Godward Orientation

173 posts

Relationships: Blessing or Curse?

Relationships are the fuel of life. They bring out the very best and the very worst of who we are. Relationships are a gift that can give beauty, meaning, and purpose. But they can also be a weapon to hurt and damage our souls. Relationships bring joy and sorrow, healing and pain, hope and despair, fulfillment and emptiness, gain and loss. Why is it like this? How can the same thing be so good and awful, a blessing or a curse? The answer is not that complicated. Relationships that are lived with God’s care and love at the center become the richest of blessings. Life lived this way is consistent with the reality that all people are made in the […]

Is the Pursuit of Purity Exciting?

If someone asked you what is your goal in life, and you answered “to pursue purity,” it would, for sure, be an unexpected answer. However, when James describes what wisdom that honors God looks like, the first word he selects is pure. Peter urges us to love one another from a pure heart. Purity is vital to a life that honors God. In the New Testament, to be pure is to be genuine, authentic, and undefiled. These are qualities that would enhance any life endeavor and any relationship! So, being pure is sounding a little more attractive.  Here is an extended definition of purity: Purity is a dynamic expression of godly character. It radiates through the whole person. Purity is […]

Satisfied

One of life’s hardest lessons is to realize that true satisfaction is found only in God. There are many pretenders but only God is sufficient to give meaning and purpose to your life. Apart from God every single relationship and endeavor you pursue carries the reality of disappointment. One of the cruelest things you can to do is to expect others to provide for you what can only be found in God. No human can bear the weight of being God for you. Practically, what does this mean? Children cannot bear the weight of being your satisfaction in life. This will cause you to either ask too much from them or to ignore their weaknesses. In either case, you will […]

Is Heaven Relevant?

Is heaven something that dominates your life? God means for heaven to be the anchor that helps you make sense of a world dominated by sin and injustice. The Holy Spirit has guaranteed you an inheritance, which includes the reality of heaven. What a huge blessing this is! The most wonderful and spectacular destination any human can have has been secured for you by God’s Holy Spirit. God wants you to see heaven as relevant to your everyday life. Life without heaven is a life that makes no sense.  If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. (I Corinthians 15:19) In other words, life without a vision for heaven […]

Love Is More Than Flowers and Chocolate

Genuine love cannot be confined to a particular day on the calendar. Love transcends dates, gifts, and dinners. Love endures pain and heartache. Authentic love is modeled by the selfless commitment of Christ.   Love has no equal. Love does not demand performance to be satisfied. Love does not demand to be noticed or praised. Love delights when others delight in God.  Love is satisfied most when the one loved is satisfied.  Love anticipates God will always care. Love offers encouragement when none is expected. Love does not regret the success of others. Love does not tout one’s own success. Love takes refuge in humility. Love seeks the honor of others. Love is not interested in self-promotion. Love knows joy […]

Wisdom and Your Emotions

God designed your emotions to protect you. However, for most people, emotions are not a source of protection. Instead, they are often a source of trouble and temptation. Why is this? Your emotions are shaped by what you value and the things that you believe. Thus, Solomon teaches that the fear of the Lord, an emotion, is the beginning of wisdom. Job feared God and turned away from evil. Job’s emotions protected him because he valued honoring God.  Therefore, biblical wisdom works best when emotions have been informed by truth. True wisdom is not an exercise in cold, detached, analytical thinking. True wisdom produces a passionate desire to bring honor to God. Bruce Waltke’s translation of Proverbs 4:7-9 captures the […]

Awe and Humility

Humility and power are seldom connected.  Humility is associated with peace, passivity and keeping a low profile. A humble person is not considered a person to be feared. When your kids are out of control, humility is probably not the first thing you pray for. In our culture humility does not inspire awe. However there is a different way to look at humility.  The most courageous, loved, feared and hated man ever to walk the face of the earth described himself as humble. This man began his life on earth in a stable because there was no room for him anywhere else. But while his birth was ignored by people the heavens above erupted with mighty angels praising his birth. […]

The Golden Rule: The Biblical Response to Self-Pity

Sin is devastating. An eight-year-old tries to be kind to his older sister. She responds with, “That was stupid!”  Michael is crushed. He tried so hard to be nice and got trashed in return. Michael is tempted to engage in self-pity. Thankfully, Michael’s mom observed the confrontation and took quick action. After Mom addressed the poor response of his sister, she asked Michael this question: “How cool would it be if you and your sister were happy with each other?” Michael responded, “I would love that.” “Michael, that’s wonderful! Did you know that Jesus wants you to ask him for that very thing; that you two would be happy with each other?” “I guess, but that would never happen!” “Michael, I […]

The Fear of the Lord Is Your Refuge

Your middle-schooler wants to hang out with friends that are not a good influence for her. She is unhappy.  Your teenager is frustrated with restrictions that you believe are wise. He thinks you are being unfair and has no problem letting you know about it. In response, you don’t want to communicate you are ultimate authority. You just want to be a safe refuge for your kids. But you know the choices your children make are not always the best ones. And you know that God has tasked you with the responsibility of leading your children to follow his word. You know that is what is best for them. You know that parenting is not about you and what you […]

The Pledge of God’s Wisdom — A Thought from Tedd Tripp

God’s wisdom is not pledged to make us happy in the fallen world or to make us comfortable in our weakness and petty heart idolatries. God is at work with exquisite wisdom to continue his work of grace in us, by transforming us into people who will love him, honor him, praise him and delight in him. So he is at work with wisdom in the wonderfully ordered and complex events of our lives to make us grow in grace and the likeness of Jesus Christ. Sometimes that glorious work will bring us through times of affliction and trial as he unrelentingly chisels at us like a gemologist would cut a diamond to make it more beautiful and more valuable. […]