Paul grounds our unity in the unity of the Trinity, not in our ability to get along. We get along because Father, Son, and Spirit have allowed us to do so. We can give grace because we have been given grace. Jesus humbled himself. The Father gently and patiently works out our salvation. The Holy Spirit forbears and abides with us even in the face of our sin, convicting and correcting us, but never condemning. Father, Son, and Spirit were torn apart so that we might be united with them and with each other.
[Relationships – a mess worth making, Lane & Tripp, 46]
For the next few days, How People Change, by Paul Tripp and Tim Lane is available free for Kindle. This is a great read on Biblical Counselling / Care and is well worth picking up for the expense of a few mouse clicks.
“If you would attain to what you are not yet, you must always be displeased by what you are. For where you are pleased with yourself there you have remained. Keep adding, keep walking, keep advancing.” – St. Augustine
(Quoted in Community: Taking Your Small Group Off Life Support, B. House)
To book what should be a great day of Bible teaching for young people, click here.
But, if rewards are clearly presented as a motivation in the Christian life, why don’t we hear more about rewards in our modern pulpits? I am sure there are many answers to that question, but let me suggest one: we have been convinced that our obedience doesn’t matter. While we are rightly told that only Christ’s obedience can secure our justification, and that he has kept the law perfectly for us, our own obedience receives far less attention in the pulpit. Justification is center stage, and sanctification is peripheral.
Michael Kruger writes more about the heavenly rewards that await the godly here.
Here’s a video from St.Mary’s Church Wootton, reflecting on The Course of Your Life, by Tony Payne.
After having run the course at our church last year, with plans well under way to run it again in a few months time, what I like about the video is how much it reflects our own assessment of how helpful the course is in challenging individuals about their faith and encouraging them towards servant-hearted, word based ministry to others.
Listening to God’s Word with an obedient heart will be the single most important thing we could do in 2013.
It’s also something many of us find hard to do on a regular basis, so thanks to Justin Taylor for this post detailing lots of ways to help get into the Bible in 2013.
And if you want Bible Study notes to help you along the way, The Good Book Company currently have 10% off all of their study notes.