November 9, 2009

Quotes From Stuff I Like - Mason

The Gospel According to Job, Mike Mason

I read this book while writing Escape From Fred, because matters of faith and dealing with what sometimes seems like a precarious or absent diety. A little more serious than others in the quotes series, but some good stuff, as Mason consistently delivers. If you haven't read it, you must stop what you're doing right now and read The Mystery of Marriage, even if you're not married.

p. xi. Mercy is the permission to be human.

p. xi. Sometimes laying hold of the cross can be comforting; but other times it’s like picking up a snake.

p. 36. Real worship has less to do with offering sacrifices than with being a sacrifice ourselves.

It is wonderful to be filled with mystical rapture at the thought of Calvary. But more wonderful still, because more worshipful, is the moment when the rough wood touches our flesh and the nail bites.

p. 126. Love is the humility in which self becomes subservient to relationship.

p. 174. [on dying to self] For the truth is we do not die all at once but little by little, and every time a little part of us is nailed to the cross and dies immediately, the grace of the Lord Jesus flows into that dead part and renews it. This is how we live by grace. The power of grace is activated through the cross.

Too many Christians are looking for graceless fix-it solutions to their problems, and to the problems of others as well. We forget that one of the great mysteries of the gospel is that God did not fix us when He saved us. By grace He simply saved us, warts and all.

p. 176. Anger at God can be a sign of spiritual growth. It can mean we are outgrowing a concept of God that is no longer adequate for us. It could even be said that our anger is not directed at the living God Himself but at our own idolatrous concept of Him. While we ourselves may not understand this, nevertheless our anger functions to move us closer to God as He really is.

p. 273. Faith is the ability to tolerate the intolerable paradox of God’s clear and undisputed title as Lord of the universe in spite of His apparent absence.

p. 279. A clean conscience is not one that is without guilt, but one that is without blame. In an honest and healthy conscience, there is always a sense of guilt, but blame is continually being washed away by the blood of Christ.

p. 306. What we need to realize is that only as sinners can we be disciples of Jesus. A saint cannot pick up the cross; only a sinner can pick up a cross. This is a profound mystery; but with our saintly selves, with that part of ourselves that has been sanctified and devoted to God, we cannot touch the cross. Only a sinful nature can touch the cross. It has to be flesh against bare wood. Mere spirit will not hold a nail.

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