Friday, September 23, 2011

Growing Up In God's Family

Growing Up in God's Family: Bible Study GuideGrowing Up in God's Family: Bible Study Guide by Charles R. Swindoll
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The is an excellent book for a new Christian. The book explains how a Christian should grow up in his faith. Chuck Swindoll is one of my favorite writers and I always learn a principle from his writings. Below are a few quotes from the book that spoke to me:

The church was made up of what writer Howard Snyder calls Kingdom people rather than Church people. He writes, "Church people think about how to get people into church; Kingdom people think about how to get the church into the world. Church people worry that the world might change the church; Kingdom people work to see the church change the world."  p. 65

In order to produce Kingdom people today, Christian leaders should view the church as a place for believers to huddle, like players on a football team, to receive biblical instruction and a moment of rest. The real game occurs during the week, as the team members live out their beliefs and proclaim Jesus Christ in the world. p. 65

Someone once said, "The Bible was not given to satisfy idle curiosity; it was given to change a life."  p. 97

Christ is committed to it [the church], not because He's committed to an institution, but because He's committed to us. The word church in Greek, ekklesia, means literally "called-out ones." The church is a body, not a building. We don't go to church; we are the church.  p. 103

In the church, we're "members one of another," [Rom. 12:4-5] implying both community and accountability.  p. 104

Here [2 Samuel 24:14b] David models the second characteristic of the spiritual adult: a mind that thinks theologically. He made his decision based on his understanding of the nature of God versus the nature of man. God's mercies are great. Although He may discipline us, once the sin is dealt with, it is forgotten.  p. 113

When we fail . . . we do not quit.

When we obey . . . we do not argue.

When we sacrifice . . . we do not lose.  p. 115

Chapter 15 is a classic. Principles from this chapter I needed in my life today. I will not share all of it but need for my sake to share some. When we go through trails it is best to do what the Psalms teach. The give us permission "to weep, to dance, to shake our fists in anger. But never does it let us shift our focus from God." p. 119

Read Psalm 26: 1 "Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity, And I have trusted in the LORD without wavering. 2 Examine me, O LORD, and try me; Test my mind and my heart. 3 For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth. 4 I do not sit with deceitful men, Nor will I go with pretenders. 5 I hate the assembly of evildoers, And I will not sit with the wicked. 6 I shall wash my hands in innocence, And I will go about Your altar, O LORD, 7 That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving And declare all Your wonders.

8 O LORD, I love the habitation of Your house And the place where Your glory dwells. 9 Do not take my soul away along with sinners, Nor my life with men of bloodshed, 10 In whose hands is a wicked scheme, And whose right hand is full of bribes. 11 But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; Redeem me, and be gracious to me. 12 My foot stands on a level place; In the congregations I shall bless the LORD."

Look at the steps David followed:

Be Open before the Lord: Examine me. Try me. Test me.  pp. 120-121

Remembering God's Love, Continue to Obey  p. 121

Refuse to Spend Time with Wrong Associates p. 121

Maintain a Positive Attitude: How therapeutic, though, is a heart of gratitude, for it refocuses our minds on the Lord and His healing presence.  p. 122

Be Faithful in Public Worship  p. 123

Patiently Stand and Wait for Relief.  p. 123

Now take a look at 1 Peter 2:18-20 "18 For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, 19 promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. 20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first."These verses show us that, first, mature believers want to please God, regardless. Second, they model the life of Christ. Displaying Jesus' qualities while suffering is more important to them than coming out on top.  Third, they see benefit in hardship. Through the pain, they cling even more to the Savior's side. And for that reason alone, it's worth it all.  p. 124

Remember, there is something to hold on to in our topsy-turvy world-or, according to David, some One to hold on to. [2 Sanuel 22:2-3]  p. 126

Henry Gariepy describes the precious insights trails provide us:

The Arabs have a proverb: "All sunshine makes a desert." (They ought to know.) When life is easy, it is possible to live on the surface of things. But when the trail and sorrow come, then one is driven to the deeper things. Then one can enter into the secrets and beauties of God. It is in the storm that God arches His rainbow over us, its multi-splendor revealing all the elements of color that make up the beauty of the world. Life's greatest revelations come in its storms.  p. 126

L-Listen. I listen intently to other people's words and feelings.

O-Overlook. I overlook other people's minor differences and petty faults.

V-Value. I value the people I love, treating them with dignity.

E-Express. I express my feelings by giving of myself.

I highly recommend this book!

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