This month, I had planned on reading Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (my reading plan), however it was much too complex for me in this stage of life. Not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I am taking my last class for my Master's Degree in Special Education. Maybe I will pick up Mansfield Park later on, but for this month, I read the book, "Living Free in Christ: The Truth About Who You Are and How Christ Can Meet Your Deepest Needs" by Neil T. Anderson.
"Living Free in Christ" has 36 short chapters, each one with a prayer regarding the chapter's contents. I didn't really pay attention for the prayers since I wasn't reading it as a devotional. Last year, I read his book, "Victory Over the Darkness" and loved the truths spoken, but I found some of the stories very similiar and hard to re-read them.
The main things I took away from this book were the following quotes:
- I am no longer a product of my past, I am a product of the work of Christ on the cross. I am a child of God, and the basis for my acceptance is in Him, not in man (page 21)
- I am accepted by God completely as I am. (amen!) I do not have to do anything for Him to accept me (page 22)
- It is critical for me to know that I am a child of God--it's the basis for how I live my life (page 28)
- I am Christ Jesus's friend--He appointed and chose me! (page 36)
- God's definition of true freedom is for us to voluntarily be dependent on Him. 1) Free from the law; 2) Free from the past; 3) Free from sin (page 54)
- Ephesians 1:13, 14 The Holy Spirit is the seal, He is the deposit guaranteeing our inheritance! (page 141)
- Mercy: not giving people what they deserve in terms of judgement (page 168)
- Grace: giving people what they don't deserve (page 169)
- The fear of the Lord, not the fear of man, is the beginning of wisdom (page 202)
- (Our Heavenly Father) trims us so we will bear more fruit (page 203)
- Is the fruit of the Spirit more evident in your life this year than last year? (page 208)
- We are God's workmanship; not our parents, not our pastors', not our society's (page 257)
A lot of good things to contemplate. I am really looking forward to starting my next book, "The Ragamuffin Gospel" by Brennan Manning. It has come highly recommended by one of our friends, PC, so much so that he named his blog and twitter account after it (@ragamuffinpc). I know Manning speaks on the topic of grace and I am extactic about that!
Until then, I leave you with this quote from Anderson's book.
The most important belief we possess is a true knowledge of who God is. The second most important belief is who we are as children of God, because we cannot consistently behave in a way that is inconsistent with how we perceive ourselves. And if we do not see ourselves as God sees us, then to that degree we suffer from a wrong identity and a poor image of who we we really are.
It is not what we do that determines who we are. It is who we are that determines what we do... (page 11)
Thanks for reading!