I cannot stress the importance of reading, PURSUIT OF THE HOLY by Corey Russell enough!
I believe that this book touches on an area that has been completely lost in our day and age. As Corey points out, we are living in days similar to that of Hosea 4:1 “There is no truth or mercy or knowledge of God in the land.” Reading this has launched me into going after God for who HE says He is and not my own personal idea of whom I have made Him out to be. There are so many different swirls and ideas out there in the Church and in the world that are being tossed around, but the simple fact of the matter is…WE NEED TO KNOW WHO HE IS FOR OURSELVES! Let this book be a diving board into your journey with God, as Corey lays out a very biblical foundation on Scripture that will only lead you closer to Him and His Word.
Pursuit of the Holy digs into the importance of why we must come back to a place of truly understanding God! Corey simply draws out the “gold nuggets” found in the first section of Proverbs 2 (as well as other scriptures from the Bible) and breaks it down in such a way that causes your heart to burn for these realities. This book will provoke you to seek Jesus whole-heartedly no matter the cost. Are you hungry for the deeper things right now? Corey says, “Those who cannot live without God, do not live without God; those who can live without Him, do. It’s that simple” Trust me, you do not want to miss out on the deeper things of the Lord!
To sum it up Corey stresses the importance of having a true and biblical awareness of who He is so that we can approach and pursue Him today. These things are not to be taken lightly but they will lead you into a great understanding and knowledge of the Living God. “The number one hindrance to knowing God is knowing about God.” – Corey Russell
Read this book and your heart will start burning and will not be satisfied until you truly know Him for yourself!
John Wycliffe, Born in 1328, is most well known for being the first to translate the Bible into the English language, or common language. He grew up in the Middle Ages, a time when the Roman Church prohibited the Bible to be written in anything other than Latin (since 400 AD Beginning the Dark and Middle Ages) so that only the priests could read it. It was considered a crime punishable by death to even own a copy of the Bible. Even though the majority of the common people could not even read Latin or English! The Church was deceiving the people by withholding the Truth, the Word of God, the Bible and instituting their own doctrines and tradition in order to make them the ultimate powerhouse.
Wycliffe was very well studied at Oxford in politics, religion, and theology. His passions led him to become an illustrious teacher, preacher, and patriot. Not too long into his career he started teaching to his students his very strong disagreements with the Roman Church. His student’s class notes started being copied and passed around and Wycliffe himself started writing up his oppositions to share publicly.
He opposed indulgences (Killing a man $1.75, Robbery $3.00 etc..)
He opposed purgatory (a place of purification, after death)
He opposed transubstantiation (bread and wine actually become substance of the body and blood of Jesus,)
He opposed the temporal wealth of the church (extravagant buildings)
He opposed the “holy war” (killing of innocent people to plunder)
He strongly opposed calling the pope the head of the church (went as far as saying the pope is an antichrist and not fit for heaven)
Most of all he opposed the withholding of the Bible (Without knowledge of the Bible there can be no peace in the life of the Church)
Wycliffe strongly believed in the inerrancy and authority of the Bible and understood that it was for all believers, which led him to start translating the Latin Bible into English. Wycliffe said,
“Believers should ascertain for themselves what are the true matters of their faith, by having the Scriptures in a language which all may understand.”
The Pope and Roman clergy were outraged, to say the least, against this translating because they felt that the Holy Scriptures should be prohibited from the laity and “un-churched” in means to control them. When the Pope caught wind of Wycliffe’s work, he issued a letter against Wycliffe. In response to the Pope, Wycliffe said,
“You say it is heresy to speak of the Holy Scriptures in English. You call me a heretic because I have translated the Bible into the common tongue of the people. Do you know whom you blaspheme? Did not the Holy Ghost give the Word of God at first in the mother-tongue of the nations to whom it was addressed? Why do you speak against the Holy Ghost? You say that the Church of God is in danger from this book. How can that be? Is it not from the Bible only that we learn that God has set up such a society as a Church on the earth? Is it not the Bible that gives all her authority to the Church? Is it not from the Bible that we learn who is the Builder and Sovereign of the Church, what are the laws by which she is to be governed, and the rights and privileges of her members? Without the Bible, what charter has the Church to show for all these? It is you who place the Church in jeopardy by hiding the Divine warrant, the missive royal of her King, for the authority she wields and the faith she enjoins”
After coming against the Roman Church with his writings, teachings and translation of the Bible, Wycliffe’s days were filled with trials and heat from the clergy. There was some Divine favor upon his head as he was not martyred but allowed to finish this good work. Wycliffe’s greatest feat was the translation of The New Testament, which was completed in 1380 as well as the Old Testament in 1382. This was a huge accomplishment for the spreading of the Gospel as well as encouraging the common people to learn how to read the Bible for themselves. For this John was condemned and charged with multiple heresies and errors and all of his writings were forbidden and any followers of his teachings were to be imprisoned.
John died two years later, December 31, 1384. He would later be known as the, “Morningstar of the Reformation”, because his forerunner message against the “organized” church opened up the door for what later became known as the Reformation.
