Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘John Ortberg’

The Lord said that he had come ‘not to be served but to serve’. Many people think of this as a temporary interruption of Jesus’ normal experience, which would be to receive service. In fact, serving is God’s business. …

Hawthorne writes that [reading Philippians 2:6 as ‘although he was God’] is to miss the essential point … In other words:

Your attitude should be same as that of Christ Jesus, who – precisely because he was in very nature God – did not consider equality with God to be grounds for grasping, but poured himself out, taking the very nature of a servant.

Jesus did not take on the ‘outward form’ of a servant. Paul uses the same term to describe both Jesus’ servanthood and his Godhood … When Jesus came in the form of a servant, he was not disguising who God is. He was revealing who God is.

I remember hearing a Christian speaker say once that pride is forbidden to human beings, but is okay in God because, after all, he is God. This is wrong. God is the Infinite Servant. God is the most humble being in all the universe. Jesus did not come as a servant in spite of the fact that he is God; he came precisely because of the fact that he is God.

From ‘The Life You’ve Always Wanted’ by John Ortberg (p.115) – italics original, bold mine.

This passage is from his chapter on pride and humility in which he helpfully describes humility as ‘healthy self-forgetfulness’.

We will know that we have begun to make progress in humility when we find that we get so enabled by the Holy Spirit to live in the moment that we cease to be preoccupied with ourselves, one way or the other. … humility involves a Copernican revolution of the soul, the realisation that the universe does not revolve around us.

He points out that pride is a ‘persistent problem for people who strive for spiritual growth … When I try to do something good, I am intensely aware of it. And I tend to think of other people who aren’t putting forth the same effort…’

One of the hardest things in the world is to stop being the prodigal son without turning into the elder brother.

He goes on to describe how the practice of Servanthood, as demonstrated by Jesus, is the only way to find true humility.

Read Full Post »

How long, O LORD, will I call for help, And You will not hear? I cry out to You, “Violence!” Yet You do not save. (Hab 1.2)

Today’s passage is Habakkuk 2.1-4, but to make sense of it, it’s worth looking back at chapter 1.

In chapter 1 the prophet’s cry is one that we often hear today: how can you let this happen, God? We see destruction and violence and wickedness all around – where are you, Lord? The law is ignored and justice is perverted – how can you let this continue?

At the beginning of chapter 2 we have an answer, of a sort. What do you think of the Lord’s reply?

When I read these words I’m reminded that so often the Lord’s reply to me is the same: trust me. ‘Things are moving, I’m not delaying or lying to you… trust me.’ Verse 4 contains those famous words “the righteous (one) will live by his faith”, and what strikes me is how true this is. We do live by faith, and in faith, that the Lord is coming, that he will put things to right. Though the world is often dark and violent and God is invisible, often mysterious, and frequently elusive in his replies to important questions, we have to trust him… the alternative is to put our faith in empty, powerless idols (look ahead to Hab 2.18-20).  We don’t build statues today, but we’re good at putting our trust in money, or politics, a job, or even our family. But let’s make that choice to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith…” (Heb 12.2)

One of the books that’s been most helpful to me on the question of faith is Philip Yancey‘s ‘Reaching for the Invisible God‘ (you can read Chapter 3: Room for Doubt and Chapter 4: Faith Under Fire online for free), his personal and insightful exploration of the challenges of relating to – and trusting in – an invisible God. I also highly recommend John Ortberg’s ‘Faith and Doubt‘, which is one of the wisest books I’ve read on this – or any – topic.

If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. (Hab 2.3)

Read Full Post »

Philosopher Dallas Willard makes a provocative proposal: “Followers of Jesus are required to pursue truth wherever it leads them.” This is perhaps a strange way to say it, but even more than we need to be committed to Jesus, we need to be committed to truth. For it impossible to trust Jesus if way down deep inside, you don’t think he was right. Sometimes belivers are afraid that pursuing truth wherever it leads might make us uncomfortable. But as C.S. Lewis wrote, “Comfort is the one thing you cannot get by looking for it. If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: If you look for comfort, you will not get either comfort or truth – only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with, and in the end, despair.”

Jesus himself had quite a lot to say about truth. He said: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). “I am the way and the truth and the life” (14:6). “When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth” (16:13).

Another way of saying this is, if you have to choose between Jesus and the truth, choose truth. But according to Jesus, if you search for truth, you will find him. There is no other way to trust Jesus than to think and question and wrestle and struggle until you come to see that he really is true. One purpose of doubt is to motivate us to do that.

From John Ortberg’s excellent ‘Faith and Doubt‘ (my emphases).  Highly recommended.

Read Full Post »