Saturday, October 30, 2010

Good to Great in God's Eyes

Chip Ingram uses Jim Collins book, Good to Great, to write his book, Good to Great in God Eyes. Chip list ten principles that applied will help a Christian become great in God's eyes. This is a very good book that should be required reading for all Christians. I trust you will enjoy the quotes below:

Remember that applying truth to your life is first a matter of quality; quantity comes second. God is not nearly as interested in your ability to learn truth as He is in your willingness to apply it. p. 11

But desires remain only desires if there's no follow-through, no plan to accomplish them. p. 12

Principle 1: Think Great Thoughts p. 13

The world has yet to see what God will do with and for and through and in and by the man who is fully consecrated to Him. (quote Dwight Moody heard expressed by an evangelist he met in Dublin) p. 16

Principle 2: Read Great Books p. 35

God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things p. 40

Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things. p. 48

Principle 3: Pursue Great People p. 53

Principle 4: Dream Great Dreams p. 73

You made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too different for You! (NASB) Jeremiah 32:17 p. 78

Not only is He able to do big things through us, He's willing. He wants to do "things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Cor. 2:9 NASB). p. 78

Psalm 37 :4, "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." In other words, get so consumed and in love with God, so overwhelmed with who He is and what He does, that your delight in Him births all sorts of desires that He would be zealous to fulfill. When we get an awesome, inspiring view of God, our hearts begin to beat like His. In that communion, dreams rise up and are fulfilled. p. 79

Most of us look at our desk calendars and try to figure out how to get everything done this week that we need to do. We focus on the now, the narrow, the next step in our survival. God wants us to lift our eyes beyond that. Our biggest problem isn't that our dreams are too big; it's that they're too small. p. 79

... a God-sized dream is impossible unless God supernaturally accomplishes it. p. 84

... David learned that his life was not about fulfilling a dream or even about success for God.
It's about loving the dream-giver more than the dream. He set his heart on the relationship first and the benefits second. p. 85

He wants to accomplish impossible things through improbable people and to impact exceeding grace to undeserving recipients. p. 86

Principle 5: Pray Great Prayers p. 99

Paul expressed the same passion. He had an impressive pedigree, an elite education, and a highly respected position. But all of that was "rubbish" compared to "the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. . . . I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His suffering" (Phil. 3:8, 10). More than anything the world could offer, Paul wanted to have deep, intimate communion with Jesus. p. 102

Not only are great prayers deeply personal, they are also birthed in brokenness. When we come to God with a sense of bankruptcy, knowing we're in a desperate situation and have no resources to get ourselves out of it, God pays special attention. Brokenness will cause us to pour out our heart to God rather than trying to find the right words or the most persuasive arguments to present to Him. It's the helplessness we feel when a huge crisis hits or when we're filled with overwhelming remorse, grief, or confusion. Prayers that flow out of brokenness cry out, "I need you!" They come from people at the end of their rope. p. 103

Great prayers ask the improbable, expect the impossible, and receive the unthinkable. p. 114

Action Step: One one side of an index card, describe an impossible situation you've been facing. On the other side, write your request for God to resolve that situation and Jeremiah 32:17: "Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you." Carry the card in your pocket this week, and every time you pray, pull it out to remind yourself of the great prayer you are praying. p. 117

Principle 6: Take Great Risks p. 119

Where there's no risk, there's no faith; where there's no faith, there's no power or joy or intimacy with God. p. 121

Radical steps of faith are concrete. They always have at least two things in common: they involve risk, and they fit with God's clearly defined will. p. 128

Faith is simply doing what God tells you to do whether you feel like it or not - especially, in fact, when you don't feel like it. You obey regardless of the circumstances because He said to and His Word is true. p. 129

Principle 7: Make Great Sacrifices p. 143

Principle 8: Enjoy Great Moments p. 165

And in his explanation, the father makes a statement that we rarely give much attention to: "You are always with me, and everything I have is yours" (Luke 15:31). The older son had a distorted view of his father, and this is how his father corrected him. He could have thrown a party any time he wanted to. He could have asked his father if it was okay to invite some friends over, kill a fatted calf, and have a ball. Apparently he didn't ever do that; he was too busy earning the father's favor to realize he already had it. He was so absorbed with his performance that he could never enjoy life. p. 174

Someone has said that love was the early Christians' marketing plan and their business card was joy. p. 178

If you feel guilty having fun, maybe it will help to remember that enjoying the richness of God's gifts is a command. Not to enjoy life is actually disobedient! As C.S. Lewis said, "Joy is the serious business of heaven." p. 180

Principle 9: Empower Great People p. 185

In each of our lives, if we're going to have any possibility of becoming truly great in God's eyes, it means turning upside down the entrenched worldly ideas of our definition of greatness. The difference couldn't be more stark, as sinfully and culturally defined greatness looks like this: individuals motivated by self-interest, self-indulgence, and a false sense of self-sufficiency, pursue selfish ambition for the purpose of self-glorification. . . . Serving others for the glory of God; this is the genuine expression of humility. This is true greatness as our Savior defines it. [from the book Humility: True Greatness] p. 187

Good Christians "live the life;" great Christians "leave a legacy." p. 189

. . . look for F.A.T. people. p. 192

Faithful, Available, and Teachable. p. 192

Proverbs 20:6 says, "Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?" Faithful people are the ones who complete an assignment, who actually take care of a problem when they say they'll take care of it, and who call you later because they promised they would. We get all wrapped up in the potential people seem to have based on their personality and talents, but God doesn't. He looks at the heart. Those who are faithful have put themselves in a position to grow in maturity. Instead of listening to what people say, watch what they do with their responsibilities. When you see faithfulness, you see potential. p. 192

Faithfulness alone isn't enough, however. Someone can be very faithful and yet be pointed in twenty different directions. They'll say, "I want to grow, I want to learn, let's get together," but then be out of town every other week. p. 192

To invest your life wisely, you'll want to choose people who are available in addition to being faithful. p. 193

Look also for people who are teachable. A person who thinks he or she has already mastered certain aspects of life is not going to be open to instruction or even subtle suggestions. There's no point in investing in someone who isn't aware that the investment is beneficial. People who are teachable are in position to grow and bear fruit. p. 193

There's a real danger in evaluating people the way the world does. We often fall into the trap of seeing people who have a sharp mind, a great personality, and the right education as those who are most likely to make an impact for Christ. But God chooses the lowly things of this world in order to shame our worldly standards (1 Cor. 1:27-29). In the New Testament He used former prostitutes, homosexuals, idols worshipers, thieves, and drunkards by redeeming them and giving them spiritual gifts to use for the benefit of others. I encourage you to look beyond people's history and look at their heart. p. 193

"Laziness isn't being inactive," he said. "Laziness is not doing the right thing at the right time to fulfill the right assignment. p. 200

Principle 10: Develop Great Habits p. 205

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