Before you sip your morning Postum or break out any Mormon Coffee, I highly recommend making a habit of visiting the blog Of First Importance. If you’re savvy, try adding it to your Google Reader widget in iGoogle. Every morning you’ll wake up to quotes (one at a time) like:
“So completely was Jesus bent upon saving sinners by the sacrifice of Himself, He created the tree upon which He was to die, and nurtured from infancy the men who were to nail Him to the accursed wood.” – Octavius Winslow, The Foot of the Cross
“The Cross is not simply a lovely example of sacrificial love. Throwing your life away needlessly is not admirable — it is wrong. Jesus’ death was only a good example if it was more than an example, if it was something absolutely necessary to rescue us. And it was. Why did Jesus have to die in order to forgive us? There was a debt to be paid — God himself paid it. There was a penalty to be born — God himself bore it. Forgiveness is always a form of costly suffering.” – Timothy Keller, The Reason for God (New York, NY; Dutton, 2007), 193.
“The gospel of justifying faith means that while Christians are, in themselves still sinful and sinning, yet in Christ, in God’s sight, they are accepted and righteous. So we can say that we are more wicked than we ever dared believe, but more loved and accepted in Christ than we ever dared hope — at the very same time. This creates a radical new dynamic for personal growth. It means that the more you see your own flaws and sins, the more precious, electrifying, and amazing God’s grace appears to you. But on the other hand, the more aware you are of God’s grace and acceptance in Christ, the more able you are to drop your denials and self-defenses and admit the true dimensions and character of your sin.” – Timothy Keller, Paul’s Letter to the Galatians: Living in Line with the Truth of the Gospel (Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2003), 2.
“When the New Testament speaks about the fullness of grace which we find in Christ, it does not mean only forgiveness, pardon and justification. Christ has done much more for us. He died for us, but he also lived for us. Now he has sent his own Spirit to us so that we might draw on his strength. He grew in grace, and when we draw on his power we shall likewise grow in grace.” – Sinclair B. Ferguson, Grow in Grace (Carlisle, Pa.: Banner of Truth Trust, 1989), 10.
On a journey with my fellow Christians, repeatedly needing a refocus on the simplicity of the gospel,