Heaven… on earth

“The earth is preserved by salt; the world lives because of these poor, ignoble, and weak people, whom the world rejects… (This salt) penetrates the entire earth. It is the earth’s substance. Thus, the disciples are focused not only on heaven, but are reminded of their mission on earth… (Christ) brings them into his work… The community of disciples must remain what Christ’s call has made them. That will be their true efficacy on earth and their preserving strength.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship

 

The challenge of allegiance

Our current series at Heights Church is “Living in Babylon.”

There are some reflections I have on the Book of Daniel that won’t make it into a Sunday sermon.

Here are some basic thoughts from Daniel 3 I posted our church site. 

Our most severe tests come when we don’t recognize the idol right in front of us and everyone bowing seems like the “patriotic” thing to do. I don’t refer to just our own time. I give the illustration of Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Germany as well. He faced tough decisions concerning allegiance and paid the ultimate price for it.

There is a testing that will refine us in these days. We need to learn that the heat brings out the best. It’s not meant for our harm.

The days ahead can be the best for the American church. We need our eyes open.

 

refiners-fire

Don’t cheapen grace

Some of my favorite lines from Dietrich Bonhoeffer on grace.

Cheap grace means grace as bargain-basement goods, cut-rate forgive­ness, cut-rate comfort, cut-rate sacraments; grace as the church’s inexhaustible pantry, from which it is doled out by careless hands without hesitation or limit. It is grace without a price, without cost…

Cheap grace is that which we bestow on ourselves.

Cheap grace is preaching forgiveness without repentance; it is baptism without the discipline of community; it is the Lord’s Supper without confession of sin; it is absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without the living, incarnate Jesus Christ.

The blessedness of rejection

In judgment and action those who follow Jesus will be different from the world in renouncing their property, happiness, rights, righteousness, honor, and violence. They will be offensive to the world. That is why the disciples will be persecuted for righteousness’ sake. Not recognition, but rejection will be their reward from the world for their word and deed. It is important that Jesus calls his disciples blessed, not only when they directly confess his name, but also when they suffer for a just cause. — Dietrich Bonhoeffer (from biblegateway.com devotional)

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:10

 

Engaging the Kingdom — Overcoming Evil

“Our willingness to yield up everything when we are bidden to do so is our willingness to have enough in Jesus Christ alone, to desire to follow him alone. Our voluntary renunciation of counterviolence confirms and proclaims our unconditional allegiance to Jesus as his follower, our freedom, our detachment from our own egos. And it is only in the exclusivity of this adherence that evil can be overcome.”
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship