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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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CHEAP GRACE

Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

Cheap grace allows the church to flirt with the world’s value system. It is the evidence of untransformed hearts and minds. This love of the world is not from God and blinds them to the love of God. (1 John 2:15-17 ESV) This is why Paul writes:

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Silence in the Face of Evil

Dietrich BonhoefferGerman theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945):

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

Advent

Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes… and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent.

Holly

God’s Providence And Worry

Bonhoeffer-1932

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

How often do you find that worry keeps you from making a decision that needs to be made. Worry can immobilize us by tying us up in knots within. I am not talking about logically thinking a problem through. Worry is repetitiously obsessing on an outcome which is out of your control or a “best laid plan” in which there is always the possibility of failure. Christians should trust in the providence of God, but we often fail to do this.

It has been said that “Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves – regret for the past and fear of the future.” (source unknown) Paul tells us in Philippians to “not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (4:6) Fear creates a divided heart. It changes our focus of trust and faith in God alone to anxiety about earthly troubles.

I know this, but my wife says I am the king of worriers. There is obviously a gap between my knowing how to live and my actually living that way. I try to excuse my behavior by saying that I am cautious and careful, but the truth is I often worry needlessly. I have lost a lot of time by thinking about the trouble that never came.

After you have done whatever is reasonable to do (which may be nothing at all), your anxiety will change nothing in the future. It is better to trust in the providence of God and pray, for He holds the future in His hands. Therefore, when we are confronted with problems, it is best to cast your cares on God – for He does care for you. (1 Peter 5:7) God will provide relief if you cling to Him.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer expressed his thoughts on this subject in this manner:

Much that worries us beforehand can afterwards, quite unexpectedly, have a happy and simple solution. Worries just don’t matter. Things really are in a better hand than ours.

I continue to pray that I will develop this attitude of mind. Maybe you should too?

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