Good Reads 09.30.15 (on: suffering trials, seeing the best in others, and more!)

Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!

On God’s purpose in life’s trials: Injury Interrupted My Idolatry by Landry Fields

Through suffering, God gives us humility. When I first started getting injured, I prayed, “God, leave it up to me, and leave me alone.” Now, I pray, “Thank you, Lord, for doing this and driving me back to you.” Suffering magnifies Christ to me, and in me, and through me. I’m thankful for my injured elbow, hand, and hip, because they make me depend on God in a way that I never would have without them. (click here to read more)

On growth in a Christian’s Life: When You Feel Discouraged Over a Lack of Fruit, Remember This… by Stephen Altrogge

Serving the Lord is a slow, long-term project, and fruit is often a very long time in coming. The fruit of parenting isn’t seen in a week or a month, but over the course of years. The members of your small group will probably change over the course of five years, not six months. The fruit of your efforts in children’s ministry probably won’t show up until many years later. That’s just the way it works when it comes to serving the Lord. (click here to read more)

On how we view other people: A Glass Half Full by Tim Lane

It does no one any good to go on ferocious sin and idol hunts in one’s life or the lives of others. Not only do they not help, they can seriously hurt people. Instead, we want to begin with marks of God’s work in our own life and in the lives of others. As I met with John and Erin, I had many opportunities to help them see where God was actually powerfully working in their marriage and family. It wasn’t a completed, pretty picture, but it was a masterpiece in the making by God’s grace. Remember, if you are a Christian, you have God’s Spirit at work in your life. You can always find places where he is at work; just like John and Erin. And you can find ways that he is at work in others, too. (click here to read more)

On what to pray before reading your Bible: Four Prayers for Bible Reading by David Mathis

Prayer is a conversation, but not one we start. God speaks first. His voice sounds in the Scriptures and climactically in the person and work of his Son. Then, wonder of all wonders, he stops, he stoops, he bends his ear to listen to us. Prayer is almost too good to be true. With our eyes on God’s words, he gives us his ear, too. How then should we pray over our Bibles? (click here to read more)

On the importance of Bible reading: The Fan Club? A Parable Featuring Harry Potter by Rustin Umstattd

Let’s for a moment be honest with ourselves. There is not a single fan club in existence that is based upon a novel in which the members of that club have not read the novel or are not actively, aggressively reading through the novel. In fact, the fans of Harry Potter have read the 1,000,000 words of J.K. Rowling over and over again. They are enraptured by the story that this woman has told. Their lives have been shaped in countless ways (often unnoticed by the person) by their engagement with the story and its characters. So what does this say to us who have the Bible that is 800,000 words? You read that correctly. The Bible is shorter than Harry Potter! Why have we not read the words of God over and over again? (click here to read more)

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