Challenging Thoughts for the week starting on Sunday, March 8, 2020

The process of becoming a Christian (that is, being changed into the likeness of God)

is, in a human sense, a greater torment and wretchedness and pain

than the greatest conceivable human suffering,

and moreover a crime in the eyes of one’s contemporaries.

And thus will it always be;

that is, if becoming a Christian in reality

means becoming contemporaneous with Christ.

And if becoming a Christian does not have that meaning,

then all your chatter about becoming a Christian is a vanity,

a delusion, and a snare,

and likewise a blasphemy and a sin against the Holy Ghost.

Soren Kierkegaard

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Christians are made,

not born.

Jerome

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You probably know the story of John Newton, the author of the song, “Amazing Grace.”  Newton had been a slave ship captain before his conversion to Christ.  Not only was he engaged in the slave trade, but he was among the worst of the slavers, engaging in wholesale immorality with the women captives.  He says of himself:

I went to Africa that I might be able to sin to my heart’s content.

I was a wild beast on the coast of Africa

Till the Lord caught and tamed me.

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A man said to Dwight L. Moody, “Now that I am converted, do I have to give up the world?”

Moody answered, “No, you don’t have to give up the world; if you give a good testimony for the Son of God, the world will give you up.  They won’t want you around.”

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When Clovis, King of the Franks, was about to be baptized, suddenly he stopped the ceremony and, turning to the Christian missionary, he asked “What does this new way of life mean?”  And the missionary replied, “Adore what you used to burn, and burn what you used to adore.”

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