The Chair and the Desk, 5/6/16

From the chair:

“Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” 

-1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Here’s a passage that’s dear to me, a passage we repeated often to one another on 4th Hill in my days at Seattle Pacific University. It’s a simple, straightforward, and extremely difficult command.

I think often we assume that people reject Christianity because it seems to hard, so we try to make it easier. We try to take off the hard edges, smooth out some of the rough spots. For example, we emphasize how much God loves, but we often wait until later to say how demanding loving others can be. We are quick to say that we are saved by faith alone, but we’re slow to say that faith is hard; the faithful response is often the courageous response.

We make Christianity sound easier and easier until it sounds…trivial. There are plenty of easy things that we can add to our lives today: It’s easy to start a new TV show, sign up for a mailing list, subscribe to a magazine, download an app. We’re used to getting what we pay for, and in a freeware society, we’re actually tired of these easy little add-ons to our lives. “Easy” sounds hucksterish. “Easy” sounds like probably not worth while.

Something worthwhile would sound like this: “Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” Many people without Christ, especially my younger generation, would rather consider something great that would cost their whole lives than something that will “only take a minute.” This isn’t to say that we need to go back to the drawing board and become more strategic salesmen for our faith. This is to say we need to go back to Scripture and become more honest witnesses to what is revealed in Jesus Christ.

From the desk:

“the more a man experiences and knows this excellent, unparalleled, exquisite, and satisfying sweetness, the more earnestly will he hunger and thirst for more, until he comes to perfection. And therefore this is the nature of spiritual affections, that the greater they be, the greater the appetite and longing is after grace and holiness.”

-Jonathan Edwards, Religious Affections (Banner of Truth, 1994), p.305

“The chair” is the one Annie aptly chose for the corner of our living room, and it’s where I am committed to daily hearing from God’s Word–the Word I above all else hope to speak to others. “The desk” is the one by my coffee grounds and spare charger (if I get to the library early enough); it’s where I have the privilege of reading and thinking all day, where I intend to learn for others’ sake.

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