JRF’s #22: Battling Unbelief by John Piper – 162 pages

November 28, 2015 // 0 Comments

Taken from the end of Piper’s longer classic, Future Grace, and supplemented with new material, Battling Unbelief applies the power of faith in future grace to the fight against sin in daily life.  Working of the proposition that, “unbelief in the promises of God (that is, future grace) is the root that sustains the life of these sins,” Piper looks at how the promises of God help us fight against anxiety, pride, misplaced shame, impatience, covetousness, bitterness, despondency, and lust. In a time where (joyfully) the theology of the cross has been rediscovered and celebrated, this book is a helpful reminder that our only source of motivation to fight sin, is not just passively looking back to the cross with a debtors ethic, but actively looking forward to and striving towards the consummation of the promises that Christ’s life, death, and resurrection purchased for us. I leave you with a few quotes: “Boasting is the response of pride to success.  Self-pity is the response of pride to suffering.” “The battle against bitterness is fought not only by trusting the promise of God to avenge wrongs done against us; it is also fought by cherishing the experience of being forgiven by God.” “So I […]

JRF’s # 21: The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan – 324 Pages

November 12, 2015 // 0 Comments

“It is always hard to see the purpose in wilderness wanderings until after they are over.” “I seek a place that can never be destroyed, one that is pure, and that fadeth not away, and it is laid up in heaven, and safe there, to be given, at the time appointed, to them that seek it with all their heart. Read it so, if you will, in my book.” A few months ago I was sent to a remote Navy base in Nevada.  I opted to drive there in part so that I could get a good audio book in.  The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan was that book. The desolate scenery of my drive combined with the dark season of doubt that my spiritual walk with God was in at the time, put me in just the right place to take this journey with Bunyan’s protagonist, Christian. I listened to the audio book version read by Max Mclean.  In between listening to the book, I continued the journey by listening to the excellent concept album, The Pilgrim by Nate Currin. Watching Christian allegorically traverse through the highs and lows, temptations and victories, sorrows and ecstasies of the way of the cross was […]

JRF’s #20: The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer – 113 pages

November 3, 2015 // 0 Comments

For a training assignment for missions preparation, I was required to read A.W. Tozer’s classic book The Pursuit of God and highlight a few points that were particularly impactful.  This was my second time reading this great book, and it was interesting to see that as my walk with God and my theology has matured (at least I hope it has matured) since I read this as a young Christian almost 15 years ago, different itches were scratched. Here are a few of my reflections. Pride Tozer’s discussion of “Self-sins” was exceptionally convicting.  Particularly this quote: “Self can live unrebuked at the very altar.  It can watch the bleeding Victim die and not be in the least affected by what it sees.  It can fight for the faith of the reformers and preach eloquently the creed of salvation by grace and gain strength by its efforts.  To tell the truth, it seems actually to feed upon orthodoxy and is more at home in a Bible conference than in a tavern.  Our very state of longing after God may afford it an excellent condition under which to thrive and grow….we must invite the cross to do its deadly work in us” (p. […]

JRF’s #15: Developing a Healthy Prayer Life by James and Joel Beeke – 99 pages

August 31, 2015 // 0 Comments

    This short but powerful book is designed to be read over 31 days.  Each days reading is a few pages and focuses on a particular aspect of prayer.  I found this to be a perfectly paced, practical and Gospel rooted devotional that fit well into my recently compressed schedule.  It engages the mind, flames the soul and moves the heart. “It is important to realize that genuine humility and genuine boldness are not opposites…Authentic boldness results from a right view of Christ and who God is through Him for lost sinners…Praying boldly is praying humbly.  Knowledge of self and knowledge of God are truths in tandem.”   “Strong ‘Jacob-like’ wrestlers get nowhere even when they wrestle the entire night.  But fervent, broken-legged, ‘Israel-like’ beggars prevail, undaunted by injury or the approach of dawn.”   “Unfulfilled prayer can serve as a means to produce far deeper and more valuable benefits than those we originally requested.”

1 2 3