Sunday, March 30, 2008

Book Club Summary

I wasn't sure how to do this summary. I wrote some of my favorite parts of the chapters and included some of my thoughts. Anything in italics is taken from the book. Please put comments on here of what you thought of the chapters!!
I read the first four chapters (or days). I am really enjoying it. It is never fun to be introspective and see all the areas you need to work on but it has to happen if I want to be more like Christ.
"The only sure path to humility is gaining the right perspective. Humility is a natural result of having an accurate view of who God is and having the right perspective of who you are in relation to Him. Truly humble people compare themselves not with other people, but only with Christ. They realize their sinfulness and understand their limitations.
On the other hand, they also recognize their gifts and strengths and are willing to use them as Christ directs. A truly humble person will serve God in any capacity, even if she doesn't feel paticularly gifted in that area.
A humble woman gets her strength for the journey from God, then gives the credit to Him when something good happens."
I love the instruction on how to be humble. It is not self-deprecating words or behaviors, but seeing God for who He is and seeing yourself in light of that. The more I am in God's Word and the more I understand His Holiness, the more I will see His greatness and my smallness. Smallness- not as worthless- but as thankfulness for the worth He has given to me through Jesus' forgiveness and acceptance. Who am I, that He could give me all that He has? Now, how can I show my gratitude and live a life that most reflects my heart of thankfulness? I liked her run-down on these 8 characteristics...
1. Worship-
God is holy, we are sinful
God is Creator and savior, we are the created and saved.
2. Self-Esteem-
God doesn't want our success, acheivements, or perfection.
He wants us. When we know we are wanted by God- that builds our self-esteem on an unshakable foundation.
3. Honesty-
It takes humility to truly be honest.
A lie is like a signal flag that identifies the presence of another sin.
4. Obedience-
God is more interested in our holiness than our happiness. Our job is to obey; his job is to take care of the consequences of our obedience.
5. Teachability-
Humble people are lifelong learners.
6. Servanthood-
The humble path sometimes means setting aside our capabilities and simply serving where there is a need.
7. Waiting-
Waiting means allowing God to direct us instead of pushing our agenda.
8. Brokenness-
Then God steps in and uses the very thing in which we can't glory for his glory.
At the point we feel most useless, that's when God can choose to
transform us into the highest usefulness.
I really liked the prayer at the bottom of page 45.
"As you grow closer to him, spend more time concentrating on him, set your sights firmly on him, invest yourself in learning about him, he will take up more and more of your field of vision."
And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.
2 Corinthians 3:18
I was very challenged by this verse in Corinthians. The idea of being a mirror reflecting God's glory is so humbling. Can you believe He gives us that opportunity? It is not of our power but of the working of the Holy Spirit within us as we resist sin and obey God more closely. It is such a cool thing to think that not only will there be the natural benefits and blessings to seeking God but that we will reflect His glory also to the world around us.
The question then is not "How can I humble myself?" but "How can I occupy myself with Christ?" Chuck Swindoll
(Next 4 days next Monday)

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