Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

Is it true that God is love to me as a Christian? And does the love of God mean all that has been said? If so, certain questions arise.

Why do I ever grumble and show discontent and resentment at the circumstances in which God has placed me?

Why am I ever distrustful, fearful, or depressed?

Why do I ever allow myself to grow cool, formal and halfhearted in the service of the God who loves me so?

Why do I ever allow my loyalties to be divided, so that God has not all my heart?

John wrote that “God is love” in order to make an ethical point, “Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 Jn 4:11). Could an observer learn from the quality and degree of love that I show to others–my wife? my husband? my family? my neighbors? people at church? people at work? –anything at all about the greatness of God’s love to me?

Meditate upon these things. Examine yourself.

~J.I. Packer in Knowing God

Photo: OBMonkey

Trusting Our Father’s Driving

“For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust,
O LORD, from my youth.”

Psalm 71:5

Comforting and convicting words from J.I. Packer…

“Do not worry about your life,” says the Lord, “what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear” (Mt 6:25). But, says someone, this is not realistic; how can I help worrying, when I face this, and this, and this? To which Jesus’ reply is: Your faith is too small. Have you forgotten that God is your Father? “Look at the birds of the air; …your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (v. 26). If God cares for the birds, whose Father he is not, is it not plain that he will certainly care for you, whose Father he is?

The point is put positively in verses 31-33: “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ …Your heavenly Father knows that you need [these things]. But seek first his [your Father's] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

“We might have a crash,” said the small girl anxiously, as the family car threaded its way through traffic. “Trust Daddy; he’s a good driver,” said Mommy. The young lady was reassured, and she relaxed at once. Do you trust your heavenly Father like that? If not, why not?

Such trust is vital; it is in truth the mainspring of the life of faith, which without it becomes a life of at least partial belief.

[Knowing God, p. 213; emphasis added]

Although we may not know what’s ahead, we do know our Father, and
that is enough.

Photo: Denise Docherty

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

A healthy Christ-follower is gentle to the core.

Gentleness in the Bible is not the opposite of strength; it is not wimpishness, as modern usage might suggest; it is rather, strength under control, harnessed to love and serve. Gentleness is all the more real because every time it is practiced, gentleness is a freely made choice that is backed by strength.

Isaiah, in foretelling the coming of Jesus describes him in shepherd terms: “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young” (Isa. 40:11). This is a strong shepherd! He climbs rocky mountains looking for pastures, he carries recalcitrant lambs, he leads. But he notices those who need help, and those who are hungry, and those who require protection. It is his gentleness that notices, and cares.

So it is with healthy Christians. People who follow their strong shepherd grow constantly in gentleness.

~J.I. Packer and Carolyn Nystrom in God’s Will: Finding Guidance for Everyday Decisions 

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

Kindness is a habit that softens the atmosphere. It is an outgoing of neighbor-love that becomes instinctive, and is often unnoticed even by the person who practices it; yet voices and actions and even thoughts surrounding acts of kindness impart this softening toward others as if it were a benevolent virus, a happy infection that eases everything for everyone.

The bewildered “sheep” of Matthew 25:31-40 could hardly remember when they visited the prison, fed the hungry, welcomed a stranger, and they had no idea that Christ valued these acts of kindness so much that he considered them as done to himself. Kindness is like that. It is a selfless form of thinking that sees a need and meets it, almost by reflex, with no thought of reward.

Like the other fruit of the Spirit, kindness comes by receiving and then imitating the kindness of God, as the apostle Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).

~J.I. Packer & Carolyn Nystrom in God’s Will: Finding Guidance for Everyday Decisions

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

Patience…is a habit of mind and heart that grows out of inner peace. Patience trusts God to be at work even in the frustrating events of life, whether it is engorged traffic or crying babies or implacable vendettas or a seemingly unending series of personal disasters. Patience thinks before speaking, aiming to avoid offending. Patience wills the self to see the world from someone else’s perspective—and to walk with that person through their world.

Patience is rooted in hope because “if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Rom. 8:25). Patience takes the long view; unfazed by short-term setbacks, it will carry on unruffled instead of giving up in despair. Patience accepts God’s timing and responds to others in a way that reflects the patience God has toward us. “With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord…is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:8-9).

Patience sees today in the perspective of eternity—and so can laugh.

~J.I. Packer and Carolyn Nystrom in God’s Will

Photo: OBMonkey

Knowing God

We now interrupt the Evangelle Griffin show to draw your attention
to a valuable offer…

Christian Audio has made the audiobook version of J.I. Packer’s classic Knowing God available for free download during the month of January. This would be a great book to add to your reading (or listening) list in 2012.

According to Christian Audio, Elisabeth Elliot said that in Knowing God Packer “puts the hay where the sheep can reach it—plainly shows us ordinary folks what it means to know God.” Nothing better than free hay. :)

Download Knowing God HERE.

The Joys of Knowing & Being Known

“But you, O LORD, know me…”

Jeremiah 12:3

When I first began reading J.I. Packer’s classic, Knowing God, a few years ago, I quickly discovered I needed a notebook at my side to record the many profound thoughts that encouraged my heart while reading. The following excerpt is full of beautiful truths about God’s amazing love for us: 

What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it–the fact that he knows me. I am graven on the palms of his hands. I am never out of his mind. All my knowledge of him depends on his sustained initiative in knowing me. I know him because he first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend, one who loves me; and there is no moment when his eye is off me, or his attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when his care falters.

This is momentous knowledge. There is unspeakable comfort–the sort of comfort that energizes, be it said, not enervates–in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love and watching over me for my good. There is tremendous relief in knowing that his love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench his determination to bless me.

There is, certainly, great cause for humility in the thought that he sees all the twisted things about me that my fellow humans do not see (and am I glad!), and that he sees more corruption in me than that which I see in myself (which, in all conscience, is enough). There is, however, equally great incentive to worship and love God in the thought that, for some unfathomable reason, he wants me as his friend, and desires to be my friend, and has given his Son to die for me in order to realize this purpose. We cannot work these thoughts out here, but merely to mention them is enough to show how much it means to know not merely that we know God, but that he knows us.

[Knowing God, pp. 41-42]

Photo: leovdworp