The Blessing of Humility: Walk Within Your Calling by: Jerry Bridges

The Blessing of Humility: Walk Within Your CallingThe Blessing of Humility: Walk Within Your Calling by Jerry Bridges
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I would say that it is impossible to truly walk in humility without to some degree appropriating the truth of the gospel every day.

Jerry Bridges leaves a legacy of good solid bible teaching. I have been blessed with his teaching and I would strongly recommend all of his books for those that desire to study the word of God. With his recent passing, I was excited to see this book offered on Netgalley and I hope many will desire the blessing of humility that is found in the beatitudes. This is a teaching of the beatitudes and how the beatitudes reflect the humility of the gospel. The beatitudes is how we respond to who God is and how each of the beatitudes build on the other. It is not only how we respond to God and his work, but also to each other. You cannot mourn unless you are poor in spirit and you cannot be meek without morning and so on. Each of the beatitudes are beautifully exalted in this study.

A balanced study of the gospel that shows the good news of the Gospel.

A Special Thank you to Tyndale House Publishers and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus Through the Spiritual Disciplines by: David Mathis

Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual DisciplinesHabits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines by David Mathis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Because of grace unmeasured, boundless, free, now our once dead hearts beat and our once lifeless lungs breathe. Only through grace do we believe (Acts 18:27) and only in grace do we receive “repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth (2 Tim. 2:25).

Developing habits of grace come by hearing His voice thru His word and having His ear through prayer. These disciplines though we may know them as head knowledge become difficult to live out because of distractions and life. Our hearts are prone to wonder. David Mathis has a way of communicating these truths that I found myself seeing them as a way to draw myself closer to the heart of God. That is not a duty of a Christian but a joy because of grace. It is only by hearing his voice thru his word and by prayer that the Holy Spirit can work in our hearts.

He clearly teaches that grace sanctifies, justifies and glorifies. How do we practice grace? How do we discover the power of grace? It starts with the desires of the heart. Desiring more of God that leads us to have a contagious grace. I have found when we do have a good understanding and practice of grace, we have humility.

I don’t think we will ever have a thorough understanding of grace however, it is too important not to pursue grace. In the disciplines of reading and praying, the study will strengthen your faith as you value the doctrine of grace.

A Special Thank You to Crossway and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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Same Sex Attraction and the Church: The Surprising Plausibility of the Celibate Life by: Ed Shaw

Same-Sex Attraction and the Church: The Surprising Plausibility of the Celibate LifeSame-Sex Attraction and the Church: The Surprising Plausibility of the Celibate Life by Ed Shaw
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So the current controversies over sexuality should excite rather than dismay us-it is from times of profound disagreement that our Sovereign God has often brought a return to radical biblical clarity in the church’s theology and practices. It forces us to examine the plausibility of scripture and the design of God.

I appreciate the teaching and the life of Ed Shaw. A pastor that knows and lives the plausibility of a celibate life. It is not a drudgery but a expression of joy. It has brought him closer to the heart of God than most because of the sacrifice he has made to live a life of celibacy. The question you might ask yourself is why would deny yourself love.

Shaw opens up with two very real people. Maybe you know them. A young man that is going to college that his gay and he is a Christian. He questions why can’t he enjoy the love of another man and be still be a Christian. Or a young woman that has been divorced and is developing a friendship with another woman that has turned into more. She questions the church about the relationship, and the church is clear on where it stands with that relationship. How can the word of God be plausible to what these two people are dealing with and how can we be plausible with how we love and express the gospel to them.

Shaw walks thru 9 Missteps that applies to the Gospel. I want to be clear on this as a reader-THIS IS NOT JUST A SAME SEX ISSUE, this applies to the GOSPEL and our relationship with a living God.

1) Misstep#1-Your identity is your sexuality -How we can we ensure our identities are defined by God’s word and not by the world around us.

2) Misstep #2 – A family is mom, dad and 2.4 children-How can we all make sure that talk of church family isn’t just talk?

3)Misstep #3 If you are born gay, it can’t be wrong to be gay-How can we better communicate that a natural instinct to do something doesn’t mean it must be right?

4)Misstep #4 If it makes you happy, it must be right! – How can we all keep checking that our decisions aren’t more governed by what we feel than what God’s says is good for us?

5)Misstep #5- Sex is where true intimacy is found-How can we all develop more intimate friendships?

6)Misstep #6- Women and Men are equal and interchangeable- How can we better explain the need for sexual differences in the union of marriage?

7)Misstep #7 -Godliness is heterosexuality-How can we all make sure that we aren’t appearing to be sexually self-righteousness?

8)Celibacy is bad for you. – How can we all be as affirming of singleness as the Bible is?

9)Suffering is to be avoided-How can we help each other appreciate the good results of suffering in our lives?

Each of these missteps are answered and can be applied on how we live out the Gospel. It is a thoughtful and insightful read that is gospel centered. I highly recommend.

A Special Thank You to InterVarsity Press and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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The Power of the Cross: Putting it to Work in Your Life by: Tony Evans

The Power of the Cross: Putting it to Work in Your LifeThe Power of the Cross: Putting it to Work in Your Life by Tony Evans
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sinners don’t understand the cross because if they did, they would run to it. Many saints don’t appreciate it because if they did, they would live differently in light of it. They often fail to fully apply and appreciate its practical relevancy.

Tony Evans is a great communicator and passionate about sharing the Good news of the Gospel. How does understanding the implications of the cross make a difference in our walk and coming to know Christ? These and more are answered in this study of the cross.

