Below you will find some carefully selected suggested resources to aid you in your personal spiritual growth.
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“But Jesus could see inside people. And inside, in their hearts, Jesus saw that they did not love God or other people. They were running away from God, and they thought they didn't need a rescuer. They thought they were good enough because they kept the rules. But sin had stopped their hearts from working properly. And their hearts were hard and cold. "This woman knows she's a sinner," Jesus told them. "She knows she'll never be good enough. She knows she needs me to rescue her. That's why she loves me so much. You look down on this woman because you don't look up to God. She is sinful on the outside-but you are sinful on the inside.”
―Sally Lloyd-Jones, The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name
“Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31”
“A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. John 3:27”
“If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 1 Peter 4:14”
“Praise Him for His Glory and Sovereign Plan: Sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise! Psalms 66:2”
―Tim Kerr, Take Words With You; Scripture Promises & Prayers
“Does not the Old Testament promise that God will prosper His people? Indeed! God increases our yield so that by giving we can prove that our yield is not our god. God does not prosper a man’s business so he can move from a Ford to a Cadillac. God prospers a business so that thousands of unreached peoples can be reached with the gospel.
God is calling us to live for the sake of Christ and to do that through suffering. Christ chose suffering; it didn’t just happen to Him. He chose it as the way to create and perfect the church. Now He calls us to choose suffering. That is, He calls us to take up our cross and follow Him on the Calvary road and deny ourselves and make sacrifices for the sake of ministering to the church and presenting His sufferings to the world.”
―John Piper, Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist
“Excellent ministers cannot be those who yearn for earthly applause. Neither can they be lovers of earthly comfort. The life of ministry is not a life of leisure.
No ministry of any value comes without pain. I often encounter young men headed for the ministry who are looking for a church without problems, a ministry without challenges, a congregation that will make life easy. There is no such place for the faithful preacher of the Word.
The notion that ministry can be both effective and painless is a lie. You will encounter hardship if you preach the unadulterated Word. And when adversity strikes, you have two choices. You can endure and remain steadfast, or you can compromise. The faithful minister holds the line for the truth. You cannot do that and escape suffering (2 Tim. 3:12).”
―John F. MacArthur Jr., Ashamed of the Gospel: When the Church Becomes Like the World
“To love means to open ourselves to suffering. Shall we shut our doors to love, then and 'be safe'?” That's the only alternative, really. But locking ourselves up and never facing another person won't fix what's really going on in our souls.
God has promised to supply our needs. What we don’t have now we don’t need now.
The heart which has no agenda but God's is the heart at leisure from itself. Its emptiness is filled with the Love of God. Its solitude can be turned into prayer.”
―Elisabeth Elliot, The Path of Loneliness: Finding Your Way Through the Wilderness to God
“Am I going to let my circumstances determine my view of God, or am I going to let God determine how I view my circumstances?
Our desire is for God to fix broken things. But God’s desire for us is to fix our relationship with Him.
We want our faith to be “perfect and complete.” But who wants to go through trials to make it happen? The problem is, perseverance doesn’t come from listening to a sermon. There is no inspirational bestseller we can read that will help us plumb the depths of our faith. We don’t become perfect and complete by sitting in church. We learn who He really is during the most desperate part of our trials. It’s about meeting God where and when we need Him most. Sure, our faith grows through reading Scripture and praying, but just as we don’t know the strength of our body until we test it in a physical challenge, our faith isn’t perfected until it’s been tested in a spiritual challenge.”
―Laura Story, When God Doesn't Fix It: Lessons You Never Wanted to Learn, Truths You Can't Live Without
“A healthy church is not a church that's perfect and without sin. It has not figured everything out. Rather, it's a church that continually strives to take God's side in the battle against the ungodly desires and deceits of the world, our flesh, and the devil. It's a church that continually seeks to conform itself to God's Word.
Friend, what are you looking for in a church? Good music? A happening atmosphere? A traditional order of service? How about: a group of pardoned rebels . . . whom God wants to use to display his glory . . . before all the heavenly host . . . because they tell the truth about him . . . and look increasingly just like him - holy, loving, united?”
―Mark Dever, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church
“What we believe about God determines the quality of our marriage. What a person believes about God determines what he or she thinks about how we got here, what our ultimate meaning is, and what happens after we die. So essentially our worldview, our perspective on life, is determined by our perspective on God.
Marriage is the union of two people who arrive toting the luggage of life. And that luggage always contains sin.
Mercy sweetens marriage. Where it is absent, two people flog one another over everything from failure to fix the faucet to phone bills. But where it is present, marriage grows sweeter and more delightful, even in the face of challenges, setbacks, and the persistent effects of our remaining sin.”
―Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say "I Do": Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage
“A potter begins by centering his clay on the wheel. When the wheel starts turning, he can’t just grab the clay. He must carefully but firmly keep the clay in the center of the wheel. He has to work it gently but deliberately, applying just enough pressure to shape it while constantly adding moisture.
If he lets the clay get cold, it becomes stiff, resistant, and unworkable. If he neglects the clay and fails to add water, it will dry out and crack. If he stops the process and then starts again, he may force the clay off center, or he may mar it by putting his hands on it too quickly or aggressively. It takes time, but if the potter is patient, creative, and firm but gentle, there’s no limit to what he can create.
Like the potter, we are committed to the process as well as to the outcome.”
―Gary Ricucci, Love That Lasts: When Marriage Meets Grace
“In the arena of adversity, the Scriptures teach us three essential truths about God—truths we must believe if we are to trust Him in adversity. They are:
• God is completely sovereign.
• God is infinite in wisdom.
• God is perfect in love.
Someone has expressed these three truths as they relate to us in this way: 'God in His love always wills what is best for us. In His wisdom He always knows what is best, and in His sovereignty He has the power to bring it about.'"
―Jerry Bridges, Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts
“We find ourselves living with a nagging hope for something better. We were hoping for something authentic—something worth opening our hearts to and filling our minds with and giving our lives for.
And there is something better. There is something better than living life with a merely sentimental, superficial spirituality. There is something better than going through life with a debilitating fear of death. Better than becoming bored and burdened by meaningless religious ritual, better than feeling like an unwelcome outsider or an unworthy hypocrite, better than being bound by shame and regret. There is something better that makes problems and persecution worth persevering through, makes heaven worth waiting for—something worth running toward and dreaming of. That something better is actually Some One Better. Jesus."
―Nancy Guthrie, Hoping For Something Better
“I fall short of thy glory every day by spending hours unprofitably, by thinking that the things I do are good, when they are not done to thy end, nor spring from the rules of thy Word.
Oh God, it is amazing that men can talk so much about man's creaturely power and goodness, when, if thou didst not hold us back every moment, we should be devils incarnate.
Let us bless thee at all times and forget not how thou hast forgiven our iniquities, healed our diseases, redeemed our lives from destruction, crowned us with lovingkindness and tender mercies, satisfied our mouths with good things, and renewed our youth like the eagle’s.”
―Arthur Bennett, The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions
Founded by Pastor Mark Dever, "9Marks exists to equip church leaders with a biblical vision and practical resources for displaying God’s glory to the nations through healthy churches.”
© 2017 Providence Baptist Church