Friday, March 19, 2010

Mini guide to faithful living

I like this comment from Tim Keller's blog, in which he says that Proverbs chapter 3, verses 3 to 12 is a kind of mini guide to faithful living.

He says
There are five things that comprise a wise, godly life. They function both as means to becoming wise and godly as well as signs that you are growing into such a life:
1. Put your heart's deepest trust in God and his grace. Every day remind yourself of his unconditioned, covenantal love for you. Do not instead put your hopes in idols or in your own performance.

2. Submit your whole mind to the Scripture. Don't think you know better than God's word. Bring it to bear on every area of life. Become a person under authority.

3. Be humble and teachable toward others. Be forgiving and understanding when you want to be critical of them; be ready to learn from others when they come to be critical of you.

4. Be generous with all your possessions, and passionate about justice. Share your time, talent, and treasure with those who have less.

5. Accept and learn from difficulties and suffering. Through the gospel, recognize them as not punishment, but a way of refining you.

He goes on to say that these characteristics are exemplified by Jesus himself:
a) he showed the ultimate trust and faithfulness to God and to us by going to the cross,
b) he was saturated with and shaped by Scripture,
c) he was meek and lowly in heart (Mt. 11:28-30),
d) he, though rich, became poor for us,
e) and he bore his suffering, for us, without complaint.

We can only grow in these five areas if you know you are saved by costly grace. That keeps you from idols, from self-sufficiency and pride, from selfishness with your things, and from crumbling under troubles. Jesus is wisdom personified, and believing his gospel brings these character qualities into your life.

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