Friday, July 16, 2010

God is Mighty To Save!

God is mighty to save!
Let me say again - God is mighty to save!

I had the opportunity to preach through Matthew 9:9-13 (Matthew's conversion) for AACF Medium group - and later today for High School Branching Out at CCAC (my awesome church).

Having studied the passage and thinking upon Matthew's conversion, my conversion, and the conversion of countless others. After reading articles upon articles on North Korean and Chinese conversions and how God is working there - it is so clearly evident that God is mighty to save!

And He's mighty to save those whom you least expect to be saved. The ones who show no sign and no desire for the things of heaven! He's mighty to save the prostitute, the drunkard, the adulterer, the murderer even. And He's mighty to save the most hardcore of Atheists. He is mighty to save!

He is mighty to save that co-worker whom you think will never hear anything of Christ. He's mighty to save the student reading that newspaper as you walk around campus evangelizing. He's mighty to save the family member who is so opposed to your church going and Christ-loving. He is mighty to save that friend who seems to have the hardest of hearts against God. And He's mighty to save that small group member at church who seems to be so apathetic to all that the preacher says.

He's mighty to save the North Korean and the Chinese people who have never heard of Christ! He's mighty to save the Ugandan , the Japanese, the Nicaraguan, and the Indian in whom is seen not even a glimmer of light (for you KCM mission trainees).

I think that sometimes we forget that we preach the Word of God. And that this word of God is truly living and active! That it is truly sharper than any two-edged sword. That it really pierces to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerns the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12).

Goodness. God is mighty to save! I am not! God is!
Therefore - I will share with full confidence the gospel that God proclaimed. Forever.
Whether from the pulpit, or from personal chitter-chatter, or from my life (which will be the best sermon I ever preached). God is mighty to save!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Books! Reviews, Inbetweens, and Future Reads!

I was so excited to read so many books - but I have been busier than I've expected and have not been able to read as much as I've liked to. So here are a list of books I've read, books I'm reading, and books I will read!

If you want an in-depth review of the content and not my short non-content review, let me know and I'll be happy to tell you about it. I'll let you borrow too (as long as you promise to return it)!

Books I've Read in the last School Year
1) Boy Meets Girl - Joshua Harris
Though I did not agree with everything in this book - I found it very wise and helpful. My apartment-mates call this book the Fail Book - lol. Maybe we all just failed to apply wisely - hahaha. I like the story telling version Joshua Harris puts out to get his points across along with lots of scripture and wisdom. Not a must-read but a fun-read wise read if you have time.

2) Crazy Love - Francis Chan
Though I did not think it was as great as everyone in the world made it out to be, I highly highly recommend it! Read Chapter 2. It rocked me. Read.

3) Heroes of Faith: Charles Spurgeon - J.C. Carlile
A very short biography on the life of Charles Spurgeon (my absolute favorite writer/pastor of all time). Though just a simple biography, this book stirred me more towards Christ and made me want to live a God-glorifying life. I know everyone will say - psh - read the Dallimore version of the Spurgeon biography! Well - I bought it and plan to! But if you are short on time, read this one.

4) Soul Winner - Charles Spurgeon
Spurgeon is the master of painting vivid pictures with his words. He has the best analogies and the best clarity of anyone I've ever read. This book on 'Soul Winning,' or leading sinners to the Savior is the best book I've ever read on evangelism... ever (and I've read quite a few). Why? Because it absolutely drives me to God. And that drives me to evangelize and be a 'soul winner.' This book absolutely rocked me. It has filled me with so much wisdom and helped me to see my faults in areas I needed to see them. It heavily uses the word of God (it is Spurgeon after all) which pierces my heart. It is, I'd say, the best Christian book I've ever read in my life. MUST READ.

5) Just Do Something - Kevin DeYoung
The best book I've read on the 'will of God' for your life. It is very practical, very true, and very short. It can easily be read in one sitting, but I found it very helpful to read it in a week. I think every single college Christian should read this book. High schoolers too - but it may be more helpful refreshing yourself with this book during college and especially during senior year. The best description of this book is on the cover: How to make a decision without dreams, visions, fleeces, impressions, open doors, random bible verses, casting lots, liver shivers, writing in the sky, etc. It is something so few people seem to know how to do today in a world where things seem to sometimes be overally spiritualized. I say - must read.

6) Same Kind of Different As Me
I can never ever see homeless people the same again. A true story about a rich white man, a homeless black man, a christian woman, and a God who orchestrated their lives together. Though theologically there are some points I would raise a fishy finger at, this story is amazing and it is clear the people in this autobiography love God. Written in an alternating chapter by chapter style by Ron Hall (the rich guy) and Denver Moore (the homeless guy), this book calls for a touching story with insight in the minds of the two characters whose lives are changed. The true story about the grace of God in the lives of Hall and Moore and the transforming effect of the love of God. Must read.

Books I've Started Reading and Need to Finish
1) Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Interesting fictional book on a boy named Pi who gets stuck in a lifeboat with a hyena, orangutan, zebra, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. How can Pi survive?!
2) Valley of Vision - The Puritans
I LOVE the prayers in this book. I'm going to try to read and pray one of these a day.
3) Stuff Christians Like - Jonathan Acuff
Fun read with hilarious truth in it that pertains to things Christians do/like, lol. Surprisingly... some of the funny truths in it are a rebuke to me - a fun free time read.
4) Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life - Don Whitney
I've been reading this book for over a year! But If you apply the applications and hear the reasoning - this book contains much truth. Read the chapter on Evangelism.

Books to Read in the Summer
1) Adopted For Life - Russell Moore
2) Spiritual Leadership - Oswald Sanders
3) Prayer - John Bunyan

I'm keeping it rather reasonable because last summer I listed 10 items and miserably failed!

Have you read any of the books listed above? Agree/Disagree? Like/Dislike? Any recommendations?