Beauty in Brokenness

"He has made everything Beautiful in it's time." Eccl. 3:11

Surprised By Grace

on March 8, 2014

Surprised By Grace

One of my favorite things to do is read. I could seriously do it all the time. I get sad if I do not have a book to read through. Fiction was always my genre of choice. I loved anything that was young and fun. Historical fiction, young adult fiction, and even Christian fiction.

Non fiction was hard for me to get into. However, my job has some definite benefits. Swag comes in the form of resources and books. Yes books!

When they are not sent to be for free, they are at least always being recommended as helpful. I have found a new appreciation for these types of books. I always thought I needed character development and plot twists to really identify with a story. I was quite mistaken.

Recently, I finished a book called “Surprised by Grace” by Tullian Tchividjian. Do not get hung up on the name. The book is not super heady or intellectual. Surprisingly to me, he often used works of art to illustrate a particular point about the subject, which was refreshing to me.

Tullian is the grandson of Billy Graham. He pastors a church in Florida, and has been speaking for a number of years. Many mentors in my life have pointed me towards his work and sermons.

“Surprised by Grace” is written about the Book of Jonah. It goes so much deeper than the story that I remember from Sunday school. The big fish makes an appearance of course, but Tullian dives into the man and actions of Jonah in a way that I had never considered before.

The whole book is thought provoking and convicting. By the end you will not be able to look at Jonah without also seeing yourself. The picture of Jesus’ grace towards us is touching.

A few things that stood out to me:

God’s heart is not just to save sinners from sin, but to save believers from themselves.

God uses even our disobedience for His perfect will.

God does not punish, but He intervenes in BIG Ways! He wants to get our attention, and sometimes that is uncomfortable.

God is not tribal (protecting His own), He is missional (extending Himself to all).

Jonah wrote the book of Jonah… So God continues to pursue us, giving us chances until we get it. He is patient and faithful. Working for our good, not our pride or our comfort.

God will do what we are not willing to, because “Salvation comes from the Lord.”

There are 2 types of people: Those who try to save themselves by breaking the law, and those who try and save themselves by keeping the law. God extends freedom to both.

I highly recommend you check out this book. It is a quick read, and will really allow you to see the depths of God’s character in a greater way. Knowing God deeper does not leave us unchanged.

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