When I pray for another person, I am praying for God to open my eyes so that I can see that person as God does, and then enter into the stream of love that God already directs toward that person.— Philip Yancey
The most staggering Philip Yancey quotes that will inspire your inner self
When the world asks if there is any hope, we can say absolutely! No one is exempt from tragedy or disappointment- God himself was not exempt. Jesus offered no immunity, no way out of the unfairness, but rather a way through it to the other side.
C. S. Lewis observed that almost all crimes of Christian history have come about when religion is confused with politics. Politics, which always runs by the rules of ungrace, allures us to trade away grace for power, a temptation the church has often been unable to resist.
The people of God are not merely to mark time, waiting for God to step in and set right all that is wrong. Rather, they are to model the new heaven and new earth, and by so doing awaken longings for what God will someday bring to pass.
Yet as I read the birth stories about Jesus I cannot help but conclude that though the world may be tilted toward the rich and powerful, God is tilted toward the underdog.
I have come to know a God who has a soft spot for rebels, who recruits people like the adulterer David, the whiner Jeremiah, the traitor Peter, and the human-rights abuser Saul of Tarsus. I have come to know a God whose Son made prodigals the heroes of his stories and the trophies of his ministry.
Grace, like water, flows to the lowest part.
In a nutshell, the Bible from Genesis 3 to Revelation 22 tells the story of a God reckless with desire to get his family back.
God's visit to earth took place in an animal shelter with no attendants present and nowhere to lay the newborn king but a feed trough. ... For just an instant the sky grew luminous with angels, yet who saw the spectacle? Illiterate hirelings who watched the flocks of others, "nobodies" who failed to leave their names.
Jesus tended to honor the losers of this world, not the winners.
Our modern culture extravagantly rewards beauty, athletic skill, wealth, and artistic achievement, qualities which seemed to impress Jesus not at all.
No one ever converted to Christianity because they lost the argument.
Any discussion of how pain and suffering fit into God's scheme ultimately leads back to the cross.
The proof of spiritual maturity is not how pure you are but awareness of your impurity. That very awareness opens the door to grace.
One who has been touched by grace will no longer look on those who stray as "those evil people" or "those poor people who need our help." Nor must we search for signs of "loveworthiness." Grace teaches us that God loves because of who God is, not because of who we are.
We often surround ourselves with the people we most want to live with, thus forming a club or clique, not a community. Anyone can form a club; it takes grace, shared vision, and hard work to form a community.
As the books of Job, Jeremiah, and Habakkuk clearly show, God has a high threshold of tolerance for what appropriate to say in a prayer. God can "handle" my unsuppressed rage. I may well find that my vindictive feelings need God's correction - but only by taking those feelings to God will I have the opportunity for correction and healing.
Christians get very angry toward other Christians who sin differently than they do.
Politics draws lines between people; in contrast, Jesus' love cuts across those lines and dispenses grace. That does not mean, of course, that Christians should not involve themselves in politics. It simply means that as we do so we must not let the rules of power displace the command to love.
Jesus reserved his hardest words for the hidden sins of hypocrisy, pride, greed and legalism.
Jesus gave us a model for the work of the church at the Last Supper.
While his disciples kept proposing more organization - Hey, let's elect officers, establish hierarchy, set standards of professionalism - Jesus quietly picked up a towel and basin of water and began to wash their feet.
Doubt always coexists with faith, for in the presence of certainty who would need faith at all?
Prayer is not a means of removing the unknown and predictable elements in life, but rather a way of including the unknown and unpredictable in the outworking of the grace of God in our lives.
Our confused society badly needs a community of contrast, a counterculture of ordinary pilgrims who insist living a different way. Unlike popular culture, we will lavish attention on the least "deserving" in direct opposition to our celebrity culture's emphasis on success, wealth, and beauty.
Grace comes free of charge to people who do not deserve it and I am one of those people... Now I am trying in my own small way to pipe the tune of grace. I do so because I know, more surely than I know anything, that any pang of healing or forgiveness or goodness I have ever felt comes solely from the grace of God.
The bible never belittles disappointment, but it does add one key word: temporary - What we feel now, we will not always feel. Our disappointment is itself a sign, and aching, a hunger for something better. And faith is, in the end, a kind of homesickness - for a home we have never visited but have never once stopped longing for.
The Bible never belittles human disappointment ... but it does add one key word: temporary.
Whenever faith seems an entitlement, or a measuring rod, we cast our lots with the Pharisees and grace softly slips away.
One of the things I found is that the things we want to say for well-intentioned motives often cause more harm than good. People don't need our words. They mainly need our presence, they need our love. And if you come in too quickly with explanations, you may do more harm than good.
Prayer is to the skeptic a delusion, a waste of time.
To the believer it represents perhaps the most important use of time.
Whatever makes us feel superior to other people, whatever tempts us to convey a sense of superiority, that is the gravity of our sinful nature, not grace.
The promise of pleasures so alluring that we may devote our lives to their pursuit, and then the haunting realization that these pleasures ultimately do not satisfy.
The surgery of life hurts. It helps me, though, to know that the surgeon himself, the Wounded Surgeon, has felt every stab of pain and every sorrow.
... the issue is not whether I agree with someone but rather how I treat someone with whom I profoundly disagree. We Christians are called to use the "weapons of grace," which means treating even our opponents with love and respect.
If prayer stands as the place where God and human beings meet, then I must learn about prayer. Most of my struggles in the Christian life circle around the same two themes: why God doesn't act the way we want God to, and why I don't act the way God wants me to. Prayer is the precise point where those themes converge.
We in the church have humility and contrition to offer the world, not a formula for success. Almost alone in our success-oriented society, we admit that we have failed, are failing, and always will fail.
Be still. In that focus, all else comes into focus. In that rift in my routine, the universe falls into alignment.
Christian faith is... basically about love and being loved and reconciliation. These things are so important, they're foundational and they can transform individuals, families.
Prayer may seem at first like disengagement, a reflective time to consider God's point of view. But that vantage presses us back to accomplish God's will, the work of the kingdom. We are God's fellow workers, and as such we turn to prayer to equip us for the partnership.
Imperfection is the prerequisite for grace. Light only gets in through the cracks.
We grow up hungry for love, and in ways so deep as to remain unexpressed we long for our Maker to love us.
If we comprehend what Christ has done for us, then surely out of gratitude we will strive to live 'worthy' of such great love. We will strive for holiness not to make God love us but because He already does.
Someone asked the Swiss physician & author Paul Tournier how he helped his patients get rid of their fears. He replied, 'I don't. Everything that's worthwhile in life is scary. Choosing a school, choosing a career, getting married, having kids--all those things are scary. If it is not fearful, it is not worthwhile.'
Rather, God has commissioned us as agents of intervention in the midst of a hostile and broken world.
The deadening part of Bible study is when you think you've already got it all figured out.
Faith in God offers no insurance against tragedy.
God loves people because of who God is, not because of who we are.
What would a church look like that created space for quietness, that bucked the celebrity trend and unplugged from noisy media, that actively resisted our consumer culture? What would worship look like if we directed it more toward God than toward our own amusement?
Sociologists have a theory of the looking-glass self: You become what the most important person in your life (wife, father, boss, etc.) thinks you are. How would my life change if I truly believed the Bible's astounding words about God's love for me, if I looked in the mirror and saw what God sees?
Power, no matter how well-intentioned, tends to cause suffering.
Love, being vulnerable, absorbs it. In a point of convergence on a hill called Calvary, God renounced the one for the sake of the other.
Jesus did not give the parables to teach us how to live.
He gave them, I believe, to correct our notions about who God is and who God loves.