Quick Takes – 12/6/2008

Jim Martin offers five suggestions for staying fully alive. “It is unnecessary to shut down prematurely. Yet, some of us will need to be very intentional about staying fully alive.”

Tim Keller explains the difference between legalistic and gospel repentance. “Legalistic remorse says, ‘I broke God’s rules,’ while real repentance says, ‘I broke God’s heart.’ Legalistic repentance takes sin to Mt. Sinai, gospel repentance to Mt. Calvary. Legalistic repentance is convicted by punishment, gospel repentance becomes convicted by mercy.”

Dan Phillips encourages you to move the “but.” “Until now, it has been: ‘God says to obey, but I have these excuses/challenges/difficulties.’ And so you don’t start. The issue is still whether to obey. This thinking ill-befits a slave, much less a son. From now on, it must be ‘I have these excuses/challenges/difficulties, but God says to obey.’ And then you start. Now, the issue is not whether, but how. This is thinking like a slave, and thinking like a son. Move that ‘but.’ Then move yours.”

Wayne Grudem comments on God’s instructions to husbands in 1 Peter 3:7. “So concerned is God that Christian husbands live in an understanding and loving way with their wives, that he ‘interrupts’ his relationship with them when they are not doing so. No Christian husband should presume to think that any spiritual good will be accomplished by his life without an effective ministry of prayer. And no husband may expect an effective prayer life unless he lives with his wife ‘in an understanding way, bestowing honour’ on her. To take the time to develop and maintain a good marriage is God’s will; it is serving God; it is a spiritual activity pleasing in his sight.”

Richard Clark reflects on how the iPhone has affected his life. “The iPhone has affected my downtime. It’s safe to say I can’t remember a time I was forced to simply sit and think. When I’m walking somewhere, waiting in line, or trapped in a room with no food (it could happen), I always have the ability to read the Bible, check my calendar or email, twitter, check facebook, or listen to some music. The benefit here is it enables me to more easily keep up with various tasks. I like to communicate with friends through email, facebook and twitter. I need to keep on top of my schedule with my calendar. If anything’s a necessity, isn’t scripture? And yet, another necessity is simply thinking about all of these things. In an iPhone culture, the single most frightening danger is that we will all be too busy reading, checking, tweeting, and updating that we forget to think about how and why we do those things at all.”

Ben Witherington shares his eulogy for his Dad who passed away last week. “Let’s clear up a few things from the outset. My father is not a lost loved one. If anyone is in Christ they are now and perpetually and vitally alive. Dad’s not lost, we know right where to find him—in the very presence of the Lord in heaven. Secondly, my father is not gone, in the sense of ceasing to exist. He has simply gone on, like a ship goes over the horizon to a far destination. The fact that I can’t see him anymore here on this earth, says something about my limitations, not about his at this juncture. Thirdly, Dad has not gone from a greater form of existence to a lesser, quite the reverse. He has left the realm of suffering sin and sorrow, disease decay and death, which is this world, and he has gone to a realm where every tear is wiped from every eye, and all is well. As the resurrection of Jesus shows, God’s yes to life is louder than and triumphs over death’s no.”

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