Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating
Caring
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Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
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Tuesday, March 11, 2014 @ 9:12:00 AM - Written by Doug Hignell -

There are many excellent books being written and published today. In fact, there are probably too many. In the coming months, I plan to intersperse my posts with book reviews, highlighting ones that I recommend as worth reading.

 

One Way Love by Tullian Tchividjian is the best book I've read on increasing our understanding of grace. Tchividjian is a grandson of Billy Graham and the senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The book is especially helpful for those of us who've been caught up in the performance trap -- that is, finding our worth and our connection to God through our accomplishments. Here are a few excerpts from One Way Love:

 

"The news of God's inexhaustible grace has never been more urgent because the world has never been more exhausted. In our culture where success equals life and failure equals death, people spend their lives trying to secure their own meaning, worth, and significance. And as a result our culture is exhausted emotionally, physically, relationally, spiritually…" (interview with Tchividjian on October 9, 2013 from thegospelcoalition.org).

 

"…if we're not careful, we can give people the impression that Christianity is first and foremost about the sacrifice we make for Jesus rather than the sacrifice Jesus made for us; our performance for him rather than his performance for us; our obedience for him rather than his obedience for us. The hub of Christianity is not 'do something for Jesus', the hub of Christianity is 'Jesus has done everything for you.' And my fear is that too many people, both inside and outside the church, have heard our pleas for intensified devotion and concluded that the focus of Christian faith is our love for God instead of God's love for us. Don't get me wrong -- what we do is important. But it is infinitely less important that what Jesus has done for us" (21).

 

"…Grace is one-way love…Grace doesn't make demands. It just gives…Grace is unconditional acceptance given to an undeserving person by an unobligated giver. It is one-way love…it has the unique power to inspire generosity, kindness, loyalty, and more love, precisely because it removes any and all requirement to change or produce…We are uncomfortable because grace turns the tables on us, relieving us of our precious sense of control…It forces us to rely on the goodness of Another, and that, dear friends, is simply terrifying" (33-35).

 

"The Gospel of Jesus Christ announces that because Jesus was strong for you, you're free to be weak…One way to summarize God's message to the worn out and weary is like this -- God’s demand: 'be righteous'; God's diagnosis: 'no one is righteous'; God's deliverance: 'Jesus is our righteousness'. Once this good news grips your heart, it changes everything. It frees you from having to be perfect…from having to hold it all together. In the place of exhaustion, you might even find energy" (36-37).

 

"So Christian growth does not involve becoming stronger and stronger, more and more and more competent every day. It involves becoming more and more aware of how weak and incompetent we are and how strong and competent Jesus was and continues to be for us" (223).

 

In addition to the book, you can follow Tchividjian on Facebook and Twitter, as well as receive email updates on his writing by subscribing on www.thegospelcoalition.org.
Comments
Thanks Doug, I love the quote on Pg 223,"So Christian growth does not involve becoming stronger and stronger, more and more and more competent every day. It involves becoming more and more aware of how weak and incompetent we are and how strong and competent Jesus was and continues to be for us" I am picking up this book! Ken
Ken Winton @ 11:22:57 AM 3/12/2014
Thanks Doug, I love the quote on Pg 223,"So Christian growth does not involve becoming stronger and stronger, more and more and more competent every day. It involves becoming more and more aware of how weak and incompetent we are and how strong and competent Jesus was and continues to be for us" I am picking up this book! Ken
Ken Winton @ 2:11:30 PM 9/1/2014

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