Faith - Section 1


  1. Faith - Faith is not believing what you know ain't so.  Faith is not a blind jump into the dark.  In biblical vocabulary, to believe, is a strong word.  Faith is being persuaded or convinced that something is true and trusting it with your life. This faith is in Jesus Christ.  Faith is only the beginning.  Faith in Jesus Christ should produce inclusive love for others in the faith.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - Colossians 1.
  2. Beware of people who say we need more than simple faith in Christ to be saved.  From the Holman New Testament Commentary - Galations 1 - pg. 10.
  3. Simplify your Faith - You have only one Master, the Christ. - Matthew 23:10.  While we are all encouraged to be a part of God’s family, hence Church, we don’t always have to wait until Wednesday or Sunday to gain access to God.  While is is good to still join in learning through teachers, elders or counselors, we can still grow in faith where we are.  Jesus’ message for complicated religion is to remove these middlemen.  “You have only one Master, the Christ.” He is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Don’t believe anyone who says that the only way to get God is through them.  We are all brothers and sisters and have equal access to the Father.  Simplify your faith by seeking God for yourself.  You have a Bible?  You can study.  You have a heart?  You can pray.  You have a mind?  You can think.  - from page 495 of Grace for the Moment by Max Lucado.
  4. Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.
  5. If you want hope for life now and for life eternal, then accept Christ's salvation, serving in love. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - Ephesians 2:22 - pg. 117.
  6. God wants us to need Him. He made us to need help, not to try to do everything on our own. When times get tough, God wants us to open our hearts to Him, that He might be made real to us. Call upon God from your brokenness, and He will be faithful to answer.
    Prayer:  When all else fails, I turn to You, Lord . I should not wait until situations get bad, but I do. Be with me to help me in the hardest of times, and stay with me in all times, that I might know You better. Amen.  - From the April 29, 2016 Wisdom from the Psalms by Dan Dick.
  7. Left to ourselves, we’re stubborn, prideful, sinful, and utterly hopeless. I’ve often said that I wouldn’t trust the best 15 minutes I’ve ever lived to get me into heaven. But praise God that Jesus Christ has done the work I couldn’t, taken away my sins, and given me eternal life when I certainly didn’t deserve it!
    Any 
    chance you had of getting to heaven on your own was destroyed by sin. But Christ destroyed the power of sin on the cross to give you eternal life if you’ll only trust in Him. Put your faith in Christ, not yourself, for eternal life. It’s His work alone that can save you!
    DON’T TRUST IN YOUR OWN WORKS TO GET YOU TO HEAVEN. TRUST IN CHRIST’S WORK ALONE FOR ETERNAL LIFE! - From the October 26, 2016 PowerPoint devotional by Dr. Jack Graham.
  8. Believing that Jesus Christ is just a good man, or merely a great teacher, is admiring the loaf without feeding upon it.  True faith turns away from any thought of providing its own food.  It turns to the cross of Jesus Christ where it accepts God’s verdict that the death of His Son eternally satisfies every claim that divine justice could ever have against the trusting sinner.  The Lord Jesus is God’s Bread for a lost world.  - from page 130 of the book Illustrating Great Themes of Scripture by Donald Grey Barnhouse.
  9. The truth is — you are as close to God as you choose to be. Intimate friendship with God is a choice, not an accident. You must intentionally seek it. Do you really want it — more than anything? What is it worth to you? Is it worth giving up other things? Is it worth the effort of developing the habits and skills required? - From the Day 12 reading from “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren.
  10. Galatians 3:24- 25:  So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.
  11. He invites us to join him in his unblinking realism about all false hopes (2:22). He is saying to us, “Relocate your happiness in the future, in a world that doesn’t exist yet except in the promise of God. If you do that, you won’t be devastated when the idols of human pride are trashed, as they will be. In God you can possess both the present and the future.” Here are the terms: “Aim at heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in; aim at earth and you will get neither.” - From location 750 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr.
