12 Quotes From “Greater”

This is an excellent book! Here are a dozen quotes that especially caught my attention…

“Jesus isn’t calling us to be greater than He is. He’s calling us to be greater with Him through His Spirit within us.”

“Most believers aren’t in imminent danger of ruining their lives. They’re facing a danger that’s far greater: wasting them.” 

“I talked about how many believers are stuck in mediocrity because they settle for good enough. But I think, just as often, we miss out on what God wants to do through us because we listen to the voice of the enemy telling us, You’ll never be good enough. And God could never use someone with your weaknesses, hang-ups, secret struggles, and dysfunctions.”

“God doesn’t see you through eyes of disapproval or disappointment. His presence is not a sign of condemnation. It’s actually an invitation. God is present with you, through His Holy Spirit, because He intends to uproot you from the tyranny of the familiar, shatter the monotonous life you’ve had, and take you on an adventure.”

“You can’t expect God to entrust you with a big dream if He can’t trust you to make a small start. You can’t have the Apostle Paul’s walk with God overnight. Big dream. But you can pray ten minutes a day beginning tomorrow. Small start.”

“It’s not what we do for God. It’s what we say to God—yes or no.”

“I can’t tell you where the greater life will ultimately lead you, but I can tell you where it starts. It starts where you are. You have everything you need to do all that God is calling you to do right now.”

“We often excuse ourselves from God’s greater vision because we believe we don’t have enough for God to work with. …All God needs to take your life to a higher level is all you have.” 

“Instead of always praying, ‘God bless me with more,’ dare to pray, ‘God, use what I have. Take what little I have and make it overflow.’”

“I’m learning that I don’t have to put my unfulfilled dreams and unanswered prayers in the column labeled Wasted. I don’t have to write them off as losses at the end of each year. I can trust in the Lord with all my heart and not lean on my own understanding, because He’s my Trustee (see Proverbs 3:5). …If you don’t see the results you’re praying for and you’re praying in faith, then, according to God’s will, He must be putting your prayers in a trust fund. …Everyone experiences what seem to be unanswered prayers. But in God’s economy, no one’s faith is ever wasted. God is working on our behalf even when our prayers don’t seem to be working at all. Maybe one day we’ll see that the greatest setbacks in our lives were actually the greatest setups to seeing God’s glory in places we didn’t even know to look.”

“Greater isn’t an automatic, permanent position; it’s an intentional daily decision.”

Living Sermon

Pastors, this is a timely word from Mark Batterson…

There is a world of difference between preaching a sermon and living a sermon.  No amount of study can compensate for deficiencies in your life. You can “study it” but if you aren’t “living it” it’ll ring hollow.  The opposite is true as well.  Jesus’ teaching was authoritative because it was backed up by his life.  You can’t back up your sermons with a seminary degree.  You’ve got to back it up with your life. My advice?  Don’t just get a sermon. Get a life.  Then you’ll get a sermon!

Let me be blunt: if your life is boring your sermons will be too.

If you have no life outside of church—no hobbies, no friends, no interests, no goals—your illustrations will feel canned, your applications will feel theoretical instead of practical, and your sermons will be lifeless instead of life-giving.

The greatest sermons are not fashioned in the study.  They are fleshed out in the laboratory of everyday life.  Now, please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying.  You need to study to show yourself approved and rightly divide the word.  So keep studying!  In fact, study more.  But you can’t just study the word.  You need to live it.  The most powerful sermons are well-studied and well-lived.

At the end of the day, God won’t say, “Well studied, good and faithful servant.”  He won’t say, “Well thought” or “Well said” either.  There is only one commendation: “Well done.”

Now let’s be brutally honest: most Christians are educated way beyond the level of their obedience already! We don’t need to know more, we need to do more.  That’s why I think sermons should focus on application more than interpretation.  Theological doesn’t mean theoretical.  In fact, as you get a life, your messages will be less theoretical and more experiential.  You won’t just preach your sermons. You’ll incarnate them!

Thursdays With Oswald—A Friend Of God And Enemy Of The World

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

A Friend Of God & Enemy Of The World 

     The Bible says that “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son…,” and yet it says that if we are friends of the world we are enemies of God. “Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?” (James 4:4). The difference is that God loves the world so much that He goes to all lengths to remove the wrong from it, and we must have the same kind of love. Any other kind of love for the world simply means we take it as it is and are perfectly delighted with it. … It is that sentiment which is the enemy of God. Do we love the world in this sense sufficiently to spend and be spent so that God can manifest His grace through us until the wrong and the evil are removed? 

From Biblical Psychology

  • Do I love the world the way God so loves the world?
  • Am I willing to let Him use me to change the world?
  • Am I willing to spend and be spent for God’s glory?

Jesus said, “You are salt and light.” But my salt does the world no good at all unless I allow the Holy Spirit to shake it out of me. And the light doesn’t benefit anyone if my apathy is not allowing the love of God to shine brightly through my life.

I must be a friend of God and an enemy of the evil in the world which keeps anyone from coming into a relationship with Him.

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