Powering Down

Ray Ortlund on moving from an iPhone back to a flip phone:

In the short time I have left in this life, I want maximum divine blessing, which requires calmness of heart, mental clarity, capacity for undisturbed concentration, so that I can walk in the presence of the risen Jesus rather than crawl through every day buffeted by our screamingly intrusive world. In other words, “I have calmed and quieted my soul” (Psalm 131:2).

The Power of Expectations

How powerful are expectations? Very. We feed on the expectations of others.

Consider this example:

The tendency to see in others what we’ve been led to expect takes its name from Shaw’s play [Pygmalion]. Called the Pygmalion effect, it’s nicely suited to controlled experiments. In one of the best-known experimental investigations of the Pygmalion effect, Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacboson administered what they called the “Harvard Test of Inflected Acquisition” to students in a West Coast school. Subsequently, they met with the students’ teachers to present the results of the test. In particular, Rosenthal and Jacobson identified certain students as very likely to exhibit a sudden spurt in academic abilities during the coming year, based on the results of the test.

When IQ test scores were compared later, the researchers’ predictions proved accurate. The students identified as “spurters” far exceeded their classmates during the following year, suggesting that the predictive test was a powerful one. In fact, the test was a hoax! The researchers had made their predictions randomly among both good and poor students. What they told the teachers did not really reflect students’ test scores at all. The progress made by the “spurters” was simply a result of the teachers expecting the improvement and paying more attention to those students, encouraging them, and rewarding them for achievements. (Babbie, 2012, p. 243)

We might apply this example in two directions.

First, whose expectations are we listening to? Are we living in light of others’ expectations? Or, are we listening to the expectations of God? If He views us as sons and daughters, how does that change the way we live now and view ourselves?

Second, what are our expectations of others? Do we see in them God-given, Christ-bought, Spirit-empowered potential? Or, do we limit them with our own lack-of-faith expectations?

Just some food for thought today.

dg

Babbie, E. (2012). The practice of social research (13th edition). Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth Publishing.

Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament

I love these insights on Jesus as the true and better answer to every Old Testament precursor.

I wonder if the talk on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:27) went something like this:

True & Better from Peter Artemenko on Vimeo.

[Can’t see the video? Click HERE]

Here is the text from the video:1

Jesus is the true and better Adam who passed the test in the garden and whose obedience is imputed to us.

Jesus is the true and better Abel who, though innocently slain, has blood now that cries out, not for our condemnation, but for acquittal.

Jesus is the true and better Abraham who answered the call of God to leave all the comfortable and familiar and go out into the void not knowing wither he went to create a new people of God.

Jesus is the true and better Isaac who was not just offered up by his father on the mount but was truly sacrificed for us. And when God said to Abraham, “Now I know you love me because you did not withhold your son, your only son whom you love from me,” now we can look at God taking his son up the mountain and sacrificing him and say, “Now we know that you love us because you did not withhold your son, your only son, whom you love from us.”

Jesus is the true and better Jacob who wrestled and took the blow of justice we deserved, so we, like Jacob, only receive the wounds of grace to wake us up and discipline us.

Jesus is the true and better Joseph who, at the right hand of the king, forgives those who betrayed and sold him and uses his new power to save them.

Jesus is the true and better Moses who stands in the gap between the people and the Lord and who mediates a new covenant.

Jesus is the true and better Rock of Moses who, struck with the rod of God’s justice, now gives us water in the desert.

Jesus is the true and better Job, the truly innocent sufferer, who then intercedes for and saves his stupid friends.

Jesus is the true and better David whose victory becomes his people’s victory, though they never lifted a stone to accomplish it themselves.

Jesus is the true and better Esther who didn’t just risk leaving an earthly palace but lost the ultimate and heavenly one, who didn’t just risk his life, but gave his life to save his people.

Jesus is the true and better Jonah who was cast out into the storm so that we could be brought in.

Jesus is the real Rock of Moses, the real Passover Lamb, innocent, perfect, helpless, slain so the angel of death will pass over us. He’s the true temple, the true prophet, the true priest, the true king, the true sacrifice, the true lamb, the true light, the true bread.

The Bible’s really not about you – it’s about him.

(HT:For typed text)


  1. From this talk – https://vimeo.com/115986929