Book Reviews From 2015

3 Quotes From Rick Warren On Christmas

On This Holy NightI have been sharing quotes from On This Holy Night all week. It’s an excellent book from six insightful authors—John Maxwell, Bill Hybels, Max Lucado, Rick Warren, David Jeremiah, and Jack Hayford—that will open your eyes to the beauty of the Advent. Here are some quotes from Rick Warren’s chapter entitled “What Will You Find At Christmas?”

“What are you going to find this Christmas? I’ll tell you what you’re going to find: you’ll find what you’re looking for. … And there’s no better time than Christmas to become the kind of seekers the wise men embodied. Wise people still seek Christ.”

“Real peace is knowing that no matter what I do, God will never stop loving me. Real peace is knowing that no matter what happens, God will never leave me alone. He’ll always be with me. Real peace means that no matter what happens in the New Year, or in the years to come, I know that God is going to give me the strength to handle it. Real peace is living by God’s Word, the Bible, so I can avoid a lot of the needless hang-ups and hurts and habits that mess up my life.”

“Religion is just man’s attempt to get to God. Relationship is when you get to know Jesus Christ in a personal way and He becomes a Friend.”

You can also read other quotes I’ve shared from On This Holy Night:

And be sure to check out my review of On This Holy Night here.

2 Quotes From Jack Hayford On God’s Favor

On This Holy NightI really enjoyed On This Holy Night! The unique perspective from six talented authors gives a freshness to the Christmas story. Jack Hayford wrote a very intriguing chapter called “I Wish You A ‘Mary’ Christmas,” and I have shared two of his quotes for you.

“We tend to think of virginity only in terms of innocence and purity. Of course those terms are appropriate, but Mary’s virginity did not provide an earned holiness to which God might respond with a miracle. If we think the Mary Miracle can only work in us if we are innocent, pure, and untouched, then most of us will give up and go home. I’m not talking about whether you have been tarnished or sullied in the sexual dimension. That’s not the point. All of us have been marred in numerous ways by our sin and weakness. Mary’s virginity is telling us this today: we don’t have to be pure, innocent, or untarnished to receive the miracle. Mary’s virginity represents the impossibility, humanly speaking, of life coming forth. We need to see her virginity as a picture of the hopelessness of the situation.”

“I discovered that the verb translated ‘highly favored’ [Luke 1:28] is only used two times in the whole New Testament. It’s used for Mary: ‘You are highly favored.’ … But it’s also in Ephesians 1:6, which says you are ‘accepted in the Beloved.’ … The same thing that was said of Mary is also said of us. And that brings with it the same possibilities and the same miracle presence, because the same degree of favor is present. You and I are highly favored!”

You can also read other quotes I’ve shared from On This Holy Night from John Maxwell, Bill Hybels, Max Lucado, and David Jeremiah, and you can read my book review here.

2 Poems + 1 Quote On Jesus From David Jeremiah

On This Holy NightOn This Holy Night is a great pre-Christmas read, to help you focus your thoughts for your celebration of the First Advent. I’ve been sharing some of the quotes from this book. David Jeremiah wrote a chapter entitled “Thou Shalt Call His Name Jesus.” Here’s a quote from Pastor Jeremiah, and two poems he shared.

“Did you know that in the Gospels, God’s Son is called by the name Jesus over 500 times? In fact, the word Jesus appears throughout the New Testament 909 times. You get the impression that it’s the favorite and most endearing term for our Lord. Of all of the names and of all the titles that are given to Christ, the one most beloved by His followers is that simple name, Jesus.”

Jesus, the name high over all.
In hell, on earth and sky.
Angels and man before it fall;
And devils fear and fly.
Jesus, oh the magic
Of the soft love sound.
How it thrills and trembles
To creation’s bound. —Anonymous

There is majesty in the name of God.
There is personality in the name Jehovah.
There is power in the name Lord.
There is unction in the name Christ.
There is affinity in the name Immanuel.
There is intercession in the name Mediator.
There is help in the name Advocate.
But there is salvation none other,
None under heaven given among men,
Apart from the name Jesus.
An Alexander may build an empire.
A Napoleon make change the nations of the world.
A Newton may bring about an intellectual revolution.
An Edison may create a new world for science.
A Wyatt may usher in a new era of industry.
There is only One who can touch and transform the human heart.
And that One is Jesus. —Anonymous

I’ve also shared quotes from this book from John Maxwell, Bill Hybels, and Max Lucado. And you can read my review of On This Holy Night here.