It is hard to picture an age that prohibited the Bible from the common man and woman! We are so blessed to be able to have Bibles in our common language so that we may see and hear the Truth of God’s Word for ourselves. This has sobered me up to the importance of having a personal Bible for myself and actually reading it. I hope that none of us take for granted the beauty of being able to read and share the Word of God in this day and age. Now is the time to read and feed from this Book that brings us into a greater experiential knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ…before a day comes when the Bible is again forbidden and those that are caught reading from it are burned at the stake!…
To be continued…John Hus, Martyr, burned at the stake for following Wycliffe’s teachings about having the Bible in their own language!
As a believer we should all be learning from the scripture on how to go deeper in the depths of Jesus Christ, Madame Guyon has tapped into this reality through simple and practical steps. As she puts it, “We have all been called to the depths of Christ just as surely as we have been called to salvation.” This book carries spiritual authority that can be applied for every believer today! The impact of this book has affected many saints of old and new and these writings completely shook the Roman Catholic Church. Some called her a heretic for these writings, for which she was imprisoned for; others handed out as many copies as they could which in turn affected entire towns.
I am still processing and learning all that was released in this book and in no way have I reached the depths that Madam Guyon goes into, but I’ve tasted just a little bit to want dive into this deep experience with our Lord. She encourages the reader to continue to advance past each step while laying aside everything else but the Word of the Lord, allowing them to speak to you; you don’t even have to say anything! She starts with the very easy and practical way of prayer reading the scripture, to pure abandonment after Him, “By withdrawing from outward objects, you will constantly draw nearer to God.” I cannot stress enough on how simple it is, but at the same time, for me and probably for many other beginners, there is still a lot of “undoing” and simplifying that is not easy to do. It’s easy to give up and walk away from these truths that Madame Guyon talks about but we are all called to this place of intimacy and we must press in with the Holy Spirit leading us.
I have been very encouraged by this book and plan on reading it many times over as I continue my walk with the Lord. This spiritual engaging with the “Union of God” takes much time and practice…just like anything that you want to be good at! Madame Guyon states it simply, “When something is repeated over and over, it becomes a habit. This is true even of your soul. After much practice your soul forms the habit turning inward to God.” We should all be attaining to reach these depths not through striving and religious duties but out of pure love for Jesus. She states, “If you love Him, you love everything about Him.” How can we draw closer to Him if we don’t continually turn our hearts, souls, and minds, inwards to Him to listen and to gaze upon our beautiful Creator. Jesus loves us all but, “The Lord is very jealous over any saint who is utterly abandoned to Him.”
I know this book will impact your life, take some time to read and re-read it when you can and watch your prayer life explode and your relationship with Jesus catch fire!
My rating: 5 of 5 starsREAD THIS BOOK, “No Compromise- The Life Story of Keith Green”! Keith’s story will not only make you want to have amazing long curly hair and mad skills to jam on the piano with no restraints; it will change your life! Weather you are a believer or not, a musician or not, this amazing testimony from Keith will rock you to the core! From start to end; Keith had passion, talent, and natural leadership skills. You will find out how his journey for something “greater” went from the hippie love/drug scene in the 1970’s, to the beginnings of a new life in Christ which supernaturally launched Keith into a forefront message that still needs to be heard today!
This “Life Story” written by Melody Green, Keith’s wife, gives wonderful insight to the man behind the music and the message. Melody shares their intense story as well as allowing us to read Keith’s thoughts directly from his journal entries! Keith was not satisfied with the things of the world that he kept chasing after; Keith was not satisfied until he experienced the only One that could truly satisfy his hearts longings. When Keith and Melody found Jesus, their lives turned around in a heart beat! Although they were young in their faith…they had found what they were longing for and held onto it with no compromises! In Keith’s black and white vision he took the Word of the Lord as truth and made sure that everyone that came across his path took it for truth as well. This new lifestyle immediately launched them into ministry, a new and powerful kind of music, as well as an ever growing hunger to see the lost saved through the message that the Lord had placed in Keith’s heart.
Keith and Melody realized how important prayer was and before every big decision they sought the Lord through prayer and fasting! Keith said, “Our whole life should be a prayer!” I believe it was this foundational truth that continued to humble the Greens as they allowed the Lord to lead them in all aspects of their lives. Keith Green really had a heart that chased after the Lord, much like King David. He longed to spread revival, learning patience in the process. Keith was able to mature quickly in his walk as he was constantly surrounded by “newbie’s” in the faith that had him pouring out what he knew all the time. This caused him to go deeper for more so he could pour out more. Keith was also blessed with some “big” connections of wise council that allowed him to see and grow even more. From reading this book it sounded like he was always going while passing on everything he was learning to those that were in his sphere of influence. Although he was not perfect he longed to be closer to God.
Keith’s music career quickly launched him to the top of the Christian music arena. He remained humble and dedicated to the Lord, saying, “If someone writes a great story, people praise the author, not the pen. People don’t say ‘Oh what an incredible pen…where can I get a pen like this so I can write great stories?’ Well, I am just a pen in the hands of the Lord. He is the author. All praise should go to him.”
