Effort Is Not the Opposite of Grace

Richard Foster, author of The Celebration of Discipline:

There’s a back and forth—there is a role that we play in our relational life with God. That role is, as Paul puts it, that we are to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice.

Now, how do you do that? I’d say primarily—not exclusively, but primarily—through the classical disciplines of the spiritual life. That’s how we offer the mind, the heart, the spirit, the body before God. Then, at that point, the disciplines have come to the end of their tether. There is no righteousness in them at all—none. They just allow us to place ourselves before God. The grace of God steps into that and begins to do work we can hardly imagine.

The point of this is that I cannot change my own heart. I cannot change anybody else’s heart. That isn’t my business—that’s God’s business.

Source: Richard Foster: Effort Is Not the Opposite of Grace | Christianity Today

The Discipline of Proclaiming the Gospel

We’re talking about a discipline of proclaiming the Gospel as a practice of faithful presence.

In the fellowship of the faithful, we might sometimes be tempted to think that we have moved beyond the simple Gospel truths. In reality, we never move beyond them, only “further up, and deeper in” as C. S. Lewis wrote.[1] As we discern the presence of Christ, as we proclaim the Good News of his faithful presence with us both in history and in the present and in the future, we learn what it means to live in light of his Lordship in every area of our lives together. Continue reading The Discipline of Proclaiming the Gospel