16 Quotes From “Firsthand”

FirsthandI strongly encourage Christian parents to put a copy of Firsthand into the hands of their children, high school age and older. This book will help them think through making their faith in Jesus something personal to them. You can read my book review by clicking here. Below are some quotes that stood out to me. All of these quotes are by the authors, unless otherwise noted.

“You must be emptied of that of which you are full, so that you may be filled with that of which you are empty.” —Augustine

“One of the most liberating and powerful statements of all time comes from the lips of Jesus: ‘You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’ (John 8:32). And we’re writing this chapter to tell you something that will set you free. The only way we’ve been able to experience freedom is by making the choice to get completely gut-level honest with God and others.

“God can use you and me through our brokenness, but first we have to get real and vulnerable with Him and with others. I think this powerful ‘get real’ dynamic works for a few reasons. First of all, being real with God and those around us invites us to drop the pride and pretense and to walk in humility. Second, honesty invites us to live every day in gratitude for the incredible grace that Lord has shown us. And third, since now we know we can’t make it on our own—and that’s okay—we’re ready to invite God’s power to do for us what we can’t do for ourselves. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:9, ‘I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.’ This turns the concept of weakness and vulnerability on its head. We are saying that God makes up for our weaknesses. We are admitting that He is ready to work through them. Our weaknesses can actually become our greatest assets because they draw us closer to the Lord. And once we see how God can use them, we have all the more reason to be open about our struggles.”

“When all you see is a life in pieces, remember: the Remodeler wants to change you from the inside out. And He’s at work building your character to match His great calling and purpose for your life.”

“We have to decide, moment by moment, if we want to act changed or be changed.”

“It is more important to live one word of Scripture than it is to memorize volumes.” —Tim Hansel

“When our faith looks like a long list of things we should do, it’s usually a sign we’re not really focused on knowing God today for ourselves. Firsthand faith is all about a relationship with the God who is always faithful.”

“God is no less with you in your doubts that He is with you in your certainties.”

“Firsthand faith means we’re not afraid to bring our burning questions directly to God. But it also means that we’re not afraid to simply relax in His love. Even when all our questions haven’t yet been answered.”

“The needs of this world are endless. So whenever we feel a divine disturbance, it’s essential that we respond with firsthand action. If we don’t, it will quickly turn into secondhand bitterness.”

“James tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:26). The most certain way to go back to living a secondhand faith is to refuse to act upon the Holy Spirit’s movement in your heart…. When you do not respond to a divine disturbance of the Holy Spirit, you get bitter and you criticize. That helps no one. … When you don’t respond to a divine disturbance in your life, you become the greatest obstacle between an unbelieving world and a loving God—a judgmental Christian.”

“Your eternal footprint—the impact you make on this earth—will be determined by whether you respond to the calling of the Spirit of the Lord in your heart to love a broken world, to step into the gifts and passions the Lord has blessed you with yo meet the needs that others overlook.”

“When we set out to discover our own firsthand faith, we were disillusioned with church. We had seen how imperfect the church could be, and we were certain that church was the problem. Coming full circle with our firsthand faith, we now realize that church was not the problem. The problem was out view and definition of the church itself. It took us a long time to understand that church wasn’t a building or a pastor or a sermon series. It’s easy to point out everything wrong with the church when you stand outside it and approach it with a consumer mentality. We thought the church had given us a secondhand faith, when in reality we had chosen to avoid a firsthand relationship with the community of Christ follower we claimed to care about.”

“The church is messy and imperfect because it is made up of broken and imperfect people. Are you sitting on the sidelines because the people in your church are imperfect or ‘just not like you’? … God designed you to be in community with your local church. He designed you to have firsthand relationships not only with Him but also with the people in your church. You can come up with plenty of excuses not to get involved and reasons that your church has it wrong, but when was the lat time you looked inside yourself and really searched your own heart for issues?”

“You can try to live out a firsthand faith on your own for as long as you want, but until you live out that faith in a community, you will never realize your full potential in Christ.”

“As a Christian, you are part of a movement that will outlast you, and you are part of the Firsthand Generation. As communities of believers rise up, we will gain momentum and create a movement that is stronger than anything we could ever accomplish on our own. Perhaps God is calling you to gather people and become a leader in the Firsthand Generation. Take up the challenge.”

National Day Of Prayer 2013

NDPWhen God-fearing people are concerned with the direction their nation is heading, when they are upset over the lack of biblically-sound laws, when they are pained over the cultural trends, God gives them just one recourse: Prayer.

Furthermore, God gives them only one place to look: In the mirror.

If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

May 2 has been designated as a National Day Of Prayer, and I sincerely hope you will find a time and a place to pray for our country.

Calvary Assembly of God will be open from noon to 1pm for a time of prayer. If you can’t join us, please make an altar wherever you happen to be to humble yourself and pray. It’s the only recourse we have!

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