1 " God had spoken to His people through His Word. It had humbled them in their sins, but it had lifted them up to see the grace and mercy of God, and then had directed them into a new life of obedience. In all our desperate searching for ways to find joy, God is telling us that we will never find joy like the joy of knowing God, being humbled in our sins, experiencing His grace, and walking in a life of obedience. "
2 " There will be times in your life when you want to pray but feel so far from God that prayer seems impossible. The flesh will tell you that God is against you, that you have gone too far and that He is no longer interested in you. But faith defies the flesh. It contradicts Satan’s lies. It rises up against defeat, gloom, and despair and finds hope in God. "
3 " Lord, make me less like Jonah and more like Jesus. Save me from being the kind of person who cares more about my comfort, my reputation, and my success than I do about the people You are calling me to serve. Help me to keep all of my dreams on Your altar and be ready at all times to respond with faith and obedience to Your call. "
5 " When your heart is gripped by the love of God poured out in the cross, and when you see the extent of that love in the propitiation by which Christ became the sacrifice for your sin, bearing wrath and entering hell for you, and when you are convinced that this Christ offers Himself in redeeming love to others who do not yet know Him, a passion will be lit in your heart to pursue a God-centered life. "
11 " In serving as a pastor for over thirty years, I have seen some remarkable transformations and I’ve seen some big disappointments. I have two observations. First, where there has been lasting change, the common factor, in every case, is that the Word of God has had a significant entrance into the person’s life. Second, where godly change has failed to get started, or has slowly unraveled, the common factor, in every case, is that change has been attempted without significant engagement in the Scriptures. "
14 " The Bible is different because it is the Word of God, by which He speaks to me. Disagreeing with the Bible would be disagreeing with God. So when I read the Bible I want to place myself ‘under’ it. I want to receive the Scripture in such a way that over time, my thinking, feeling, choosing, believing and behaving will be molded by the Word God is speaking into my life. I don’t want to critique the Scriptures; I want them to critique me and change me. "
15 " Explaining temptation by saying “God is testing me” or “Satan is attacking me” positions “me” either as the victim, if I am defeated, or the hero, if I prevail. But confessing that “My heart is desperately wicked” provides no such comforts. It heads off all attempts to shift blame, and cuts down all the pretensions of spiritual pride. "
17 " He is the Creator and the sustainer of all things. He is the unchanging, self-existent God, and that means that He depends on nobody. He is neither helped by our faith nor hindered by our unbelief. "