Good morning and welcome to another edition of “Links I Like,” a weekly roundup of the stories that have impacted me throughout the past few days. I hope you’ll find these as encouraging and enlightening as I did.
Well, here it is, Volume 52 of “Links I Like.” One year of reading and sharing and encouraging other writers to continue writing and influencing others with the gospel. That’s my aim with this series. My goal remains to read and share as much as I can, so others can see vast array of glory that’s contained in God’s gospel of grace.
I figured I’d retell this short story with a little added commentary because I believe that what occurred is extremely beneficial for all to hear. And besides that, even just recalling it now gets me enthused and excited about the gospel.
One of the things you get used to if you talk about this thing called “grace” often enough, is sooner or later you’ll be looked down on by your peers. Now, if that be the case, maybe you need to find new peers, I can’t say — but what I can say is that one of the natural reactions to frequent discussion and promotion of God’s free grace is to downplay its expansive power.
It’s not a new or novel idea, but I believe the best picture of God’s relationship with sinners is nowhere more accurately displayed than in Luke 15 and the parable of the Prodigal Son.
One of the core constituents upon which modern society is built is that of competition — you work hard, you get rewarded. We thrive on competition; it’s in our DNA to want to beat our peers at whatever task is in front us. The human consciousness is geared towards viewing everything in a competitive framework, wherein a prize and playing field is established and the rules are simple: finish first.
I love church. I’m not saying that to sound spiritual or super Christian or anything like that, I’m saying that because I honestly love going to church and being at church and hanging out with fellow churchgoers. With both of my grandfathers as well as my dad serving as a pastor in varying capacities, you could basically say I grew up in church — Sunday School is just part of my DNA.
The following is adapted from Jefferson Bethke’s spoken word video “Jesus > Religion,” which went viral in 2012, and now has over 31 million views on YouTube. It’s “a poem about the power of grace” and the absurdity of modern-day religion. Jefferson was subsequently commissioned to write a follow-up book of the same name, which has turned into a best-seller.
An excerpt from an interview between Gene Edward Veith and Bono, lead singer of the alternative rock band U2, in which Bono gives a candid and explicit confession of grace.
We don’t often think about it, but there are passages all throughout the New Testament that evidence the human emotion of Jesus Christ. Our Lord Jesus was fully Man even as He was fully God, thus giving Him every emotion that any normal human being could possess.