Inspiration

Learning to live in the wisdom of God’s love.

Chapel Hill is blessed with a calling to experience and share the transforming love and grace of God. From our founding, the message of grace, rooted in Scripture, has been boldly proclaimed.

You are invited to discover the way accepting and receiving God’s love will change your life — with an awareness of your identity as a beloved Child of the Heavenly Father, a deepening appreciation for the blessings in your life, and a renewed desire to love and serve others. The Kingdom of God is a beautiful place.

“The greatest honor we can give to God is to live gladly because of the knowledge of his love.”
— Julian of Norwich

Recommended Reading+

Why Jesus Matters+

“Jesus matters because of what he brought and what he still brings to ordinary human beings, living their ordinary lives and coping daily with their surroundings. He promises wholeness for their lives. In sharing our weaknesses he gives us strength and imparts through his companionship a life that has the quality of eternity.”
— Dallas Willard, “The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God”

“He became what we are that He might make us what He is.”
— Athanasius

In the Cross is salvation,
in the Cross is life,
in the Cross is protection from our enemies,
in the Cross is infusion of heavenly sweetness,
in the Cross is strength of mind,
in the Cross is joy of spirit,
in the Cross is the height of virtue,
in the Cross is perfection of sanctity.
There is no salvation of the soul, nor hope of everlasting life, but in the Cross.

— Thomas á Kempis, “The Imitation of Christ”

“It’s worth noting that Jesus didn’t condemn bad people. He condemned ‘stiff’ people. We condemn the bad ones and affirm the stiff ones. Whether it was a prostitute or a tax collector or an outcast — Jesus reached out to them. It was a motley crew of riffraff that followed Him around, and it never embarrassed Him or made Him feel uncomfortable.”
— Steve Brown, “Key Life”

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’”
— Jesus, Matthew 9:12-13

“Jesus is the King of the universe, the ruler of all. You and I have been raised with Him, alive to the world above, where He is. And, since Jesus is now in the position of authority as the resurrected Lamb and Lion, nothing — absolutely nothing — can prevent our access to God and His glorious realm. That is why we live with no insecurity, either about our salvation or the final outcome of everything. God gets the last word. And God is good. And it is going to be well. All manner of things will be well.”
— James Bryan Smith, “Hidden in Christ”

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing. And every created thing which is in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, ‘To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”
— Revelation 5:12-13

God’s Love and Mercy+

“God wants us to be merciful with ourselves. And besides, our sorrows are not our own. He takes them on Himself, into His heart.”
— George Bernanos, “The Diary of a Country Priest”

“Circumstances may appear to wreck our lives and God’s plans, but God is not helpless among the ruins. Our broken lives are not lost or useless. God’s love is still working. He comes in and takes the calamity and uses it victoriously, working out his wonderful plan of love.”
— Eric Liddell, “Disciplines of the Christian Life”

“The wisdom to see the tenderness of God at work in tribulation and consolation delivers the ragamuffin from the house of fear, sets her free from the worries, tensions and pressures of our torn and tearing world, and makes the words of Jesus her cry of liberation: ‘There is no need to be afraid, little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you the Kingdom,’ Luke 12:32.”

— Brennan Manning, “The Wisdom of Tenderness”
“Not everything that happens is God’s will. But God’s will is in everything that happens. God is faithful to bring some amount of good out of the worst tragedy.”
— Rev. Jeff Gannon, “God Is Good,” September 20, 2009

“We are put on this earth, for a little space, that we may learn to bear the beams of love.”
— William Blake

Prayer+

“A Prayer for Seeking God
O Lord, teach me to seek you,
and reveal yourself to me when I seek you.
For I cannot seek you unless you first teach me,
nor find you unless you first reveal yourself to me.
Let me seek you in longing, and long for you in seeking.
Let me find you in love, and love you in finding.
Amen.”
— Ambrose of Milan

“The Psalms, you realize, are all common prayers, congregational prayers. They might have started out with just one person praying, but very soon they got into the common life of Israel. This privatization of prayer is a huge mistake. It puts too much of a burden on you. It robs you of the reality of the community of heaven. One of the greatest books of the Bible about prayer is Revelation. It’s all about common prayer — at least two thirds of Revelation is about worship. It’s all about what you do when you get together with God’s people.”
— Eugene Peterson

“Eternal Father of my soul, let my first thought today be of You, let my first impulse be to worship You, let my first speech be Your name, let my first action be to kneel before You in prayer.”
— John Baillie

“Prayer is friendship with God.”
— George A. Buttrick

The Kingdom of God+

“But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
— Jesus, Matthew 6:33

“And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the Kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him.”
— Luke 8:1

“And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, Preaching the Kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.”
— Acts 28:30-31

“If we only had eyes to see and ears to hear and wits to understand, we would know that the Kingdom of God — in the sense of holiness, goodness and beauty — is as close as breathing, and is crying out to be born both within ourselves and within the world. We would know that the Kingdom of God is what all of us hunger for above all other things, even when we don’t know its name or realize that it’s what we’re starving to death for. The Kingdom of God is where our best dreams come from and our truest prayers. We glimpse it at those moments when we find ourselves being better than we are and wiser than we know. We catch sight of it when, at some moment of crisis, a strength seems to come to us that is greater than our own strength. The Kingdom of God is where we belong. It is home, and whether we realize it or not, I think we are all of us homesick for it.”
— Frederick Buechner

“What really matters is that you are included. You have been chosen. God chooses you. This is the message of the Kingdom.”
— Dallas Willard

“You are a child of God, one in whom Christ dwells, and you live in the strong and unshakable kingdom of God.”
— James Bryan Smith, “The Good and Beautiful God”

“The resurrection completes the inauguration of God’s Kingdom. It is the decisive event demonstrating that God’s Kingdom really has been launched on earth as it is in heaven. The message of Easter is that God’s new world has been unveiled in Jesus Christ and that you’re now invited to belong to it.”
— N. T. Wright

Foundational Truths about My Life with God+

God is always present and active in my life, whether or not I see him. Coming to recognize and experience God’s presence is learned behavior; I can cultivate it.

My task is to meet God in this moment. I am always tempted to live “outside” this moment. When I do that I lose my sense of God’s presence.

Sometimes God seems far away for reasons I do not understand. Those moments, too, are opportunities to learn.

Whenever I fail, I can always start again right away.

No one knows the full extent to which a human being can experience God’s presence.

My desire for God ebbs and flows, but his desire for me is constant.

Every thought carries a “spiritual charge” that moves me a little closer or a little farther from God.

Every aspect of my life — work, relationships, hobbies, errands — is of immense and genuine interest to God.

My path to experiencing God’s presence will not look quite like anyone else’s.

Straining and trying too hard do not help.