1. As I was reading this week’s chapter, immediately the verse in John 6 – where the disciples say ‘this is a hard teaching, who can listen to it?’ (vs. 60) and also when Jesus was describing to them how difficult it would be for a rich person to be saved – it would easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle – then the disciples, taken aback/astounded cried out – who then can be saved? And Jesus says – ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’ Matt 19:24-26 (paraphrased)
    As I was reading this chapter I kept saying, oh this is so hard to hear, so hard to accept, and yet no one can deny the truth of what Dr. Lloyd-Jones is teaching – it is straight from the Bible. And then when Dr. Lloyd-Jones asked ‘are you suffering persecution? (pg 115 of my copy), it just nailed me to my chair. This study continually uncovers blindspots in my walk – things I was blissfully unaware of – but now am so convicted of.
    At the end of today’s video, I realized something. I joined a reading challenge in 2022 with a set goal and I have read a lot of books towards my goal, but very few have been “growing books”. They have been more of entertainment/distraction type books. Cozy mysteries, fun adventures etc; At the end of today’s video, I realized that the conviction I feel is because I am choosing candy instead of the meat, fruit, and veggie choices I need to be making (again blown away by how this crosses over into the actual food arena too. Does anyone else struggle in one area only to realize that struggle bleeds across all areas? Ex. – choosing to be entertained instead of growing in your reading materials – how that is like candy/comfort food vs. healthy food choices, only to carry that further and realize how undisciplined you have also become in eating?) I realized today that choosing books that will strengthen my understanding of the Word walked out, books that encourage me to stand firm, that teach me what the Beatitudes look like walked out in life, that is where I need to spend my time. I actually have no idea what God is preparing me for in the future so I don’t want to show up to a battle unprepared.
    I love Christian biographies and autobiographies – there are several I have read (or read aloud to my girls) over the years:
    A Hiding Place and A Tramp for the Lord by Corrie Ten Boom
    Christian Heroes Then and Now (we LOVE this series of biographies – they have historical ones too) – our favorite stories, the ones we still talk about all of the time from this series are: Gladys Aylward, George Muller, Sundar Singh
    God’s Hostage by Andrew Brunson (the missionary that was imprisoned in Turkey during President Trump’s presidency)
    The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken – WOW – this book is -I am not sure what will properly describe it. It will turn your life upside down
    Something Needs to Change by David Platt
    I have read others, but these are the ones I still think about at least weekly – they were incredible books. Thank you so much for sharing the titles. I have not heard of most of those books, but cannot wait to try them.

    1. I once had a boss, who was a Christian, who told me he didn’t have time to read fiction, he only read nonfiction. As I’ve gotten older, I understand: as the timeline is getting shorter and you realize just how much there is out there to know that you don’t know and you want to know! Perhaps it’s seasons of life that pull us one way or another. The one thing I do know, in the words of songsmith Colton Dixon, “I can’t quit You [Christ].” 🙂

  2. I ‘ve been through this type of persecution, genuine persecution for Christ, at various times throughout my life and Dr. Lloyd-Jones is so correct that the worst persecution comes from other Christians. I don’t understand it, but it’s as if they don’t want to embrace the joy of the Lord with you and sometimes, they don’t even want you to have it. I don’t understand because He gives joy so freely to us! There is no shortage, our God is not a God of limits nor needs to ration His love or power, we all get the share of joy that we seek and even more so abundantly simply because HE CAN.
    The quote that stood out the most to me: “…the righteous are persecuted because they are different.”
    The quote I least understood: “If you try to imitate Christ the world will praise you; if you become Christlike it will hate you.” I understand the second part, but the first part, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” Perhaps the doctor is referring to a nongenuine imitation, one that is more for the sake of being “good and noble” so men will like you?

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