All sorts of things are potential idols…If this is so, how do we determine when something is becoming or has become an idol? As soon as our loyalty to anything leads us to disobey God, we are in danger of making it an idol…An idol can be a physical object, a property, a person, an activity, a role, an institution, a hope, an image, an idea, a pleasure, a hero… – Richard Keyes
If anything but Christ is your source of salvation, you are falling into idolatry. Whether you sacrifice to a statue or seek to merit heaven through conscientious morality, you are setting up something besides God as your ultimate hope, and it will enslave you. – T. Keller
Whatever controls us is our “lord”.
The person who seeks power is controlled by power. The person who seeks acceptance is controlled by the people he or she wants to please. We do not control ourselves. We are controlled by the lord of our life.
– Rebecca Pippert
Reflect on God’s Grace:
Reflect on God’s grace until you experience a deep humility and grateful, restful joy. Reflect on God’s grace until you experience calm thoughtfulness and strategic boldness. Reflect on God’s grace until you show warmth and affection. Reflect on God’s grace until He becomes your joy and delight.
There are two different kinds of repentance – the RELIGIOUS and the GOSPEL kind of repentance.
(an excerpt from T. Keller’s “The Gospel in Life”)
In religion, the purpose of repentance is basically to keep God happy so He will continue to bless us and answer our prayers. This kind of repentance is self-centered. We are mainly sorry for the consequences of sin. Our only hope is to live a life good enough to require God to bless us, so every instance of sin and repentance is therefore traumatic, unnatural, and threatening. Only under great duress do religious people admit they have sinned, because their only hope is their moral goodness.
In the Gospel, however, it tells us that as Christians sin can’t ultimately bring us into condemnation (Rom. 8:1). We are really sorry for the sin itself. Furthermore, we know that Jesus suffered for our sin. We do not have to make ourselves suffer to merit God’s forgiveness. We simply receive the forgiveness from Christ. The knowledge of our acceptance in Christ makes it easier to admit that we are flawed, because we won’t be cast off if we confess the true depths of our sinfulness. Our hope is in Christ’s righteousness, not our own, so it is not as traumatic to admit our weakness and lapses. The more we see our own flaws and sins, the more precious, electrifying, and amazing God’s grace appear s to us. The more aware we are of God’s grace and our acceptance in Christ, the more able we are to drop our denials and self-defenses and admit the true dimensions of our sin.
Behavioral compliance to rules without heart-change will be superficial and fleeting.
Everyone is fascinated with a quest.
The search for the end point.
The search for a reward.
The search for greatness.
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on that I may hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
The Christian life is a quest. It is a journey. Every Christian is on a journey in his faith towards a direction, a destination, at a phase and ways God has orchestrated.
Understand the journey we all have.
- Seek Christ above all
- We are a selfie generation.
- Narcistic, full of self-indulgence.
- Pamper yourself, reward yourself is the entice of the world.
- Chapter 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
- Paul’s life is not a matter of seeking his own comfort or advancement. It is all about seeking the advancement of Christ’s kingdom.
- Are our lives connected to God?
- Are our dreams connected to God?
- Are our activities connected to God?
And when we seek Christ above all, we will FIND life that is truly right with God. With everyday experience of God’s power.
- Seek Christ like humility
- Seek Christ’s appointed goal
- Seek all things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, virtuous, and praiseworthy
In order to embrace the “new”, accept that the “old” is no longer appropriate.