Keith recognized that it was the Lord that blessed him musically, so he allowed that to be the “tool” to share His message. What was the message that he and his “Last Days Ministries” shared? “Quit compromising with the world and start living radically committed lives” and have “A radical relationship with God, without the trappings of religious systems or dead institutions.” This message was preached to millions across the globe and thanks to Melody and the team it is still being shared today! This book really stirred my heart and caused me to reflect internally to see what I am compromising over Christ. I’ll be honest, I was in tears after hearing the messages that Keith preached. This book will bless you and encourage you to live a radically committed live to Jesus Christ! View all my reviews >>
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Truly an inspiring book, it lights a fire under your faith and puts the fight back into the “Walk”. Erwin McManus brings “Christianity” back to its raw roots and reveals why it’s important to be a “Barbarian Christian” and not a “Civilized Christian“. Many Christians…myself included, have been weakened by religion and rituals that the Church has slowly started operating in over the last 2,000 years. As believers it is easy to get comfortable and domesticated and read about Jesus, John the Baptist, and others with fierce faith and no compromise as mere stories for their times. McManus corrects that thinking in this book with how it is necessary today not just to believe but to be, “Found through the liberation of your soul that each barbarian walks a path that unleashes raw and untamed faith.” There is a desire in all of us to break out of these boundaries and live to the fullest; many have walked away from “Christianity” because adventure and freedom is not portrayed as an option. McManus says, ” His desire is not to conform us, but to transform us. Not to make us compliant, but to make us creative. His intent is never to domesticate us, but to liberate us.”
If you are feeling shut down, turned off, or dissatisfied by the “safe Christianity” that you have been raised in or shown as the “best way”, then let this book encourage you to live untamed with the walk that He has called you too!
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Do you have a passion or dream to see your City taken over and transformed into a place of Revival and Refuge for all those that are in it? Well if so, this book covers a lot of different areas and aspects that need to come together for that to happen. I’m sure you don’t need to read this book to know that it starts with YOU AND ME! But are we wiling to “move beyond convenience and personal comfort?” Rhonda states that, “Desperation is the key to transformation.” It all starts with our relationship with Jesus. Are we willing to die to ourselves and allow His Spirit to help us as we give everything to Jesus! John 15:5 says, ” Without Me you can do nothing.” If we are trying to get God into our cities by building it through our own efforts…it’s not going to go anywhere at all. Has the condition of your City broken your heart and drawn you into intercession for a breakthrough of His presence? God has a plan for His people and the cities of this world and He’s using His Bride to accomplish it! Things may not look pretty now, but Rhonda shares a very encouraging message of Restoration that will bring transformation to the Bride. This renewing of the Bride will flow from the inside out into the cities of the world! What a mighty God we serve.
In the book there are 9 important “Transitions for Kingdom Vision” that Rhonda shares. Now I’m not going to share it all…hopefully this will inspire you to read the book and take a hold of it for yourself: D
1. From Suspicion to Trust: Being, “Willing to share ministries for the glory of God.”
2. Functional Unity to Relational Unity: “Unified together for the sake of a ministry project…to a deeper level of relationship with one another and have experienced a real covenant relationship.”
3. Horizontal Agreement to Vertical Agreement: “Unity and agreement with one another…to our unity and agreement with the Lord.”
4. Revival Visitation to Transforming Habitation: “God intends to transform our cities, and not just visit them.”
5. Empire Building to Kingdom Building: From being, “More impressed with what we are building…..[to doing] what the Lord wants to build.”
So if you are Desperate for more of His presence in your life and in your city I do recommend this book to you! This book also encourages the heart to grow in Love towards the Father, so it might be a good read for this New Year 🙂
“History-Makers are always desperate people.” Rhonda Hughey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Do you want to know what it takes to be a revivalist? Read this book and you will receive some very insightful keys to see revival unlocked in your city, state, and nation! Banning shares some inspiring stories from his life and others that are encouraging and fueling for your own fire. He also shares what these “burning ones” will look like and what must take place for us to start moving in that direction.
In the chapter “The Rod and the Sword”, Banning reveals why it is important for the generations to come in alliance with each other and points out how it will be, “a vital key to seeing revival sustained”.
Throughout the book he also talks about how this “New Breed” will no who they are and where they are going with boldness and courage. When I started reading this book, my heart would leap as he shared what needs to be done. I know I’m not there but this gave me a direction of where to go next and how to pursue it. He also covers some foundational points that are often times over looked. Like shining your light in the public! Living with Grace! Having intimacy with Jesus! Now I know some of these things we have heard before, but it is important to understand the role of these foundational roots so that we can stay grounded when we are in revival.
Now your going to have to read this yourselves, but he also gives 4 powerful steps on how to keep SUSTAINED PRAYER that I found really helpful!
After reading this and seeing all the key points that are vital for all of us to see revival sustained, I know it’s right around the corner…..why else would we all be here???