Through a series of “coincidences” I received a copy of Mark Batterson’s new book, Primal three weeks before today’s release date. I had previously read Mark’s book, In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day and also enjoy reading his blog several times a week, so when the opportunity came to get Mark’s new book before it was released to the book stores I got really excited!
Reading Primal was a divine appointment for me. I know it was the Holy Spirit who set this up. Most of you know that in January I will be the tour guide of the “2010 Journey to Know Him More”, an interactive, online Bible study that takes a journey through the One-Year Chronological Bible in 365 days. I’ve been a Christian for 40 years, but just this past year I began to look for the Simple Life of a Christian; the life that Jesus spoke about in the gospels. That search led me to the Great Commandment. The “Journey to Know Him More” is just one of the outcomes of that search. So for me Primal is a tool God is using to cause me to search harder and dig deeper to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.
In Primal, Mark uncovers what he believes to be the primal problem of the church (see quote #3 below) and shares his primal solution as he walks the reader through an easy-to-follow explanation of the Great Commandment, using scripture, nature, science, and human behavior to simplify the authentic Christian life.
Below are 10 quotes from Primal that are impacting my thoughts, prayers and plans for this New Year:
1. We have accepted a form of Christianity that is more educated but less powerful, more civilized but less compassionate, more acceptable but less authentic than that which our spiritual ancestors practiced.
2. There may be ways of doing church that we haven’t figured out yet.
3. Our primal problem is we aren’t great at the Great Commandment (Mark. 12: 28-30).
4. The quest for the lost soul of Christianity begins with rediscovering what it means to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
5. You cannot listen to just half of what the Holy Spirit has to say. It’s a package deal. If you aren’t willing to listen to everything He has to say, you won’t hear anything He has to say. If you tune out His convicting voice, you won’t hear His comforting voice or guiding voice either. Tagging onto Mark’s words, “I don’t want to be a professional Christian; I want to love the Lord with all my heart all my soul”.
A good test of this is to ask yourself the following questions:
- Does my heart break for the things that break the heart of God?
- Is my soul full of wonder and flooded with the Glory of God, awed by beauty and mystery, a soul that hallows God above all else?
6. For better or worse your life is your unique translation. Just like the Septuagint or King James Version, your life translates Scripture into a language that those around you can read. God doesn’t just want to speak to you through Scripture; He wants to speak through you. He wants to write His-story through our life. And Scripture is the script.
Read it. Meditate on it. Then live it out.
7. Your imagination is capable of far more than you imagine. Yet, somewhere along the way, most of us stop living out of imagination and start living out of memory. We stop creating the future and start repeating the past. And that is the day we stop living and start dying. Why? Because we stop learning.
8. One God idea has the potential to make more of a difference than a thousand good ideas. Take yours captive and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5- “I never thought about this scripture in this way before!”).
9. Some people spend their entire lives getting ready for what God wants them to do. But they never end up doing it because they never come to the realization that they’ll never be ready.
To stay energized—stay in the will of God.
10. We all want our lives to be about something bigger than us, more important than us, and longer lasting than us. And that is exactly what God wants for you. But that isn’t the ultimate goal. Loving God is. And if you learn to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, then you life will exceed your wildest expectations. Why? Because His love will be reflected in your life.
Can a short book about one scripture in the Bible be life changing? I think so. This book has enlarged my thinking on what it means to love God. Mark’s intellectual and spiritual perspective left me saying “Wow! I want to love like this!”
You know you’ve just finished a good book when you’re sad that it’s over. But, you know you’ve just finished a great book when you are better when it’s over. Mark Batterson’s new book Primal, is one of those great books.
I would highly recommend Primal. If you’re taking “The Journey,” it would be the perfect companion book to your One-Year Chronological Bible.
Here’s the link to the publisher: http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781601421319
Thanking God for You!