Finished this month:
Captivated: Beholding the Mystery of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection by Thabiti Anyabwile
This is a short book (95 pages) so a quick read and yet really great thoughts and meditations on the death and resurrection of Christ. Great reminders and very encouraging to me as I seek to fix my eyes on Christ and walk in Him – it’s all because of what He’s done! His death means the death of death, and His resurrection means victory and life for all who believe. What hope, what joy we have!
“To be turned face-to-face with God the Father is the Bible’s idea of the highest possible blessing and happiness.” (p. 36)
“Life lived in light of the resurrection realizes that knowing Jesus and being with Jesus is the greatest possible future.” (p. 66)
Trusting God - even when life hurts by Jerry Bridges
“God will never allow any action against you that is not in accord with His will for you. And His will is always directed to our good.” (p. 71)
It’s really hard to believe that sometimes. This is one of those books, that when you’re actually going through what it’s talking about (ie. your life really does hurt) that it’s really hard to read. But this book is just so packed with so much truth and in the end I was so very encouraged! God CAN be trusted. This book will remind you of that.
“I knew the truth regarding God’s sovereignty. What I had to do was decide if I would trust Him, even when my heart ached. I realized anew that, just as we must learn to obey God one choice at a time, we must also learn to trust God one circumstance at a time. Trusting God is not a matter of my feelings but of my will. I never feel like trusting God… but I can choose to do so even when I don’t feel like it. That act of belief of the will, though, must be based on belief, and belief must be based on truth.” (p. 52)
“The good that He brings about is often different from the good we envision.” (p. 120)
Faith on Trial: Psalm 73 by Martyn Lloyd-Jones
This books is based on a sermon series by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who is one a preacher/writter that I really like. We all have them… those times when everyone else seems to be doing better, and even those who reject God are prospering and loving life yet here we are suffering. We struggle with life’s seemingly unfairness and are tempted to question God’s love and goodness. Come along the psalmists as he shares his journey of questioning God to trusting and praising Him.
“All our troubles are ultimately due to the fact that we are governed by our feelings and our hearts and sensibilities instead of by clear thinking and the honest facing of things before God.” (p. 103)
“The greatest of all blessings is just to know God and to be in His presence.” (p. 158)
Infant Baptism & the Covenant of Grace by Paul Jewett
Great book! Super interesting! Paul Jewett writes from a Covenantal perspective against infant baptism (which is rather rare). I came away better understanding the paedobaptist view of baptism and being better equipped to argue against it. He is very balanced in his view of Scripture and correctly sees that it is progressing. “Paedobaptists tend to be insensitive to the movement of revelation from the broader dimension of Old Testament externalism to the deeper dimension of New Testament inwardness.” (p. 228) The types in the OT are fulfilled spiritually in the NT, it’s a spiritual kingdom and a spiritual family we are apart of now. Baptism belongs to those who have themselves professed faith in Christ, and to those only. To baptize infants takes away its meaning – it’s symbolism of what God has already done inwardly.
“But in the New Testament, the only way to become a member of the church is not by natural birth [or baptism] but by a new birth.” (p. 223)
“Since there are no longer covenant blessings in an external sense [i.e. land], there is no justification in giving the covenant sign to those who are our children in an external sense, that is, our children according to the flesh.” (p. 235)
Free Indeed by Dr. Richard Ganz
This was a very thought-provoking book. How easily we can become slaves of our own hearts, slaves of other people’s convictions or opinions. What does it mean that Christ has set us free? How is this freedom to be attained? How is it to be lived out? The truth is that we have been set free from many things and this is a GLORIOUS truth! At the same time though we are set free from sin/self/the world to be under the authority of Christ. True freedom is found in surrender to the One for whom we were made. Only then will we experience the freedom and joy we seek. It is for freedom that Christ has made us free!
(Note: there were a few minor things I’m not sure I totally agreed with [just because sometimes I’m super picky theologically], but I would still recommend you reading it. It gave me a LOT to think about in regards to my own life.) Get it here.
“The knowledge of God presupposes our ability to be excellent. When we aren’t excellent, we are lying about God. That is why disobedience and sin in general is so serious… The call to perfection is not meant to break us, but to move us into the realm where the knowledge of God is continually infused into our lives.” (p. 95)
“The joy and freedom of the Christian life is always available, but it is only available as we live in obedience to Him.” (p. 97)
The Believer’s Sabbath by John G. Reisinger
This is just a short booklet on what the Sabbath means to us as New Covenant believers. The 7th day of creation shows God resting from His work. Sin however interrupted this rest and humanity lost its ability to have eternal rest. The Sabbath law was instituted in Exodus as a pre-Gospel of sin the rest that was to come through the Messiah. And when Christ did come and complete the work of salvation He restored unto His people this eternal rest. What joy!
Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson
The Law of Christ by Charles Leiter
Additional books I want to read this next month:
A Praying Life by Paul Miller