- poor in spirit
- hungry and thirsty for righteousness
- pure in heart
Friday, June 4, 2010
- More emphasis on content, less on cosmetics
- More importance placed on depth, less on size
- More interest in exalting Christ, less on ourselves
- More reminders that church is people with eternal souls, not structures of tempered steeel
- More involvement with the lost outside these walls, not just bringing them in to hear of Christ
- More delight, fewer reminders of duty
- More authenticity, less hypocrisy
- More meaningful relationships, fewer lengthy meetings. pp. 92-93
One of my favorite Bible teachers, Chuck Swindoll's book, Three Steps Forward Two Steps Back, is such a blessing. I trust you are blessed with the quotes below:
A person would be insane to hear his physician diagnose his ailment as a rapidly growing tumor, and then think that just because he had talked with his doctor, the growth would suddenly disappear. No, he’s going to have to be operated on. Likewise, just being exposed to the truth won’t make us mature. Nor will it alone --- without application --- solve one problem. p. 22
Understand that we are not trying to dodge our problems; instead, we are gearing up to confront our setbacks, walk into them, through them, and come out stronger in Christ. p. 22
A statement C.S. Lewis once made: God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world. p. 34
We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations. p. 74
Someone has said that the real difference between the preacher of the flesh and the one who speaks from the Spirit is that the preacher of the flesh has to say something, while the one who speaks from the Spirit has something to say. pp. 125-126
The fourth “R” is respond correctly to your weak points. Respond correctly to those things you feel are defects or scars or shortcomings. Try to change them if you can. If you can’t, pray very much about them---just as Paul did. View that scar or defect not as a cross to endure but as a unique marking of God on your life.
- Realize that you were prescribed before birth.
- Remember that the growth process is still going on.
- Refuse to compare yourself with others.
- Respond correctly to your shortcomings. p. 134
Warning: When you are making top grades in school, you’re most vulnerable. When your family seems the closest and the strongest, you’re most vulnerable. When your business has reached a level you never dreamed possible, that’s a vulnerable state. Fellow pastor, when you are enjoying God’s blessings and the church is growing and your fame is spreading, you’re vulnerable. Be on guard! That is when things like boredom and complacency set in. If you have served in the military, you know that the most vulnerable time for an attack is right after a battle has been won. The tendency is to sit down to a feast and take it easy. I was taught during my days in the Marine Corps that the correct maneuver immediately following victory is to set up a “hasty defense.” You instantly establish communications with your forces in order to handle that early period of victory. It’s tougher to remain victorious than it is to become victorious! p. 176
To order this book click here!
What a joy to read Max Lucado's book, Just Like Jesus. I know you will be encouraged by the quotes below.
God loves you just the way you are, but he refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be just like Jesus. p. 3
It’s a wonderful day indeed when we stop working for God and begin working with God. p. 59
We are “God’s fellow workers” (NIV) 2 Cor. 6:1 – p. 59
He changes our faces through worship. Exactly what is worship? I like King David’s definition. “Oh magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together” (Ps. 34:3 NASB). Worship is the act of magnifying God. Enlarging our vision of Him. Stepping into the cockpit to see where He sits and observe how He works. Of course, His size doesn’t change, but our perception of Him does. As we draw nearer, He seems larger. p. 82
Let me be very clear. This change is His job, not ours. Our goal is not to make our faces radiant. Not even Jesus did that. Matthew says, “Jesus’ appearance was changed” not “Jesus changed His appearance.” Moses didn’t even know his face was shining (Exod. 34:29). Our goal is simply to stand before God with a prepared and willing heart and then let God do His work. And He does. He wipes away the tears. He mops away the perspiration. He softens our furrowed brows. He touches our cheeks. He changes our faces as we worship. But there’s more. Not only does God change the face of those who worship, He changes those who watch us worship. p. 83
Paul told the Corinthian church to worship in such a way that if an unbeliever entered, “he would find . . . the secrets of his heart revealed; and . . . would fall down on his face and worship God, declaring that God is indeed among you” (1 Cor. 14:24-25 TJB) pp. 83-84
There are some things we want to do but simply aren’t equipped to accomplish. p. 96
Be aware of our strengths. Identify your strengths and then – this is important – major in them. Take a few irons out of the fire so this one can get hot. Failing to focus on our strengths may prevent us from accomplishing the unique task God has called us to do. We cannot meet every need in the world. We cannot please every person in the world. We cannot satisfy every request in the world. But some of us try. And in the end, we run out of fuel. Have a sane estimate of your abilities and stick to them. pp. 96-97
Am I fitting into God’s Plan?
What are my Longings?
What are my Abilities?Am I serving God Now? p. 98