Friday, March 14, 2014

The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People

The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary PeopleThe Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People by John Ortberg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What a wonderful book, John Orteberg has written. He has many godly principles included in this book.As he states in the preface, "How go I grow? What does a spiritual mature person even look like? Why does it seem so hard, and go so slowly? Will I ever really be any different?" These are the questions that are answered in this book. I trust you will be challenged by the quotes blow:

If we do not become changed from the inside-out – if we don’t morph – we will be tempted to find external methods to satisfy our need to feel that we’re different from those outside the faith. If we cannot be transformed, we will settle for being informed or conformed.  ~John Ortberg

Sheldon Vanauken wrote that the strongest argument for Christianity is Christians, when they are drawing life from God. The strongest argument against Christianity? Also Christians, when they become exclusive, self-righteous, and complacent.  ~John Ortberg

So how do I know if I am settling for pseudo-transformation instead of the real thing? In the gospel according to Matthew, Jesus offers a list of warning signs in capital letters. Here are a few that I find helpful.
1. Am I spiritually “inauthentic”?
2. Am I becoming judgmental or exclusive or proud?
3. Am I becoming more approachable, or less?
4. Am I growing weary of pursuing spiritual growth?
Am I measuring my spiritual life in superficial ways?  ~ John Ortberg

The Holy Spirit will lead you to be with people as Jesus would be with them if he were in your place.  ~ John Ortberg

It only makes sense to ask God for guidance in the context of a life committed to “seeking first the kingdom.”  ~ John Ortberg

The goal is not for us to get through the Scriptures. The goal is to get the Scriptures through us.  ~ John Ortberg

The character of the faith that allows us to be transformed by suffering and darkness is not doubt-free certainty; rather, it is tenacious obedience.  ~ John Ortberg

A test is a difficult experience through which a person’s true values, commitments, beliefs are revealed. Test became a very important word in the Old Testament, and the way it is used there reveals something about how endurance develops.
1. It is used only in reference to the people of God, never to heathen nations.
2. It is applied only to people of faith, never to the ungodly.
Testing is reserved for those in a covenant relationship with God. Even though it is painful, testing is an act of love. Suffering serves to test our faith. James wrote, “You know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.”  ~ John Ortberg

Going in faith does not necessarily mean going with serenity or without doubts. Faith can be difficult.  ~ John Ortberg

Having faith does not mean never having doubts or questions. It does mean remaining obedient.  ~ John Ortberg

One of the most painful aspects of suffering is the loneliness of it. Others may offer support or empathy, but no one can walk the road to Moriah in our place.  ~ John Ortberg

If you want answers for the questions listed above then this book is for you!

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