Friday, November 4, 2011

Cruciform Press: Getting Back Into the Race

Cruciform Press is an awesome resource that I found through Challies.com.

They provide helpful, inspiring, biblical, and gospel-focused books conveniently and affordably. Every book I've received has been short, clear, well-written, well-edited, and accessible.

If you subscribe to the service, you receive a new book on the first day of each month from a trusted source that only gives you "the good stuff". All of the books are available in print, in a variety of ebook formats, and sometimes as audiobooks. The print or ebook subcription can save a bundle of time and money. This month's ebook is Getting Back Into the Race by Joel R. Beeke. Here is an excerpt from the Introduction (pgs. 9-10):


Every Christian faces numerous discouragements in striving to follow Christ. Our knees go weak and our hands hang down when we face personal failure, when others let us down, or when providence denies our desires.

Disappointment can lead to discouragement, and discouragement may end in doubt, fear, and even despair. We feel weak and tired, emotionally and spiritually, and we are tempted to throw in the towel. Why should we persist in confessing a faith that is despised and hated in the world?

It all seems pointless and hopeless. We say with Asaph, “Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain” (Psalm 73:13).

But we must press on, firm in the confidence that we run alongside other believers, that we run a well-trodden course, and that we run with God’s inexhaustible assistance and support. J. C. Ryle (1816–1900) said, “We have a race to run,” and went on to explain that every true Christian must endure great opposition:

Without there will be fightings, within there will be fears; there will be snares to be avoided, and temptations to be resisted; there will be your own treacherous hearts, often cold and dead and dry and dull; there will be friends who will give you unscriptural advice, and relations who will even war against your soul; in short, there will be stumbling-blocks on every side, there will be occasion for all your diligence and watchfulness and godly jealousy and prayer, you will soon find that to be a real Christian is no light matter.

But the Lord does not call us to go where he has not gone before. We are called to endure what Christ endured before us, to follow the course he has already taken. Hebrews 12:1–2 says,

Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth
so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race
that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author
and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set
before him endured the cross, despising the shame,
and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

There’s the key: “looking unto Jesus.” The more we fix our eyes on the glory of the one who died and rose and now sits at God’s right hand, the more we will press on to meet him. John Bunyan (1628–1688), himself no stranger to hardship, said, “When men do come to see the things of another world, what a God, what a Christ, what a heaven, and what an eternal glory there is to be enjoyed; also, when they see that it is possible for them to have a share in it, I tell you it will make them run through thick and thin to enjoy it.”

This month's ebook, Getting Back Into the Race by Joel R. Beeke, is available for a one-time price of $5.99 or by subscription at $3.99. Subscriptions are either pre-paid or pay as you go on a monthly basis.
Even if you don't subscribe, Don't Miss Out on getting the November offer!

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