If there is one book I would recommend as best read for this year so far, it would be this one Discipleship~What It Truly Means To Be A Christian ~ Collected Insights from A.W. Tozer. If you read my blog you know I have recommended Tozer's books before. He is one of my favorite pastors and authors, he writes simply but provides you with deep truths, which are relevant today, even though he has long since past on. Tozer always hits truth hard and deep, he keeps me up late at night thinking. This newest release, which is a compilation of his sermons and previous writings, provided me with some clarification and new insights with things I myself have been praying and questioning about. I thank God he puts books like this in my hands when needed! What I really like about Tozer is he never points to himself or provided an answer based on a feeling, but points to the truth from God's Word.
If you want to know what a true disciple of Christ is and to know what a real relationship with the Savior looks like, read this book. It is for the one not knowing, the one struggling, the doubter, the new believer, and also for a long time believer. The way Tozer tackled "accepting" Christ answered some questions I had. He reiterated the importance of obedience, what a truth and false disciple may look like, how we are to act as believers according to the Word of God, the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, how we are failing, and why Christians are slipping away. This book might upset you, convict you, but it is based on Godly truth and wisdom, and we all need that at times, this I know personally! I read through this book in three nights, staying up late thinking about it. I have lots of underlining. Here are a few of my notes:
"It is not uncommon to hear Christian workers urging seekers to accept Christ now and leave moral and social questions to be decided later. The notion is that obedience and discipleship are unrelated to salvation." Tozer goes on to explain this and provides ways we fill or substitute discipleship.
"Jesus was not in the business of offering human advice that people could take or leave as they wished. Instead, He always spoke with absolute, final authority."
"It is not Jesus plus a number of other philosophies. It is Jesus only. He is enough."
"A true disciple has not taken an impulsive leap in the dark...A true disciple has allowed the Word of God to search his or her heart, has felt the sense of personal sin and the need to be released from it, come to believe that Jesus Christ is the only person who can release him or her from guilt, committed himself or herself without equivocation, without reservation to Jesus Christ the Savior, does not consider Christianity a part-time commitment, experience where there is no turning back."
"As Christians disciples, we should be whatever we are wherever we are. Like diamonds. A diamond does not adjust; it is always a diamond. Just so, Christians ought always to be Christians. We are not Christians if we have to wait for the right atmosphere to practice our religion."
"No one can know truth except the one who obeys truth...Truth is not a text. Truth is in the text, but it takes the text plus the Holy Spirit to bring truth to a human soul... Faith comes by hearing the Word, but faith is also the gift of God by the Holy Spirit."
"The question ought not to be whether I will accept Him; the question ought to be whether He will accept me! But He does not make that a question. He has already told us that we do not have to worry or disturb our minds about that (John 6:37). He has promised to receive us, poor and sinful though we be. But the idea that we can make Him stand while we render the verdict of whether He is worthy of our acceptance is a frightful calumny - and we ought to get rid of it!"
"The expression "accept Christ" does not occur in the Bible. The phrase "will you accept Christ? or have you accepted Christ?" have become the catchwords throughout our soul-winning circles... The words accept and acceptance are used in the Scriptures in a number of ways, but never in connection with believing in Christ or receiving Christ for salvation or being saved. My concern in this matter is my feeling that "easy acceptance" has been fatal to millions of people who may have stopped short in matters of faith and obedience."
"This kind of philosophy in soul winning, the idea that it is the easiest thing in the world to "accept Jesus" permits the man or woman to accept Christ by an impulse of the mind or emotions." ~ This was an answer to a question I have been pondering on for some time, because I have been guilty in the past of saying this to people and seeing this happen to others. This chapter on accepting Christ got to me.
"We are often too casual and there are too many tricks that can be used to make soul-winning encounters completely painless and at no cost and with no inconvenience."
"To accept the Lord mans to accept His ways as our ways. We have taken His Word and His teaching as the guide in our lives. To accept Christ means that I accept His rejection as my rejection. When I accept Him I knowingly and willingly accept His cross as my cross. I accept His life as my life - back from the dead I come and up into a different kind of life. It means that I accept His future as my future." Tozer goes in more detail and says if some were to hear to hear what it actually means to accept Christ and receive Him and obey Him and live for Him we would have fewer converts but those who would come and commit would not backslide, they would stick. Those are some convicting words!
"We know that He never does anything without purpose. Everything He does is alive, meaningful, and brilliantly significant."
"I am not afraid of the word mystic because the whole Bible is a mystical book, a book of mystery, a book of wonder. I have discovered that you cannot trace any simple phenomenon back very far without coming up against mystery and darkness. It is much more so on the spiritual level."
"So it is plain that a person who is a creation of God becomes a child of God only when he or she is born by a special privilege or grant of God Almighty."
"I cannot understand why we do not begin to act like children of God if we believe that we have a special higher right to be children of God. We have a right to be sick inside when we see children of heaven acting like sons of earth, acting like children of the world and the flesh, living like Adam and yet saying they believe in a new birth by God's Spirit."
"The Bible knows absolutely nothing about passive receiving, for the word receive is not passive but active. We make the word receive into accept. Everyone goes around asking, Will you accept Jesus...This makes a brush salesman out of Jesus Christ, as though He meekly stands waiting to know whether we will patronize Him or not."
"Do not for one second let the crowds, the bustle of religious activity, the surge of religious thinking fool you into supposing that there is a vast amount of spirituality."
"To urge men and women to believe in a divided Christ is bad teaching, for no one can receive half of Christ, or a third of Christ, or a quarter of Christ! We are not saved by believing in an office nor in a work, but to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, the person who has done that work and holds those offices."
"He did not leave any middle ground to accommodate the neutral who preach tolerance. There is no twilight zone in the teachings of Jesus - no place in between."
"Our great need, then is simply Jesus Christ. He is what we need. He has what we need. He knows what we need to know. He has the ability to do in us what we cannot do - working in us that which is well-pleasing in God's sight."
"Each hearer of the Voice must decide for himself, and he must decide on the basis of the evidence the message affords. There will be no thunder sound, no heavenly sign or light from heaven. The Man is His own proof. The marks of His hands and feet are the insignia of His rank and office."
"A disciple is one who is in training. Being a disciple of Christ brings us to the day-by-day realities of such term as a discipline, rebuke, correction, hardships. Those are not pleasant words...but they are in God's plan for our spiritual maturity." Much in the same we as parents teach and discipline our children, we are going through the same things as children of God.
"The Bible links faith to expression, and faith that never gets expression is not a Bible faith. For we believe in our hearts, and utter forth with our lips that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we shall be saved."
I probably shared more then I should, but there is much I didn't share and I didn't go into detail, but gave you some of the points he made, you will have to read the book for more of the explanations. I was also excited about the timing of this book too, as I am going through Disciplines of a Godly Woman as a study this summer, and some of this will be helpful in reading through that book again. Tozer's book will be one I reread again and look over my notes from time to time to pray over, to act one. For more information and where to get this book, go to Moody Publishers at https://www.moodypublishers.com/books/evangelism-and-discipleship/discip...
“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Moody Publishers for providing this opportunity for review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.