  12. Faith is not blind trust, as we have seen from our study of knowledge. But it is not only knowledge either. Rather, it is a personal commitment based upon that knowledge but going beyond it in the sense that, having come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as God, the one who follows him is thereafter willing to follow him in areas about which he has quite limited knowledge or in which he has doubts. Faith like this involves action. So we often say that in the biblical sense faith is believing God as he is revealed in Jesus Christ and then acting upon it. - From commentary on John 17:6-8 from the Boice Expository Commentary Series (27 Volumes) by James Montgomery Boice
  13. Nature cannot imagine any birth except what is within its own sphere. Only those who take part in this spiritual birth understand what it means. To others it remains a riddle. Nature cannot aspire to this new birth. It is not a superficial change but a new life and being. A moral man, in his changes and reformations of himself, remains the same man. The natural man turns from one thing to another but remains the same person. But the Christian, by virtue of this new birth, can say, "I am not the same man I was. I am a son of the King of kings." "To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God" (John 1:12). - From commentary on 1 Peter 1:3-4 from Crossway Classic Commentary -1 & 2 Peter by Robert Leighton & Griffin Thomas.
  14. Real faith gladly strains after God. And that is the faith that welcomes the impact of grace. - From location 1135 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr.
  15. Matthew 16:25-26 For whosoever would save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?
  16. Too  often we take our faith seriously in the wrong ways. When we present only the somber, quiet side of faith, without expressing the joy, the result is not always so attractive. Christians have gained the reputation of not being too much fun, and nothing should be further from the truth. Being a Christian is the most joy-filled and lively experience we can have. Others need to see that. Live the happiness, laughter, and singing of being a Christian, so the whole world might know. 
    Prayer:  Never let me forget the intense joy that accompanies being a Christian. Turn my tears to laughter, my sorrow to dancing, and let me spread my delight to everyone. Amen.
     - From the October 21, 2015 Wisdom from the Psalms by Dan Dick.
  17. Hope always looks forward, beyond now, to a future.  Hope rests in God's promised eternity.  And in this assured future makes faith, work, suffering, and love possible.  Hope looks to something that is sure, but just not here yet.  It is coming.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - I Thessalonians 1:3 pg 8. 
  18. Receiving God’s free gift takes more than knowledge. (The devil knows about Jesus and trembles.) It takes more than agreeing that the knowledge is accurate. (The devil agrees that Jesus is Lord.) True saving faith entails not only knowledge and agreement, but trust. By way of illustration, when you are sick you can know a particular medicine can cure you. You can even agree that it’s cured thousands of others. But until you trust it enough to take it, it cannot cure you. In like manner, you can know about Jesus Christ, and you can agree that he has saved others, but until you personally place your trust in him, you will not be saved. The requirements for eternal life are not based on what you can do but on what Jesus Christ has done. He stands ready to exchange his perfection for your imperfection. - From Resurrection: The Capstone in the Arch of Christianity by Hank Hannegraft.
  19. The Christian's future is certain, and it includes life with Christ and rescue from God's coming judgement. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - I Thessalonians 1 pg. 12. 
  20. 2 Cor. 12:9 - [The Lord] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Your future is not bigger than God, nor are your limitations larger than His grace. Your faith in Him means your future is with Him.  Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to God’s love and the future to God’s providence. - St. Augustine. - From page 381 of Turning Points With God by David Jeremiah.
  21. Faithfulness to God is rewarded by greater effectiveness and influence. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - I Thessalonians 1 pg. 12. 
  22. [There are] seven gifts God gives you when you commit your life to Christ: a new relationship, a new citizenship, a new family, a new purpose, a new power, a new destiny, and a new journey. - From the section on “God” on page 150 of "Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  23. God’s five purposes for your life:
    1. “Love God with all your heart”: You were planned for God’s pleasure, so your purpose is to love God through worship.
    2. “Love your neighbor as yourself”: You were shaped for serving, so your purpose is to show love for others through ministry.
    3. “Go and make disciples”: You were made for a mission, so your purpose is to share God’s message through evangelism.
    4. “baptize them into...”: You were formed for God’s family, so your purpose is to identify with his church through fellowship.
    5. “teach them to do all things...”: You were created to become like Christ, so your purpose is to grow to maturity through discipleship.
    - From the Day 39: Balancing Your Life reading from The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.
  24. We are never alone.  God works tirelessly on our behalf, giving us power and strength to do what he calls us to do.  He is faithful when we trust him for salvation, for strength, for godliness...the list goes on and on.  And as part of a church, we are surrounded by people who demonstrate obedience and friendship with God-people who can help us along the way, and others whom we can help as well.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - I Thessalonians 1 pg. 15. 
