I feel like today's bookmarks are particularly good. They have been a great encouragement to me, and I pray that they will encourage you as well...
“The reason irritability is unloving, unrighteous anger is that it is a selfish response to an obstacle to our desire. What we desire may not be sinful, but a selfish response to its denial, delay, or disruption is a failure to trust God at all times (Psalm 62:8) — and often a failure to value, love, and serve another human soul.
Jesus didn’t die for our punctuality, earthly reputation, convenience, or our leisure. But he did die for souls. It is likely that the worth of the soul(s) we’re irritable with is infinitely more precious to God than the thing we desire. We must not dishonor God, whose image that person bears, by being irritable with them. There are necessary times for considered, thoughtful, measured, righteous, loving anger at priceless but sinful souls. But there is never a right time for irritability. Love is not irritable.”
“For every young mom who feels isolated and alone in her season there is an older single who feels isolated and alone. For every man with the weight of the world on his shoulders there is a young man who feels the weight of nothing on his shoulders. For every woman struggling with infertility there is a unmarried person longing for a spouse. For every one in need of the gospel there is another person in need of the gospel.”
“There are endless shelves of them in the local Christian bookstore. They all promise to satisfy our hunger, but how can we know whether we are staring at shelves of Twinkies or organic purple kale? How can we tell which ones are solid spiritual food and which are "edible foodlike substances"?
Much like junk food manufacturers, Christian writers have been known to appeal to our senses to garner popularity. But the stakes for dining on spiritual junk food are high: Like real junk food, superficial studies sabotage a healthy spiritual appetite and create cravings for teaching that appeals to our feelings or preferences. These are not studies so much as "study-like inspirational musings." Yes, palatable para-studies seem right, but the end thereof is theology-starved spiritual flabbiness”
“These graces show forth the beauty of the Spirit’s work in the life of a believer. The sap of the Spirit produces fruit in the life of a Christian. Yet, each of us will find ourselves in situations where we feel unloving, impatient, unkind, or lacking in joy or self-control (all of which may have occurred on this morning’s drive to the office).
Faced with our own barren tree, we often attempt to achieve in our own strength what is not growing in our hearts. We determine that we will act lovingly to that unlovable person, be kind to that annoying relative, or faithfully serve in that ministry (while grumbling to ourselves about it). We will work harder, be more disciplined, and pick ourselves up by our proverbial bootstraps and get on with it.”