So he who had received five talents came
and brought five other talents,
saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents;
look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’
His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant;
you were faithful over a few things,
I will make you ruler over many things.
Enter into the joy of your lord.’
Matthew 5:20-21, NKJV
In case you forgot, I love to read. Stacks of books seem to pile up all over the house — most of them half read. Other women buy shoes; I buy books. For 2012, I am purposing to be a bit more intentional about my reading plan. I hope to read 12 books and post a “Net Out” here on the blog using a format similar to Michael Hyatt’s.
Made to Crave by Lysa Terkerurst challenges the reader to establish healthy patterns of eating and exercise that are linked to our spiritual walk of obedience. Lysa contests that the key to maintaining healthy eating patterns lies in examining our souls, applying the truths of Scripture to our hearts, and the and laying our flesh down on the altar. Using personal examples and Scriptural evidence, this author passionately provides the key to life change — we must crave Christ above all else, submitting every desire to Him.
Here are some “take away” truths that captured my attention:
- Saturating our minds in Scripture is a key to victory in the area of eating and exercise: “Eve was saturated in the object of her desire. Jesus was saturated in God’s truth” (p. 23).
- Making healthy choices is yielding to the Spirit and will draw us closer to God: “Being ruled by something other than God diminishes our commitment and will make us feel increasingly distant from Him” (p. 66).
- Securing the victory in this area will require God’s help as we make hard choices rather than yielding to compromise: “Weakness is hard, but weakness doesn’t have to mean defeat. It is my opportunity to experience God power firsthand. Had i said yes to that one bite that first night of our vacation, there wold have been more compromises. Compromise built on compromise equals failure. Instead, resisting temptation allowed promise upon promise to be built up in my heart, and that created empowerment. This is God’s power working through my weakness” (pp. 103-104).
- Craving God above all else will help shift our lives from overindulgence to obedience: “Whatever the situation, I keep asking God to be my daily portion — of companionship, provision, patience — over and over. And one day I will find victory over those things instead of just looking back over a pile of tears and cake crumbs” (p. 133).
- Ensuring victory in this area will require continual self-examination and dedication to an ongoing, daily lifestyle change: “But victory isn’t a place we arrive at and relax. Victory is when we pick up something healthy over something not beneficial for us. And we maintain our victories with our next choice… It’s about whether or not we’re positioning ourselves to live the kind of God-honoring lives in which, by God’s strength, sustained discipline is possible” (p. 170).
Lysa’s book provides a clear road-map for effective life change. I am so thankful that I read this book. The powerful principles provided here applied rightly will yield fruit the remains. Friends, please pray for me — that God will help me flesh this out in my life. I encourage you to pick up a copy (if you dare!).
Up next will be God’s Story, Your Story: When His Story Becomes Yours by Max Lucado, a book that makes the connection between God’s eternal, divine purposes as the Master storyteller and our day to day lives here on earth. Want to read it with me? I will be posting about it on April 27th.
I would love to hear about what you are reading. Feel free to share in the comment section below to be entered in a Giveaway — I will be giving away a copy of each of these 2 great books.
One additional entry can be earned for each of these:
- Follow @3dLessons4Life on Twitter. Leave a comment indicating that you did.
- Tweet or Retweet about this contest giveaway. Leave a comment indicating that you did.
- “Like” 3dLessons4Life’s Facebook page.
- Use the box on the top of the sidebar on this page to subscribe to this blog. Leave a comment indicating that you did.
- Grab the 3dLessons4Life button from the sidebar and add it to your blog. Leave a comment with a link to your blog so we can connect!
Just make sure to enter on or before April 6th to participate. Thanks for stopping by!
UPDATE: Congratulations to “Axegirl” (Made to Crave Winner) and Jennifer H (God’s Story, Your Story Winner).
I will never forget the experience. My husband walked with me one bright summery day along wooden bridges — paths through the sanctuary. I saw wounded birds — birds that might never take flight again, with crippled wings and cavernous, empty eyes. Here, they found respite from the dangerous wild, generous provision, and compassionate care. Without this place of rescue and healing, rehabilitation would not be possible.
Who cares for our wounded? Is not the church a sanctuary? So often, we put on our Sunday best and walk through the doors with plastered smiles, but underneath, our wings are clipped with spirits in need of some serious restoration. A friend recently confided that God has breathed fresh life into her family by bringing her to a safe haven — a new church home that has allowed her to worship with transparency and truth. A healing balm has been applied to her dry soul.
This week, as I was digging “Into the Word,“ I re-discovered this truth in the beauty of Psalm 27. Here the word “tabernacle” is translated beautifully as “sanctuary”:
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
so why should I tremble?
2 When evil people come to devour me,
when my enemies and foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.
3 Though a mighty army surrounds me,
my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
I will remain confident.
4 The one thing I ask of the Lord—
the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
delighting in the Lord’s perfections
and meditating in his Temple.
5 For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
He will hide me in his sanctuary.
He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
6 Then I will hold my head high
above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
singing and praising the Lord with music. (vs. 1-6, NLT)
I love how Matthew Henry’s commentary introduces this Psalm: “God is a Light to His people, to show them the way when they are in doubt, to comfort and rejoice their hearts when they are in sorrow.” Where did the weary warrior, David, seek refuge? David understood the source of his strength was connecting with God — delighting in Him, meditating on His Word, and worshiping freely.
I am thankful for the safe haven of my church family —
…for caring friends who speak life over my spirit and pray me through
…for sound spiritual nourishment that encourages me to keep fighting
…for the refreshing touch of His healing presence discovered as we lift our voices in praise
How has the church been a sanctuary to you? Are you a wounded bird now flying? I would love to hear about your healing. Feel free to share in the comment section below.
Linking up with a like-minded sisters at Faith Filled Friday, Thought-Provoking Thursday, Good Morning Girls, God -Bumps and God-Incidences, Soli Deo Gloria @ Finding Heaven and “Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday!”