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Sunday, June 8, 2014

So You Want to Be Like Christ?: Eight Essentials to Get You There

So You Want to Be Like Christ?: Eight Essentials to Get You ThereSo You Want to Be Like Christ?: Eight Essentials to Get You There by Charles R. Swindoll
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This a great book for those who wish to learn more about being like Christ. I will let the following quotes from the book speak for itself. I trust they will be a blessing to many.

Christian [godliness] is not moralistic, for it is rooted in the Christ event (1 Timothy 3:16). It is not just outward worship, nor a mere concept of God, nor a virtue, nor an ideal. Over against a [Gnostic philosophy of self-deprivation] that regards creation as bad … true [godliness], born of faith, covers everyday conduct in honoring God as Creator and Redeemer, even though it may expect persecution from the very orders of God, which it respects.  ~ Anonymous Scholar

A “godly” person is one who ceases to be self-centered in order to become God-centered.  ~ Charles Swindoll

What sets Christian spiritual activity apart from all other religions is that they have knowledge of Christ as their goal; not moral perfection (although you will become more moral), not tranquility 9although your life will be remarkably more peaceful). And because of the grace you have in Christ, the disciplines will do nothing to make you more accepted by the Father. You cannot be more accepted than you already are in Christ, since He has already done it all for you!  ~ Charles Swindoll

[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him – that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding [the wonders of His person] more strongly and more clearly, and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers]; and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death.   ~Philippians 3:10, The Amplified Bible, Expanded Edition  “My determined purpose [perhaps Paul means ‘my focus’] is that I may know Him.  ~ Charles Swindoll

When you pray, pray so that you may know Him. When you seek to simplify, do it as a means of knowing Him more. When you surrender, or behave with humility or sacrifice, do it with the sole purpose in mind to know Him.   ~ Charles Swindoll

So, you want to be like Christ? Me too. But that kind of godliness won’t just happen by hanging around a church or thinking lofty thoughts three or four times a day or learning a few verses of Scripture. It will take more – much more.  Disciplining ourselves will require the same kind of focused thinking and living that our Master modeled during His brief life on earth.  ~ Charles Swindoll

Distance from God is a frightening thing. God will never adjust His agenda to fit ours. He will not speed His pace to catch up with ours; we need to slow our pace in order to recover our walk with Him. God will not scream and shout over the noisy clamor; He expects us to seek quietness, where His still, small voice can be heard again. God will not work within the framework of our complicated schedules; we must adapt to His style. We need to conform to His way if our lives are to be characterized by the all-encompassing word godliness. ~ Charles Swindoll

God often does His best work in us when He catches us by surprise and introduces a change that is completely against our own desire.  ~ Charles Swindoll

Discipline is training that corrects and perfects our mental faculties or molds our moral character. Discipline is control gained by enforced obedience. It is the deliberate cultivation of inner order.  ~ Charles Swindoll

People who are close to God cultivate a personal intimacy with Him like a good gardener cultivates beautiful flowers. ~ Charles Swindoll

Our great tendency in this age is to increase our speed, to run faster, even in the Christian life. In the process our walk with God stays shallow, and our tank runs low on fumes. Intimacy offers a full tank of fuel that can only be found by pulling up closer to God, which requires taking necessary time and going to the effort to make that happen.  ~ Charles Swindoll

One ship drives east and another drives west
With the selfsame winds that blow.
‘Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales
Which tells us the way to go.
Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate,
As we voyage along through life:
‘Tis the set of a soul
That decides its goal,
And not the calm or the strife.  ~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Christlikeness is a journey, not a destination. The joy is in the journey.    ~ Charles Swindoll

Next time you’re faced with a credit-purchase decision, wait. Don’t say no necessarily. Just wait. I challenge you to present your need to the Lord before presenting it to a bank, and see what He does with it.  ~ Charles Swindoll

