Archives For Quotes From My Reading

These are quotes from the books that I have been reading that I would like to share with others

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I started reading Kyle Idleman’s new book entitled Grace Is Greater a few weeks ago and it is just like his other books – excellent!

Part of the description on the back of the book explains it this way, “Perhaps nothing is as difficult to explain as God’s grace. The best way – perhaps the only real way – to understand it is to experience it.

In this book, Kyle Idleman leads the readers “past our hang-ups toward an understanding of grace that is bigger than our mistakes, our failures, our desires for revenge, and our seemingly impossible situations. Through powerful stories of grace experienced, this book will help you truly grasp God’s grace … even if the Christians around you have failed to live it”.

I am only a few chapters into this book, but wanted to share with you a few of my favorite quotes so far:

God’s grace is compelling when explained but irresistible when experienced.

Our ability to appreciate grace is in direct correlation to the degree to which we acknowledge our need for it. The more I recognize the ugliness of my sin, the more I can appreciate the beauty of God’ grace.

If we miss the reality and the depth of our sin, we miss out on the grace of God. As long as we think I’m not a bad person, grace will never seem that good.

We can all find ways to reach the conclusion that I’m not that bad, but in doing so we miss out on God’s great gift of grace. Until we recognize our need for grace, we won’t care about receiving it.

I can tell you confidently that you’ve done nothing so horrible that grace can’t cover it. Grace is always greater – no matter what. The truth is I am worse than I ever wanted to admit, but God’ grace is greater than I ever could have imagined.

One of my favorites so far:

The worst thing that could happen is that you spend your life trying to outrun God because you think he’s chasing you to collect what you owe – when he’s really chasing you to give you what you could never afford.


Quotes are from “Grace Is Greater” by Kyle Idleman (chapters 1-2)

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david-plattJust recently, my church went through David Platt’s Bible study entitled “Counter Culture”. It is an excellent study that shows how Christians should be countering our culture when faced with things like poverty, same-sex marriage, racism, immigration, abortion, pornography, and orphans.

A description of the book is as follows:

Everywhere we turn, battle lines are being drawn – traditional marriage vs. gay marriage, pro-life vs. pro-choice, personal freedom vs. governmental protection. Seemingly overnight, culture has shifted to the point where right and wrong are no longer measured by universal truth but by popular opinion. And as difficult conversations about homosexuality, abortion and religious freedom continue to inject themselves into our workplace, our churches,, our schools and our homes, Christians everywhere are asking the same question: How are we suppose to respond to all this?

David Platt (current president of the International Mission Board & former pastor at The Church at Brook Hills) tackles these subjects head-on and takes us to God’s Word for the answers. Each subject is looked at through the lens of what God says in His Word vs. what the world is saying.

Each chapter is excellent and brings out some great points but I want to focus on several quotes from the last chapter entitled “The Most Urgent Need: The Gospel & The Unreached”.

David opens the book with asking three questions that each of us must answer for ourselves.

  1. Are we going to choose comfort for the cross?
  2. Are we going to settle for maintenance or sacrifice for mission?
  3. Will our lives be marked by indecisive minds or undivided hearts?

Platt is urging the church and Christians to answer these questions. He makes the following statement:

Are we going to follow Jesus? Not, are we going to bow our heads, say a prayer, read the Bible, go to church, and give a tithe while we get on with the rest of our lives? But, are we going to follow Jesus with all our lives, no matter where He leads us to go, how countercultural the task is, or what the cost may be for us, our families, and our churches?

He goes on to talk about choosing comfort over the cross:

When we observe our churches today, do they look like groups of people who gather with one another as they give their lives to spread the gospel among unreached people, impoverished communities, abandoned orphans, lonely widows, dying babies, sex slaves, and suffering brother and sisters around the world? Sadly, I don’t believe that’s the picture we portray. Instead, we spend the majority of our time sitting as spectators in services that cater to our comforts. Even in our giving to the church, we spend the majority of our money on places for us to meet, professionals to do the ministry, and programs designed around us and our kids.

I can’t help but wonder what might happen if we put aside our personal preferences, let go or our extra biblical (and in some cases unbiblical) traditions, lay down our cultural comforts, and organize ourselves solely and sacrificially around God’s Word and gospel mission.

David Platt then talks about are we settling for maintenance or are we willing to sacrifice for the mission:

Over the course of the book, we have considered massive physical needs in the world. Yet as we contemplate these needs, if we are not careful, we run the risk of ignoring people’s most pressing need. That need is not for water, food, family, freedom, safety, or equality. As urgent as all of these things are for men, women, and children around the world, they are surpassed in urgency by a much greater need. That need – the most urgent need – is for the gospel.

The central message of the church in the world, then, is proclaiming the gospel to the world.

Jesus Christ gave us marching orders, and they are clear. Proclaim the gospel – the good news of God’s great love for us in Christ – to every people group on the planet.

