I am always reading books. It’s difficult for me to finish them though, haha. I’d say there are about 10 books I’ve started this year already! LOL. I am determined to get through these four though. It’s called discipline! What did Paul say to young Timothy ?
… Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
1 Timothy 4:7-8 ESV
I’m training, I’m training, but my ‘spiritual muscles’ can never be trained to the point where it’ll come easy. Athletes train and eventually get to a point where it’s not as hard as it was when they first began their training. Their bodies grow used to the conditioning. Spiritually, I don’t think that happens. I don’t think you’ll ever be used to the conditioning. You’re always learning so much, always growing, always being groomed for eternity.
Doctrinally solid, God glorifying, edifying material is a definite tool in spiritual growth towards Godliness. I am thankful for the writers that are out there that the Lord has gifted so that they may impact their brothers and sisters in the Kingdom.
Two of the books I am reading are Tortured for Christ and The Pilgrim’s Progress. I thought I’d share bits of them. The links are in the right column over there.
I said to him, â€œLet us pray!â€ He did not know how to pray. He did not know our â€œholyâ€ phrases. He fell on his knees together with me and his words of prayer were: â€œOh God, what a fine chap you are! If I were You and You were me, I would never have forgiven You of Your sins. But You are really a very nice chap! I love You with all of my heart.â€
I think that all the angels in heaven stopped what they were doing to listen to this sublime prayer from a Russian officer. The man had been won for Christ!
— Tortured for Christ
Evangelist. And what said he then?
Christian. ‘He bid me with speed get rid of my burden; and I told him that it was ease that I sought. And said I, I am therefore going to yonder gate, to receive further direction how I may get to the place of deliverance. So he said that he would shew me a better way, and short, not so attended with difficulties as the way, Sir, that you set me in; which way, said he, will direct you to a gentleman’s house that hath skill to take off these burdens, so I believed him, and turned out of that way into this, if haply I might be soon eased of my burden. But when I came to this place, and beheld things as they are, I stopped for fear (as I said) of danger: but I now know not what to do’.
‘Then (said Evangelist) stand still a little, that I may shew thee the words of God. So he stood trembling. Then (said Evangelist) See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven. He said, moreover, Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. He also did thus apply them: Thou art the man that art running into this misery; thou hast begun to reject the counsel of the Most High, and to draw back thy foot from the way of peace, even almost to the hazarding of thy perdition.’
Then Christian fell down at his feet as dead, crying, ‘Woe is me, for I am undone!’ At the sight of which Evangelist caught him by the right hand, saying, ‘All manner of sin and blasphemies shall be forgiven unto men. Be not faithless, but believing.’ Then did Christian again a little revive, and stood up trembling, as at first, before Evangelist.
Then Evangelist proceeded, saying, ‘Give more earnest heed to the things that I shall tell thee of. I will now shew thee who it was that deluded thee, and who it was also to whom he sent thee. — The man that met thee is one Worldly Wiseman, and rightly is he so called; partly, because he savoureth only the doctrine of this world (therefore he always goes to the town of Morality to church): and partly because he loveth that doctrine best, for it saveth him best from the cross. And because he is of this carnal temper, therefore he seeketh to pervert my ways though right. Now there are three things in this man’s counsel, that thou must utterly abhor.
1. His turning thee out of the way.
2. His labouring to render the cross odious to thee. And,
3. His setting thy feet in that way that leadeth unto the administration of death.
First, Thou must abhor his turning thee out of the way; and thine own consenting thereunto: because this is to reject the counsel of God for the sake of the counsel of a Worldly Wiseman. The Lord says, Strive to enter in at the strait gate, the gate to which I sent thee; for strait is the gate that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. From this little wicket-gate, and from the way thereto, hath this wicked man turned thee, to the bringing of thee almost to destruction; hate, therefore, his turning thee out of the way, and abhor thyself for hearkening to him.
Secondly, Thou must abhor his labouring to render the cross odious unto thee; for thou art to prefer it before the treasures of Egypt. Besides the King of glory hath told thee, that he that will save his life shall lose it; and he that cometh after me, and hateth not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. I say, therefore, for man to labour to persuade thee, that that shall be thy death, without which, THE TRUTH hath said, thou canst not have eternal life; this doctrine thou must abhor.
Thirdly, Thou must hate his setting of thy feet in the way that leadeth to the ministration of death. And for this thou must consider to whom he sent thee, and also how unable that person was to deliver thee from thy burden.’
— The Pilgrim’s Progress