Daily Keller

~ Wisdom from Tim Keller 365 Days a Year

Daily Keller

Your True Self

Tags

Tim Keller

God made you to love him supremely, but he lost you. He returned to get you back, but it took the cross to do it. He absorbed your darkness so that one day you can finally and dazzlingly become your true self and take your seat at his eternal feast.

– Tim Keller

Removing Neediness

Tags

The Gospel in Life, Tim Keller

The gospel, if it is really believed, removes neediness — the need to be constantly respected, appreciated, and well regarded; the need to have everything in your life go well; the need to have power over others. All of these great, deep needs continue to control you only because the concept of the glorious God delighting in you with all His being is just that — a concept and nothing more. Our hearts don’t believe it, so they operate in default mode. Paul is saying that if you want to really change, you must let the gospel teach you — that is to train, discipline, coach you — over a period of time. You must let the gospel argue with you. You must let the gospel sink down deeply into your heart, until it changes your motivation and views and attitudes.

– Tim Keller

Just Grace

Tags

Generous Justice, Tim Keller

If a person has grasped the meaning of God’s grace in his heart, he will do justice. If he doesn’t live justly, then he may say with his lips that he is grateful for God’s grace, but in his heart he is far from him. If he doesn’t care about the poor, it reveals that at best he doesn’t understand the grace he has experienced, and at worst he has not really encountered the saving mercy of God. Grace should make you just.

– Tim Keller

The Marriage Covenant

Tags

The Meaning of Marriage, Tim Keller

In sharp contrast with our culture, the Bible teaches that the essence of marriage is a sacrificial commitment to the good of the other. That means that love is more fundamentally action than emotion. But in talking this way, there is a danger of falling into the opposite error that characterized many ancient and traditional societies. It is possible to see marriage as merely a social transaction, a way of doing your duty to family, tribe and society. Traditional societies made the family the ultimate value in life, and so marriage was a mere transaction that helped your family’s interest. By contrast, contemporary Western societies make the individual’s happiness the ultimate value, and so marriage becomes primarily an experience of romantic fulfillment. But the Bible sees GOD as the supreme good — not the individual or the family — and that gives us a view of marriage that intimately unites feelings AND duty, passion AND promise. That is because at the heart of the Biblical idea of marriage is the covenant.

– Tim Keller

Granting Forgiveness

Tags

The Prodigal God, Tim Keller

Mercy and forgiveness must be free and unmerited to the wrongdoer. If the wrongdoer has to do something to merit it, then it isn’t mercy, but forgiveness always comes at a cost to the one granting the forgiveness.

– Tim Keller

Sharing

Tags

Generous Justice, Tim Keller

There is an inequitable distribution of both goods and opportunities in this world. Therefore, if you have been assigned the goods of this world by God and you don’t share them with others, it isn’t just stinginess, it is injustice.

– Tim Keller

The Life-Changing Redeemer

Tags

Encounters with Jesus, The Father and Son, Tim Keller

The best way to get a grip on what Christianity is about is to look at Jesus — and even more at his accomplishments than his pronouncements. Other religions teach, in essence, that we can be saved if we follow their founders’ words. But Christians believe we are saved not primarily by following what Jesus said but by believing in what he did. We are saved not by what we do but by what Jesus has done. It is in his actions — his birth and incarnation as a human being; his miracles and healings; his response to trials, temptations, suffering, and death; and ultimately his resurrection and ascension — that we meet him, not just as another teacher but as a Savior accomplishing our salvation in our place. And so we must come to grips with each of these great actions and events to fully encounter Jesus as the life-changing Redeemer.

– Tim Keller

Brave Spirituality

Tags

Judges For You, Tim Keller

True discipleship is radical and risk-taking, because true disciples rely on God to keep his promises to bless them, and not on their own instincts, plans, or insurance policies.

It is hard to be truly brave without faith in God. The kind of bravery that does not arise out of faith in God is adventurism, or macho heroism, or plain cruelty. It can be rooted in insecurity, or a desperation to prove oneself, or hopelessness. Only faith-based bravery will walk the line between atrocities on the one side, and cowardice and ineffectiveness on the other.

– Tim Keller

Greater than John the Baptist

Tags

Tim Keller

In one of the most overlooked passages in the Bible, Jesus called John the Baptist the greatest prophet in history, and then added that every single believer is now greater in position and calling than him. (Matthew 11:9–11) ‘The least in the kingdom of God is greater than he [John the Baptist.]’ What did Jesus mean? He couldn’t mean that every Christian believer would be more courageous or more godly than John the Baptist. (I know that I’m not!)

What Jesus must have meant is that every Christian believer understands the gospel in a way John never could. John never saw Jesus’ death or resurrection; he never saw how Jesus fulfilled all the rich Old Testament predictions of God’s future salvation of the world. Every believer understands the gospel better than John the Baptist and therefore we are ‘greater.’

How? We have all been given the Holy Spirit and gifts to minister the gospel (1 Corinthians 12), and therefore we have more power to change lives than even the greatest of the Old Testament prophets had. That is why the New Testament calls every believer a ‘royal priest’ (1 Peter 2:9.) Yes, in the New Testament there are evangelists, counselors, teachers, pastors, and preachers who are (one could say) ‘full-time specialists.’ And yet the Bible says that every believer must evangelize (Acts 8:4), and must admonish, counsel, nourish, and encourage others believers from the Scripture so they grow into Christ-likeness (Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 3:13; 10:24–25).

So the Bible calls every Christian to be not just a recipient of gospel ministry, but also a practitioner of it. The reality is, however, that most believers in most churches live primarily as consumers…

– Tim Keller