Suggested Reading ...

As requested by a number of you, herewith a few books that I strongly recommend.

The Case for the Psalms:Why they are Essential - N.T.Wright

Journey to the Common Good - Walter Brueggemann

Gagging Jesus: Things Jesus said we wish he hadn't - Phil Moore

Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God - Bob Kauflin

The Writings of the New Testament : An Interpretation - Luke Timothy Johnson

These titles I have been able to source through happy reading!

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Home NEWS Updates from Grant On whom is your faith Centered?
On whom is your faith Centered? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Friday, 21 November 2014 14:42

Galatians 2:20; “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”

As a follower of Christ, we need to be aware that, around us, the grand story of the Creator of the universe is unfolding. Perhaps, like me, as you look around you though, it seems apparent that much of the faith has hijacked the story of God and turned it into the story of us. Louie Giglio, in his book entitled “I am not but I know I am: Welcome to the Story of God”, states that; “Inverting reality, we’ll live every day as though life is all about you and me. We’ll live as though life is our one-act play and history our story- as though Creation is our habitation alone, existence our playground, and God our servant (that is, if we decide we need Him at all). We will throw every ounce of our energy into the fragmented and fleeting story of us. Calling the shots ourselves, me-centered thinking will dictate every move we make and how we feel”. This me-centeredness we see on the book-shelves of Christian bookstores written by evangelists and then turned into DVD series that many of us avidly use in our cell groups and buy-into. Is there a potential problem here? You see, true Christianity is focused on God in everything. Everything we do, speak and desire revolves around him, not us. In case you weren't aware, you and I live in a self-absorbed world. Selfishness rules the world – what do you think? As followers of Christ we are called to be selfless, in fact, radically, passionately, and conspicuously selfless. Do you see that happening around you in the faith today? Is that how people describe you perhaps? If not, why not? D.L. Moody once said that; “We may easily be too big for God to use, but never too small.” You and I need to use discernment. Think of Jeremiah 29:11 in this context as an example which says; “For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the Lord,” plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”  This verse, out of context within “Me-Centered Christianity”, means; “God wants me to have the things I want. He only gives me things that make me happy for my life. Comfort and success are his desire for me”. Is this a ‘little’ self-focused?  It calls for discernment. “Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right” (Charles Spurgeon). Whilst this is just one of the myriad of examples of Satan mixing the lie with just enough of the truth to make it look believable, the truth is that, you and I rarely fall for the out and out unmistakable lie, but the half-truths seem to deceptively catch us every time. Finally, Philippians 4:8-9 reads; “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” As an example, with apologies to Paul, Me-Centered Christianity paraphrases it like this; “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever things are generally acceptable, whatever is tactful, whatever things show sensitivity, whatever things make you feel good, whatever things are sensuous, whatever things are personally satisfying; if there is to be any ownership, and if there is any good self-esteem, think happy thoughts on these things.” You may be chuckling to yourself at this point. Its okay, I used to too! For me, the call is none different that Colossians 1:17-18, the supremacy of Christ in absolutely everything. He is Lord over all. In what areas of your life does Jesus have the supremacy, and, in which areas does he not? Why is that important? Well, the areas that he does not have supremacy are those easily exploited by Satan, in fact, they are platforms for the powers of darkness to rest on. Finally, let me leave you with a quote by John of the Cross; “The devil fears a soul united to God as he does God himself.”