Most people, if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promise.

– C. S. Lewis

The heavy hand of trial in the life of the believer is actually the loving hand of redeeming grace.

– Paul David Tripp

By praying with friends and others, you will be able to hear and see facets of Jesus that you have not yet perceived.

– Tim Keller

The gospel shows us that God is far more holy and absolute than the moralists’ god, because he could not be satisfied by our moral efforts, even the best! On the other hand, the gospel shows us that God is far more loving and gracious than the relativists’ god. They say that God (if he exists) just loves everyone no matter what they do. The true God of the gospel had to suffer and die to save us, while the god of the relativist pays no price to love us.

– Tim Keller

Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God, according as we find His mind described in Scripture. It is the habit of agreeing in God’s judgment, hating what He hates, loving what He loves, and measuring everything in this world by the standard of His Word.

J.C. Ryle, Holiness

The better we know God, the more we will want all our existence to revolve around him.

– D. A. Carson

Happy New Year! I have seen countless articles leading into today about various New Year’s resolutions and how to keep them. Maybe you have a resolution and maybe you don’t. But I would encourage you think about how you can intentionally and purposefully read your Bible this year. David Mathis posted a good article, Bible Reading is an Art, at Desiring God yesterday that I would encourage you to look at.

Where to begin? There are numerous Bible reading plans out there, and even daily Bibles, designed to help guide you in reading. There is a helpful list available at the ESV website. By far my favorite is the Chronological Reading Plan from Back to the Bible. I have printed this on a 3×5, laminated, and I keep it in my Bible. Whatever you do I pray that you would be resolved to stay in the Word this year and that you will thoughtfully plan through what this will look like.

The cross was an act simultaneously of punishment and amnesty, severity and grace, justice and mercy.

John Stott

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were an offering far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

– Isaac Watts

How can the inner workings of the heart be changed from a dynamic of fear and anger to that of love, joy, and gratitude? Here is how. You need to be moved by the sight of what it cost to bring you home. The key difference between a Pharisee and a believer in Jesus is inner-heart motivation. Pharisees are being good but out of a fear-fueled need to control God. They don’t really trust him or love him. To them God is an exacting boss, not a loving father. Christians have seen something that has transformed their hearts toward God so they can finally love and rest in the Father.

Tim Keller