Josh McDowell has a book that is perfect for this generation of youth. #Truth is a 365-day devotional that brings biblical truth to bear on the issues today’s students face every day. You can check out my full book review of #Truth by clicking here. Below are a handful of quotes that caught my attention.
“All healthy relationships require a willingness to be known and have things pointed out so that all offenses can be addressed.”
“If a person is unwilling to forgive others, it’s a clear sign he or she hasn’t really experienced God’s mercy and grace. When people refuse to forgive those who wronged them, God knows that any confession of their own sins is less than genuine and sincere. How could anyone who truly experiences God’s amazing grace of forgiveness not also give mercy and grace to others?”
“Jesus died and rose again so that you could be set free from sin and death and enjoy the benefits of spiritual freedom. That freedom is not a license to live however you want to live, but to live as God meant you to live.”
“Don’t believe the lie that you are alone and no one cares. Since Christ sees you as a member of His body, accept this as your new reality and realize that you are always wanted and very much needed.”
“Jesus too had a totally different view of this world than those around Him. … Because you have accepted Jesus as the Truth and follow Him, you too see the world differently. You see the world through a spiritual lens that makes you sort of like an alien.”
“Jesus’ Kingdom message is a whole new way to see God, yourself, life, and relationships. It is a view of the world defined by Jesus and His Word. … Loving God and making Him the first priority in your life develops a Kingdom mindset that brings everything into perspective—love God and those around you as you love yourself [Matthew 22:37-39].”
“This life is short in comparison to eternity, and God wants your thoughts to include Him and make His Kingdom a priority in your life. … Letting heaven fill your thoughts is about keeping Jesus first in your life.”
“Only those who have been made alive to God and have His Spirit can listen and understand the spiritual insights of Scripture.”
“When you read from the Bible you are reading God’s words as if He were writing them for you. … Scripture is a supernatural book that has come from God Himself.”
“Jesus felt misunderstood. He spent years telling His followers who He was and why He came to earth. ‘But they didn’t understand any of this…and they failed to grasp what He was talking about’ (Luke 18:34). Because Jesus faced misunderstanding He is able to identify with your hurt and give you the help you need when you need it.”
“This incense was to be ‘offered with’ or ‘laid upon’ so as to cover or envelope the ‘prayers of all saints’—yes, all saints, from Able downwards; for this seems to be the gathering into one of all prayers from the beginning, that at length they may be answered (Luke 18:3, 7). Upon the golden altar in front of the throne the prayers of the saints of all ages have been laid; there they have accumulated; the unanswered ‘How longs?’ not forgotten.
“Not one petition, even the poorest or feeblest, has dropped from that altar, or been swept away, or lost in the process of time. All, all are there. In themselves the are poor, having no fragrance; but their intrinsic imperfection cannot change the nature of that altar on which they are laid. There they are preserved— each sigh, each tear, each cry, from child or aged man, from the chief of sinners, from the thief upon the cross, from the chamber of weakness and sorrow, from the crushed spirit and the broken heart—there they are: the groanings that cannot be uttered; the ‘God be merciful to me, a sinner;’ the ‘How long?’ of the tortured martyrs; the moan of the suffering saint upon his tossing sick-bed—there they are: the father’s prayer, ‘Lord, save my child;’ the child’s prayer, ‘Lord, save my father’— there they are: the pleadings for the church of God, for the overthrow of Antichrist, for the binding of satan, for the deliverance of earth, for the consummation of the eternal purpose! Not one cry lost; not one petition gone astray. All there!
“There is no such thing as unanswered prayer. Delay will only add to the fullness of the answer, and increase our joy when it comes. And it will come. He is faithful that promised. He cannot deny Himself.” —Horatius Bonar, in Light & Truth: Revelation (emphasis mine)
…being patient with people’s quirks (James 3:17)
…helping anyone around you who is hurting (Proverbs 3:27)
…giving people a second chance (Ephesians 4:31-32)
…doing good to those who hurt you (Luke 6:35-36)
…being kind to those who offend you (Jude 22-23)
…building bridges of love to the unpopular (premeditated mercy) (Matthew 9:13)
…valuing relationships over rules (Romans 13:10)” —Rick Warren
Imagine you are taking a nice autumn color tour. As you are enjoying the beautiful fall colors, you come upon a quaint town, where the speed limit through town drops to 25 mph.
As you make your way through town, enjoying the scenery, you suddenly become aware of the flashing lights of a police car behind you. Quickly glancing down at your speedometer, you notice that you are traveling at 35 mph!
Since you did break the law, the officer might return to your car with a traffic ticket, indicating that you were driving 10 mph over the speed limit. You may have all kinds of excuses, and even a spotless driving record, but the truth of the matter is you broke the traffic laws of that city. The ticket you received is, in fact, justice.
Now imagine the officer returns to your car and says, “You have a pretty good driving record, and I believe that you were enjoying the fall scenery, so I’m going to let you off with a warning this time.” Even though you broke the law, this police officer extended mercy to you by not giving you the penalty you deserved.
Have you ever experienced this kind of justice or mercy? Most of us probably have.
But here’s something you have probably never experienced. Imagine you are driving through the same quaint town, admiring the beauty, when you see those flashing lights in your rearview mirror. Quickly glancing down at your speedometer you see that you are traveling under the speed limit. You double-check that your seatbelt is fastened and you are obeying all of the traffic laws.
When the officer approaches your car, he says, “Do you know why I pulled you over? I pulled you over because you are following all of the traffic laws and I wanted to give you a $50 gift certificate to one of the best restaurants we have in town.”
If this ever happened to you, this would be the definition of grace: getting a blessing you didn’t deserve to receive!
Christians certainly understand justice averted, when the penalty for our sins fell on Jesus instead of on us. Christians also understand mercy, when we don’t have to pay for the sins we have committed. But have you ever stopped to consider the amazing grace God continues to pour over your life?
John describes it like this: For out of Christ’s fullness we have all received—all had a share and we were all supplied with—one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift heaped upon gift (John 1:16 AMP).
All of us have blessing upon blessing, favor upon favor, gift upon gift heaped onto our lives. The Apostle Paul then asks, “What am I going to do with all of this grace I’ve received?”
His answer: I’m going to make sure I pass it along to others! (see Ephesians 3:1-9)
Gordon MacDonald wrote, “The world can do almost anything as well as or better than the church. You need not be a Christian to build houses, feed the hungry, or heal the sick. There is only one thing the world cannot do. It cannot offer grace.”
So here’s my question to you: how are you handling the grace God has lavished on you? Are you even aware of His grace gifts? Are you hoarding them for yourself?
Or are you making sure that those around you are recipients of the overflow of grace from your life? In other words, are you demonstrating what the world can never show?
Christian, make sure the world sees your grace-filled life in action! This is what brings glory to God and draws others to their own personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Please check out this video…
Time after time Peter calls Christians to live a counter-cultural lifestyle. The most countercultural example we have ever seen is Jesus Christ.
Peter shows us how Jesus—in the most excruciating situation possible—lived. Heading into the torture of crucifixion…
Peter then tells Christian wives and husbands they are to behave in the same way as Jesus. Wow!
More specifically Peter challenges Christlike wives to be:
Likewise Peter challenges Christlike husbands to be:
Here are two questions I think Christian wives and husbands need to seriously consider: Are you thinking about your role as a husband or wife in biblical terms or cultural terms? If you are thinking in cultural terms, are you willing to try it God’s way?
Our Christian marriages should be “alien” to the way the world operates; they should be counter-cultural. That kind of marriage is what points people to a relationship with Jesus!