  25. The Biblical view of things is resurrection—not a future that is just a consolation for the life we never had but a restoration of the life you always wanted. This means that every horrible thing that ever happened will not only be undone and repaired but will in some way make the eventual glory and joy even greater.  Read more at location 712   in the Kindle Book  The Reason for God:  Belief in an Age of Skepticism  by Timothy Keller
  26. Faith is not all struggle. It is also release and hope and new beginnings. God’s deepest intention toward us is comfort. How could it be otherwise? If the focus of Christianity were our sins, our future would shut down. But in fact Christianity is all about the saving grace of God. He overrules our stupidity with his own absolute pardon through the finished work of Christ on the cross. Do we sin? Yes. Do we suffer for it? Yes. Is that where God leaves us? No. When his discipline has done its good work, God comes back to us with overflowing comfort. See in God not a frown but a smile, not distance but nearness. Even when we don’t act like the people of God, he still identifies with us: “. . . my people . . . your God.” - From the reading from Isaiah 40:1,2 from Preaching the Word Commentary Series (40 Vols.) by R. Kent Hughes et al. 
  27. But in Matthew 19:28 Jesus spoke of his return to earth as the palingenesis. “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things (Greek palingenesis), the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne.” This was a radically new concept. Jesus insisted that his return will be with such power that the very material world and universe will be purged of all decay and brokenness. All will be healed and all might-have-beens will be. -  Read more at location 721 in the Kindle Book  The Reason for God:  Belief in an Age of Skepticism  by Timothy Keller
  28. We should not be surprised by difficulties.  Faith, honestly pursued, will make us stronger in times of hardship. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 1 pg. 95. 
  29. What God wants most in all the world is to be believed. He wants to be trusted.” Do you believe him? Do you trust him? Do you live as though you really trust this God who sent Jesus Christ to be your Savior? Do you trust the Savior himself? You do not trust him if you complain about circumstances. You do not trust him if you always worry about the future. You do not trust him if you are fretting over small disappointments every day. On the contrary, you trust him and thus glorify the Lord when you say, “I am his, and I will go his way. I am glad to let him have his way with me whatever the circumstances, whatever the sorrow.” - From commentary on John 17:9-10 from the Boice Expository Commentary Series (27 Volumes) by James Montgomery Boice
  30. We as believers must learn to deal with a brutal reality: the righteous often suffer and the wicked often prosper. Many stumble and turn away from following the Lord because of this perceived injustice. However, Scripture gives us valuable advice on how to deal with the matter:
    (1) Remember and trust that God always allows and does what is right. He is never unjust, and He never makes a mistake.

    (2) Remember that God accomplishes His great purpose in the believer’s life through suffering, and that death is the friend—not the enemy—of the Christian. The Lord is always working out all things for the good of His Son and the genuine believer (Ro. 8:28).
    (3) Remember that what happens here on earth is not the final outcome. The ultimate reward for the righteous and the ultimate condemnation of the wicked come after death, not before.
    (4) Remember the counsel of Psalm 37:
         ➢ Do not fret because of evil men.
         ➢ Do not be envious of those who do wrong.
         ➢ Trust in the Lord and do good.
         ➢ Delight yourself in the Lord.
         ➢ Commit your way to the Lord.
         ➢ Wait on the Lord.
         ➢ Do not take justice into your own hands.
         ➢ Live in the knowledge that you will one day receive an eternal inheritance and that the wicked will be repaid for      their evil deeds.
    - From the reading about Ecclesiastes 7:18 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  31. 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 is unseen. (2 Cor. 4:17-18a).   - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2:14 Pg 112.
  32. The consequence of knowing our future should bring endurance, faith determination, and confidence for today.   - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2:15 Pg 112.
  33. We should never allow new idea or theological interpretations disrupt or shake our trust in God's revealed Word.  Handed down through the centuries, his Word is protected by his Spirit and preserved by traditional orthodoxy.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2  pg. 114. 
  34. Knowing that deception remains a lethal tool of Satan, we should pursue intimacy with God and holiness in or lives.  We should not succumb to laziness or apathy regarding sin, prayer, self discipline, and love.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2  pg. 114-115. 
  35. Those who trust God as truth agree with the first beginning which established God as sovereign through creative authority.  They also submit to the truth of the second beginning which established God as Sovereign through redemptive authority.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2 Pg 116.
