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I just finished reading a book by Kyle Idleman entitled “The End of Me”. Kyle is the teaching pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the bestselling author of “Not A Fan”, “Gods At War” & “AHA”. “The End of Me” is described this way:

Kyle Idleman reveals that the key to the abundant life Jesus promises lies in embracing His inside-out way of life.

Kyle examines Jesus’s Sermons on the Mount and unpacks many other counterintuitive truths from Scripture, including brokenness is the way to wholeness, mourning is the path to blessing, and emptiness is required to know true fullness. As you begin to live out these paradoxical principles, you will ultimately discover how Jesus transforms you.

Only when you come to the end of yourself can you begin to experience the full, blessed, and whole life Jesus offers.

This book was packed with lots of greats quotes and so I wanted to share some of them. (Bold quotes are my favorite)

The End Of Me:

Reaching the end of me is a daily journey I must make because it’s where Jesus shows up and my real life in Him begins.

Jesus will show us that blessings and fulfillment is found in the least likely place – the end of ourselves.

Brokenness:

Jesus is saying that God’s kingdom begins in you when you come to the end of yourself and realize you have nothing to offer. It’s precisely the opposite of every assumption we tend to make in this world.

The less you see your own brokenness, the more broken you are.

Mourning:

There’s nothing life can throw at us that God can’t use to draw us nearer to Him.

Without seeing the depths of sin, we’ll never understand the heights of God’s love and grace.

Humbled:

Pride is the ultimate issue of the human condition – not just one of the “deadly sins” but the mother of them all.

Bible-time Pharisees were so good with rules and pious acts that they became legends in their own minds. Yet it wasn’t real. The Messiah stood before them, invisible to their eyes. The needs of the hungry and the sick, all around them, didn’t register. The things they cared about didn’t intersect with the things God care about.

The greatest danger in life is anything other than Jesus that becomes a foundation for our confidence.

Authentic:

When the inside and outside match up,  you’re pure in heart and you’re where He wants you to be.

A great part of the upside-down inside-out message of Jesus is that God doesn’t look so much on the outside, which is so easy to fake. He looks more on the inside, where we are what we are.

Jesus calls us to live one life and live it out in the open. His name for that is purity of heart, and his reward for that is a rich and fulfilled blessing in life.

To authentically know Him and to be authentically known by Him is what my soul was made for.

Empty To Be Filled:

The story found in 2 Kings 4, is a reminder that God loves to fill empty things – whether it’s a jar or a measure of hope. Jars are made for filling. They don’t fill themselves, but they receive what is poured into them. All jars begin with emptiness.

Disqualified To Be Chosen:

If anyone was disqualified for leadership, shouldn’t it have been a man who murdered believers and organized search-and-destroy missions against the church? (Paul)

Coming to the end of me also means allowing Jesus to put an end to the guilt and shame of the past. He declares your permanent record and offers you a new beginning with a new purpose.

For those of us worried about how others see us, we have to move forward even if we don’t know where we stand with them. God determines your future, not others.

Weak To Be Strong:

Why poverty? What a stable? Why blue-collar shepherds? Because He’s God, and God chooses weakness as the best setting to display His strength. Weakness creates the space that God fills with his strength. He stepped into poverty, weakness, and obscurity, and all we’re left to say is, “Look what God can do.” He takes a blank canvas of drab gray and says, “Watch this!”

The End Of Me:

Death renders all worldly points moot. It’s the ultimate, required surrender of yourself and all you have. When Jesus speaks of dying to ourselves, this is what He wants us to think about. All the stuff of the world is dead to us, and we’re dead to it.

It’s inherently human to focus on ourselves, It’s how we are. Jesus teaches us to deny ourselves, to die to ourselves but that doesn’t mean it ever becomes easy. Each day when we climb out of bed to begin a new day, we’re still human. The old self gets out of bed with us, and we have to put on Christ as an act of will, over and over.

I would love to hear from you on what your favorite quote was. Leave me a comment.

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For the past several months I am slowly making my way through Kyle Idleman’s book “gods at war: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart”. Mr. Idleman writes about several different “idols” that can easily take God’s place in our hearts and how we need to keep our eyes and hearts focused on God.

In the latest chapter I have read, Idleman talks about the god of money. He says,

The reason money so often ends up being God’s chief competition is that we tend to ascribe divine attributes to it. We look to money to do for us the very thing God wants to do for us.

In this chapter, he is talking about the parable in Luke 12:16-19.

And he told a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample good laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink and be merry.’

Idleman continues and gives us three attributes that we have a tendency to place on money instead of God.

Our Source of Security

The gods of power work for one shared premise: we can take care of ourselves. We can handle all our needs. The Lord is nice, but he really isn’t necessary. We don’t need to pray for our daily bread because we’ve got a pantry full of it. The gods of success appeal to our self-sufficiency.  

Our Source of Satisfaction

Most all of us have this appetite for money or possessions. And we think that if we could satisfy this appetite it would go away – if we could just make the money or buy the car – but that’s not how it works. Instead, the more you feed it, the hungrier it gets.

Our Source of Significance

The god of money wants us to believe that our significance comes from what we make of ourselves. But we find out true identity in Christ. He has marked us as his own, and that’s what makes us valuable. That’s where our value is found. He forever determined our value when he died on the cross for us. But when we worship the god of money, a person’s worth is determined not by the symbol of the cross, but by the symbol of a dollar sign.

The rich man in Luke 12 put his trust in his money and possessions. The sad part is that the he thought that he would build larger barns and then just sit back and relax and enjoy the rest of his life in ease. That is not what happened. If we continue to read the next few verses, we see God said to him, “Fool! This night your soul is required of you and the things you have prepared, whose will they be? So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rise toward God.

Points To Ponder:

  1. How do you view money?
  2. Is the money you do have your’s or God’s?
  3. Is money your source of security, your source of satisfaction & your source of significance?

 Matthew 6:21 – “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”.

Christianity offers a view of God that is strikingly different from any other. In Christianity, there is one God. He is all-powerful. He takes an active role as father to every human being. His most striking feature is not anger or power or transcendence or even creativity but instead is his relentless, all-consuming love. No one would have ever made up such a God. The idea is too outrageous.

Kyle Idleman – gods at war

Christianity

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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?