(A friend of mine named Aaron Gray originally posted this quote and it came up with Connie in a recent conversation. It’s one of my favorite illustrations of why Christianity is not a religion. In fact, one of the charges brought against Christians, by the Romans, was atheism! Anywho, I thought this was far too awesome of a quote not to share here also. Hope you enjoy!)
“In a sermon Dick Lucas once preached, he recounted an imaginary conversation between an early Christian and her neighbor in Rome.
“Ah,” the neighbor says. “I hear you are religious! Great! Religion is a good thing. Where is your temple or holy place?”
“We don’t have a temple,” replies the Christian. “Jesus is our temple.”
“No temple? But where do your priests work and do their ritual?”
“We don’t have priests to mediate the presence of God,” replies the Christian. “Jesus is our priest.”
“No priests? But where do you offer your sacrifices to acquire the favor of your God?”
“We don’t need a sacrifice,” replies the Christian. “Jesus is our sacrifice.”
“What kind of religion is this?” sputters the pagan neighbor.
And the answer is, it’s no kind of religion at all.”
—Tim Keller, King’s Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus, p. 48.
Churchgoers all across the nation say the Holy Spirit has entered them. They claim that God has given them a supernatural ability to follow Christ, put their sin to death, and serve the church. Christians talk about being born again say that they they were dead but now have come to life. We have become hardened to those words, but they are powerful words that have significant meaning. Yet when those outside the church see no difference in our lives, they begin to question our integrity, out sanity, or even worse, our God. And can you blame them (Pgs 32-33)?
For all its caterpillar life, it crawls around a small patch of dirt and up and down a few plants. Then one day it takes a nap. A long nap. And then, what in the world must go through its head when it wakes up to discover it can fly? What happened to its dirty, plump little worm body? What does it think when it sees its tiny new body and gorgeous wings?As believers, we ought to experience this same kind of astonishment when the Holy Spirit enters our bodies. We should be stunned in disbelief over becoming “new creations” with the Spirit living in us. As the caterpillar finds its new ability to fly, we should be thrilled over our Spirit-empowered ability to live differently and faithfully.I want to live so that I am truly submitted to the Spirit’s leading on a daily basis. Christ said it is better for us that the Spirit came, and I want to live like I know that is true. I don’t want to keep crawling when I have the ability to fly (Pg 37).
Recently, I found out that Francis Chan is working on a book about hell called Erasing Hell: What God said about eternity, and the things we’ve made up. Suffice it to say, I was very excited to hear him weigh in on this issue that has, very sadly, become very controversial lately. After watching his video, I am very excited to hear his thoughts and humbled by his call in the video for us to remember that God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).
In an earlier post I talked about the importance of studying and understanding theology. Joshua Harris, author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl, is releasing a book called Dug Down Deep that I’m looking forward to picking up. For his book he had a short film made that does a great job of explaining why we need to study theology:
“…under a sky full of stars with hearts that want more”
How profound…isn’t there both a sense of wonder and a longing for home as you gaze at a sky full of stars? Psalm 19:1-4 tells us that the stars declare the glory of God in all languages at all places at all times. One need only look up to see God’s glory. It makes me feel small to look at the stars and at the same time makes me homesick. It amazes me that, despite the fact that I’m just a tiny speck in the universe, God loves me.
This quote makes me think that nothing in the universe can fill the void that God can. Only a relationship with our Creator can fulfill us. As Augustine puts it, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee, O Lord.” 1 John 2:17 reminds us that this world is temporary; God is eternal. Looking at the stars reminds me that my home is found not in this life, but in the life to come.