Last week I wasn’t feeling well and stayed home and did quite a bit of reading. I read parts of a wide range of books and a couple of magazines that came in the mail. When I read my own books and magazines I underline things that grab my attention. Here are some of the things I underlined.
Commenting on Jesus’ promise in Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you,” author John Pavlovitz describes himself “as asker with more questions, a seeker still looking, a knocker approaching new doors” (The Christian Century, 1/12/22, p. 39).
(I can identify with Pavlovitz.)
“There are five key metaphors for the Holy Spirit used in Scripture: the wind or breath of God, the oil of anointing, the flame of God, living or flowing water, and the dove or the hovering bird” (Welcome, Holy Spirit by Gordon T. Smith, pp. 7 and 8).
“The Spirit who came upon Jesus in the form of a dove at his baptism was present at his conception, and superintended the events around Jesus’ birth” (Welcome, Holy Spirit by Gordon T. Smith, p. 30).
“The work of creation was and continues to be the work of all three members of the Trinity” ” (Welcome, Holy Spirit by Gordon T. Smith, p. 64).
“There is a broad consensus in the history of the church that nothing is so foundational, no practice of the Christian life is more pivotal, that the discipline of regular prayer” ” (Welcome, Holy Spirit by Gordon T. Smith, p. 110).
(I’m reminded that I need to pray more regularly.)
“I have never been able to understand why anyone would worship a wooden statue. Or a tree or an Asherah pole, a cow or an elephant, or a god who looks like a frog. . . . But I can understand why people used to worship the sun. The sun shows us something of the primacy, centrality, and sovereignty of God” (Christianity Today, January/February 2022, article by Andrew Wilson, p. 48).
(As important as the sun is, I don’t understand why people would worship the sun.)
“Satisfaction in life cannot be found in the pursuit of folly or the pursuit of pleasure. . . . Only through Christ can we find contentment in something as simple as eating and drinking” (Where Wisdom Is Found by J.V. Fesko, pp. 24 and 25).
“A greedy man is not satisfied even when his coffers are full and his belly is stuffed, for there is always something more to get. Greed is an equal opportunity sin; it is not reserved merely for the wealthy” (Where Wisdom Is Found by J.V. Fesko, p 71).
(An important reminder for all of us.)
“Not only are we forgiven of our sins, but we are also robed in the grandest festival garments of all, the robe of Christ’s righteousness, to await Christ’s return and the resurrection of the dead . . .” (Where Wisdom Is Found by J.V. Fesko, p 117).
“Christ offers us contentment in the present by giving us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit comforts us, assures of Christ’s love for us even in the most dire circumstances, and gives us the hope of eternal life” (Where Wisdom Is Found by J.V. Fesko, p 148).
(Comfort for all of us.)
I hope these selections get your attention provoking some thinking that will be challenging, encouraging, and helpful as they did for me.
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Also I am continuing the tradition you started by reading the book of Proverbs every January.. It always is interesting how I can read the same chapters and each time notice something different. Thank you for starting that so many years ago!
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