Friday, August 8, 2008

Simple Faith Chp 3 & Chp 4

Every Friday join us in reading two chapters of "Simple Faith" by Charles Swindoll. I'll post a brief overview of the chapter with a few highlights, as well as a couple of personal thoughts.  At the end I will also include 2-3 questions for discussion.  So join us in our journey toward becoming the mommies that God has called us to be.

Chapter Three--A Simple Counterstrategy: Shake and Shine

In chapter three, Swindoll follows the two illustrations of being the salt and light of the world.  He starts by answering the question "Who are we to love?"  In Christ's own words, we are to love one another.  And what can we expect from the world?  Hatred and persecution.  How's that for bleak reality?  As the world hated Christ, so will it hate us.  

So how do salt and light play into this analogy?  Salt makes people thirsty.  As we are salt to the world, others will thirst after Christ.  Light dispels darkness.  As we shine our light into the world, people cannot deny the light of Christ, nor can they deny their own sin.  

Swindoll leaves us with three points:
  1. Don't overdo it
  2. Don't hold back
  3. Don't worry about the few who resist it

Quotes to consider:
  • The counterstrategy is simple: Shake, don't pour.  Shine, don't blind. (pg 53)
  • When you shake and shine, you influence others... (pg 55)
Questions for discussion:
  1. What do you think of the following quote: " The glory of the gospel is that when the Church is absolutely different from the world, she invariably attracts it.  It is then that the world is made to listen to her message, though it may hate it at first (Jones, pg 44)?"
Chapter Four--Simplicity Starts from Within

Swindoll breaks this chapter into three sections:
  • Law and Christ
  • Law and Christian
  • Law and Righteousness
In Law and Christ, two points are made: Christ fulfilled the law by coming to earth and obeying  God, and he committed himself to Scripture and obedience.

In Law and Christian, Swindoll makes the point that the Pharisees missed the spirit of the law.  They were focusing on following the letter of the law, but not paying attention to their own hearts.  Christ pointed out that what comes from the heart is the most important factor.

In Law and Righteousness, Swindoll focuses on "Thou shalt not murder."  He argues that Christ was angry, so anger is not the point.  Crossing the line comes when we move into judging others and finding their morally worthless.  We have degraded them to a point where we have in a sense "murdered" them.

Three Principles:
  1. The principles of Scripture go deeper than externals
  2. The potential of anger is greater than words
  3. The power of reconciliation is stronger than revenge
Questions for discussion:
  1. In speaking of the church: "If it weren't for all the trouble on the outside, we couldn't stand the stench on the inside" (Hendricks, pg 61).  How are you contributing or alleviating the stench?
  2. In speaking of reconciliation: "The best thing to do?  Keep it simple--go and make it right" (73).  Swindoll argues that reconciliation makes our lives simpler.  Agree or disagree?

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