I waffled between giving this four or five stars, since it probably could have been developed a little more in certain areas. However, the concise lenI waffled between giving this four or five stars, since it probably could have been developed a little more in certain areas. However, the concise length is also a plus in some ways.
This book addresses the faith of five different individuals and certain aspects of their faith: Adam & Eve's childlike faith, the Shunnamite woman's submissive faith, the Canaanite woman's mature faith, and Caleb's persevering faith. Each chapter has shorter sections, often with a modern-day example or two. I liked how clear things were, and how insightful and convicting. In the Adam and Eve section there is something I question, but could very well be true--I just wonder at his dogmatism.
"Believe [the Lord]! Believe that He will take all those impossibilities that are breaking over the gunwales of your life and bring them to a melodious whimper at your feet. They may alarm you, but they will not drown you. He will take care of you. Believe that!"
"Through afflictions God teaches us, says Thomas Watson, to treat the world like a loose tooth in our mouth, which, being easily twitched away, does not much bother us. Christ ripens us for glory by weaning us from this world."
"We forget that there are more than three hundred biblical imperatives commanding us to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ."
"Unbelief is dreadfully contagious; it persuades people that the giants of Anak are larger than the promises of God; it eats away at the vitals of faith; it stunts spiritual growth. Every time you do not believe in the presence of God, your spiritual growth is bruised. But true faith turns giants into dwarves and shows God to be as big as He really is."...more
This is an encouraging book, looking at the Pauline epistles to the Thessalonians.
The author gives many pointed, convicting questions, yet is humble aThis is an encouraging book, looking at the Pauline epistles to the Thessalonians.
The author gives many pointed, convicting questions, yet is humble and encouraging, pointing to Christ's power. I don't know where he got "Jameson" from in the book of Acts--it's Jason in all the versions I looked up--so that is one distracting thing, but probably a typo, though written several times that way. Maybe it's that way in the Greek.
It's good enough that I want a pencil with me while I'm reading it, in order to underline or mark parts I like. Here are a few of the quotes I've marked:
'Like those new believers in first century Thessalonica, what we know today is this: Jesus has utterly revolutionized our lives. To the world, we turn everything upside down. To the believer, God is making everything right side up. The world has fallen and it is God who is picking it up. The world is like a shattered vase and it is God who is restoring it. The world is like a filthy mirror and it is God who is renovating its luster.'
'We are to persevere in prayer that we might persevere by prayer.'
'Not to be totally sold out to the Word of God is to lack that joy, that fruitfulness. Not to give yourself to it more than all riches is to lack, is to struggle, is to trip, and is to stumble along in our Christian life.'
'When people saw the Thessalonians, they saw love, zeal, and gospel. When the world sees you, what do they see? Do they see arrogance? Do they see you being stuck up? Do they see you as too good for them? Does the world see you projecting a "holier than thou," "I'm better than you," attitude? Or, are you an example of a sinner saved by grace? Do they see you as a jar of clay that has been broken into a thousand pieces that God himself is putting back together; and even as he puts you back together those cracks are still visible? Our evangelistic zeal must be shown in our lives living amongst the world; in truthfulness of who we were; in honesty about what we are; in hope of what we will become. Like a masterpiece of art shown in a window, show the world what God can do.'
He quotes from many good writers/preachers, including John Calvin and Charles Spurgeon, as here:
'Describing preaching, C. H. Spurgeon once put it like this: "when we speak as ministers, and not as men; as preachers, instead of penitents; as theologians instead of disciples, we fail."'
'The devil hid himself in the serpent with Adam and Eve so that he could distract them with the question, "Hath God said?" (Genesis 3:1; KJV). The devil came and tried to drown out God's clear command with his noise, speaking his own version of the gospel--a gospel of self-help and a gospel of your best life now.'
'We can praise God in the midst of being sifted, in the midst of being persecuted by Satan himself because we know that our faith is a gift of God and that as a gift of God it is unassailable, it is invincible, it cannot be destroyed, it cannot be snuffed out. We can praise God for the Devil's temptations because they are signs to the true believers of true faith. The Devil's temptations are signs to us that our faith is real. We can stand up in true confidence against the Devil. We know he wants our true faith to be destroyed, but it can't.'
I don't agree with every point, since my eschatology is different than those of Reformed faith, but at least the author doesn't focus on that. I think he assumes too much when he intimates that the authors of Left Behind were just in it for the money--who can read their minds? And if they are true believers, they likely had more noble reasons for writing. Besides that part, I enjoyed the book, and underlined a few things, but it didn't stand out as an amazing book. I kept catching typos, too, but only here and there, so it's minor....more
There's a lot of overlap with "The Hiding Place," but with more detail. It's amazing how much peace God gave Corrie and Betsie, and how much they encoThere's a lot of overlap with "The Hiding Place," but with more detail. It's amazing how much peace God gave Corrie and Betsie, and how much they encouraged and witnessed to others during their imprisonment, rather than dwelling so much on their own pain and discomfort. I wouldn't be so quick as Corrie to call Catholics part of the body of Christ (trusting Jesus plus anything else is not truly trusting Jesus), though I'm sure there are those who are true Christians among them. A thought-provoking, inspiring book....more
A lovely book with much encouragement for witnessing, using time in prayer and wisdom, and God's love and grace being shown through blundering people.A lovely book with much encouragement for witnessing, using time in prayer and wisdom, and God's love and grace being shown through blundering people. Even though I wouldn't quite go so far as the ten Boom family in how the women taught, I was still blessed by this book and the stories told.
A couple quotes:
"Children need the wisdom of their elders; the aging need the encouragement of a child's exuberance."
"How grateful I am to have lived in my Father's house! Yes, Lord, I thank You for this family. I looked at my friends, gathered for an afternoon tea and memories, and thanked the Lord for the family of believers all over this globe. How the love of God stretched in and out of the watchmaker's shop to all parts of the world--to mansions in California and hospitals in Kenya, from queens to prison guards."...more
A helpful book, though short and mostly review for me. I appreciated the links to Bible study websites, and just the encouragement to read and study tA helpful book, though short and mostly review for me. I appreciated the links to Bible study websites, and just the encouragement to read and study the powerful Word of God....more