“Do I still need the gospel?” + LINKUP

 

Because He Love Me, the Power of the Gospel for Everyday LifeWelcome to Mondays @ Soul Survival. Each week I’ll feature a book that I consider a valuable resource. This week’s selection is Because He Loves Me: How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life by Elyse Fitzpatrick.

In the Biblical counseling world, a phrase you’ll sometimes hear is, “You have to preach the gospel to yourself everyday.”

What does that mean? Isn’t the gospel for unbelievers, something you believe once and then move on to other things?

It turns out we need the gospel everyday!

In her introduction Elyse says this:

… although all orthodox believers view salvation as his work, we believe that living the Christian life is solely ours. Yes, salvation is a wonderful gift, we think, but Christian living is where we’ve got to concentrate now.

She goes on by asking the reader to consider a series of questions:

What I’ll be asking you to consider throughout this book may be summarized in one simple question: In your pursuit of godliness, have you left Jesus behind? Since this might be a new question for you, let me ask you a few more that will help clarify the answer.

– If I said that we’re going to spend page after page considering God’s love, would you feel the need to stifle a yawn? What does his transforming love mean to you today?

– Are you more focused on your performance for him or his for you?

– At the end of the day is there a rest in your soul because of him, or is there guilt and a determination that tomorrow you’re going to “do better”?

– Do you still feel the need to prove that you’re not “all that bad”? Do you get angry when people criticize or ignore you?

– You know that Jesus is the Door. Do you see how he is your life? Could you tell me exactly how he has transformed your daily life?

As we work through the answers to these questions together, I want you to be encouraged. This is an endeavor that your Savior is passionate about.

Which question hit you between the eyes? For me it always seems to be, “At the end of the day is there a rest in your soul because of him, or is there guilt and a determination that tomorrow you’re going to ‘do better’?”

Even though I know that I wasn’t saved by any goodness or any amount of good deeds (Rom. 3.10) and even though I’ve heard Elyse and others speak on this subject many times, that still seems to be my default mode.

I forget that He loved and saved me while I was His enemy (Rom. 5.8) and that I’m a partaker of His righteousness. Christianity is not about “doing,” but about what He did!

Why is it so important to remember that and to contemplate His love as demonstrated through the gospel? Some thoughts from the book:

It’s essential for us to think about God’s love today because it is only his love that can grant us the joy that will strengthen our hearts, the courage that will embolden us in our fight against sin, and the assurance that will enable us to open up our lives to him so that he might deal powerfully with our unbelief and idolatry.

If we don’t consciously live in the light of his love, the gospel will be secondary, virtually meaningless, and Jesus Christ will fade into insignificance. Our faith will become all about us, our performance, and how we think we’re doing, and our transformation will be hindered.

If  you neglect to focus on God’s love for you in Christ, your Christianity will soon be reduced to a program of self-improvement-just one of many methods to help you “get your act together.” And although that might seem like a worthy goal, it isn’t true Christianity at all. True Christianity is not a program of self-improvement; it’s an acknowledgment that something more than self-improvement is needed. What’s needed is death and resurrection: gospel words, gospel constructs, gospel motives, gospel power-a loving Redeemer.

So what about you? Which of Elyse’s questions grabbed your heart? And how might a better understanding of the gospel impact your life?

Blessings,
Donna

 

 

Quotations taken from:
Fitzpatrick, Elyse M. (2008-04-24). Because He Loves Me: How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life. Crossway. Kindle Edition.

You can get a copy of Because He Loves Me: How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life or shop for Other Resources here.


Previously featured books:

Taming the To-Do List: How to Choose Your Best Work Every Day by Glynnis Whitwer. Read about it here.

Resolving Everyday Conflict by Ken Sande of Peacemaker Ministries. Read about it here.

Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald. Read about it here.

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas. Read about it here.

When Life Is Hard by James MacDonald. Read about it here.

Pleasing People: How Not to be an Approval Junkie by Lou Priolo. Read about it here.



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22 thoughts on ““Do I still need the gospel?” + LINKUP

  1. Wow, our pastor just covered this in the sermon today. It seems we need the gospel more so than unbelievers because our actions and knowledge reflect our faith. Thanks so much for hosting and for sharing these incredible books the last few weeks. Hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day, and hope you have a wonderful week 🙂

  2. Donna, I have loved the writing of Elyse Fitzpatrick, and it occurs to me that this title is the answer to so many of the questions that we have about the Christian life. Thanks for sharing another winner!

    • Michele, I was at a conference all last week where she was one of our main speakers. Like you, I have enjoyed many of her books and I’m always blessed when I can sit under her teaching. Have a great week!

  3. I certainly do want my faith to be so strong and compelling that everything I do each day is centered around Christ, Donna. This sounds like yet another great resource, since learning more about God’s love is fascinating to me. Thanks so much for the linkup and sharing what you’re learning each week too!

    • Beth, I think centering our lives on Christ has to be our life-long endeavor, doesn’t it! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Blessings!

  4. Yours is the second post I read today about God’s love for us. This book sounds like a good one to read. We so often need the reminder that God’s love doesn’t depend on what we do or how much we accomplish. All our “good deeds” can’t bring us closer to Him. The one thing that does is spending time with Him, focusing on the gospel, which is our very life. Blessings to you! I’m visiting from #LMMLinkup!

    • Gayl, I’m so glad you stopped by! You are absolutely right. It’s not about what we do, it’s what He has already done! I hope you’ll come back for another visit soon. Blessings!

  5. I’ve read this and it’s a good one – great author – thanks for sharing and yes, i need the Gospel every day. so glad our pastor thinks so, too so we’re getting it weekly as well. PTL have a great day PS today i learned the gospel through our puppy – it worked too – see post.

    • I’ll have to check that out before the day is over! God’s lessons are everywhere. Like Proverbs says about His wisdom, shouting from the rooftops! Blessings!

  6. Thank you so much for hosting, Donna. It’s Always encouraging to read your posts. The Word of God is essential and still important. The awesome thing about it is it is living and active making it always relevant. Have a wonderful week.

  7. Thank you for sharing your book resources each week with us at Literacy Musing Mondays. This book spoke to me because I never want to leave Jesus behind. I want Him to be center and first in my life.

  8. Wow! The questions “At the end of the day is there a rest in your soul because of him, or is there guilt and a determination that tomorrow you’re going to ‘do better’?” has left me with something to think about.

  9. Certainly…the determination and grit to go on. Each new day is a fresh start. His mercies are new each day. Sounds like a great book! Thank you, Donna, for hosting.

  10. The Lord has really given this author a rare degree of insight and a powerful ability to communicate it to our hearts. I think I want to read this book! Thanks for linking this up at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com!
    Tina

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