Good Reads 12.15.16 (on: God’s silence, identity, Christmas, and more!)

Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!

On God and silence: The Wisdom in what God Doesn’t Say by Jon Bloom

So much more could be said about what God doesn’t say. But what’s important to remember is this: God is very wise and intentional in what he makes clear to us and does not make clear to us.

Jesus understands the cry of “why?” that pours out of a heart in pain. He too made this cry in the hour of his greatest agony: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). And there was no thunderous answer. So in dark silence he endured the cross in faith for our salvation and our example (Hebrews 12:2).

God wants us to live by faith, trusting his reliable promises more than our unreliable perceptions (2 Corinthians 5:7). But a thorough, careful reading of the Bible causes us to detect in God’s wise silence the dark matter of divine revelation: God’s trustworthy purposes in not telling us everything. (click here to read more)

On Jesus and your identity: The Identity Beneath Your Identities by Liz Wann

On the surface our identity is always changing, but we can find comfort in the fact that God rules and reigns over our shifting identities. And underneath the shifting sand of our identity he gives us the solid foundation of identity in Christ. It is ultimately our identity in Christ that grounds us. He will hold us fast. He doesn’t change. His identity doesn’t shift. He has no identity crisis. So, Christ is the perfect source for fixing our identity. (click here to read more)

On God’s commands and our exceptions: When God Goes Big and I Go Small by Tim Challies

What troubles me, though, and especially as I examine my own heart, is the speed with which I appeal to the exceptions. When I read Mark 11:25 (“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone…”) my first thought is not, “God forgive me for my lack of forgiveness!” or “Okay, so who do I need to forgive?” My first thought is “Yeah, but what about this situation or that situation?” When God goes big, my first tendency is to go small. When God speaks universally, my first thought is to look for exceptions, for the nuances that allow me to wiggle out from under his commands. (click here to read more)

On Christmas and sadness: It’s Okay to Feel Sorrow During Christmas by Matt Rogers

Without Jesus, our current reality would be a mere foreshadowing of the horror of our eternal reality. But, Christmas reminds us that we can have hope, even in the most dire circumstances.

God invaded our sin-drenched world because He knew we were broken. He lived and died because things weren’t the way they were supposed to be. And, because of Jesus’ work, we can have hope that there is a new world coming—one that will be different. One without pain, suffering, death, or sin. One that is the manifestation of the life we wish we had now.

For this reason, sorrow is actually a great gift this Christmas. It continually points our hearts to the tragedy of sin. It orients our affections away from fleeting hope in a temporary world. It reminds us of the futility of life in a fallen world. It points us to Jesus. (click here to read more)

 

 

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