I was really excited about reading this book, and it didn't disappoint. It's so important for Christians to remind themselves of the simple truths of the Gospel, and I found this book helps do just that.
I love all the reminders of the gifts of salvation, grace and relationship with the God who created all.
Here are the chapter headings:
Section One: Grow Close to Christ
Chapter One: Gospel
Chapter Two: Identity
Chapter Three: Relationship
Section Two: Understanding the Word of Christ
Chapter Four: Drama
Chapter Five: Doctrine
Section Three: Become Like Christ
Chapter Six: Putting Off
Chapter Seven: Putting On
Section Four: Live for Christ
Chapter Eight: Vocation
Chapter Nine: Relationships
Chapter Ten: Stewardship
I am no longer depending on myself... I am in Christ.
I am no longer guilty... I am justified.
I am no longer alone... I am adopted.
I am no longer lost... I am secure.
I am no longer in bondage... I am free.
I am unfinished... He will finish me to perfection.
These beautiful truths are always refreshing to read again and again.They strengthen our faith and bring us closer to the Lord and knowing who He is.
I also love that they remind me that this life isn't about self-confidence, self-worth or self-esteem, but rather about having confidence in Christ, knowing my worth is in Him and that He is to be esteemed.
The chapter on relationship was also great. It speaks about our relationship with God and how the Bible is essential for our relationship to grow.
Tim says here:
"For a relationship to be genuine, it must be personal. It must involve interaction between two people. This is true of our peer relationships, and it is true of our relationship with God. As Christians, we have the privilege of having a genuine relationship with God in which He speaks to us so we can hear and understand Him, and in which we speak to Him in turn, trusting that He hears, that He understands, and that He responds.
In general, we can say that we hear from God through the Bible, and we speak to God through prayer, but the two are more closely connected than that. As we read, we naturally pray, and as we pray, our minds focus on the truths revealed in Scripture. The more we commit to Bible reading and to prayer, the more of our lives we spend communing with God."
He also talks about prayer in this chapter. I loved this:
"Prayer is not our initiation on a relationship, but a response."
He goes over these things about prayer:
Prayer is response
Prayer is duty
Prayer is delight
Prayer is a assertive supplication
Prayer builds relationships
Prayer changes you
Prayer prepares you
Prayer brings results
I love that he quotes Tim Keller in this book. Tim Keller's book on prayer called 'Prayer' is wonderful and highly recommended.
He quotes Tim Keller:
"Prayer can lead regularly to personal encounter with God, which can be indeed a wondrous, mysterious, awe-filled experience."
Tim Challies adds this:
"Prayer is not an emptying of the mind and a resting in thoughtless silence, but a filling of the mind with the truth of God and a joyful communion with God who is."
Having read Tim Keller's book I know he teaches and believes this also. Biblical prayer is filling the mind, not emptying it.
Tim Keller says in his book:
"Biblical meditation does not empty the mind of rational thought."
"In every case meditation means to use the mind intensely."
"Meditate in the Psalms mean to ponder and question thoroughly."
Psalm 77:6 says:
"I call to remembrance my song in the night;
I meditate within my heart,
And my spirit makes diligent search."
God calls us to fill our minds and hearts with His Word, never to empty them in some anticipation of a spiritual experience. We will only experience and grow in Christ, when we mediate (use the mind intensely) on Scripture. We must open our hearts and minds to what God is saying to us through his Word. This is key in growing closer to the Lord.
Do we realize how blessed we are to have the full Scriptures at our finger tips everyday?
Are we meditating on it day and night?
"Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper." Psalm 1:1-3
I could share so much more, but this post is getting a bit long. : )
I highly recommend the book!
Buy it HERE on Amazon