Daily Keller

~ Wisdom from Tim Keller 365 Days a Year

Daily Keller

Why Should I Seek God?

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Tim Keller

On one hand, you may feel that you ‘need’ him. Even though you may recognize that you have needs only God can meet, you must not try to use him to achieve your own ends. It is not possible to bargain with God. (‘I’ll do this if you will do that.’) That is not Christianity at all, but a form of magic or paganism in which you ‘appease’ the cranky deity in exchange for a favor. Are you getting into Christianity to serve God, or to get God to serve you? Those are two opposite motives and they result in two different religions. You must come to God because 1) you owe it to him to give him your life (because he is your creator) and 2) you are deeply grateful to him for sacrificing his son (because he is your redeemer.)

On the other hand, you may feel no need or interest to know God at all. This does not mean you should stay uncommitted. If you were created by God, then you owe him your life, whether you feel like it or not. You are obligated to seek him and ask him to soften your heart, open your eyes, and enlighten you. If you say, ‘I have no faith,’ that is no excuse either. You need only doubt your doubts. No one can doubt everything at once— you must believe in something to doubt something else. For example, do you believe you are competent to run your own life? Where is the evidence of that? Why doubt everything but your doubts about God and your faith in yourself? Is that fair? You owe it to God to seek him. Do so.

– Tim Keller

Live for God

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Tim Keller

To live for anything else but God leads to breakdown and decay. When a fish leaves the water, which he was built for, he is not free, but dead. Worshiping other things besides God leads to a loss of meaning. If we achieve these things, they cannot deliver satisfaction, because they were never meant to be ‘gods.’ They were never meant to replace God. Worshiping other things besides God also leads to self- image problems. We end up defining ourselves in terms of our achievement in these things. We must have them or all is lost; so they drive us to work too hard, or they fill us with terror if they are jeopardized.

– Tim Keller

Sin Devoured by the Gospel

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Tim Keller

The gospel devours the very motivation you have for sin. It completely saps your very need and reason to live any way you want. Anyone who insists that the gospel encourages us to sin has simply not understood it yet, nor begun to feel its power.

– Tim Keller

Justice and Love

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Tim Keller

Most people love those who love them, yet God loves and seeks the good even of people who are his enemies. But because God is good and loving, he cannot tolerate evil. The opposite of love is not anger, but indifference. ‘The more you love your son, the more you hate in him the liar, the drunkard, the traitor,’ (E. Gifford). To imagine God’s situation, imagine a judge who also is a father, who sits at the trial of his guilty son. A judge knows he cannot let his son go, for without justice no society can survive. How much less can a loving God merely ignore or suspend justice for us — who are loved, yet guilty of rebellion against his loving authority?

– Tim Keller

The Only Secure Love

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Tim Keller

God does not love us because we are serviceable; He loves us simply because He loves us. This is the only kind of love we can ever be secure in, of course, since it is the only kind of love we cannot possibly lose.

– Tim Keller

What the Gospel Is and Is Not

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Tim Keller

The gospel is not that Jesus Christ comes to earth, tells us how to live, we live a good life, and then God owes us blessing. The gospel is that Jesus Christ came to earth, lived the life we should have lived and died the death we should have died.

– Tim Keller

God’s Creation

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Tim Keller

God created us and built us for a relationship with him. We belong to him, and we owe him gratitude for every breath, every moment, everything. Because humans were built to live for him (to worship), we will always try to worship something — if not God, we will choose some other object of ultimate devotion to give our lives meaning.

– Tim Keller

Persecution

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Tim Keller

When people come to me and say, ‘What does the Bible teach I should do when I’m persecuted?’ I say, ‘It’s simple. You want to not go get them and hate them. The Bible says reverse that. You have to go get them and love them.’ What do people say? ‘Impossible. That’s ridiculous.’ Of course, that’s what the Bible says you’re supposed to do. That’s what turn the other cheek means.

Turn the other cheek does not mean you let people walk all over you. Absolutely not. Paul didn’t; he appealed to Caesar. Jesus didn’t; he protested when he was struck. ‘Hey, this is illegal,’ he said. The Bible always says you uphold justice for the sake of justice, but you let God be the judge. You give over the ultimate judgment of that person’s character to God and you go after justice without any vengefulness in your heart. You forgive.

– Tim Keller

 

 

Christianity is Knowing God

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Tim Keller

What is Christianity? Some say it is a philosophy, others say it is an ethical stance, while still others claim it is actually an experience. None of these things really gets to the heart of the matter, however. Each is something a Christian has, but not one of them serves as a definition of what a Christian is. Christianity has at its core a transaction between a person and God. A person who becomes a Christian moves from knowing about God distantly to knowing about him directly and intimately. Christianity is knowing God.

‘Now this is eternal life; that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.’ — John 17:3

– Tim Keller