There’s a back and forth—there is a role that we play in our relational life with God. That role is, as Paul puts it, that we are to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice.
Now, how do you do that? I’d say primarily—not exclusively, but primarily—through the classical disciplines of the spiritual life. That’s how we offer the mind, the heart, the spirit, the body before God. Then, at that point, the disciplines have come to the end of their tether. There is no righteousness in them at all—none. They just allow us to place ourselves before God. The grace of God steps into that and begins to do work we can hardly imagine.
The point of this is that I cannot change my own heart. I cannot change anybody else’s heart. That isn’t my business—that’s God’s business.
I suggest that you received a gift of time, time that did not have to be filled because you were already in God’s presence.
– Fr. Carl
- How to be filled with the Holy Spirit by A. W. Tozer. A deeply biblical yet accessible work that avoids much of the popular hype surrounding the charismatic gifts, while embracing fully the person and work of the God the Holy Spirit.
- The Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. A definitive work on spiritual growth and the spiritual disciplines.
- The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller. Probably the best overall book on marriage from Christian perspective out there. Read my full review.
- Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Where you want to start if you’re questioning Christianity on any level.
- Worship Old & New by Robert Weber. Academic, but important for understanding the meaning and development of Christian worship over time.
- My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. Undoubtedly one of the most profound devotional works of all time.
Are you a busy pastor, small-group leader, or Bible-teacher that struggles to get your sermon or Bible studies done in a reasonable amount of time? Do you sit down to study without a clear plan and struggle to find your next step? Continue reading “Super-quick sermon prep“