One of the many interesting thoughts from Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray
“You are a sceptic.” “Never! Scepticism is the beginning of faith.”
I greatly appreciated my first time reading through this book. There are many things to disagree with, but his presentation of guilt is not one of them. This is a powerful story of the death of the soul in the secret life.
When I ask the question of responsibility, it comes out as “how much do I have to…give/love/forgive/sacrifice…?” It nearly always leaves me bouncing between self-righteousness and frustrated obligation.
But when Jesus asks the question it is “how much can you …give/love/forgive/sacrifice…?”
Small change. Big difference.
Once we know through faith in Christ’s work for us that we are reconciled to God, and that the Creator is now not just our sovereign but our father, we can begin to have a more “sacramental” experience of the world. We see everything as a free gift from Father and a foretaste of the glory and goodness to come in our eternal inheritance. In short, as Miroslav Volf puts it, “Attachment to God amplifies and deepens enjoyment of the world.” It does not diminish it.
–Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical
“Weep with those who weep” rebukes my tendency to point others to their bright side during struggles, without mourning their battle.
What more could be done than thou hast done!
May I enter him as my refuge,
build on him as my foundation,
walk in him as my way,
follow him as my guide,
conform to him as my example,
receive his instructions as my prophet,
rely on his intercession as my high priest,
obey him as my king.
Valley of Vision, 78
A challenging thought from The Valley of Vision:
Let me not be at my own disposal,
But rejoice that I am under the care of one who is too wise to err,
Too kind to injure,
Too tender to crush.
May I scandalize none by my temper and conduct,
But recommend and endear Christ to all around,
Bestow good on every one as circumstances permit,
And decline no opportunity of usefulness.
Valley of vision, 43
Paul said it in this way,
”For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:8-10).
If what you are believing increases your self-image, it isn’t the gospel.
>According to Scripture, God deliberately designed the gospel in such a way so as to strip me of pride and leave me without any grounds for boasting in myself whatsoever (Eph 2; 1 Cor 1). This is actually a wonderful mercy from God, for pride is at the root of all my sin. Pride produced the first sin in the Garden (Gen 3), and pride always precedes every sinful stumbling in my life (Prov 16:18). Therefore, if I am to experience deliverance from sin, I must be delivered from the pride that produces it. Thankfully, the gospel is engineered to accomplish this deliverance.
Milton Vincent, Gospel Primer, 27
Verse links to @biblegateway