“What’s refreshing about Josh and Ryan’s approach is that they don’t herald doubt as an art form; instead, they encourage doubters to pursue the truth,” thegospelcoalition.org states in its review of Ryan and Josh Shook’s New York Times bestseller, Firsthand: Ditching Secondhand Religion for a Faith of Your Own.
Brothers Ryan (23) and Josh (22) Shook, the oldest children of mega-church pastor Kerry Shook, have confronted their own experience with disillusionment with their faith and offer a clarion call to their generation to move beyond an inherited beliefs to a genuine faith of their own.
Click here to read The Gospel Coalition’s full review.
The Bible makes it clear that we were designed from the start to live for a unique reason. For a dream. A big idea. A personal mission. That’s because you and I are made in the image of a forward-looking, purposeful God.
In other words, before God starts something, He is certain of the outcome.
God created you with a divine undertaking in mind. Before you were born, God knew you. And He knew what He wanted your life to be like.
That’s why God calls us to live on purpose, keeping the end in view. And what’s more, He invites us to seek Him in order to learn what His perfect plan is for our lives. Then, with that plan in mind, we can reach His and our greatest dreams. Anything less is a mistake, a lie, and a ripoff.
Excerpted from Chazown by Craig Groeschel
Daily Reflection: How are you going to live life on purpose for God today
If somebody asked me, “Who are you?” I could say lots of things. I could say, “I am Jud. I am married to Lori. We have two kids and a slobbery bulldog named Roxy. And I am horrible at Guitar Hero for Xbox.”
These are aspects of who I am, but my identity is not found in them. According to the Bible, my identity is found in God. He chooses me. I’m His possession. And that is who you are too.
It doesn’t matter what your employer says, what your parents say, what your ex says, or what your friends say. God says that as His follower you are chosen. You are loved just as you are, and your identity is complete in that. You can’t earn it, and you can’t undo it; there is nothing you can do to achieve it. What could be more awesome?
Excerpted from Eyes Wide Open by Jud Wilhite
Daily Reflection: What keeps you from realizing or accepting your identity as a child of God?
To honor the spirit of Adam Brown, you are invited to share a LIVE FEARLESS story about your dad or a dad you know. Stories will be accepted until June 23; then five people will be selected at random to receive a free copy of FEARLESS and a $100 Visa gift card. Share a story about someone with integrity, courage, and humility, then go celebrate that person!
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“Before I met Christ, sin was fully in charge. It pulled my strings like an evil puppet master, causing me to dance like a helpless marionette. Enslaved to his dark choreography, I flopped here and there, going through the motions of life. On the outside I appeared as though I was in control, but in reality I was a powerless captive. A slave. Addicted to self-love, pain avoidance, and pleasure, I did sin’s bidding—beating myself up for my failures and slapping myself on the back for my accomplishments. I was a one-person Punch and Judy show.
Then Jesus came. When I said yes to Him, the Puppet Master, He cut the soul-strings that tied my soul to sin and allowed me to truly live. I was no longer a wooden Pinocchio wishing and longing to be real. Christ breathed His breath of life into me and set me free to be all I was created to be.”
Excerpted from At the Feet of Jesus by Joanna Weaver
Daily Reflection: How can you offer up your life to Christ today?
A wise man or woman, [Solomon] says, uses words to build others up, to heal their wounds and fortify their self-esteem. Our natural inclination is to join in on the office gossip, or use angry words to defend ourselves when under attack. Solomon urges us to choose to act contrary to our natural inclinations, refusing to take part in gossip and avoiding the use of words that would hurt others. He urges us to replace negative words with positive ones.
Excerpted from The Richest Man Who Ever Lived by Steven K. Scott
Daily Reflection: In what ways will you choose to act contrary to “natural inclinations”?
I set out to look for God, figuring if he was out there, I would find him. I would climb as high and for as long as it might take, having no idea how long and how grueling that journey would become.
What I found was a trail that wended through disappointment and loneliness. I made wrong turns and met a few people who tried to discourage me. But I was driven on by the memory of his being there—back before things broke—and encouraged by those who helped me climb higher. I learned many things about myself, some good, some not so good. But I did find God, in the end—right where I had left him.
Excerpted from Don’t Let Me Go by David Pierce
Daily Reflection: Do you find yourself searching for God?
God seems to have a special fondness for average Joes. Before they accomplished extraordinary deeds, normal guys like Gideon, David, Peter, and Paul went about their farming, sheep herding, fishing, and tent making. Even Jesus, our Redeemer, Healer, and coming King, started out using a hammer and saw in a carpenter’s shop…
In a day when compromise and political correctness rule, these simple men—average Joes—seek truth and have an unshakable commitment to doing what is right. Ask them their opinion, and you will get an earful of resolute beliefs in God, country, and family.
Strong in character, integrity, and principle, these are the unsung heroes of everyday life in America.
Excerpted from Average Joe by Troy Meeder
Daily Reflection: How can you show the average Joes in your life your appreciation?