Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Quote of the Week

"The temptation we humans face, which Jesus faced in the wilderness, is to snatch at the world to use it for our own pleasure or glory. But when we bring a symbol of the created world before the creator God in gratitude and offering, we are symbolically saying that he is the creator, and that we have no rights over creation independently of him."

N.T. Wright, Following Jesus: Biblical Reflections on Discipleship, p. 9

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Are You Living in Abundance or Scarcity?

It's a question of perspective - how do you view the world around you? Do you see a world limited by scarce resources or overflowing with abundance? This is a matter of huge importance for most of us. Living under the rule of scarcity can lead us to a hording, selfish mentality If we believe that success, wealth, ideas and valued resources are limited, we can be tempted to think "me first" and be less inclined to share.

But the Bible paints a picture of God as loving and generous to His creation.

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights

Psalm 36:7-9

This is fundamentally important to us - if we believe that God created this world to be overflowing and abundant, our approach to life changes dramatically. We can rest knowing that God has provided this world with more than we need. Seeing God as gloriously generous and ultimately creative, shifts our perspective from hording to sharing. We can imitate our Creator by being generous with our time, our money or our success. Imagine the kind of life we would live as a result of believing in a loving and generous God who has created a world of abundance -

We would share accolades with others.
We would give generously to those who lack.
We would volunteer our time to worthy causes.
We would rather serve than be served.
We would value community more than privacy.
We would rather give than receive.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Quote of the Week

"Mercy is a command of God, yet it cannot simply be a response to a demand. It must arise out of hearts made generous and gracious by an understanding and experience of God’s mercy. It is the hearts of the congregation that must be melted until they ask, 'Where is my neighbor?' "

Timothy Keller
, Ministries of Mercy, p.135