Platt concludes the chapter by explaining that too many people are marked by indecisive minds. He pleads with each of us to have undivided hearts toward the work of spending the gospel to the ends of the earth.

Following Jesus doesn’t just entail sacrificial abandonment of our lives: it requires supreme affection from our hearts.

What must be consistent for all of us, however, is that we pray, give and go as He leads, and as we do, that we proclaim the gospel with conviction, compassion, and courage.

My favorite quote from this chapter and one that I hope and pray that I live out is the following:

For if the gospel is true, and if our God is worthy of the praise of all people, then we must spend our lives and mobilize our churches for the spread of Christ’s love to unreached people groups all around the world. Jesus has not given us a commission to consider; He has given us a command to obey.

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So what is TRUE greatness?

You can ask 10 people this questions and receive 10 different answers back in return.

I just got finished reading a book entitled Raising Kids for TRUE Greatness by Dr. Tim Kimmel. Dr. Kimmel is the founder of Family Matters Ministries and is a Bryan College graduate. He is an award-winning author of Grace Based Parenting, Why Christian Kids Rebel & Little House on the Freeway. 

Kimmel begins the book by say,

A person can be successful without coming close to being truly great. And wouldn’t we all rather aim our children toward true greatness?

I believe that every parent would want their children to be truly great! The problem is that people have looked to the world to gain their definition of success instead of looking into God’s Word. The world defines success by the following:

  • Fame
  • Power
  • Health & Beauty
  • Wealth

By the world’s standards, if you have these things, then you are successful. It does not matter the cost or what it takes to get there. But this is so contrary to what God’s Word teaches us. Dr. Kimmel explains that “according to Jesus, if we want our kids to be truly great, we must first teach them to be servants.”

Matthew 20:25-28 says, “But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

God’s goals for our children often run counter to the default mode of the human heart.

Dr. Kimmel’s definition of TRUE greatness is this:

TRUE greatness is a passionate love for God that demonstrates itself in an unquenchable love and concern for others.

Sounds a whole lot like the two greatest commandments – doesn’t it!?!

Why do we dream such small dreams & expect so little from our children? Why do we assume that we have such limited capabilities as parents? Why do we assume that great people have to be the exception rather than the rule when it comes to our efforts as parents? Why don’t we think that our children can ever take rank among the truly great? Worse, why do we sell God’s bigger plan for our lives so short?

It makes so much more sense to raise your kids to live faithful and effective lives on earth and then leave the breadth of their success up to God.


Be watching for more blog post about Raising Kids for TRUE Greatness!

I would like to invite you to join Mickey Rector & myself for Parenting Essentials on Facebook LIVE every Wednesday at 12 noon. Parenting Essentials is a broadcast filled with practical advice to help parents train and disciple their children. Visit the Mile Straight Baptist Facebook page to watch!

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I am currently reading through the book “Big Truths for Young Hearts” by Bruce A. Ware. Bruce is a professor of Christian theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The reason he wrote this book was to impart “big truths” to his daughters. He would put them to bed and talk about these subjects, but put them in a language that even a small child would understand. After this daughters were grown, they earned him to compile all of these big truths and put them in book form.

Two great “big truths” that he started off with are “God is God from Us” & “God is God with Us”. Let me explain, or better yet, read what Bruce wrote:

BIG TRUTH: God is God from Us

God is God – completely and perfectly – without anything in the world helping God to be God.

Indeed, God is great – so great that nothing could add to his greatness. And the greatness of God – the fact that he possesses within himself everything that is good and wise and perfect – indicates to us just how much we should honor him as God and depend on him for all that we need. We should be humbled before this great and mighty God, realizing that while we can give nothing to him that he doesn’t already have, he has everything that we need. Our hearts should long to praise this God and to live in dependence upon him. Yes, indeed, God deserves nothing less.

BIG TRUTH: God is God with Us

Even though God is fully God apart from us and apart from the whole creation that he has made, the Bible also teaches that God is a God who is with us. We must first realize that God didn’t need to create this world or to create us. So, we are not here to fill some supposed emptiness in God or because God needs us somehow to help him out. Second, we must remember that after God created us, we turned against him, rejected his goodness and wanted to live our lives our own way. Because we have sinned against God, we deserve to be rejected by God, not accepted by him.

So, it really is amazing and wonderful that even though God doesn’t need us, and even though we have turned away from God in our sin, God comes to us, makes himself know to us, and desires to give himself fully to us. While God is fully God apart from us, amazingly, God is also a God who has chosen to be with us.

Why has he chosen to do this? Has he come because he needs something from us? No, rather God sees that we need something – everything! – from him. God chooses to come to those who are humble before him, “to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to review the heart of the contrite.” In other words, God comes to us not so we can fill up some emptiness in God (there is none), but so he can fill up the huge emptiness in us. Even though God doesn’t need us, he loves us, and he wants us to receive from him all of the goodness, blessing, and the joy that he has for those who will be humble and dependent before him.

Praise the Lord that he is God from us and that he is God with us!