  36. Life is often bewildering to us, but it isn’t bewildering to God. There are depths to God’s wisdom we can’t access. If our lives are not exactly the way we would like them to be, we can be sure they are precisely the way God wants them to be. He knows what he’s doing. So we don’t live by explanations; we live by promises. We don’t figure God out by our brains; we submit to him by faith. - From the reading from Isaiah 40:27-41 from Preaching the Word Commentary Series (40 Vols.) by R. Kent Hughes et al., Crossway Publishers
  37. In light of death’s unpredictability, the most important thing we can do in this life is to prepare for that inevitable day. But, sadly, most people—even some who profess to be believers and servants of God—go about their daily activities without the assurance of going to heaven when they die. Even when the Holy Spirit convicts some that they have not been born again, their pride or unwillingness to turn from their sin keeps them from genuinely repenting and receiving Christ as Savior.
    Death is coming for each of us…perhaps not for decades, but maybe today. We would be wise to face each day with the realization that it may be our last. We cannot control the day of our death, but we can control where we will go when we do die. For this reason, we must not be reckless and gamble on eternity. We must not allow our foolish pride to condemn us to eternal separation from God and the torments of hell.
    “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mt. 16:26). - From the reading about Ecclesiastes 8:8 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  38. Most people think of sin primarily as “breaking divine rules,” but Kierkegaard knows that the very first of the Ten Commandments is to “have no other gods before me.” So, according to the Bible, the primary way to define sin is not just the doing of bad things, but the making of good things into ultimate things. It is seeking to establish a sense of self by making something else more central to your significance, purpose, and happiness than your relationship to God.  - Found at Location 2496in the Kindle Book  The Reason for God:  Belief in an Age of Skepticism  by Timothy Keller 
  39. Only if your identity is built on God and his love, says Kierkegaard, can you have a self that can venture anything, face anything. - Found at Location 2537in the Kindle Book  The Reason for God:  Belief in an Age of Skepticism  by Timothy Keller 
  40. An identity not based on God also leads inevitably to deep forms of addiction. When we turn good things into ultimate things, we are, as it were, spiritually addicted. If we take our meaning in life from our family, our work, as cause, or some achievement other than God, they enslave us. We have to have them. St. Augustine said that “our loves are not rightly ordered.” He famously said to God, “Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee!” If we try to find our ultimate rest in anything else, our hearts become dislocated, “out of joint.” - Found at Location 2541in the Kindle Book  The Reason for God:  Belief in an Age of Skepticism  by Timothy Keller 
  41. You need to understand that Hell or Heaven will be, in one sense, the eternal extension of the deepest, truest you that you become in this life. So here is the most important question of your existence: What are you becoming? Whatever you are becoming reveals where you are going. If you are savoring by faith a salvation and fullness from God, you are already on your way to what Isaiah calls Zion in chapter 35. But if you choose not to live by faith in this world, Isaiah 34 is showing you your future.
    What if God does leave you to yourself? What if God doesn’t intervene to save you from yourself and Isaiah 34 writes your final chapter? What if that itching envy in your heart, that bitterness eating away inside you, that anger raging inside you, your ungrateful self for whom nothing is ever good enough, the you lurking in the fantasy twilight of lust, the you buried alive in the coffin of greed, the you that’s too sophisticated for childlike delight in God — what if God does not save you? The you that you are becoming now is what you will be forever. Unless God saves you, you will eventually find that you cannot stop anymore.
    And the grumbling and blaming and all the rest will take over and churn on forever like a machine, and you won’t be able to stop and rest. That hell is when you become the photographic negative of what you were meant to be when God made you. God says, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11).
    And God can save you. He wants you to be a part of the Isaiah 35 scenario. If you will turn to him, he will make the difference, all by himself. Salvation is God liberating the soul from the habits of self-focus. Salvation is God clearing away this tangled undergrowth of self-absorption forever. Salvation is God replacing all this dark complication with something new and simple and beautiful, flooding the human soul with a sense of his glory. That is how we obtain gladness and joy. That is how sorrow and sighing flee away. So, let God save you. Your heavenly joy will begin even now (1 Peter 1:8, 9). - From the readings located in the section “Two Final Outcomes in Isaiah 34-35 in Preaching the Word Commentary Series (40 Vols.) by R. Kent Hughs et al., Crossway Publisher.
