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Why does God often feel more like a doctrine we know about than a Person we know? Why do so many of us think of Christianity as a lifestyle to which we conform, rather than a God with whom we commune?
Jesus gave his disciples the audacious promise that it was to their advantage he go back to heaven because the Holy Spirit could then come to live inside of them. How many of us consider our connection to the Holy Spirit so strong and so real that we would call his presence in us better than Jesus beside us?
Author J.D. Greear asks those questions because throughout his Christian life he felt disconnected to God and unsure about how to interact with him. Although he had learned a lot of truths about God, he sensed very little relationship with him at least, not the dynamic, two-way relationship he really wanted. He tried to have such a relationship, but all of God s work seemed stockpiled in the past: he created the world, died on a cross, and left a Bible. God seemed like a busy teacher who had given an assignment and then stepped out of the room, leaving students to get the work done on their own.
But Greear discovered it doesn t have to be like that. Not at all. In clear and practical language, he explains how any follower of Jesus can have a satisfying, powerful relationship with God through the Holy Spirit.
While many books about the Holy Spirit get stuck in secondary questions that divide believers, The God Factor focuses on a central, truth that unites us: God wants to be vitally present in and through his people. This truth, though central, is sadly neglected. This generation of Christians mission-driven but burned out, weary, and longing for joy desperately needs to recover the dynamic presence of God. And the good news is that God wants us to have exactly that."
Jesus cannot be dismissed as one in a long line of religious gurus peddling peace, fulfillment, and a better version of yourself. You Don't Get Your Own Personal Jesus, excerpted from J.D. Greear's book Not God Enough, captures the liberating truth that God is exactly who he says he is. You may prefer a God who is small, safe, and domesticated, a God who thinks like you think and likes what you like. You may prefer a God you can manage, predict, and control. But what if this small version of God is holding you back from genuine, confident, world-transforming faith? God is not just a slightly better, slightly smarter version of you. He is infinite and glorious, and an encounter with him won't just change the way you think about your faith. It will change your entire life.
Your God is too small. We like God small. We prefer a God who is safe, domesticated, who thinks like we think, likes what we like, and whom we can manage, predict, and control. A small God is convenient. Practical. Manageable. The truth: God is big. Bigger than big. Bigger than all the words we use to say big. Ironically, many today seem turned off by the concept of an awesome, terrifyingly great God. We assume that a God you would need to fear is guilty of some kind of fault. For us, thinking of God as so infinitely greater and wiser than we are and who would cause us to tremble in his presence is a leftover relic from an oppressive, archaic view of religion. But what if this small version of God we've created is holding us back from the greatest experience of our lives-from genuine, confident, world-transforming faith? In Not God Enough, J.D. reveals how to discover a God who: is big enough to handle your questions, doubts, and fears is not silent is worthy of worship wants to take you from boring to bold in your faith has a purpose and mission for you on earth is pursuing you right now God is not just a slightly better, slightly smarter version of you. God is infinite and glorious, and an encounter with Him won't just change the way you think about your faith. It'll change your entire life.
At the base of every broken life, every dysfunctional relationship, every bad choice is a lie we believe. And at the root of every lie is fear. Fear of not having enough, fear of missing out, fear of being alone. The good news is, once we can identify and name our fears, we can defeat the lies that control us and live out the more abundant life that Christ promises us. With sharp insight and deep compassion, Clayton King identifies the ten big lies we commonly believe, each rooted in the fear of losing something. He blows them apart, one by one, with God's truth, allowing readers to take back control of their hearts, minds, and actions. Covering such pervasive problems as loneliness, unforgiveness, shame, human suffering, self-image, sexual sin, and more, King shines a light on all those things that are holding us down and clears the way for the faith that sets us free.
People are leaving the church J.D. Greear pastors. Big givers. Key volunteers. Some of his best leaders and friends. And that's exactly how he wants it to be. When Jesus gave his disciples the Great Commission, he revealed that the key for reaching the world with the gospel is found in sending, not gathering. Though many churches focus time and energy on attracting people and counting numbers, the real mission of the church isn't how many people you can gather. It's about training up disciples and then sending them out. The true measure of success for a church should be its sending capacity, not its seating capacity. But there is a cost to this. To see ministry multiply, we must release the seeds God has placed in our hands. And to do that, we must ask ourselves whether we are concerned more with building our kingdom or God's. In Gaining By Losing, J.D. Greear unpacks ten plumb lines that you can use to reorient your church's priorities around God's mission to reach a lost world. The good news is that you don't need to choose between gathering or sending. Effective churches can, and must, do both.
"If there were a "Guinness Book of World Records" entry for 'amount
of times having prayed the sinner's prayer, ' I'm pretty sure I'd
be a top contender," says pastor and author J. D. Greear. He
struggled for many years to gain an assurance of salvation and
eventually learned he was not alone. "Lack of assurance" is
epidemic among evangelical Christians.
Even in conservative churches, the Gospel has been eclipsed by
moralism and legalism. J.D. Greear's new book, simply titled
"Gospel," cuts through the superficiality of religion and
reacquaints readers with the revolutionary truth of the Gospel.
Grasping what the Gospel shows us about God leads us from a life of
self-involvement to one of joy, freedom, radical generosity and
audacious faith. Sin is not overcome by a resolution to do better,
but by standing in awe of what God has done for us in Christ.
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