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

The spiritual life is an all-encompassing, lifelong response to God’s gracious initiatives in the lives of those who trust is centered in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Biblical spirituality is a Christ-centered orientation to every component of life through the mediating power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is a journey of the spirit that begins with the gift of forgiveness and life in Christ and progresses through faith and obedience. Since it is based on a present relationship, it is a journey with Christ rather than a journey to Christ.

As long as we are on this earth we never arrive; the journey is not complete until the day of our resurrection, when the Lord brings us into complete conformity with himself.

Kenneth Boa

“Conformed to His Image”

Biblical Spirituality: A Journey With Christ

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I have begun reading a book entitled “Rhythms of Grace” by Mike Cosper. Mike is one of the founding pastors of Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky, where he serves as the pastor of worship & arts. He is also the founder of Sojourn Music and contributes regularly to the Gospel Coalition blog.

Mike’s purpose of writing this book is to “show the gospel is all about worship and worship is all about the gospel”.

In the first few chapters, Mike takes us back to the very beginning of time to start this journey. He explains how worship existed between a Triune God even before God spoke and the earth was formed. He takes us into the Garden of Eden and ultimately into the exile of the Garden and into the wilderness.

One of the overall themes that has been prevalent in the first few chapters is the story of worship: God creates, sin corrupts, but Christ redeems.

Mike goes on to talk about the holiness of God and makes the following statement:

God is holy, and Israel was not. They needed to shed blood for sins both great and small so that God could dwell in their midst. Sin demands death, and Israel couldn’t love in community with God without a clear, violent, and ever-present reminder of the cost of their sins.

He goes on to say,

Nothing required God to provide a way for redeeming fallen man. He had every right to simply allow us to suffer the deadly consequences of our actions, but He didn’t. He never abandoned us. He stepped into our world and made a way for us to know Him.

Mike points out in this chapter that in today’s world we have a tainted view of the holiness of God.

The boiling, fiery, deadly presence of God is the natural reaction of holiness in the presence of sin. We misunderstand the wrath of God if we think it’s only emotional rage, like an angry, frustrated parent. It’s not; it’s a rage made of a pure, perfect, and holy hatred of sin and evil. On the flip side, it’s a rage built upon the deepest love of what is good, pure and perfect.

Mike points out that just as we underestimate God’s holiness, we underestimate how deeply sinful we are. He says,

We think of ourselves as good enough, smart enough, and likeable enough to deserve forgiveness from God.

God redeemed us because He loves us – “For God so LOVED the world…”. When we think of how holy God is and the price that was paid for our sins, our response to Him should be nothing short of worship!

Points to Ponder:

  1. Do you realize how much God loves you?
  2. Do you see just how holy God is and just how much we need a Savior?

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In the book The Trellis and the Vine, Colin Marshall & Tony Payne write the following about every Christian being a missionary.

They write, “The Christian without a missionary heart is an anomaly.”

Just in case you don’t know, dictionary.com defines “anomaly” as the following: a deviation from the common rule, type, arrangement, or form. someone or something that is abnormal or incongruous, or does not fit in.

Both of these gentleman are arguing that there is no difference between a Christian and a missionary and I could not agree with them any more. It is every Christians responsibility to help spread the gospel and HIS glory to the ends of the earth – whether across the street or around the world.

They continue, “The missionary heart will be seen in all kinds of ways:”

  • In prayers for the lost, in making sure our behavior offends no-one, in gospel conversations with friends, and in making every effort to save some. We are slaves without rights, even though we are free ( 2 Corinthians 4:5 | Philemon 2:7 ).
  • Disciples are called to a distinctive, ‘salty’ lifestyle characterized by good deeds and righteousness. By living this way we shine as lights in the world, attracting praise not to ourselves but to God our Father ( Matthew 5:13-16 ).
  • We are called to pray for the bold proclamation of the gospel in the world ( Col 4:2-3 ).
  • Our conversations with outsiders should be gracious yet provocative, giving appropriate answers to the questions that are prompted by our way of life ( Col 4:5-6 ).
  • The sound doctrine of the gospel produces a radical Christian way of life that gives no grounds for slander, and makes the teaching of the gospel attractive to the world ( Titus 2:1-10 ).
  • Like God’s chosen people Israel, Christians both corporately and privately are to make God known to the nations by declaring his mercies in the gospel and by living a holy life ( I Peter 2:9-12 | 3:1-2 ).
  • Even in the midst of persecution, believer are to surrender to the lordship of Christ and gently give a defense of the hope we have in the gospel ( I Peter 3:15 ).