2 Quotes From Bill Hybels On Christmas Scenery

On This Holy NightI’ve been sharing some quotes from On This Holy Night, which is a great pre-read before Christmas. Here are two passages from Bill Hybels, who wrote a chapter entitled “Seeing The Christmas Scenery.”

“Let God determine the best way to lead you to His Son. The wise men would probably have preferred a more personalized kind of guidance, but the point is they were responsive to the guidance God provided. We should be too, however it comes, through whomever it comes.”

“God chose the stable for His Son to be born in for a very important reason. You see, when God sent His only Son to live on this earth, He made a strategic decision not to shelter Him from the harsh realities of this life. God had no intention of shielding His Son by having Him born into the make-believe world of the rich and famous. God wanted His Son to experience life in its blue-collar boldness. … From day one, God the Father determined not to shelter His Son from the rude, crude realities of life on planet earth. … For our sake, Jesus was given no aristocratic advantage. He had humbler beginnings than any of us. He was born into a real family, and He worked a real construction job. He lived in a neighborhood. He had real friends. He suffered hardship like the rest of us have, and He died a cruel death for a crime He didn’t commit. So when the Bible urges people who are going through disappointment and pain to pour their hearts out to the now-ascended Savior, we Christians can do so with the absolute assurance that Jesus understands. He’s been there.”

You can read my review of On This Holy Night here. And check out some quotes from John Maxwell’s chapter here.

Links & Quotes

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“Christ did not risk death. He embraced it. That is precisely why He came: not to be served but to serve and give His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). … Christmas is for freedom. Freedom from the fear of death. Jesus took our nature in Bethlehem, to die our death in Jerusalem, that we might be fearless in our city. Yes, fearless. Because if the biggest threat to my joy is gone, then why should I fret over the little ones?” —John Piper

“The danger of all dangers would be to lose trust and confidence in the mercy of God. … To distrust Him would be a far more terrible thing than any physical evil which all the enemies of God put together could inflict on us, for without God’s permission neither the devils nor their human ministers could hinder us in the slightest degree.” —Francis Xavier

“Each instant of present labor is to be graciously repaid with a million ages of glory.” —J.W. Alexander

“If God did so much for us when enemies, what will He do, or rather, what will He not do, for us now that we are friends? … If Christ’s death did so much for us, what will not His life do?” —Horatius Bonar

“Ignorant men raise questions that wise men answered a thousand years ago.” —Goethe

[VIDEO] Tim Dilena shares some practical keys for a consistent prayer life.

“I would exhort those who have entertained an hope of their being true converts, and yet since their supposed conversion have left off the duty of secret prayer, and do ordinarily allow themselves in the omission of it, to throw away their hope. If you have left off calling upon God, it is time for you to leave off hoping and flattering yourselves with an imagination that you are the children of God.” —Jonathan Edwards

“For too many of us, Christian experience is episodic rather than continuous, with a few religious experiences interspersed throughout our lives, which are otherwise lived on our own terms. Such people can see little need or use for prayer.” —Ralph Lehman

Eric Metaxas helps us get ready for Religious Freedom Day on January 16.

[VIDEO] Not just at Christmas when you are receiving gifts, but all year long we should be people of appreciation. Check out John Maxwell’s short video—

4 Quotes From John Maxwell On The Wise Men

On This Holy NightOn This Holy Night is a great book to read during the countdown to Christmas. Check out my review by clicking here.

John Maxwell wrote a chapter in this book entitled “When you follow a star and find a stable.” Here’s a couple of thoughts he shared from that chapter.

“Strong Christians see God in both the good and the bad. The mature believer sees God not only in pleasures and palaces, but also in the barnyards and stables of life. … Weak Christians see God in only the good.”

“I believe that all wise men throughout the ages have done these three things when they come upon a stable—to a place or situation that isn’t exactly what they were expecting. (1) Wise men of every age, when handed a difficult situation, don’t panic about the problem, but hold steady and say, ‘God is somewhere in this stable of life. There’s something I can learn. I’ll hold steady because God is somewhere in this.’ (2) Wise men also give their best when they come to a stable. (3) Wise men allow God to change their direction.”

“The difference between the average and above average person lies in just three words: And Then Some. Great men of God, and great men of society, give their very best, and then some. They forgive people, and then some. They’re always walking the extra mile. They’re always taking the extra step. … Whether it’s in preaching, or working in a factory, or at your own business, or with in your own family, the mark of a Christian is that he will walk the second mile and turn the other cheek. A wise man or woman gives the extra effort, all for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“We fancy that God can only manage His world through the big battalions of life, when all the while He is doing it through the beautiful babies that are being born into the world.” — Anonymous

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