God’s plan

J. Ridley Stroop explained the name of his book, God’s Plan and Me. It’s a good explanation.

“God’s Plan” simply means that the plan or the teaching is God’s; that the lessons originated with him; that they partake of his nature and are divine. Certainly this is the kind of teaching that we all want. This is the very quality that makes the teaching peculiar or different. It is different from all human teachings because it comes from a different source; it is of divine origin. Paul reminds us of the fact that man had no part in providing this teaching when he asks the questions, “For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?” (Rom. 11:34). Since God thus provided the plan without the aid of man and has never delegated to man the privilege of injecting his own ideas into it, we should be exceedingly careful to remember that it is God’s plan and that we should treat it as such.

Comfort in pain

“Contrary to what a lot of people believe (or hope), comfort doesn’t take the pain away. Comfort slides in beside the pain, pulling up a chair so that we have something more than sorrow in our hearts. Comfort gently expands our spirits so that we can breathe again. Comfort opens our eyes so that we can see possibility again. And on those days, whether it is the next day or five years removed, on that day when grief rears its dark head again, comfort helps us remember that pain is not all there is.” —Peggy Haymes

Fond of splitting up God

This is a parenthetical statement of P. Pett in comments on Rom 7.4:

We must not let the work of the Holy Spirit blind us to the fact that Jesus Christ Himself and the Father also live within us. We can become too fond of splitting up the Triune God.

Most appropriate.

Tripped up over little things

Much truth here:

Satan loves to trip us over little things. The reason for this is that it is generally a greater victory for him and shows that he can upset us by a shaving and knock us down with a straw. It is the old boast of the Jebusites, when they told David they could defend Jerusalem by a garrison of the blind and lame.

The little foxes spoil the vineyard. The minor irritations of life often sour our attitudes. The evil one will pull us down at once or by degrees, however he can.

Just as obligated

“We are just as obligated to make our lives attractive and beautiful to others as we are to make them pure.” —Guy N. Woods, on 1 Pet 9.12.

Worship acceptably, love your brothers

The author [of Hebrews] has just said: “let us pay worship to God”; he says now: “Let brotherly love remain” (13,1). Where is the relation? In reality, this very abrupt transition is certainly intended, not only to mark the literary division between the two paragraphs, but also to suggest a profound doctrine about the true way of understanding the worship to be paid to God. Do you want to pay God a worship acceptable to him? Love your brothers! Suggested here by the succession of the two themes, this unexpected connection is expressed very explicitly a little later: “Beneficence and solidarity, do not forget them, for those are the sacrifices that God accepts” (13,16). —A. Vanhoy, A Different Priest: The Epistle to the Hebrews, 403-404.

There’s more of the same to be read in the paragraph and book. Excellent material.

Not options for Christians

“Hopelessness and helplessness are not options for Christians who serve a God who will work his purpose for his glory.” —T.S. Ranier, “Church growth and evangelism in Acts”