Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God (Mic. 6:8).
God has two dwellings; one in heaven, the other in a meek and thankful heart.

The Falling Tower

Devotional 3

Tim Keller

A very interesting discussion about repentance--when and who.

The Falling Tower

Next God @ Church - God


  • Jon

    • 2 years ago
    If you don't have time to listen to all of this, here are a few choice quotes! Timothy Keller seems to really know the human heart. There are so many beautiful deep thoughts in this podcast:

    “The gospel is (that) you are much more flawed and much more lost than your heart dares believe, but on the other hand, you are much more loved, you are much more cared for, you are much more protected, than your heart will believe either. Only if you see the depth of what’s wrong with you can you really appreciate the unbelievable patience and grace of God, but only if you see the infinite grace and patience of God will you have the psychological ability to be honest about what’s wrong with you.”

    Therefore, Jesus Christ is saying, “Do you know …? Unless you see the depth of your sin and the height of God’s grace, when things go well, you’re going to be smug instead of happy and grateful, or when things go poorly, you’re going to be devastated instead of hopeful and enduring.” Unless you see both of those, you’re going to go back and forth between being a proud Pharisee or being a cynical skeptic, and you’re going to not be able to handle the suffering and troubles of life.

    And some super advise when things are going well: “The first thing we learn is when you go through a period of life in which your life is going smoothly, you’re in very dangerous territory spiritually. The first bit of advice is just this: Jesus Christ when he says, “You’re going to perish. Watch out! Look out!” what he’s saying is there is no greater spiritual crisis than to have no crises in your life. There is no greater spiritual trial than to have no trials in your life. There is no more spiritually dangerous place than to have a trouble-free stretch where you see towers falling on other people but not you. I know.”

    Jesus says there is no more important time to repent than when things are going well. There is no more important time to repent than when you’re basically reaching your goals. There is no more important time to repent than when blessings are coming down on your head.

    When he calls them to repent, he’s showing us something. Of course, if you do bad things, if you lie, if you cheat, if you steal, if you rob a bank, yes, repent, but that’s not the essence of repentance. Because the essence of sin is not breaking the rules; the essence of sin is to substitute yourself for God. The essence of sin is putting yourself or something else in the place that only God should have. The essence of sin is being your own savior or lord or creating another one. The essence of sin is not looking to him for your salvation but doing it yourself. It’s in good times, in trouble-free times, in which you’re most likely to do that. It is during trouble-free times that you inevitably start to shift the real hope of your heart to the good things in your life, away from him … make them your joy, make them your significance, make them your worth. That is inevitably happening, subtlety. That’s the reason why it’s such a dangerous time.

    And the cure: Then as you meditate on the good thing as a sheer act of undeserved grace, then turn to Jesus and say, “Lord, I can’t believe your grace. Your grace is so great that I want to adore you, not these things. Your smile, your honor, your pleasure should be my joy and my crown and my worth and my significance, because if I put my heart down into anything else, when the trouble-free stretch is over, and inevitably it will be over, I will perish.”

    Religious repentance is, “Repentance is abnormal. Only when you blow it.” Gospel repentance happens all the time. You respond to failure with repentance, but you respond to success with repentance. You respond to everything with repentance. The first of Martin Luther’s 95 theses that he nailed to the Wittenberg door was all of life is repentance, if you understand the gospel.

    Jesus Christ is absolute proof that the religious understanding of falling towers is wrong, because he was the best man who ever lived, and he had the worst life. The most wonderful life ever lived, and as a result, he got the most pain and suffering anyone has ever had.

    Why? I’ll tell you why. The reason you can know, Jesus says, if you repent, towers won’t fall on you is that the ultimate tower has fallen on him. The reason the best person had the worst life is that the ultimate tower, eternal justice, what we deserve for what’s wrong with us, has fallen on him. If you want to handle the inequities and injustices of this life, you have to see that he got the greatest injustice of all.

    The reason God is never going to give me what I deserve, but something much better, is that God did not give Jesus what he deserved, but something far worse.” He got the ultimate tower. It fell on him.

  • Luz

    • 2 years ago
    Great compilation, John, thank you very much.
  • Frank

    • 1 year ago
    Very good talk. Motivating and thought-provoking.