Hope for Elder Brother Types

We spent a few weeks this summer/fall looking at the parable of the two sons in Luke 15. We focused on the elder brother several of those weeks. I like this post by Jon Bloom at the Desiring God blog. Here's what he says about hope for elder brother types:

It seems to me that self-righteousness poses challenges that are similar to wealth in terms of how hard it is to get into the kingdom. If you think you are righteous on your own, you don't believe you need the forgiveness Jesus has to offer. If you are wealthy, you do not need the treasures Jesus has to offer. The poor and the more outwardly sinful often can more clearly see their need for the Savior.

But the wonderful thing about the gospel is that Jesus came to deliver both the prodigals and the older brothers in their respective slavery to sin. It takes a miracle to be delivered from both blinding sinful self-righteousness and blinding sinful indulgence.

One great word of hope for "older brother" types is that the person Jesus chose to write most of the New Testament and to be the great champion of God's grace was Paul, who had excelled all his contemporaries in his "older brotherly" zeal. And one reason I think Jesus did this is to show us that God certainly can help older brothers see how much they have been forgiven and therefore love much (Philippians 3:2-10).

So for all of us relatively well-behaved older brothers: "With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God" (Mark 10:27).

Baptism, Grandparents and Bono

Here are some quotes of Len Sweet from on lunch session recorded in Batterson's blog:

"Your baptism is your ordination into ministry."

"Ask the grandparents in your church: how many of you would lay down your life for your grandchildren? Every grandparent will raise their hand. Then ask them: how many of you would lay down your musical preferences for your grandchildren?"

"Sometimes God is more active in the world than he is in the church. Who's had more impact alleviating suffering in the world: your church or Bono?"

"When you're in incarnational mode you're always living on other people's terms."