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He Longs to Come Close

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Jesus longs for you to come close to him. And he has been moving throughout all eternity, battling, suffering, dying, and triumphing to win your heart for himself. He wants to capture your heart as a response to his overwhelming love for you. 

Mary Magdalene knew this. Jesus wants us to know it too.

Living in Narrative

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Life is not a list of propositions, it is a series of dramatic scenes. As Eugene Peterson said, “We live in narrative, we live in story. Existence has a story shape to it. We have a beginning and an end, we have a plot, we have characters.” Story is the language of the heart. Our souls speak not in the naked facts of mathematics or the abstract propositions of systematic theology; they speak the images and emotions of story. Contrast your enthusiasm for studying a textbook with the offer to go to a movie, read a novel, or listen to the stories of someone else’s life.

Take Some Time, Peter

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After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” “Yes, he does,” he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own sons or from others?” “From others,” Peter answered. “Then the sons are exempt,” Jesus said to him.

Core vs. Corps

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Lately, the surge is toward “justice Christianity”—intervening to prevent human trafficking or slavery, caring for indigenous cultures or for the planet itself. And it is right and it is wrong. My goodness, yes, of course God cares about justice. But to be frank, it is actually not the central theme of the Bible. Christianity isn’t simply a religious version of the Peace Corps.


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It seems that much of what Christians believe they are called to these days is a cluster of activities that include regular church attendance, Bible study, prayer, giving, concern for justice, and attending the annual men or women’s retreat. Now—what is all that activity for? What are those things supposed to do to us, or in us? If it’s not restoring the whole man, it may not be in line with what God is doing. Because that’s clearly what he’s up to. Back to Jesus’ argument with the Pharisees. He says,

Something Up His Sleeve

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Rescuing the human heart is the hardest mission in the world.

The dilemma of the Story is this: we don't know if we want to be rescued. We are so enamored with our small stories and our false gods, we are so bound up in our addictions and our self-centeredness and take-it-for-granted unbelief that we don't even know how to cry out for help. And the Evil One has no intention of letting his captives walk away scot-free. He seduces us, deceives us, assaults us—whatever it takes to keep us in darkness.

Holy Grace

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Now, I know my fellow evangelicals will rush to protest that it is the cross of Jesus Christ alone that opens the way to heaven for any person. No amount of personal righteousness could ever suffice. I believe this. It is grace alone—the unmerited and undeserved forgiveness of God—that opens the way for any of us to know God, let alone come into his kingdom. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8–9) Thank God for that.

What Is Seen Is Temporary, but What Is Unseen Is Eternal

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Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Cor. 4:16-18)

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