Digging Deeper

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Fruit of the Spirit - Self-Control

Yesterday, David Bourne explained to us that the "Just Say No" approach doesn't really work. So how do we avoid temptation and control our thoughts and behavior? Check out the resources below to discover how the power of Jesus Christ can change our hearts and free us from those things that entrap us.

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In this book, award-winning author James K. A. Smith shows that who and what we worship fundamentally shape our hearts. And while we desire to shape culture, we are not often aware of how culture shapes us. We might not realize the ways our hearts are being taught to love rival gods instead of the One for whom we were made. Smith helps readers recognize the formative power of culture and the transformative possibilities of Christian practices. He explains that worship is the "imagination station" that incubates our loves and longings so that our cultural endeavors are indexed toward God and his kingdom. This is why the church and worshiping in a local community of believers should be the hub and heart of Christian formation and discipleship.

If you have struggled personally against the powerful draw of pornography, or if you have ever tried to help someone fighting this battle, you know how hard it is to break free. But real freedom isn’t found by trying harder to change. Nor is it found in a particular method or program. Only Jesus Christ has the power to free people from the enslaving power of pornography.

 

In Finally Free, Dr. Heath Lambert, a leader in the biblical counseling movement, lays out eight gospel-centered strategies for overcoming the deceitful lure of pornography. Each chapter clearly demonstrates how the gospel applies to this particular battle and how Jesus can move readers from a life of struggle to a life of purity.

 

Fruit of the Spirit - Gentleness

Would others describe you as gentle? This week Rob challenged us to honestly reflect on the fruit showing in our lives. He's recommended the following resources to help along the way.

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Author Eric Geiger offers a sobering reminder that many great and godly people have imploded, and none of us are above the risk. Looking at the story of David’s infamous implosion, readers will learn how to ruin our lives (so we won't), and also how to find hope if we do--as all of us need His grace.

We live in a world where real friendship is hard to find.  Safe among like-minded peers and digital “friends,” we really don’t have to engage with those who can challenge and enhance our limited perspectives. Tragically, even the church can become a place that minimizes diversity and reinforces isolation. Jesus models a much richer vision of friendship. Scott Sauls, pastor and teacher, invites you to see the breadth of Christ’s love in this book, BeFriend. Join Scott on this journey through twenty-one meditations to inspire actively pursuing God’s love through expanding your circle of friends.

In this honest book, pastor and author Scott Sauls exposes the real struggles that Christian leaders and pastors regularly face. Sauls shares his own stories and those of other leaders from Scripture and throughout history to remind us that we are human, we are sinners, and we need Jesus to help us thrive as people and leaders.
Edited by David Platt, Daniel L. Akin, and Tony Merida, this new commentary series, projected to be 48 volumes, takes a Christ-centered approach to expositing each book of the Bible. Rather than a verse-by-verse approach, the authors have crafted chapters that explain and apply key passages in their assigned Bible books. Readers will learn to see Christ in all aspects of Scripture, and they will be encouraged by the devotional nature of each exposition.

Galatians For You is a new curriculum tool you can use to learn or teach from the book of Galatians. Both student and teacher can use it to walk through Galatians, learning how the gospel message changes the whole of our lives. It can be utilized by anyone who has a teaching ministry, to help small-group leaders understand and apply the text in their study groups, and to give preachers helpful ways of connecting timeless Bible truths to today's world. It can be used as a daily devotional, complete with reflection questions. Or it can be read for personal study and edification.

Drawing on many years of Marcan studies, world-class scholar R. T. France has produced an exegetical commentary on the Greek text of Mark that does what the best of recent Greek commentaries have done but in France's own inimitable, reader-friendly way. This work is a commentary on Mark itself, not a commentary on commentaries of Mark. It deals immediately and directly with matters that France himself regards as important. Working from his own translation of the Greek text and culling from helpful research into the world of first-century Palestine, France provides an extensive introduction to Mark's Gospel, followed by insightful section and verse commentary.

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