>Sober Thoughts for the New Year

>Good stuff from RAY ORTLAND


2010 might be your year of release.  It might be mine.  One year from today, we might be with the Lord.  Better by far.


How to get ready and stay ready?


One, let’s die fully reconciled.  Are we clear with every brother?  “Strive for peace with everyone” (Hebrews 12:14).


Two, let’s die fully consecrated.  Are we set apart to God?  “Strive for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).


Three, let’s die fully forgiven.  Are we enjoying the grace of God?  “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God” (Hebrews 12:15).


Four, let’s die in sweetness.  Is any resentment spoiling our hearts?  “See to it that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled” (Hebrews 12:15).


Five, let’s die in purity.  Is the blessing of God more savory to us than the pleasures of the body?  “See to it that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal” (Hebrews 12:16).


The battle rages.  Let’s be ready to die at any time.  Our moment will come.

>The Enigma of Bono

>I’m glad I’m not the Spirit of God…for so many reasons. I am confused about Bono, but this quote is worthy of contemplation:

“[Grace is] my favourite word in the lexicon of the English language. It’s a word I’m depending on. The universe operates by Karma, we all know that. For every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. There is some atonement built in: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Then enters Grace and turns that upside down. I love it. I’m not talking about people being graceful in their actions but just covering over the cracks. Christ’s ministry really was a lot to do with pointing out how everybody is a screw-up in some shape or form, there’s no way around it. But then He was to say, well, I am going to deal with those sins for you. I will take on Myself all the consequences of sin. Even if you’re not religious I think you’d accept that there are consequences to all the mistakes we make. And so Grace enters the picture to say, I’ll take the blame, I’ll carry the cross. It is a powerful idea. Grace interrupting Karma.”

Bono, in U2 by U2, page 300.

>Comfort and Challenge

>To whet your appetite…to first comfort, then challenge you…I offer these quotes from Jerry Bridges “Discipline of Grace” Just a reminder, if you order from the link below a portion…of whatever you order…as long as you start from here…goes to help this home missionary stay in the work!

“Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace.

And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.”

and this:

“Pharisee-type believers unconsciously think they have earned God’s blessing through their behavior.

Guilt-laden believers are quite sure they have forfeited God’s blessing through their lack of discipline or their disobedience.

Both have forgotten the meaning of grace because they have moved away from the gospel and have slipped into a performance relationship with God.”
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