As Crouch puts it: “All idols begin by offering great things for a very small price. All idols then fail, more and more consistently, to deliver on their original promises, while ratcheting up their demands. … In the end they fail completely, even as they make categorical demands. In the memorable phrase of the psychiatrist Jeffrey Satinover, idols ask for more and more, while giving less and less, until eventually they demand everything and give nothing.”
Source: When Politics Becomes Your Idol – The New York Times
HT: Dane Ortlund at Strawberry-Rhubarb Theology:
God hath ordered his elect, take the whole body and bulk of them, to fall into all sorts of sins, one or other of them; so as there is no sort, kind or degree of sin, no way of sinning, manner of sinning, or aggravation of sin, but in some or other it shall be pardoned, and he doth it to magnify his grace in Christ, in whom he gathers them. —The Works of Thomas Goodwin, 1:156, commenting on Ephesians 1:10
Paul Valentine, senior pastor at Providence Community Church, preached a very good sermon this morning on the sovereignty of God in salvation, which I commend to you. In his sermon Paul shared an outstanding quotation from the late Darrell Champlin, Paul’s professor of Missions at Northland International Univeristy, and missionary in the Belgian Congo and Suriname:
The eternal purpose of God is to call out from every kindred, tongue, people, and nation, a multitude redeemed by the blood of His Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world, over whom He will crown His Son, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, King of kings and Lord of lords forever.
This is the passion of the heart of God that cannot be quenched, the obsession of His mind that cannot be denied, the vision of His eye that cannot grow dim, and the destination to which He has committed His omnipotent, immutable, eternal being: a destination He will not abandon.
Ray Ortlund, Jr. on a lesson learned from his father:
He used to say, “Halfway Christianity is the most miserable existence of all. Halfhearted Christians know enough about their sin to feel guilty, but they haven’t gone far enough with the Savior to become happy. Wholehearted Christianity is happy, and there is no other happiness.”
How did my dad get there and influence me to go there? He really, really knew that God loved him and had completely forgiven all his sins at the cross of Jesus. He did not wring his hands, wondering what God thought of him. He believed the good news, his spirit soared and he could never do too much for Jesus.