This is what’s so striking to me about Jesus, as I get older

Letting go of offense and anger means forgiving, and forgiveness means sacrifice. This is what’s so striking to me, as I get older, about Jesus: I’m simultaneously dumbfounded that I’m “off the hook” because of what He’s done for me, but still stopped in my tracks by what’s being asked of me.

Unoffendable 1Hansen, Brant (2015-04-14). Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better (Chapter 18). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

 

The church is not made up of natural ‘friends’. It is made up of natural ‘enemies’

Ideally…the church itself is not made up of natural ‘friends’. It is made up of natural enemies. What binds us together is not common education, common race, common income levels, common politics, common nationality, common accents, common jobs, or anything else of that sort. Christians come together, not because they form a natural collocation, but because they have been saved by Jesus Christ and owe Him a common allegiance.  In the light of this common allegiance, in the light of the fact that they have all been loved by Jesus himself, they commit themselves to doing what He says – and He commands them to love one another. In this light, they are a band of natural enemies who love one another for Jesus’ sake.

D.A. Carson, Love In Hard Places, Page 61.

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The 200th post on the Explore website!

People have heard so many words. They want to see the love of God. We quote Scripture, saying, “God is love,” and “Love covers a multitude of sins” (1 John 4: 8; 1 Peter 4: 8 NLT), but if we don’t demonstrate this, our words are just more useless racket.

Hansen, Brant (2015-04-14). Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better (Chapter 18). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

This is the 200th post on the Explore website.

Unoffendable: We’re waiting for something extraordinary.

Unoffendable Brant Hansen

I think we’re all waiting, all yearning, for something that will change everything. Something remarkable, indeed, that makes us, finally, amazingly significant and completely secure. We’re waiting for something extraordinary.

My question is, what if that extraordinary thing has already happened?

What if we knew that the King wanted to be with us, wanted us in His family, His home . . . forever?

In fact, if this is true, that very love toward one another would be an accurate test of whether we really believed all this. If we loved others with a newfound patience, a refusal to take offense, and a lack of self-seeking, it would be evidence that all this is real.

There are those of us who pat ourselves on the back for loving our families and friends. “I’m loyal to the end; I’d die for my kids,” we’ll say. Truth is, that’s not really terribly remarkable. Everyone, or practically everyone, feels this way.

What is terribly remarkable is when someone is willing to love a person, in the name of Jesus, whom he or she would otherwise despise.

Without Jesus, it simply makes no sense.

 

Unoffendable 1

Hansen, Brant (2015-04-14). Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better (Chapter 17). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.  Buy it here for £1.99.

Confusing ‘attachment’ with ‘love’

It seems like a lot of emotional suffering stems from confusing attachment with love.

Attachment is about fear and dependency, and has more to do with love of self than the love of another. Love without attachment is the purest love and is life giving because it isn’t about what others can give you because you’re empty. It’s about what you can give others because you’re already full.   Continue reading “Confusing ‘attachment’ with ‘love’”

Unoffendable: One way to not be threatened by anything

There’s only one way to not be threatened by anything, and that’s if you have nothing to lose.

And this is where this choosing-to-be-unoffendable business really becomes not only possible but also completely consonant with the teachings and life of Jesus. Just making the choice, and being mindful each day that “I’m not going to let people offend me,” is very helpful, and it will make life better.

But ultimately, if I’m living in fear of losing something— whether it’s security through status, looks, money, family, whatever— I’m going to be fearful, more easily threatened, and therefore prone to anger.   Continue reading “Unoffendable: One way to not be threatened by anything”

The Great Flood

Two people who came to yesterday’s Explore Bible Study about The Great Flood have individually come back to let us know they went home and studied the passages further!

We considered that the ark was a type of Jesus.

noah-symbolic

And just like it says that God was pleased by Noah and his obedience, we too want to know we please God, not living to try to please him and become accepted (living ‘for’ the Cross) but living from a place where we are loved and accepted by God (living ‘from’ the Cross).

Here are some notes Lynn made of her studies following our conversations:   Continue reading “The Great Flood”