In our worldly perceptions of Jesus, we tend to embrace the kindness of his love ('be encouraged') but not the discipline of his love ('and sin no more'). But with the whole scope of his love, or maturity in Christ, we begin relying on him for guidance where we would prefer him to walk beside us rather than behind us.
Greatness comes from the inside and once you believe you have it, it's yours to share with the world.
The character of Jesus is the character of God. God would never do something Jesus would find morally reprehensible, so if you can’t find it in Jesus, then you really ought to think twice before you claim you’ve found it in God.
As followers of Christ, we are to be careful not to remain victims of the many cultural presuppositions of who he is, and what he teaches, insofar as taking for granted our own caricatures of him. Let it boil in both mind and heart the question, 'If Jesus were to appear today, how many of us would actually recognize him and his teachings (or would it simply be a recount of his first visit)?
I'll look to the cross As my failure is lost In the light of Your glorious grace
Let the ruins come to life In the beauty of Your name Rising up from the ashes God forever You reign
Jesus is God's way of refusing to give up his dream for the world.
If Christ is God, He cannot sin, and if suffering was a sin in and by itself, He could not have suffered and died for us. However, since He took the most horrific death to redeem us, He showed us in fact that suffering and pain have great power.
When you suffer, you are being conformed to the image of Jesus. When you pray, you are being made holy in the image of Jesus. When you quietly serve a person in need, you are being shaped into the image of Jesus. When you generously give, your heart is being remade into the image of Jesus, our Lord and Savior.
I have to ask myself how I can possibly expect to know Jesus as he would want to be known if my life remains unscathed by trouble and grief. How can I hope to grasp anything of God's heart for this broken planet if I never weep because its brokenness touches me and breaks my heart? How can I reflect his image if I never share in his sufferings? And how will any of us ever learn to treasure his hesed and grace if we never experience phases where these blessings seem absent?
The only way Jesus can be our King is if we allow Him to be our Servant
Fear cannot stay in the same house as Jesus Christ.
Lift up your heads, ye people, lift up your faces, too, open your mouths to sing His praise, and the rain will fall on you.
We are not to be occupied with our feelings or symptoms, or our faith or lack of faith, but only with what God has said
I take leave to contradict those who say that salvation is an evolution! All that ever can be evolved out of the sinful heart of man is sin-and nothing else! Salvation is the free gift of God, by Jesus Christ, and the work of it is supernatural. It is done by the Lord Himself, and He has power to do it, however weak, no, however dead in sin, the sinner may be!
Here is the paradox of the thing we call freedom: the farther we wander from God and the more we try to break free from him, the more enchained we become. Every step we take away from Him leads us farther from the freedom of Jesus and closer to the cruelty of Cain.
God is always working in every detail of our lives to help us turn our heart toward him. The life we've always wanted is found in Jesus.
Her (Mary's) Son first had to be the Child of the Father in order then to become man and be capable of taking up on his shoulders the burden of a guilty world.
Mary thus learns that the Most High has ever borne a Son in his bosom, and that this Son has now chosen her bosom as dwelling-place.
Who but the sports-mad [Norman] Mailer would liken the battle between God and the Devil to a game of American football? The contest, for sure, has with [sic] own laws (so that after God and the Devil 'tackle a guy, they don't kick him in the head'), but each side is not above cheating—with God breaking the rules occasionally by throwing in 'a miracle'. Strangely, Mailer doesn’t mention Jesus in this agonising analogy, but then the notion of the 'super-sub' may be an image too far even for him.