Posts Tagged ‘Savior’

A Blessed Occasion

April 18, 2016

“Receive every inward and outward trouble, every disappointment, every darkness and desolation with both your hands, as a blessed occasion of dying to self, and entering into a fuller fellowship with your Savior. Look at no inward or outward trouble in any other way; reject every other thought about it; and then every kind of trial and distress will become the blessed day of your prosperity.”

– William Law (1686-1761)

Salvation

February 12, 2008

“Salvation involves the whole person, body and soul. Salvation also includes the restoration of wholesome community among Christians. Its effects spill over into the entire social order…

No amount of good deeds in noble social action can earn divine forgiveness. The only way to enter Jesus’ kingdom is by accepting it as a gift (Luke 12:32). But kingdom people embrace kingdom values. Sixteen times the New Testament calls Jesus Savior. Four hundred times it calls him Lord.

We will not receive Christ’s unmerited forgiveness if we persist in rejecting him as Lord of our whole lives. We must ‘work out’ our salvation through lifelong discipleship that pursues purity and justice (Phil. 2:12). The God who made us for community insists that a right relationship with God is inseparable from right relationships with our neighbors.”

– Ron Sider in Churches That Make A Difference: Reaching Your Community With Good News and Good Works

Anna the Prophet: An Advent Reflection

December 2, 2007

Anna’s wedding day must have been a joyous occasion, a most important day in the life of a young Jewish woman. And she almost certainly would have married as a young teenager, according to the custom of her day. It was the hope of every Jewish maiden to marry and bear children. But Anna had been chosen by God for a unique purpose. Luke tells us that she was a prophet, gifted with special wisdom and insight. Did her husband realize what a treasure God had given him?

After only seven years of marriage, Anna’s husband died. Her world was torn apart. She was only in her twenties and already a widow. Anna could have become bitter and angry at God for allowing this tragedy in her life, but instead she let her suffering draw her closer to God. Believing in God’s special purpose for her life, she devoted herself to serving him.

For many decades, Anna lived in the Temple, spending her days in fasting and prayer. She lived in a time of great political upheaval and religious corruption, yet she faithfully interceded for her people, trusting in God’s promise of a Messiah. Throughout the year, Jewish families came to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices and celebrate religious holidays. Year after year, they saw Anna serving in the Temple; she had been there as long as most people could remember and they admired her devotion.

By the time she reached eighty-four years old, Anna’s physical health had no doubt deteriorated, but her spiritual senses were keen and sharp. A lifetime of diligently seeking the Lord had made her uniquely sensitive to his leading. Anna was a woman devoted to prayer, not just talking to the Lord, but listening to his voice. Like Enoch and Elijah before her, Anna truly walked with God. That is why when a certain young couple came to the Temple to dedicate their infant son, she knew immediately that this was no ordinary child.

(more…)