Friday, August 24, 2012

Don't settle for being a spiritual shrimp!

I just finished Joel Beeke’s booklet Getting Back in the Race:  The Cure for Backsliding (Cruciform Press, 2011). In the closing challenge drawn from Hosea 14:5-9, Beeke urges believers to live and pray with boldness:

My point here is not to encourage you to become puffed up but to cultivate holy expectation, and hope in the Lord.  Anything we receive of the Spirit is sheer grace and for God’s glory, not our own.  We are the servants; Jesus is the Lord.  But Hosea seems to have wanted to provoke a holy desire in Israel’s heart to drink in the dew of the Lord and to grow abundantly.  Shouldn’t we also have big dreams, big desires, and big prayer requests for our spiritual growth?  After all, God is able to do far more abundantly than we can ask or even imagine (Ephesians 3:20).  Don’t settle for being a spiritual shrimp.  Imitate Paul by praying his grand prayers for spiritual growth for yourself, your family, your church, your seminary, and the churches of all nations….. (p. 94).

BTW, this is the first book I've read from Cruciform Press, a new publisher producing books that are (according to the cover blurb) "Short. Clear. Concise. Helpful. Inspiring. Gospel Focused."  They produce a new book on the first day of each month, and you can subscribe at a reduced rate either to receive the new book in print or electronic form (I don't have a subscription but got mine as a gift from Puritan Seminary--give to them and you get great stuff!).  Beeke has two titles out with Cruciform (this one on backsliding and one on marriage), and there is also one on grief from Albert Martin.  Some of the other titles and authors look a little YRR New Calvinist, but it is an interesting idea.  This book, in particular, was brief (only 103 pp.) and simple enough to be read in short space but filled with great insights and encouragement. Great for my spiritual needs at this time.


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