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God’s Agenda: Religion, Spirituality or Serenity?

March 6, 2009

Tim Chester‘s book You Can Change is refreshingly simple, biblical, and practical. In it he shows us God’s agenda for change in us through Jesus, an agenda that is far from duty-driven religion, detached spirituality, or placid serenity:

Jesus shows us God’s agenda for change. God isn’t interested in making us religous. Think of Jesus, who was hated by religious people. God isn’t interested in making us ‘spiritual’ if by spiritual we mean detached: Jesus was God getting stuck in. God isn’t interested in making us self-absorbed; Jesus was self-giving personified. God isn’t interested in serenity: Jesus was passionate for God, angry at sin, wept for the city.

Tim explains that God’s agenda for us isn’t religion, spirituality, or serenity but the good and holy life. Noting that we often mistake holiness for joyless moral conformity, he says that “holiness is always good news.” What is holiness?

For Jesus holiness didn’t mean being set apart from the world, but being consecrated in the world…Jesus isnt’ just good for us. He is good itself. The secret of gospel change is being convinced that Jesus is the good life and the fountain of all joy.

Do you believe this good news, that Jesus is the good life and the fountain of all joy? Or is something else competing for your joy today? Look to Christ who not only offers us the good life but also his life, his death, for our joyless living and life-stealing choices. Ask him to change your heart, to show you that he is the fountain of all joy.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 6, 2009 11:27 am

    I read You Can Change last summer but I’ve re-read many of the chapters. It’s been more (immediately) helpful than Tripp’s Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands.

    I was really struck last year by that quote “Holiness is always good news.”

    My two favorite quotes:

    “All too often we think of holiness as giving up the pleasures of sin for some worthy but drab life. But holiness is recognizing that the pleasures of sin are empty, temporary, while God is inviting us to magnificent, true, full and rich pleasures that last forever.”

    And…
    “When we face temptation we need to say not only ‘I should not do this’, but also ‘I need not do this….Whatever sin offers, God is bigger and better.'”

    I’ve found myself coming back to these truths to preach to my own soul when tempted as well as to my church family.

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  1. Tim Chester on Change « Church Planting Novice

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