  42. The good things that enslave us are good things that deserve to be loved. But when our heart loves become inordinate, then we fall into patterns of life that are not unlike substance addiction. As in all addiction, we are in denial about the degree to which we are controlled by our god-substitutes. And inordinate love creates inordinate, uncontrollable anguish if anything goes wrong with the object of our greatest hopes. - Found at Location 2545in the Kindle Book  The Reason for God:  Belief in an Age of Skepticism  by Timothy Keller 
  43. A life not centered on God leads to emptiness. Building our lives on something besides God not only hurts us if we don’t get the desires of our hearts, but also if we do. Few of us get all of our wildest dreams fulfilled in life, and therefore it is easy to live in the illusion that if you were as successful, wealthy, popular, or beautiful as you wished, you’d finally be happy and at peace. That just isn’t so.  - Found at Location 2560in the Kindle Book  The Reason for God:  Belief in an Age of Skepticism  by Timothy Keller 
  44. In C.S. Lewis's essay "Is Christianity Hard or Easy" he depicts human striving:  "Christ says " Give me ALL.  I don't want just this much of your time and this much of your money and this much of your work-so that your natural self can have the rest.  I want you.  Not your things.  I have not come to torture your natural self...I will give you a new self instead.  Hand over the whole natural self - ALL the desires, not just the ones you think wicked but the ones you think innocent - the whole outfit.  I will give you a new self instead." - Found at Location 4940 in the Kindle Book  The Reason for God:  Belief in an Age of Skepticism  by Timothy Keller 
  45. Sin is not simply doing bad things, it is putting good things in the place of God.  So the only solution is not simply to change our behavior, but to reorient and center the entire heart and life on God.   - Found at Location 4940 in the Kindle Book  The Reason for God:  Belief in an Age of Skepticism  by Timothy Keller 
  46. The almost impossibly hard thing is to hand over your whole self to Christ.  But it is far easier than what we are all trying to do instead.  For what we are trying to do is remain what we call "ourselves" - our personal happiness centered on money or pleasure or ambition - and hoping, despite this, to behave honestly and chastely and humbly.  And that is exactly what Christ warned us not to do.  If I am a grass field - all the cutting will keep the grass less but won't produce wheat.  If I want wheat...I must be plowed up and re-sown.  Remember this - If you don't live for Jesus you will live for something else.  If you live for career and you don't do well it may punish you all your life, and you will feel like a failure.  If you live for your children and they don't turn out all right you could be absolutely in torment because you fell worthless as a person.  If Jesus is your center and Lord and you fail him, he will forgive you.   - Found at Location 4940 in the Kindle Book  The Reason for God:  Belief in an Age of Skepticism  by Timothy Keller
  47. Whatever you base your life on - you have to live up to that.  Jesus is the one Lord you can live for who died for you - who breathed his last breath for you.  Does that sound oppressive?  - Found at Location 4940in the Kindle Book  The Reason for God:  Belief in an Age of Skepticism  by Timothy Keller  
  48. As Augustine said, if there is a God who created you, then the deepest chambers of your soul simply cannot be filled up by anything less. That is how great the human soul is. If Jesus is the Creator-Lord, then by definition nothing could satisfy you like he can, even if you are successful. Even the most successful careers and families cannot give the significance, security, and affirmation that the author of glory and love can. - Found at Location 4940 in the Kindle Book  The Reason for God:  Belief in an Age of Skepticism  by Timothy Keller 
  49. Everybody has to live for something. Whatever that something is becomes “Lord of your life,” whether you think of it that way or not. Jesus is the only Lord who, if you receive him, will fulfill you completely, and, if you fail him, will forgive you eternally.  - Found at Location 4940 in the Kindle Book  The Reason for God:  Belief in an Age of Skepticism  by Timothy Keller 
  50. We need to embrace it rather than push it away. We can discover in our crises today what it means to be saved by grace from God. Others in the past have trusted him, and he more than kept his word. Now it’s our turn. But we don’t have forever to make up our minds. Let’s rethink everything from this prophetic viewpoint: God saves sinners. It’s the most underrated truth in all the world.   - From location 326 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  51. So, what is your conscience telling you? If you will trust God enough to admit it and open up to his grace, he will start healing your broken heart more than you can imagine.  - From location 466 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  52. The Bible says, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (James 4:8).  - From location 471 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  53. The simple clarity here implies one thing: All that keeps us from renewal with God is our own stubbornness.   - From location 589 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  54. He isn’t demanding that we be perfect. All he wants is that we be open and responsive. Is that asking too much?   - From location 591 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  55. Paul wrote, “I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8). What golden idols do we cherish as essential to our happiness? What must we throw away, to possess the one treasure we really cannot live without —Christ, who will not make us weird but beautiful, like himself?  - From location 860 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  56. The gospel promises that his glory will remake the whole world. Stop valuing the idols you not only might lose but inevitably must lose. Learn to enjoy God. The triumph of his glory is enough to make your complete happiness forever invincible. - From location 870 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  57. But pride is what made an angel into the devil (1 Timothy 3:6). It is “the complete anti-God state of mind.” - From location 964 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  58. Why then does Paul urge us not to receive the grace of God in vain? Because God’s grace not only accepts us, it also transforms us. But if all we want out of God is acceptance without transformation, we are receiving his grace in vain and our Christianity is worthless. - From location 1070 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  59. Real faith gladly strains after God. And that is the faith that welcomes the impact of grace.  - From location 1140 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  60. “It’s not a question of God ‘sending’ us to Hell. In each of us there is something growing up which will of itself be Hell unless it is nipped in the bud. The matter is serious: let us put ourselves in His hands at once — this very day, this very hour.”5- From location 1750 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr.. On the other hand, God’s anger purifies all who love him. His fatherly discipline enriches us in everything we long for in our own deepest intentions. This remedial anger does not afflict us as we deserve, but only as we need (Hebrews 12:5-13).   