The book is set up in 3 parts. The Person of the Cross, The Purpose of the Cross and the Power of the Cross. Each part is a progression of understanding the implication of the cross and keeps our eye on the Christ and not on our selves. Tony Evans takes a story and shows us Christ. One such story of a football team failing and the coach reminding his team about what matters. This is a football. Tony Evans takes the cross as the fundamental of the Christian faith. He reminds us that there is so much to miss when we do not consider the cross.

Some of my favorite quotes are the following:

Unity is oneness of purpose. The purpose of the unity achieved at the cross was so that the world may know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

God didn’t give the Ten Commandments so that you can keep them. He gave the Ten Commandments to reveal to each of us how often we break them.

When Communion is treated with the reverence, intensity, and intimacy that the significance of its covenant entails, the practice of it will uniquely connect us to accomplishments’ of Christ’s covenantal death and resurrection.

What then is legalism? Legalism is that system of rules and regulations that govern and define your identity and spiritual living entirely on your performance. It makes keeping the rules the basis of your spiritual victory. It says, “You are what you do”.

For whenever the awareness of our sinfulness is diminished, the cross gets lost. Its brilliance gets lost and therefore, its effectiveness and power get lost. It also loses its power in our daily lives. Through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we are made pure.

Not wearing the cross as jewelry but embracing the cross where we have been redeemed by Christ is where transformation takes place. Where we are faced of the tremendous cost and love that God has for us. Where love and mercy meet.

A Special Thank you to Moody Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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All Authority by: Joey Shaw

All AuthorityAll Authority by Joey Shaw
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The doctrine of the authority of Christ is at the heart of of the answers to what motivates the church to send out their best people, resources and making sacrifices. The more people cherish the doctrine of Christ’s authority, the more they are willing to risk the and endure along the way.

This study really challenges of what you believe and live about the doctrine of the authority of Christ. How we respond to the authority of Christ indicates if we are living for Christ. What does authority suggest? Who is God and what does that mean for me. The study both addresses how the church responds to the authority of Christ and how we individually respond. Does the church recognize the authority of Christ? These are questions that we as Christians must ask ourselves and align ourselves with.

Some of the quotes I found encouraging.

Surrender, then is the important connection between abiding in Christ and cherishing his authority. Without surrender, there is no relationship. Where there is a relationship, one will cherish surrender more and more as the fruits of surrender become more apparent over time.

I found this study complete and highly recommend.
A Special Thank you to B & H Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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In Everything by Prayer: A. W. Tozer on Prayer by: A.W. Tozer , W.L. Seaver (Compilation)

In Everything by Prayer: A. W. Tozer on PrayerIn Everything by Prayer: A. W. Tozer on Prayer by A.W. Tozer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tozer has succinctly captured God’s desire for communion with Him and His desire to change or impact our sphere of influence in this fallen world through prayer. Personally, I am concerned that my prayerlessness at times as a result of my own sin or busyness or poor priorities could nix God’s best in some situations, but the big loser is that I have missed being a co-laborer with the infinite and almighty God of the universe. May we sense this loss and ever be empowered by the Holy Spirit to keep praying until we pray.

This study on prayer left me undone plain and simple. It is not a study on how to pray but to whom I pray and why. There is so many books on prayer that is pragmatic in nature however they lack the real purpose of prayer to be in God’s will and that our hearts are bent towards him.

Truly I was enlightened by so much insight to prayer on this book. One aspect that I am guilty of is the familiar tune that God answers all prayer with a yes, no or later. But is that biblical? What are my reasons that my heart is comforted by this well known tune? The explanation that this is not biblical will challenge your faith but in a good way. It will actually draw you closer to the Lord. 1) The failure of the believer to ask God the Holy Spirit to search his heart and expose the worldliness or ungodly perspectives that hinder the answered prayer. 2) A diminished hunger for the meat of the word. 3) a growing lack of discernment between good and evil, 4) a decline in discipline and persistence in the things of God, 5) lack of growth in holiness, and 6) a strong tendency to conform more and more to the world.

The study is well laid out with each chapter quoting writings from Tozer followed by Exploring with Tozer and the last part a guideline that encourages you to think, reflect and apply.

You will define prayer differently, reverently and humbly with this study. It does not put you on the treadmill of doing but reminds you of your position in Christ. This is definitely a resource that belongs in my favorites.

A Special Thank You to Moody Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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Christ Among Other gods: A Defense of Christ in an Age of Tolerance by: Erwin W. Lutzer

Christ Among Other gods: A Defense of Christ in an Age of ToleranceChrist Among Other gods: A Defense of Christ in an Age of Tolerance by Erwin W. Lutzer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This study is written to give reasons why Christ must always stand alone; all attempts to unite Him with the religions of the world are doomed to fail. Clarifications are made to Christ’s credentials and also to the gospel. It is with these clarifications we come to understand that truth is exclusive and must logically be so.

The search for the truth is a search for the extraordinary. From the Jesus’ birth to the resurrection to the ultimate demise of evil, we have to chose our God carefully.

What I found most interesting was the insight on how pluralism is moving us closer to one world government and with a one world government a one world religion. The implications of a one world government is intolerance. Hitler himself was moving toward that very movement. It is interesting to me how Satan shadows what Christ has already done and how Hitler himself was a foreshadowing of the anti-Christ. He himself obtained leadership of the Nazi party the year he celebrated his 30th birthday. I know you can read into these things, but as the world grows more hostile to the things of God, it will only make room for evil to grow. Do we really want God out of every aspect of our lives? It is because of God, the son rises.

I appreciated this study of the faith and keeping the faith in turbulent times.

A Special Thank You to Moody Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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