Tim Sparkes shared these thoughts from Tim Keller's book 'Encounters with Jesus' at our recent Men’s meeting: 'God was trying to get us to understand this: Jesus is not just a good man who by word and example tells us how to live. Nor is he merely a heavenly king who came to destroy all evil in one stroke. As we have seen, evil is deep within us. And if he had come to end all evil on the spot, he would have ended us. Instead, he is a king who comes not to a throne but to a cross. He comes to be tempted and tried, to suffer and die. Why? So that we can receive God’s love as a gift. As the hymn goes: “Before the throne absolved we stand; / Your love has met your law’s demand.” And so, if we rest in Christ’s work for us, we can be adopted into God’s family by grace (John 1: 12). It means that we can know that we are also God’s beloved children, and that—in Christ—we are well pleasing. That assurance is the taproot of the deepest, most life-giving joy possible. On one hand it means we now want to turn away from any sin or thing that displeases our Father. We no longer do so out of fear of punishment or out of need to prove ourselves. Those motives are exhausting and inevitably create narrowness, self-righteousness, and hardness of heart. No. Instead, out of grateful joy and sheer desire to resemble, delight, and serve the one who saved us, we amend our lives with a new effectiveness. And on the other hand, the fears and anxieties and insecurities that haunted us begin to dissipate. Success and failure in our work neither puffs us up nor devastates us. We are not driven by unhappiness over our looks, or our status—we are not deflated by criticism as we were before. Our self-image rests in a love we can’t lose.'
Click the picture of the book cover for further details of Tim Keller's book.