“We have to conclude that a Christian with no passion for the lost is in series need of self-examination and repentance”.

“It is very striking that Paul calls upon ordinary believers in Corinth to be imitators of him, as he is of Christ. And this imitation is not in some general sense, but in actively seeking the salvation of others. They are not to seek their own advantage “but that of many, that they may be saved” ( I Corinthians 10:33 ).

They finish with this awesome statement:

“Their whole aim was to be the glory of God in the salvation of others”.

Points to Ponder:

  • How are you using your life for Christ?
  • Are you a Christian anomaly?
  • How are you shining the light of Jesus to this world?

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Kyle Idleman is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. He is the author of Not A Fan, Gods At War and his latest book AHA. I finished AHA last week and quickly jumped into Gods At War.

One of the reason I have enjoyed his books is that he does not make your feel warm and fuzzy. He tells the truth, straight from God’s Word, and just tells you like it is! So far, all three books have hit me head on and have caused me to do a lot of thinking.

His book Gods At War came out in 2013 and deals with the topic of idolatry. The full title is Gods at War: Defeating the Idols That Battle For Your Heart. The title of this post is the same as his first chapter: Idolatry Is The Issue.

He begins the chapter with a quote from Os Guinness:

Idolatry is huge in the Bible, dominant in our personal lives, and irrelevant in our mistaken estimations.

He goes on to say that idolatry isn’t just one of many sins; rather it’s the one great sin that all others come from. He states that idolatry isn’t AN issue; it is THE issue.

Pretty bold statement!

Exodus 20:2-3 state, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.”

Idleman states:

God isn’t interested in competing against others or being first among many. God will not be part of any hierarchy. He wasn’t saying “before me” as in “ahead of me”. A better understand of the Hebrew word translated “before me” is “in my presence.”

God declines to sit atop an organizational flowchart. He IS the organization. He is not interested in being president of the board. He IS the board.

Mr. Idleman makes sure to inform his readers that there are many, many things in our lives that are not immoral, but in fact amoral. Such as our family, our careers, money, sports and even great causes.

However, he continues:

The problem is that the instant something takes the place of God, the moment it becomes an end in itself rather than something to lay at God’s throne, it becomes an idol. When someone or something replaces the Lord God in the position of glory in our lives, then that person or thing by definition has become our god.

Anything at all can become an idol once it becomes a substitute for God in our lives.

Anything that becomes the purpose or driving force of your life probably points back to idolatry of some kind.

Points To Ponder:

  1. Do you agree or disagree that idolatry is THE issue? (I would love to know your thoughts)
  2. Is idolatry a problem in our world today?
  3. Is there something in your life that has “become the purpose or driving force in your life” other than God?

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“Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace, freely bestowed on all who believe; All who are longing to see His face, will you this moment His grace receive?”

That is a beautiful line in the song “Grace Greater Than All My Sin”, but do we believe it? Do we live our lives like we understand that?

David Platt writes the following in his book Follow Me:

The only reason we can seek Christ in our sinfulness is because Christ has sought us as our Savior. The glory of the gospel is that the God of the universe reaches beyond the harshness of our hearts, overcoming our selfish resistance and sinful rebellion, and He saves us from ourselves. Such mercy magnifies God’s pursuit of us and crucifies our pride before Him.

To be a Christian is to be loved by God, pursued by God, and found by God. To be a Christian is to realize that in your sin, you were separated from God’s presence, and you deserved nothing but God’s wrath. Yet despite your darkness and in your deadness, His light shone on you and His voice spoke to you, inviting you for follow Him. His majesty captivated your soul and His mercy covered your sin, and by his death he brought you life.

Do you know for sure that you are His child, not ultimately because of any good you have done – any prayers you have prayed, steps you have taken, or boxes you have checked – but solely because of the grace HE has given?

Ephesians 2:8 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”

Points to Ponder:

  1. If you have experienced God’s grace, what does it mean to you?
  2. Do you believe that your current or past life is beyond the grace of God?
  3. Are you trying to earn your salvation or are you accepting God’s amazing grace?