Unshackled and Growing... Revised Edition
In October 2016, my book Unshackled and Growing: Muslims and Christians on the Journey to Freedom ran out of print. The revised edition is now available on my website for free download. As I spent many hours working on the revised edition, my soul was deeply encouraged and refreshed; no wonder, because the gospel permeates this book. The book is written in user-friendly language to Muslims, and is helpful to Christians who are willing to journey with them. I wrote this book as a recovering legalist, and it is written to people who are tired of a life of legalism trying to please and appease God.
As I re-read the following section about the importance of commitment to the word of God, I thought of including it in this blog to motivate you to read the book Unshackled and Growing. In the last couple of paragraphs in this blog, I share about how I struggled in my university years to make the decision of lifting the Bible above my brain rather than having it under my brain. Here is the quote about the importance of commitment to the word of God.
The Bible contains 66 books—39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. Approximately 40 writers participated in building this library over a period of 1,500 years. Yet, amazingly, the 66 books are tied together in unity, flow, and continuity. The central figure throughout the Bible is Jesus Christ. The Old Testament looks forward to his coming; the New Testament is a record of his visit and the story of his followers in the first century. Paul wrote: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
All 66 books of the Bible are God-breathed. They are all authored by the Holy Spirit, who used different men over different periods of time to put the words on paper. This passage also gives four reasons why the Bible is crucial to our lives. It is used for:
· Teaching. It is the standard of truth. It is the measuring stick, providing a standard for what is right and what is wrong. It provides instruction on what to believe, what to do, and what not to do.
· Rebuking. When we go in the wrong direction, the word of God shows us what we have done wrong and brings us back in the right direction.
· Correcting. The word shows us when and how to repent of our sin and how to return to close communion with God and with others.
· Training in righteousness. The Bible helps us do the right thing again and again until it becomes ingrained in our lives.
You might find it difficult to commit yourself to the Bible as the standard of truth, because there are things in it that you do not understand. Some things you will come to understand over time, but others you may only fully understand when you are in heaven in the presence of God. It is dangerous, however, to live with indecisiveness without establishing the Bible as your anchor of truth. Without it, you will be blown by the wind in every direction.
When I was in college, I went through a few difficult weeks because of a certain sin that I was not willing to confess and abandon. I rationalized that it was fine to be both a follower of Christ and at the same time continue to live with this sin. The philosophy classes I was taking at the time made the situation even more confusing. I wondered if I could even trust the Bible.
When I came to the end of myself and confessed my sin to God, I made the decision to commit myself by faith to the word of God as my standard of truth. It was like a very tired person who had been standing up for weeks finally found a chair to sit on. Could I trust that chair? Would it break into pieces if I sat on it? By faith, I made the decision to “sit.” I committed myself to the word of God. What a difference that decision made in my life. The passage that helped me make that decision was Psalm 138:2 “I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.” I was satisfied with what God said about his word. He is as sure of it as he is of his own name and reputation. That was good enough for me.
Have you made a similar commitment to the word of God as your standard of truth? This is a key decision to keep you walking towards the Father.
Download the revised edition for free