10 Attitudes and Outcomes that are Like Oil and Water

Oil & Water

 

You’ll never find these 10 attitudes attain these outcomes.

  1. Arrogance and Caring
  2. Self-Indulgence and Healing
  3. Navel-gazing and Progress
  4. Nit-picking and Unity
  5. Stubbornness and Growth
  6. Selfishness and Love
  7. Wallowing in self-pity and Joy
  8. Harshness and Peacemaking
  9. Grudges and Grace
  10. Isolation and Friendship
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Grace in the Old Testament?

Grace. To a lot of people, this was a new concept introduced by Jesus. It wasn’t. As he said in John 5:19, his own acts of grace and mercy were rooted in what he’d watched the Father do from the beginning. This is actually one reason so many of the Jewish believers who followed Jesus knew he was from God. God was a source of grace, and Jesus was a source of grace, so Jesus’ claims to be from God rang true to them. (<–Hey…there might be a parenthetical message in there)

For an example of how Israel saw the grace of YHWH in the OT, just check out this excerpt from Nehemiah:

“You are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them. Even when they had made for themselves a golden calf and said, ‘This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt,’ and had committed great blasphemies, you in your great mercies did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of cloud to lead them in the way did not depart from them by day, nor the pillar of fire by night to light for them the way by which they should go. You gave your good Spirit to instruct them and did not withhold your manna from their mouth and gave them water for their thirst. Forty years you sustained them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing. Their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell.” – Nehemiah 9:17-21, ESV

Grace.

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Quote: “When we cannot laugh at ourselves…”

“When we cannot laugh at ourselves, we are taking ourselves too seriously. We must be able to admit our misdirections and inconsistencies before we will accept any proper change. Where teaching and logic fails, sometimes a good laugh at ourselves can prevail.”
~Cecil Hooks

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Love works through the petty differences…

Just as no husband would be considered “loving” who deserted his family every time he and his wife disagreed over petty decisions, no Christian can be considered loving who abandons their church family over every little disputable matter. Love walks together, grows together, learns together, stays together.

1st Corinthians 13 was written about weddings and etsy crafts, it was about the body of Christ becoming an outpost of love, unity, and reconciliation in world of division and wedges.

#unitymatters

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Christianity is a team sport.

But if it’s true that we don’t live as Christians all by ourselves in the sense that we are promised the Holy Spirit within us, it’s also true that we don’t do it all by ourselves in the sense that there is no such thing as a solitary Christian. Christianity is a team sport. The ancient pagan virtues were designed to produce great individuals, hero-figures who would lead nations in politics and war. The Christian virtues, supremely faith, hope and love, the great signs of resurrection that well up within us, are designed to produce communities in which each individual has their own unique part to play but within a much larger whole. And the point of it all is not to draw attention to ourselves, but rather to put ourselves out for everyone else, to spot what needs doing in God’s world and to get on and do it, without making a song and dance about it. Thank God that so many Christians in our society are doing just that – so many, in fact, that if they all suddenly stopped doing it our whole country would feel the draft. But you, newly baptised and confirmed Christians today, you need to pray for God’s wisdom and direction to see where you belong in this work. You are part of the family and you will have your tasks to perform, the things God wants to do in this community which we’ve been needing you to do, to make your unique contribution.

~from the sermon “Living in God’s Future – Now!” by the Bishop of Durham, Dr. N. T. Wright

 

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Why did Jesus speak in parables?

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Detroit, America, and Echoes of the Prophets

Photo by Angela Anderson-Cobb via Flickr

Photo by Angela Anderson-Cobb via Flickr

This story reads almost like a few of the prophets, with one notable exception: Most of the prophets’ oracles offered a glimpse of hope if they’d repent of their corruption, oppression of the poor, and violence. That hope is there, of course, even if the op-ed writer doesn’t see it.

At a time when Judah and Jerusalem were as corrupt and unjust as Detroit, this is what the Lord said to and through the prophet Isaiah:

“Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”
~ Isaiah 1:16-17 (NIV)

There will be no real and lasting solutions to Detroit or America’s problems without repentance. If you really want to start a grass-roots movement that makes real change, if you really want to bring people together and see transformation happen, if you really want unity across party lines, then this is how you do it. You abandon the twin idols of Money & Politics, and turn to the only God who can really help. His way forward is love, mercy, justice and humility, not PACs and under the table Union deals. That’s how we got here. His way forward has turned history upside down before, and can do it again. In Detroit, in America, in the church, in the world.

Are you in?

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