Sunday, April 6, 2014

"called to belong to Jesus Christ" (Rom. 1:6)

"The ending of our calling is not to know good, do good, or be good-- the end of our calling is 'to belong.'  The knowing, doing, and being good come out of our belonging to Jesus Christ."
-E. Stanley Jones

Still reading The Word Became Flesh, which is still complaining about sterile preaching.  Jones identified moralism as the main problem with the sermon he heard at that time (book published in 1963).  The Gospel was reduced to moral principles.  Jesus was reduced to a teacher of moral precepts.  The preachers told people to be good.  They defined what they meant by doing good.  They connected their definition of good to something that Jesus taught or did.  Jones called such preaching sterile because it did not produce faith, which is necessary in order to know, do, and be good.

Below is today's devotional lesson sandwiched between highlights of the lines that stood out for me and my reaction to those statements.  What do you think of the format?  Is it readable or too distracting?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

for when it is too heavy

Update-- Turns out that when I am weak, he is strong.  When I tried to lift up the family mentioned in the reflection above, I failed.  Last night, unable to sleep, feeling sad, I tried to imagine Jesus lifting up the family.  Jesus had no problem; it was easy for him, effortless.  He stood with the family, raised his arms, palms up, and their spirits were lifted.  He lifted up the members of this family to His Father and Our Father.  Jesus gave them a spiritual lift.  I will try to remember this the next time something is too heavy for me.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

"Do all the good you can" motto

The church I attend, the Urban Abbey in downtown Omaha, NE, has the "Do all the good you can . . ." motto printed on their coffee mugs.  The initials JW follow the quote, so the mugs don't exactly claim John Wesley as the source of the motto but the implication is there.

A 1915 collection of John Wesley's letters edited by George Eayrs attributes the "Do all the good you can" motto to John Wesley.  Below is an image from the book and here's a link to the ebook version at the google books site--

It is unclear what source Eayrs is citing, if any.  Eayrs might have assumed this motto had been written by Wesley without any other evidence than commonly held assumption.  The footnote does make me wonder if the motto was associated with Kingswood School.  Anybody out there in the blogosphere have a history of the school or access to the archives of the Kingswood School?