Welcome to New Loft Chamber...

To all who stumble upon this little blog, I hope you will find something here to encourage you in your travels along the way...something to comfort you, something to help you, something to uplift you.

Jay Bruce

Self-sacrifice brought Christ into the world. And self-sacrifice will lead us, His followers, not way from, but into the midst of men. Wherever men suffer, there will we be to comfort. Wherever men strive, there will we be to help. Wherever men fail, there will we be to uplift. Self-sacrifice means not indifference to our times and our fellows, it means absorption in them. It means forgetfulness of self in others. It means not that we should live one life, but a thousand lives—binding ourselves to a thousand souls by the filaments of so loving a sympathy that their lives become ours. Only when we humbly walk this path, seeking truly in it not our own things but those of others, we shall fined the promise true, that he who loses his life shall find it. Only when, like Christ, and in loving obedience to His call and example, we take no account of ourselves, but freely give ourselves to others, we shall find, each in his measure, the saying true of himself also: 'Wherefore also God hath highly exalted him.' The path of self-sacrifice is the path to glory.”

-- Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield, from his sermon Imitating the Incarnation

Monday, November 17, 2008

Who Stands Fast?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in his Ethics:
"Who stands fast? Only the man whose final standard is not his reason, his principles, his conscience, his freedom, or his virtue, but who is ready to sacrifice all this when he is called to obedient and responsible action in faith and in exclusive allegiance to God--the responsible man, who tries to make his whole life an answer to the question and call of God. Where are these responsible people?"
In thinking through this question, "Who stands fast?" and my own measuring up (or lack thereof), I have found an unlikely example of the man who stands fast in Lot. Lot? Yes, Lot.
If you think about Lot's life, you'll find he is not the model of a faithful sojourner. He doesn't measure up well when he is compared with Abraham. Lot walked more by sight than by faith, and he certainly got much too familiar with the City of Sodom. Yet, for all his faults and foolish ways, he is called "righteous" (see 2 Pet. 2:7-8).
It's sometimes hard for me to relate to Abraham, but not to Lot. I'm a lot like Lot. I'm much too comfortable with our 21st century American culture. But, I am encouraged when I read about Lot taking a stand in Genesis 19. When evil men came knocking on Lot's door, Lot -- "righteous Lot" -- went outside of his home, closed the door behind him, and begged the men not to act so wickedly.
More and more I am coming to see that "evil men" (speaking figuratively of our culture) are knocking on my door. They want me, my wife and my children. May God give daily grace and strength for daily needs, that I might sacrifice all, stand fast...and fight for my son, my daughter, my wife and my home.
"I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken." -- Ps. 16:8

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