Many seducers clutter the simple message of the gospel with legalistic additions, with convoluted attempts to legitimize moral compromise, and with psychological theories that turn churches into relational support groups instead of houses of worship.  ~ Charles Swindoll

May not the inadequacy of much of our spiritual experience be traced back to our habit of skipping through the corridors of the Kingdom like children in the market place, chattering about everything, but pausing to learn the value of nothing.   ~A.W. Tozer

Former CBS anchor Dan Rather found himself unprepared for a television interview with Mother Teresa several years ago. Ron Mehl described the newsman’s encounter this way:
Somehow, all of his standard approaches and formula questions were inadequate for the task, and the little nun from Calcutta, sitting beside him so sweetly and tranquilly, didn’t seem inclined to make his task easier.
“When you pray,” asked Rather, “what do you say to God?”
“I don’t say anything,” she replied. “I listen.”
Rather tried another tack. “Well, okay … when God speaks to you, then, what does He say?”
“He doesn’t say anything. He listens.”
Rather looked bewildered. For an instant, he didn’t know what to say.
“And if you don’t understand that,” Mother Teresa added, “I can’t explain it to you.”


I do not believe anyone can ever become a deep person without stillness and silence.    ~ Charles Swindoll

When grace changes the heart, submission out of fear changes to submission out of love, and true humility is born.   ~William Hendriksen

Focusing intently on Christ naturally results in a lifestyle of increasingly greater selflessness. And it has another benefit. Gazing on Christ gives us greater ability to look past life’s trials and remain calm in the midst of what others would call chaos.  ~ Charles Swindoll

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face;
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.   ~Helen H. Lemmel

I am convinced that wise planning is good. But plans, like material possessions, must always be held loosely. Yes – always! Plan wisely, but be ready for God to rearrange things and take you along paths that may feel dangerous to you. Don’t sweat it; He knows what He’s doing. And He isn’t obligated to inform you … or request permission to upset your neat little agenda!  ~ Charles Swindoll

Part of the thrill of guiding children into adulthood is the release. But it’s also a parent’s greatest act of surrender. Still, you have to let them go. Start now.  ~ Charles Swindoll

Peter Marshall, the late chaplain of the United States Senate, concluded a message on anxiety titled, “Sin in the Present Tense,” with this prayer. I leave it with you to make it your prayer today  (~ Charles Swindoll)
“Forgive us, O God, for the doubting suspicion with which we regard the heart of God.
We have faith in checks and banks, in trains and airplanes, in cooks, and in strangers who drive us in cabs. Forgive us for our stupidity, that we have faith in people whom we do not know and are so reluctant to have faith in Thee who knowest us altogether.
We are always striving to find a complicated way through life when Thou hast a plan, and we refuse to walk in it. So many of our troubles we bring on ourselves. How silly we are.
Wilt Thou give to us that faith that we can deposit in the bank of Thy love, so that we may receive the dividends and interest that Thou art so willing to give us. We ask it all in the lovely name of Jesus, Our Savior.”

Prayer is listening as well as speaking, receiving as well as asking; and its deepest mood is friendship held in reverence. So the daily prayer should end as it begins – in adoration.   ~George A. Buttrick

Prayer is not a natural response; it’s a Spirit response. If we fail to cultivate this discipline, prayer winds up being our last resort rather than our first response.   ~Charles Swindoll

It’s not our church; it’s God’s – it’s not our responsibility to run it!  ~Charles Swindoll

When each elder or pastor has his will aligned with the Lord’s, we waste no time arguing for our own.  Charles Swindoll

Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends.   ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.  ~Jim Elliot

We know that it was no accident. God performs all things according to the counsel of His own will. The real issues at stake on January 8, 1956, were very far greater than those immediately involved five young men and their families, or this small tribe of naked “savages.” Letters from many countries have told of God’s dealings with hundreds of men and women, through the examples of five who believed literally that “the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.   ~Elisabeth Elliot (the wife of one of the men that  was killed on the mission field; she stayed and ministered to those same ones who killed her husband)


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