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For What They’re Worth September 18, 2006

Posted by Joe in Links, Random Musings.

Lar (and Re),

Here are a few things. First, thanks Lar for pointing us to that book review by Tim Challies. The Lord has blessed him (and us!) with solid discernment. I am thankful. Incidentally, for those interested, he has started a website entitled Discerning Reader. Essentially, the site is full of book reviews. I probably wouldn’t agree with every detail on there, but then againn, I don’t have all the answers? Most of them are pretty solid for sure.

Anyhow, I found his review of Yancey’s book to be more than fair. I read quite a bit of Yancey when I first became a believer (Jeff, that was your fault right?) and honestly have gleaned some good things from him. But there are concerns, some bigger than others. In my opinion, this should by no means be surprising. Yancey himself is not given to theological precision. He is all about the experience of things. That is all well and good, but he needs to realize (as we all do) that his weaknesses need to be worked on, that he needs to learn more from those who don’t share his same strength. Head and heart Lar. Maybe he needed to listen to your sermon last night. Who knows, maybe he’ll come across it on the Internet in the next few days and come out with a new book describing his conversion! Highly unlikely yes, but our God is big–and He does know every detail of the future.

Also, I picked up on that notion of micromanaging the universe. You remember where Yancey said that he didn’t believe God did that? My first thought was simply, “Doesn’t the Bible seem to point to micromanaging?” It seems to me that a general reading of Scripture would give you the impression that God is passionate about being in sovereign control over all things, so that He might accomplish His will and good pleasure. God doesn’t micromanage just for the sake of it. He micromanages in order to accomplish His grand and glorious purposes. Anyhow…

This isn’t what I was going to write about. I wanted to thank Re for giving us a few comments (which I love to get!). For some reason, I haven’t received them on my email (as I usually do), so my apologies for not picking up on the last few. Anyhow, here are a few thoughts.

Lar, you ended by quoting Matthew 10:37, which says, “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” That is tough stuff, but I want to point out a simple truth that I find to be one of the foundational convictions that inundates my every thought and entire existence. Jesus was giving a call to His followers to follow after Him with reckless abandon. He was exaggerating in order to make His point. He was calling them to wholehearted devotion.

However, I believe the truth behind this verse goes behind that. For we know that Jesus loves us and only gives us commands that are good for us. Therefore, isn’t it true that this verse points to the reality that we do what’s best for those we love when we ‘hate’ them?

I mean, think about it: my children are loved most when they are in third place (behind the Lord and Erin). They are only safe there. To move up the list in actually deadly for their souls. So with my beautiful wife and everyone else in the universe. I love them most when I love Jesus so much that my love for them looks like hate.

This might sound radical to some, but I believe that it is very simple truth. And I love it! The reason why is because it enables us as human beings to focus on one thing–God!–without losing sight of everything else. Re, I think your comment is wholly and entirely valid and legitimate. However, it is my opinion that I can never become too enraptured with God and heaven. In fact, I would go so far to say that the greatest way to point my children to heaven is to love God so much that I I, in a sense, want to die!

Those words, “in a sense” are important there. Don’t worry, I won’t be jumping out in front of moving vehicles anytime soon (and maybe you weren’t worried). I don’t want to die in some weird, dark, losing my mind sense. It is simply that God and heaven are that attractive. And what I find glorious is that I do what is best for both myself and everyone else in the very same act. God is glorified, I am full of joy and everyone around me is pointed to Jesus when I am consumed with love for Him.

There is more, but behind all of this is the great reality that we do what is best for everyone when we do what is best for ourselves. When we seek sweet satisfaction in the Lord our God with reckless abandon, we not only bring glory to God and satisfy our own souls, but we also begin to naturally point others to that same satisfaction. So the greatest thing I can do to point my children to heaven is to love Jesus so much that I can’t wait to go see Him.

Of course, again, not in some weird sense, but in a humble, broken, “I love Jesus more than life” sort of way. I really can’t wait. And even if I die, my family will be fine. The Lord is good to those who wait for Him. When we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all these things are given to us as well. He has nothing but good for His children, nothing but good all the time–even in the face of death.

Alright, that is enough for now. Those thoughts are kind of scattered, but hey, this is a blog. No crazy proofreading here!

Seeking to love Jesus so much that it looks like I ‘hate’ (remember, in a sense) everything and everyone else,




1. Re - September 18, 2006


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