God First

When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now. In so far as I learn to love my earthly dearest at the expense of God and instead of God, I shall be moving towards the state in which I shall not love my earthly dearest at all. When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased.” -TIm Lane and Paul Tripp, Relationships

Jesus’ Challenging Example of Service

“One of my most common excuses for not being more loving and helpful is my circumstances. When you are weighed down with difficulties, what is the first thing you want to do? You don’t want to do anything. You want others to do things for you. You want to be served, not serve. Again, I only have to look back as far as yesterday for examples. When my children press in on me the second they arrive from school, I am suddenly reminded of all my responsibilities. Don’t they understand I have a job with many things to think about? Why do they insist that I help them with their homework immediately? Don’t they see I have more important things to be concerned about than their assignments? These are the thoughts that race through my mind. Soon I feel convicted about my impatience and try to rationalize it. I would be more patient if I didn’t have to worry about paying the bills and getting my work done. I would be a kinder, gentler father if they would be less aggressive and more obedient and respectful. In other words, if my circumstances were easier, I would be a better servant. If I could take care of my cares, I would be more caring. In fact, my children just got home from school as I was writing this, and I was tempted to get irritable— again! When we encounter Jesus in John 13, his circumstances are horrible. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to die on the cross for self-centered sinners. He knew that the wrath of a just and holy God would soon fall on him. The just punishment for all his people’s sins would crush him in just a few days. Yet what does he do? He serves.” -Tim Lane and Paul Tripp, Relationships: A Mess Worth Making

Needs Vs. Service in the Church

“When we serve one another, we carry one another’s burdens in practical ways. We get our hands dirty as we come alongside people and pay attention to the details of their lives. If our professed commitment to Jesus does not lead us to resemble him in our actions, then we are mocking him and not representing him accurately to the world. When you think about your relationships, how many of them ultimately revolve around making sure your concerns are heard and your self-defined “needs” are met?” -Tim Lane and Paul Tripp, Relationships: A Mess Worth Making

Words Can Be Powerful…. or Cheap

“Words can be powerful or they can be cheap. What makes words powerful is the action that flows from them. Theology also can be powerful or cheap. What makes right thinking about God powerful is the life that emerges daily from that theology.” Tim Lane and Paul Tripp, Relationships: A Mess Worth Making