  61. There’s a lot to God. Following him can be daunting, because the Lamb is also the Lion (Revelation 5:5, 6). But we become courageous enough to follow when our hearts are alive to the mighty grace of “the Lord GOD of hosts.”  - From location 1915 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  62. This is the question Isaiah wants each of us to think through: Where do I get my security, coping skills, confidence for the future? Many salvations are vying for our allegiance. And every false support we lean on turns around and bites us. We do lean on forces that strike us, abuse us, sneer at us. But Jesus never betrays our trust. Isaiah is helping us understand the difference that grace makes. We learn to examine ourselves: “When I am stricken with disillusionment, emptiness, self-hatred, when these emotional undercurrents are dragging me down, what false savior am I leaning on?” - From location 1933 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  63. What God cares about is that we have reality in our hearts, not that we’re Presbyterian or Baptist or whatever in our lineage. - From location 1952 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  64. But if we bow to the rule of Jesus Christ, he will lead us into everything safe and pleasant, with no dark side, no forced laughter, no guilty conscience, no unhealed wounds.  - From location 2028 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  65. But we have a reason to believe this audacious gospel. We saw the future glory in the resurrected Jesus on that Easter Sunday long ago. That is a knowable event in our past. And his immortal newness on that day was the future in advance, on public display.  - From location 2035 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  66. Never fear trusting an unknown future to an all knowing God. - Unknown
  67. Christians who are strong in the faith grow as they accept whatever God allows to enter their lives. - From the section on “Faith” on page 132 of "Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  68. Josua 24:15 - But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. The call goes out, “Choose this day the one you will serve for the rest of your life. There is the promise of the assurance of salvation that can be ours if we have met the conditions, admitting that we are sinners, expressing genuine sorrow for our sins, and placing our trust in Jesus Christ as the One who has promised us His forgiveness. Is there any other religion in the world that so clearly specifies the mighty acts of God? This is why the Apostles’ Creed is so central to our faith. Ours is a God of action who has taken initiative on our behalf. This is the God who made heaven and earth; who loved us so much that He became a man in the person of Jesus Christ; who lived among us, teaching us how to live by setting a good example. But this is the God who knew that we cannot earn our salvation by good works. So He went to the very cross bearing our sins in His body, was buried in a borrowed tomb, and rose victorious from the grave. This is the God who, having promised His Holy Spirit, ascended into heaven and now has come into our lives in all the fullness of His spiritual power. This is the God who has built His church and is coming back in the form of His Son Jesus Christ to bring all human history to a point of final cataclysmic culmination in which the power of Satan will be destroyed, and Jesus Christ will reign for eternity. - From commentary about the Facts from “The Preachers Commentary Series” by Stuart Briscoe
  69. The salvation you prefer now, whether earthly or heavenly, is shaping who you are and which direction you will go forever.
    You need to understand that Hell or Heaven will be, in one sense, the eternal extension of the deepest, truest you that you become in this life. So here is the most important question of your existence: What are you becoming? Whatever you are becoming reveals where you are going. If you are savoring by faith a salvation and fullness from God, you are already on your way to what Isaiah calls Zion in chapter 35. But if you choose not to live by faith in this world, Isaiah 34 is showing you your future. - From the readings located in the section “Two Final Outcomes in Isaiah 34-35 in Preaching the Word Commentary Series (40 Vols.) by R. Kent Hughs et al., Crossway Publisher.
  70. Remember that “where God guides, He Provides.  Where He leads, He supplies all needs.” - From page 148 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney