The Week In Words


Welcome to The Week In Words, where we share quotes from the last week’s reading. If something you read this past week  inspired you, caused you to laugh, cry, think, dream, or just resonated with you in some way, please share it with us, attributing it to its source, which can be a book, newspaper, blog, Facebook — anything that you read. More information is here.

Here are a few that spoke to me this week:

From Challies:

People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated. —D.A. Carson

Holiness is intentional; any time we’re drifting spiritually, it’s not usually in the right direction.

And speaking of being intentional, in Warren Wiersbe’s With the Word, commenting on David’s sin with Bathsheba and Uriah in II Samuel 11, he advises:

Before you yield to temptation…look back and recall God’s goodness to you; look ahead and remember “the wages of sin”: look around and think of all the people who may be affected by what you do; look up and ask God for strength to say no (I Cor. 10:13) (p. 187).

Our tendency is to push ahead and to try not to listen to conscience or the Holy Spirit. I think if we all did this, we’d reduce our giving in to temptation significantly.

The following two quotes come from Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus: Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas. I don’t usually like to post long quotes on TWIW, but I can’t see a way to shorten these and still convey the impact. Since they are so long and speak for themselves, I won’t lengthen the post with my own commentary.

The first is from “The Gifts of Christmas” by Tim Keller from his sermon “Mary” from December 23, 2001:

When September 11th happened and New Yorkers started to suffer, you heard two voices. You heard the conventional moralistic voices saying, “When I see you suffer, it tells me about a judging God. You must not be living right, and so God is judging you.” When they see suffering, they see a judgmental God.

The secular voice says, “When I see people suffering, I see God is missing.” When they see suffering, they see an absent, indifferent God.

But when we see Jesus Christ dying on the cross through an act of violence and injustice, what kind of God do we see then? A condemning God? No, we see a God of love paying for sin. Do we see a missing God? Absolutely not! We see a God who is not remote but involved.

We sometimes wonder why God doesn’t just end suffering. But we know that whatever the reason, it isn’t one of indifference or remoteness. God so hates suffering and evil that he was willing to come into it and become enmeshed in it (pp 38-39).

The second is from “For Your Sakes He Become Poor” by J. I. Packer commenting on II Corinthians 8:9: “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich,” excerpted from his book Knowing God:

For the Son of God to empty himself and become poor meant a laying aside of glory; a voluntary restraint of power; an acceptance of hardship, isolation, ill-treatment, malice, and misunderstanding; finally, a death that involved such agony — spiritual, even more than physical — that his mind nearly broke under the prospect of it. It meant love to the uttermost for unlovely men, who “through his poverty, might become rich.” This Christian message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity — hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory — because at the Father’s will Jesus Christ became poor and was born in a stable so that thirty years later he might hang on a cross…

We talk glibly of the “Christmas spirit,” rarely meaning more than a sentimental jollity on a family basis. But what we have said makes it clear that the phrase should in fact carry a tremendous weight of meaning. It ought to mean the reproducing in human lives the temper of him who for our sakes became poor at the first Christmas. And the Christmas spirit itself ought to be the mark of every Christian all the year round.

…The Christmas spirit does not shine out in the Christian snob. For the Christmas spirit is the spirit of those who, like their Master, live their whole lives on the principle of making themselves poor — spending and being spent — to enrich their fellow men, giving time, trouble, care, and concern, to do good to others — and not just their own friends — in whatever way there seems need (pp. 70-72).

If you’ve read anything that particularly spoke to you that you’d like to share, please either list it in the comments below or write a post on your blog and then put the link to that post (not your general blog link) in Mr. Linky below. I do ask that only family-friendly quotes be included. I hope you’ll visit some of the other participants as well and glean some great thoughts to ponder.

And please — feel free to comment even if you don’t have quotes to share!

8 thoughts on “The Week In Words

  1. Whoa, I feel like I should print out that one about temptation and keep it handy as a reminder. Thanks for the LONG ones too…I liked the first one especially. Smiles to you and a slightly early HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to you both tomorrow!!

  2. Great quotes again, Barbara, as usual. I remembered reading “People do not drift toward holiness” on Challies, too, and really having to pause afterwards. Very true and profound and something to think about, which goes so well with your Wiersbe’s quote.

    “We sometimes wonder why God doesn’t just end suffering. But we know that whatever the reason, it isn’t one of indifference or remoteness.”
    Whatever the reason: we don’t have to understand it. We just have to trust that he does.

    “The Christmas spirit does not shine out in the Christian snob.” I’ll have to remember that one the rest of this week. I said too often over the weekend that I’ll just be glad when Christmas is over. Not exactly a good spirit to be spreading. 😦

  3. All so thought-provoking. The one by D.A. Carson is something I’ve never thought of before. Somewhere there is a valid spiritual “rest.” But it includes intentionality — “a long obedience in the same direction.” (Lewis, I think, is the source of that phrase…?) Good words.

  4. You’ve got so much to comment on this week that I would have to write an entire post to share all of my thoughts. Since I am much too tired and short of time, I am just going to say, “Thank you.”

  5. I have been delighting in meditating on the Incarnation this season–in the mystery of God taking on flesh, becoming man. That last quote by Packer fits in perfectly. Thanks for sharing.

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