I have read a lot of books, articles, columns, and online sermons this year. I have watched dozens to sermons online as well. Some just for myself, some for specific posts I was working on, some for posts I plan on doing in the future. When you dive into the words of so many intelligent, faith-driven Christians, you’re going to be hit with an abundance of great lines. So…I’ve been collecting some of my favorite for just this post. Most of these quotes are not from this year, it’s just that I’ve come across them this year.
I give to you, the Great Lines of 2012.
Mark Driscoll: When God created everything else, it was “good.” When He created man, it was “very good.” (Added onto by my brother Joe: And, in fact, the only thing that wasn’t good in creation was man alone.)
Francis Chan: Sometimes we need to suffer just so we can look at our lives and know we’re for real.
Francis Chan (After reading Psalm 131): Stress starts with pride. You actually believe that you’re so powerful, you’re so great, that you can actually fix anything.
AW Tozer: Every man is as close to God as he wants to be.
Francis Chan (in response to Tozer’s line): It drives me crazy when people say, “I wish I were closer to God.” No you don’t. If you did, you would be. It’s not like God is up there going, “I know you want to be closer to me, but I’m not going to let you.” God gave His son to us so we could have intimacy with Him. So if you’re not close to Him, guess whose fault it is? It’s not a lack of desire on God’s part, it’s a lack of desire on your part. We live in a culture and a church age where excuses are so popular. Everyone has an excuse for why they sin, why they’re not close to God, why they’re not this, this, and this. And the truth is? It’s all you.
Galileo: The Bible is not preeminently concerned with telling us how the heavens go. The Bible is, instead, most concerned with telling us how to go to Heaven.
Mark Driscoll: And what it says right here (Genesis 1:1) is that in the beginning there’s God. The Bible assumes that God exists. It just says, “God.” What God is saying is this, “Prove me wrong. The burden of proof is on you. I’m God.”
Perry Noble: Before Christ does something great through you, He wants to do something great in you.
Perry Noble: If you’ve never had an “Oh, crap” moment, then you’ve never heard from God.
Perry Noble: If you and I are not willing to be uncomfortable, we will eventually become unfaithful.
Perry Noble: When was it in the Bible that anyone was ever asked to do something easy?
Mark Driscoll: Jesus did not suffer so that you would not suffer. He suffered so that when you suffered, you would become more like Him.
Jud Wilhite: Jesus did not die so that we would go to church. He died so that we would become the Church.
Judah Smith: Don’t turn God into a vending machine—punch in these six steps and I get what I want from God. Well, then you don’t need God anymore because you cracked the code.
Francis Chan: The point of your life is to point to Him.
Steven Furtick: If God is telling you to do something new and people are telling you it can’t be done, maybe that’s because God left it for you to do. Don’t be afraid to do things that can’t be done.
Steven Furtick: There is nothing more powerful than a promise from God.
Perry Noble: Most of us did not grow up with “Party Jesus,” we grew up with “Fart-Face Jesus”…You know, I looked through the Bible, and I have never found a time where Jesus showed up, and the place became more boring.
Perry Noble: What if more of us spent less time on Facebook, and more time on our face, praying for His vision?
Perry Noble: Why would God bless you with something else when you don’t acknowledge what you already have?
Perry Noble: I know church leaders who are willing to pray but not willing to perspire.
Perry Noble: Do you have someone on your worship team that can’t sing? “Well, they have a good heart.” That may be, but their voice sucks. I don’t have to listen to their heart.
Steven Furtick: Most of us aren’t in danger of being too grateful.
Steven Furtick: (God is talking) “Don’t ask Me for anything until you thank Me for everything.”
Steven Furtick: If He doesn’t breathe out, you don’t breathe in.
Steven Furtick: If you let me live, I’m going to tell more people about Christ. If you torture me, I’m going to get more reward from Christ. If you kill me, I’m going to be with Christ. It doesn’t matter to me—bring it on, it’s all Christ.
Steven Furtick (Talking about how negative people will take any situation and find the bad in it): Some people are crap factories.
Craig Groeschel: When you follow God, you’re going to have some oh, crap moments. (As in—God has spoken to me…I have to obey…but I have no idea what’s about to happen.)
Jud Wilhite’s wife (speaking to her seven-year-old son who, upon seeing a billboard in Las Vegas showing seven girls in topless bikinis from behind, asked his sister which naked girl was her favorite): We do not have favorite naked girls!! (Obviously it was a story that illustrated a much larger message, but I’m including it here because it made me laugh).
Mark Driscoll: The opposite of worship is idolatry…and lying under every sin-problem is an idol-problem.
Mark Driscoll: In marriage, it gets better or it gets bitter.
Les Brown: We don’t fail because we aim too high and miss, but because we aim too low and hit. (This was not used in any faith-based way. A student used it in an essay, and I loved it.)
Mark Driscoll (discussing self-inflicting suffering): If you punch yourself in the face, you’re not Job. Sometimes when you suffer, you’re Job. Sometimes when you suffer, you’re wrong.
Joshua Harris: God isn’t listening to you if you’re not listening to your wife.
Steven Furtick (discussing how we should talk to God): God is not your homeboy.
Steven Furtick: For every aspiration you have, there needs to be an action attached; otherwise, you’re just fantasizing…It’s called the book of Acts, not the book of prayers.
Tim Keller (Quoting archbishop William Temple): “Your religion is what you do with your solitude.” In other words, your real god is what you spend the most time effortlessly thinking about.
Tim Keller: Private prayer is crucial in understanding whether you truly love God and what He’s about or just using Him.
Tim Keller: God will always give you what you would have asked for if you knew everything He knows.
Mark Driscoll: At the end of the day, this isn’t home. For me, this is as close to hell as I’ll ever be. And heaven awaits.
Finally, the Bible verse of the year. Obviously, this was brought up back in January, and I have found myself returning to it over and over:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28