determined ahead of time, "I am laying down my will in order to do yours, Father. I subjugate my will so that I may embrace yours. Everything I say and do has to come from you. I'm laying down everything to be totally dependent upon you."
In turn, the Father's agreement with the Son was to reveal his will to him. God said to him, in essence, "My will won't ever be hidden from you. You will always know what I am doing. You will have my mind."
When Paul states boldly, "I have the mind of Christ," he is declaring, "I too have made myself of no reputation. Like Jesus, I have taken on the role of a servant." And Paul asserts that the same can hold true for every believer: "We [all can] have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16).
Used with permission:: David Wilkerson Today - THURSDAY, APRIL 1, 2010 To subscribe to this devotional go to http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/wc/mailing_list/subscribe