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Storm: Hearing Jesus for the Times We Live…
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Storm: Hearing Jesus for the Times We Live In

by Jim Cymbala

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Jim Cymbala, who experienced Hurricane Sandy in 2012, likens it to the storm he expects will soon hit the evangelical church of North America. In Storm he gives advice to pastors and lay people about how to get ready so that the light of faith won’t be snuffed out like the city lights of Lower Manhattan were in Sandy’s wake.
“I believe followers of Jesus in America are on the cusp of something horrible. I, and many others, see the early warning signs all around” – Jim Cymbala, Storm, Kindle Location 148.

Three areas that cause him to be concerned about the American church are:
1] The church isn’t as big or popular as it thinks it is.
2] Personal transformation is rare.
3] Biblical literacy is declining.

To remedy this he addresses lacks and needs in a variety of areas:
- The failure of modern models of church planting and growth (he calls them “fads and trends”).

- The need for prayer, both personal and corporate intercessory prayer.
“... the deepest secrets of prayer are only learned by spending time with God” – K.L. 805.

“Think about the people we love and worry about but rarely pray for” – K.L. 2641.

- Godly, exemplary leadership.
“... the quality of spiritual leadership can only be measured by how it looks in the Lord’s sight” – K.L. 1096.

- The need for the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our churches and ministries.

- A clear, Christ-centered gospel message.

- Clarity on the difference between the Old and New Testament Covenants.
“Old Testament passages are only properly used when they ultimately point us to Jesus and the New Covenant” – K.L. 3006.

- How to live in anticipation of Christ’s return.

Following chapters of teaching are first-person stories of people from his church whose lives illustrate the point he has just made.

The book’s ideas are logical and the points well supported with Scripture. Cymbala speaks from a wealth of pastoral experience which gives his voice and message credibility, passion, and urgency.

There is nothing new here, really, just a plea to get back to basics, made urgent because of how quickly events are changing the political and social landscape in America and the world. For those who have lost fervor or gotten bogged down in esoterical theology, this easy-to-read book will pull them back to the Bible essentials.

I received Storm as a gift from the publisher via BookLook Bloggers for the purpose of writing a review. ( )
  Violet_Nesdoly | Jan 12, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 031024126X, Hardcover)

Storm: What Jesus Is Saying to His Church is a book for every Christian who is concerned about the challenges that face believers today. Using powerful stories of people who have been transformed by Christ, it will strike a note of encouragement and hope, helping Christians to remember that a life surrendered to Christ in the midst of a church transformed by his presence cannot be defeated. No amount of spiritual darkness or cultural pressure can drown out the life-giving power of the gospel.

Jim Cymbala believes that the church in America is in the middle of a powerful storm, the intensity of which is likely to increase in coming months and years. Many Christians are bewildered, disheartened, and concerned by what they see—a culture that’s become increasingly hostile to biblical Christianity and a church whose vital signs are quickly waning. Like the storm surge that overtook lower Manhattan during Hurricane Sandy, powerful forces have come together to create a surge that’s threatening the health of the church.

Storm will talk about the tendency on the right and on the left to conflate the kingdom of God with a particular political party. Many conservative Christians have made the mistake of substituting America for the Israel of the Old Testament, failing to realize the danger of adopting Old Testament principles that were never affirmed in the New Testament. Their message has sometimes been harsh and legalistic, making it difficult for them to proclaim a gospel of grace. Even though there is a great deal of emphasis on the Bible in such churches, it can often be the wrong emphasis.

Jim Cymbala will explore the importance of preaching a gospel of grace rather than a gospel of mixed messages, so common in the church today. He will speak of our need to understand spiritual battles and for total dependence on the Holy Spirit, and he will discuss the importance of prayer. He will also explore the motivational atmosphere of the early church which flourished despite far worse conditions than those we face today. We don’t need more church growth programs to turn the church around. What’s needed is a transformation at the heart of the church so that the gospel is preached, the Holy Spirit is allowed to lead, and lives are transformed.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:56 -0400)

"A book for every Christian who is concerned about the challenges that face believers today. Using ... stories of people who have been transformed by Christ, it will strike a note of encouragement and hope, helping Christians to remember that a life surrendered to Christ in the midst of a church transformed by his presence cannot be defeated"--Amazon.com.… (more)

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