Tag Archives: Andy Stanley

The Grace of God by Andy Stanley

The Grace of God coverAndy Stanley’s, “The GRACE of GOD,” was probably one of the best books I read this year.  I’ve been a pastor for 20 years and thought I understood all about grace, but Andy truly showed me how amazing grace is by taking me through the entire Bible showing me God’s grace in places I least expected it.

The book was masterfully put together and organized in a clear concise way.  I enjoyed the trip Andy took me on as he went through the Old Testament and into the New Testament to help me discover some aspects of grace that I would normally miss.  In his acknowledgment, Andy credits Thomas Nelson with encouraging him to write the book and providing him with someone (Mark Gaither) to help organize his thoughts on the matter.

There were plenty of write me downs:

  • Grace is never just enough, but more than enough.
  • Grace plus anything is anything but grace.
  • Grace is not reserved for good people; grace underscores the goodness of God.
  • God initiated a relationship with his people before he even told them what the rules were.
  • The Law is an expression of God’s grace. (Chapter 4… Great Chapter!)
  • God’s Law reminds us of our need for grace.
  • The purpose of the Law was not to make us good, but to keep us free.
  • Grace is slow to judge and quick to deliver.
  • The Grace of God has no load limits.
  • Grace is predictably unpredictable.
  • Receiving grace is often easier than dispensing it.
  • Grace is inviting to the unrighteous and threatening to the self-righteous.
  • Grace is not earned; it is offered.

My favorite chapter wasn’t even listed as a chapter, but was a prologue that dealt with all the “what-abouts” of grace.   What about obedience?  What about disobedience? What about repeated misbehavior? What about bad habits?  What about justice?  What about repentance?   I LOVED the way Andy tied in all these “what-abouts” to the story of the Prodigal Son!  The book would be worth the price just for those 6 pages of insight I learned from that story.  It made me read through the Prodigal Son (Luke 15) and count the number of “what-abouts” implied in the story.

I would give Andy’s book a SOLID 5 stars and would recommend it for both the new as well as the seasoned believer.

**I received, “The Grace of God,” free of charge in exchange for a non-biased review.

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Doing For One What You Wish You Could Do For All

This week I was listening to Andy Stanley’s message, “Do For One,” in his Leadership Conference Podcast. In that podcast (the link is below) he talks about how to keep your heart from getting hard in the ministry.

All Christians are called into a life of ministry (service) for the Gospel and yet here’s the thing… sometimes the needs around us can be so great and so overwhelming that it’s easy to fall into the mentality of, “Well since I can’t help everyone, I’m not going to help anyone.”

As a Pastor, I KNOW that feeling. Sometimes there are days that it seems like EVERYBODY needs help and I have to confess that there’s part of me that just wants to hide myself in my office because I don’t always know how to navigate through everyone’s problems.

In the podcast Andy Stanley is asked, “With everything you have going on… how do you keep your heart from growing cold toward people since there are always more people than you can really help?”

His answer was very profound and simple:

Do For One What You Wish You Could Do For All.

The big danger is to push away people’s problems because sometimes the magnitude and the quantity of issues are just too overwhelming. What do we do in such situations? Andy Stanley suggests something that I’ve found to be true in my own life… I need to always be doing for one or two individuals/families what I wish I could do for everyone. When I say doing for one or two individuals/families, I’m talking about REALLY getting involved in their lives whether it’s opening up your homes or providing financial help.

As a pastor, I can respond at some level to people’s problems in general… but there’s no way I can effectively deal with everyone’s problems at a deep level, but I can deal with one or two people at a deep deep level.

In John chapter 15, Jesus is in Jerusalem and there was a Pool of Bethsaida in which there were all kinds of sick and lame people. It was said that from time to time an angel would come and stir the waters and whoever got in the water first was healed of whatever ailed them. Jesus walks over all the sick people to a single man who had been paralyzed for 38 years and asks him, “Do you want to be made well?” and then heals him… and walks away. He only healed one person out of the whole crowd.” I’m not sure it’s a perfect example, but you get the point: Do For One What You Wish You Could Do For All.

A lot of you are actively doing what I’m talking about and you truly are an inspiration to me (you know who you are) but can you imagine what would happen if EVERYONE in our fellowship took Doing For One What You Wish You Could Do For All seriously?

May God give us the courage to aggressively engage the needs in this community one person at a time so that we might continue to Know Christ And To Make Him Known!

Link for Andy’s Podcast, “Do For One.” http://bit.ly/doforone
(All his podcasts are incredible!)

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“How Good is Good Enough?”

How Good Is Good EnoughAndy Stanley’s, “How Good is Good Enough?” is a short book that addresses the common misconceptions people have about what it takes to make it into Heaven. The mistaken logic flows like this:  “There is a good God who lives in a good place reserved for good people. This God goes by many names and is behind all major religions… therefore, all religions provide a legitimate path to God.”  It’s a tragedy that so many people bank their entire eternal future on what really doesn’t make sense.

The book does a great job describing the conscience as something that condemns you and reminds you that you are not perfect.  Yet the conscience doesn’t assure you when you’re doing well.  That’s where RELIGION takes over.  All religions of this world share one common denominator: How you live your life on this side of the grave determines what happens next.   The problem is that all these religions disagree as to what you need to do. Continue reading

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