Friday, February 6, 2015

Book Review: Chiseled by the Master's Hand

Chiseled by the Master's Hand. Erwin Lutzer. 1993. Victor Publishing. 153 pages. [Source: Bought]

The subtitle of this one is: "Learn from Peter How God Sculpts Our Character To His Likeness." I appreciated this one. I did. Chapter by chapter, readers learn more about Peter. Various texts from the gospels and other New Testament books are examined and discussed. There are plenty of lessons, plenty of insights. Yes, this book is about Peter, to a certain extent, but it is even more a book about you and me and how we can be changed by Christ. It's easy to classify this one as a what-it-means-to-be-a-Christian or what-the-christian-walk-is-supposed-to-look-like book. If you want to use fancy words, justification and sanctification come to mine.

Would I recommend it? Yes! Though I wouldn't say this is the best Lutzer book I've ever read, I certainly enjoyed it and found it worth reading.

From chapter one:
When God chooses us, He shapes us so that everything standing in the way of our usefulness is cut away. His focus is not on what we do but on what we are in the hidden parts of the soul. The shaping of character is always His first priority. People, circumstances, and the unseen battles within the heart become His chisel to fashion us after His liking. He cuts away everything that isn't like Christ. The process is never finished in this life. Thankfully, we do not have to be perfect before we can know God intimately and be used for His glory. (9)
"You are!" is the diagnosis. "You shall be!" is the promise. (14)
From chapter two:
We are never in the wrong season, nor in the wrong circumstances, when we are obedient to Christ. (27)
From chapter three:
And how do we focus on Christ? Unfortunately, we often look for new spiritual secrets and neglect that which is most basic. First of all, we keep our focus through the Word of God--read it by the chapter, and memorize it by the verse. Though we've heard it before, we must be reminded to absorb the Scriptures internally. This will help us meditate and focus on Christ and His power alone. Second, there is prayer, those intimate moments when we share our cherished dreams and hopes with the Risen Christ. This intercession must be developed and strengthened. In His presence we can be honest, sharing our hurts or anger. Like David, we will find our soul refreshed. Then third, our songs/hymns can be used to lift our hearts to God. When the words are in our minds, they stay with us for the rest of the day. Finally, we must remember that there is strength within the body of Christ. Through the friendship and love of others we are encouraged to carry on. (49)
From chapter four:
There is a widespread assumption in America today that the religions of the world are essentially the same and only superficially different. However, the reverse is actually true: the religions of the world are superficially the same but fundamentally different. (55)
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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