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
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