God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in Him.
it is 3:10am.
today was a good day.
i finished (most of) my work.
i ate dinner with sharon at a new place (yay)
i am about to read my bible
i got my first free cup of philz ever.
one of my favorite feelings is leaving philz right before closing and as i walk out the door, i stop, take a deep breath, and look at the street lights and the sky. it is especially nice when there is a nice warm wind around. i have to stop b/c ever since law school began i always feel like i’m on the move and that i have to go somewhere (even though i don’t know where i’m going exactly). stopping, and reflecting (that’s the crucial part), grounds me and reminds me that going with the flow can suck the life out of me and being contrarian is kind of badass. so much of life, and especially christian life, is swimming against the current. if i sit still, even though i think i’m not moving, i’m flowing downstream, in the wrong direction.@2 weeks ago with 9 notes
"the world has enough things to give you hope for a lifetime. but these things all have one promise: they promise to betray you. when you are 88 and on your deathbed, you will become bitter because the empire you built will no longer matter to you. why? because its influence has its limits. when you have cancer, all your achievements will mock you because they cannot save you. but our hope is this: we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, Christ in us, because that hope does not put us to shame."@2 weeks ago with 4 notes
“And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him … worship me, it will all be yours’” (4:5-7). It would all be his eventually, but to have it now would be to have it without suffering and death. How often do we worship whatever promises to give us what we want now, without inconvenience or discomfort? But Jesus worships God alone, not because it is easier, but because it is truer and far better.
“And [the devil] took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you’” (4:9-10). Had Jesus done this, he could have ended all this temptation and trial. How often do we call upon God for miraculous solutions to our suffering, not because we trust him in our circumstance but because we want out of it? But Jesus would not put God to the test.@2 weeks ago with 1 note
“James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, ‘Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you’” (Mark 10:35).
“Before I say what I want, I want you to say you’ll do it.” We are good at telling God what we want, but we are not very good at learning what God wants. That kind of learning takes patience, reflection, study, obedience, and all kinds of things that require deep humility. It’s much easier just to go with what we think is best.
Jesus entertains the request: “What do you want me to do for you? And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory” (10:36-37).
It was an absurd request, but not to them of course. They had it in their heads that Jesus would deliver them from their oppressors and establish an earthly reign. Further, they saw themselves as high-ranking officials in the new regime.
Their perception of reality and their notion of what was good and right prevented them from understanding what Jesus had just told them: “The Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him” (10:33-34).
If you come to God on your terms, expecting him to fit into your worldview and align with the way you think things ought to be, you are starting off on the wrong foot, and that will lead you down the wrong path. You’ll end up saying things that are absurd.
Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” (10:38). In other words: “My glory is not what you think it is. And the path of glory is certainly not what you think it is.” Like we often do, these brothers had mistaken importance for significance. Importance speaks to the value we derive from things like position, status, and the esteem of others. It is about building our brand: dropping names, getting close to popular people, flaunting knowledge, looking busy, defining spiritual maturity by activity and achievement, exalting public gifts above the others. Significance speaks to the value we add to people and culture. It’s about building others up: remembering their name, drawing near to the fringe, teaching others, being accessible, defining spiritual maturity by love for others, exalting Jesus as the head of the body, and appreciating the contribution of each member.
“The cup” refers to the suffering that Jesus was about to endure. Before he could be exalted to his throne, he had to be hung on a tree. The disciples could not die the mediator’s death, but they would drink from the cup of his suffering. Greatness in the kingdom always involves a cross.
It was a teaching moment for the disciples, and for us: “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (10:45)
Humility is not the absence of position and power. It is the use of such things for the good of others. If we can get our minds and affections around the true greatness of Jesus and his cross – and what that means for us – then we can be great in the kingdom of God.@3 weeks ago with 4 notes
Our consumerism is rooted in a lack of faith. We are worried about what others think because we are not convinced that God delights in us (Psalm 149:4). We are anxious because we do not believe God will meet our needs (Matthew 6:32). We vie for attention because we do not think God rewards what is done in secret (Matthew 6:6). We compare ourselves to others because we forget that Jesus is our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30). A consumer is self-seeking because he is preoccupied with building his own kingdom in order to meet his own needs. During Lent, Jesus especially calls us to re-right our lives, to “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
The simple practice of self-denial in Lent teaches us that those who trust God to meet their needs are free to consider the needs of others. They discover this gospel paradox: As long as I’m looking to get my needs met, I will never get my needs met. But when I begin to meet the needs of others – when I begin to live for them instead of for myself – I find that God graciously takes care of my needs in the process. The grace of God turns us into servants. Instead of demanding that we be served, we joyfully lay down our rights and seek to serve God and others.
God’s grace toward us in Christ needs to get down deep into our hearts in order to change us. We need to acknowledge our resistance to grace, which manifests itself in our desire to establish our righteousness and meet our needs apart from God. Jesus came to serve—to heal, to feed, to make more wine, to wash feet, and to die. When we humbly receive the fullness and sufficiency of his love, then we will find ourselves increasingly joyful and selfless as we delight in serving others.@3 weeks ago with 2 notes