Dear Timothy, set your eyes on faithfulness

The following is from The Gospel Coalition website:

Dear Timothy,

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The last time I wrote you, recall that I sought to stir up your mind by way of reminder, to use the words of our dear brother Peter, that you must find your contentment in Christ alone, else you will be habitually frustrated in your ministry. Remember, that was my first watchword for you in the ministry: contentment. Today, I write to you and commend to you a second, equally vital, watchword: faithfulness.

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Dear Timothy, find your contentment in Christ

The following is from The Gospel Coalition website:

Dear Timothy,

It is difficult to fathom that you have been serving as pastor in your congregation for nearly three years now. It seems like just yesterday you were in seminary, feasting voraciously on Greek, Hebrew, systematic theology, and works of the theological giants in church history. As you shepherd your flock, you are now learning how all that knowledge works itself out in real life, in the hardscrabble rubber-meets-the-road vicissitudes of local church ministry. By now, you know why I often used the analogy of a soldier to illustrate the role of the pastor: ministry means war. It will always be so; you will never cease to be a soldier, and you must regularly remind your congregation that they remain the church and war and, until our great Lord and Savior returns, will not be the church at rest.

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Beating the Truth to a pulp

So the thing about objective, plain, black-and-white truth is that truth is truth. It can’t be anything but the truth even if you disagree with everything that truth stands for and implies and results in.

Someone once said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” That’s a ridiculous thing for any human to say, unless they’re actually telling the truth.

And the thing about Jesus is that he proved he really was (and is) the way, the truth and the life. He proved it by being beaten to a pulp and suffocating to death and then coming back to life.

Jesus is the truth. And this has many, many implications and consequences.

God causes salvation

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. – 1 Peter 1:3

God causes us to be born again.

According to his great mercy, not our great decision.

It is his salvation, not ours. He saves. He chooses to save. He causes salvation.

We can’t just decide to walk, waltz or shuffle into God’s kingdom. God brings people in. He decides. He saves. He causes belief, he gives faith and he gives salvation. It’s a gift from him, not a human act of decision.

Where there is a decision, it is God who brings that person into such a position of belief and faith where that “decision” is really the only decision that is left to make – by that point thre is no other option that can be taken. God has drawn you to himself by his great mercy.

C.S. Lewis on his conversion: “I know very well when, but hardly how, the final step was taken. I was driven to Whipsnade one sunny morning. When we set out I did not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and when we reached the zoo I did.”

Thank you God for saving me.