Saturday, April 30, 2016

Forgotten Road

Forgotten RoadForgotten Road by Randall Arthur

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you have not read a Randall Arthur novel you are missing an excellent read. The first novel I read of his was "Wisdom Hunter". The author was on the mission field for over 20 years. He is such a wonderful writer. It is hard to put his book down once you start reading it. This book, "Forgotten Road," is no exception. The story is about a transformed life. A man that is deceived into believing in a prosperity gospel. At first his life is great and then everything falls apart and we find him in prison. This is where God starts working in his life. There is no way I can tell you this beautiful story, you will need to read it yourself. I trust the quotes below will challenge and motivate you!

I will say this – God’s character … is predictable. He’s predictably holy. Predictably full of love. Always. But nowhere in the Bible are we ever told that God’s … actions … are predictable. Unless, of course, He has promised a particular outcome to a particular person to help advance a particular plan. Otherwise I challenge you – pick up the Bible in your cell. You’ll find that God never asked us in general to place our faith in His predictability. Rather, He asked us to place our faith in His ability. And there is a difference. For example, God will not predictably keep us from developing cancer. He does have the ability to keep us from getting cancer. But He also has the ability to walk with us, teach us, console us, and use us as a positive influence while we are dying with cancer. And we need to trust His ability to choose what is best for us. So, is there a God? Is He a tyrant? No. Was your pastor misleading you? Perhaps not intentionally, but in my opinion, yes. ~Randall Arthur

To make us rich and comfortable is not God’s number-one priority, probably not even a priority at all. Actually, God’s standard according to Matthew chapter seven, verses twenty-four and twenty-five, is this: “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” Those verses imply that the rain and the winds will generally beat down on everyone’s life … even those who hear and obey His words. So, for a prosperity theologian to look at a group of Americans, who are in the top three percent of the most privileged people on the planet, and say “It’s God’s priority for you to have more and to never be uncomfortable,” and for that group of people to honestly believe they deserve more and that God is somehow unfair with them and not blessing them if they are not promoted to the top one percent … is the epitome of ingratitude. In my opinion, it’s the most extreme form of sacrilege. ~Randall Arthur

Western Christians have become so addicted … to comfort, prosperity, and selfish living that we’ve now built our Christian beliefs around these addictions. We truly expect God to care more about our … selfish dreams, whims, and desires than He cares about truth, justice, and rightness. It’s nothing more than an ‘American Dream’ theology. And I’m convinced that it is a wrong perspective. ~Randall Arthur

This life I have is a gift, and although it’s also a responsibility and yes, sometimes a burden, this gift has been given to me. ~Randall Arthur

The greatest ongoing battle in the universe is not between crime and law enforcement, not between democracies and dictatorships, not between the rich and the poor, not between nations, and not between races. Rather, the greatest ongoing battle in the universe is between the lies of Satan and the truth of God. The lies of the enemy, when believed, will trap and destroy every victim, without exception. On the other hand, the truths of God, when believed, will set a person free. John’s Gospel, chapter eight, verses thirty-one and thirty-two, say, “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Set you free from what? From spiritual condemnation, from spiritual confusion, from hopelessness, from fear, from unforgiveness, from anger, from depression, from bitterness, from emptiness. And the list goes on and on. ~Randall Arthur

Help me, God. I never, never, never want to be guilty of taking a single step without completely depending on you. ~Randall Arthur

Matt. 8:23-26 says, “And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.” The passage made it very clear that fear was the exact opposite of faith. And the one thing that God wanted most from His followers was faith. Yet, in spite of a grand pantheon of Christian words and ideas, most westerners, it seemed, lived by fear, not by faith. ~Randall Arthur

Pain, like no other tool, it seemed, had the power to chisel one’s heart into radical shapes. ~Randall Arthur

I’m a servant in God’s household, so I don’t have to worry. He takes care of His servants, even if it’s with meager provisions. I’ll be okay. “True religion with contentment is great gain.” ~Randall Arthur

… the life-changing education of the heart and soul is not in the already knowing, but rather in the strain of learning. ~Randall Arthur

I recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a great novel!

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