The belongers are new people
They shook hands with their old selves and said: “farewell, I’m with Him now”
This belonging—this new life—is wrapped in the finest paper, completely free
And what does it look like?
A sweet word: Reconciled
A spark, a light, a change for anyone to partake in
Trading our wickedness for His purity
A follow-my-lead experience
Warmly embraced by the One who calls us to share in this act of grace
For we are His mouth, shouting:
“Come back to Him Who Saves!”
“Come back to the blameless One who took your blame so you could live!”
To be made right with God through Christ
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 NLT
To start this review off, I would first like to say how much I appreciate Alan Hirsch and the work he’s done to encourage believers into a more authentic, Jesus-centered life. I have never read one of his books without wanting to pursue Jesus more and more. Hirsch’s books, such as The Forgotten Ways and ReJesus, have shaped my views on Christianity significantly and I am grateful for his work. Continue reading Book Review – 5Q: Reactivating the Original Intelligence and Capacity of the Body of Christ
“If the man does know he’s going to die and dies anyway, dies willingly, knowing he could stop it, then… I mean, isn’t that the type of man you want to keep alive?” ~ Kay Eiffel
In the past, I used to tell people being a Christian was more about a relationship with God than it had to do with religion. By religion, I meant following rules to strengthen oneself and become a “good” person. But inadvertently, my relationship with God was, well, about my relationship. It was self-focused and could exist outside of loving my neighbor. It was easy to make the two ends of the spectrum self-gratifying without knowing it, and, as a result, disregard religion as in-superior.
But thankfully, an early disciple of Jesus shed light to religion’s true definition:
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (James 1:27)
Christianity, then, is far more than just a relationship between me and the Father. It is a religion and relationship built on love for God and neighbor. In essence, it sums up the two greatest commandments (Mark 12:28-34).
And religion, then, is something far greater than self-gain or being good for the sake of being good. It encompasses a righteousness that takes care of those in distress. It entails justice and mercy that ultimately pleases the Father through Jesus.
I want to be more religious.
It’s been a while.
Tomorrow’s the 1st day of November, which is also the 1st day of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).
And guess what? I’m gonna do it. Even though I’m a full-time college student, part-time intern with a public policy organization, president of a school club, and senator for my school’s Student Government Association, I’m gonna do it.
By jolly, I’m going to write a novel in a month.
Follow along if you want to discover what it’s like to write “beyond the blog.”
“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:1
Never in human history have Christians consumed more sermons and books. Yet few are finding fulfillment in their walk with God. This is not from a lack of consumption but rather a lack of exercise.
It is through risky obedience that we experience the glory of God. When we stop living by faith, we will stop experiencing Him, and begin to doubt Him. Our hope is to stir you to action (Hebrews 10:24) so that you experience the “life that is truly life” (1 Tim 6:19).
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
– Francis Chan
Yup. Couldn’t have said it better myself.
It’s been a while.
While I’m still taking some time off from blogging, I wanted to take a moment and share a fantastic blog created by a great friend of mine. It’s called Against Doubt, and its purpose is to equip Christians to defend their faith against lofty arguments and everyday doubts we will face.
They just released part 2 of a series on the Resurrection of Jesus, and I highly recommend checking it out HERE.
Be sure to subscribe to them for more great articles, and in the near future I’ll update you all on what I plan to do with my blogging.
I love writing. While I took a short break this past week, I think I wrote more than I’ve ever written before.
Okay, not really. Maybe.
But I did learn a few new things, and I want to learn more. To translate, that basically means I’m still taking a break from writing on this blog. I will be back shortly, though. Until then, feel free to let me know if you have any world-changing blog ideas.
The other day I deleted my Instagram and Twitter accounts. It was very refreshing. I never used them and it was about time I got rid of them. Continue reading Bye Bye Social Media
My sister’s on a trip this week with her Student Government. Apparently there’s some National Student Government Conference Thing (NSGCT) out in Colorado and her group was invited. Coincidentally, there’s also a National Evil Organization Conference Thing (NEOCT) also in Colorado, so I have my suspicions as to what she’s really up to. Continue reading There was leftover coffee