This book is a gem, 145 pages of pure love, trust, gratitude and faith in Jesus. I was struck by how much this book spoke into my life when I read it. It gives you a glimpse of Jesus’ heart and his pure, rentless love towards His people.
This book defines self-hatred as the reason that so many Christian struggle with the constant unrelenting love of Abba. By clearly understanding and grappling with the life and teachings of Jesus we can understand and grapple with the real and true saviour. And then be truly changed and transformed.
In the astonishing chapter entitled ‘Jesus: The Stranger to Self-Hatred’ we see Manning grapple with the experience of Peter (John 21:15-17, Matthew 16:13-20). He argues that the central question of the New Testament Gospel, especially John is ‘Who Do You Say I Am?’ Theologians, evangelists, biblical scholars, preachers and authors all have their own answers but he challenges us with the great truth that these are THEIR answers and we have to find our own answers. He speaks here of Jesus service of others and his love of all-inclusive love. I am struck down by how our understanding of the answer of the question call truly shape of lives and our grace must turn into love and service of others.
‘The unflinching, unwavering love and compassion of Jesus Christ, the stranger to self-hatred, is the ultimate source of our healing and wholeness’ (p.39). Here we see what the followers of Jesus lived in and experienced, Peter transformed the Roman world by preaching from his weakness the power of God.
Christ criterion by which Christ assess his friends and repudiators is still ‘Do you love me?’ (p.40) The story on page 41 o the mother is simply an extraordinary image/analogy of the Jesus that is a centre of the bible. He ends this chapter with an astonishing comment
‘This is a glimpse of Jesus whom I have met over the years of the terrain of my wounded self, the Christ of my interiority. There is a beauty and enchantment about the Nazarene that draws me irresistibly to follow him. He is the Pied Piper to my lonely heart.’
This sums up the heart of the reason for this very book and the whole in my life that I have been searching for, some days I stumble upon on it and other times I left searching for the sweet sound of his pipe.
Another chapter real jumped out at me, the chapter named ‘Healing through Meal-Sharing’ one of the most striking features of Jesus’ ministry [was] the meals he shared with ‘sinners’-that is, outcasts. Pharisees (and others) would not eat with someone who was impure and no decent person would share a meal with an outcast (p.54).
This book overall is a great read, should be read and reflected on by all Christians.
The dominant characteristic of an authentic spiritual life is the gratitude that flows from trust—not only for all the gifts that I receive from God, but gratitude for all the suffering. Because in that purifying experience, suffering has often been the shortest path to intimacy with God.
"The Church of Jesus Christ is home not only for the morally upright but for the moral failures and for those who are variety or reasons have not been able to honor denominational teaching. The Church is a healing community proclaiming the Father's indiscriminate love and unconditional grace, offering pardon, reconciliation and salvation to the down-trodden and leaving the judgement to God."
I was reading John Pipers book called future grace and I was struck by my attitude of fear in certain situations and I took these promises from his book and intend to reflect on these promises for certain situations. According to the film Facing The Giants the bible tells us to not fear 365 times, so that’s quite a lot. Maybe we should listen.
I was up praying on the Edge recently, it has such amazing views and is so high up. It looks down into the valley you can see for miles. I love going there to be with God, as I was driving up I was struck, when I saw by two people climbing, I have been climbing a few times and I was scared but can you imagine how amazing it was feel so free and secure to climb. So many people miss out on that amazing feeling because of their fears or anxiety. The extreme adrenalin junkies have to get over their fears but when they do they are so free to live, fly, jump, scale and move back the worlds limits. On Tuesdays I will reflect on a promise of God and how it can affect an area of our life and what the promise means, hence Troubles on Tuesdays.
Tuesday at college are silly they last for ages and go on forever. It is a day where you go from class/lecture to a meeting to another meeting to something else. It’s a crazy day!! I always struggle on Tuesday so reflecting on Tuesday is the perfect day for me. Maybe for you its another day or a different time in your life where you need the promises of God more than ever…so lets journey together and focus on God promises and the practical applications of this in our daily walk!
“Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines him to bestow benefits upon the undeserving. It is a self-existent principle inherent in the divine nature and appears to us as a self-caused propensity to pity the wretched, spare the guilty, welcome the outcast, and bring into favor those who were before under just disapprobation. Its use to us sinful men is to save us and make us sit together in heavenly places to demonstrate to the ages the exceeding riches of God's kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”
Sacrifices and offerings are no longer required. But what we can learn about the theology of worship in the Old Testament by what lies behind Israel’s worship. All the things covered today have hyponym’s of a much greater principle which is where I would like to end today. The conclusion in my study of informal worship is that the superordinate of worship is lifestyle. All we have discussed and talked about today rely on the very fact that worship in the Old Testament is about a lifestyle of response to what God has done for us. This is our act of worship.
There are many other examples of informal worship but all of them rely on the fact that worship is lifestyle. Worship’s primary goal is the creation of a community in reponse to Yahweh. Yahweh has created a people and there worship must live out what it means to be his people. This defines our theology of worship and defines the Old Testament understanding of worship. As I have said previously although sacrifices and offerings in the Old Testament are no longer required but what we can learn from the Old Testament is that behind the lives of the worship of the people of the Old Testament was a commitment to a worshipping lifestyle as a community and as individuals.
Pierce points to 3 important elements of worship, firstly the two Hebrew terms means bow down, paying and homage. And the other meaning to work or serve. These two words are used in juxtaposition to each other to demonstrate the bibles interplay between lifestyle and liturgy. The second point is that so many prose sections are embedded with Psalms (Exod 15, Jud 5 etc), is suggestive of a close link between God’s actions, our actions and our praise of him. Thirdly, the diversity and pervasiveness of worship, eother in pratice or expression, throughout the entirty of the OT corpus suggests that it cannot be limited to only one part of life.
All of these factors point to the very heart of worship in the Old Testament as displaying God as in high, exalted position and his people below him. All I have talked about in my posts are all centred on the very nature of worship being a lifestyle, whether in temple or at the altar, whether in sacrifice or surrender, whether by singing or praying. Worship is much greater concept of living our lives as community the way God called us to.