Book Review: The Grave Robber

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I have become a Mark Batterson fan over the years as he has a way of writing that really connects the reader to the greatness and glory of God.  I fully believe that is his main goal in writing…to make the reader love and treasure Jesus more.  The Grave Robber is another great read as Batterson takes the reader on a journey to remember what God has done and to be inspired that God will do it again.  As he reviews the miracles from the New Testament, we are reminded of places and situations that seemed impossible until God intervened on behalf of his people.  He reminds us that, “One of the truest tests of spiritual maturity is seeing the miraculous in the monotonous.”  I highlighted several things while reading and have posted my notes below…

 

 

  • No one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.  John 3:2
  • Sometimes God shows up.  Sometimes God shows off.
  • Don’t seek miracles.  Follow Jesus.  And if you follow Jesus long enough and far enough, you’ll eventually find yourself in the middle of some miracles.
  • One of the truest tests of spiritual maturity is seeing the miraculous in the monotonous.
  • “Grown up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony.  It is possible God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening “Do it again” to the moon?  The repetition in nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore.” GK Chesterton, Orthodoxy 
  • God has wired us in such a way that we’re hypersensitive to new stimuli, but over time the cataracts of the customary cloud our vision.  We lose our awareness of the miraculous, and with it, the awe of God.
  • We pick and choose our favorite verses while ignoring the texts we cannot comprehend or don’t particularly like.  We rationalize the verses that are too radical.  We scrub down the verses that are too supernatural.  We put Scripture on the chopping block of human logic and end up with a neutered gospel.  We commit intellectual idolatry, creating God in our image.  So instead of living a life that resembles the supernatural standard set in Scripture, we follow an abridged version of the Bible that looks an awful lot like us.
  • Whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these.  John 14:12
  • The single greatest miracle is the forgiveness of sin made possible through the crucifixion and resurrection of the sinless Son of God.  There is no close second.
  • “When a person’s mind is stretched by a new idea, it never returns to its original dimensions.”  Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table
  • Sometimes the greatest miracle is restraint: holding your tongue or resisting temptation or keeping your temper in check.  And Jesus set the standard before a kangaroo court of false accusers.  Instead of cursing His executioners, He said, “Father, forgiven them, for they know not what they do.”
  • Never underestimate the power of one well-timed compliment.  It has the power to change a person’s entire perspective on life.  It has the potential to change a person’s plot line for eternity.  The right word at the right time can be the catalyst for someone else’s miracle.
  • You are more than your professional identity—more than a doctor, more than a coach, more than an administrative assistant.  You are an undercover prophet, strategically positioned by God to speak grace and truth.  And when you do, it sets the stage for miracles to happen.  And it may only take one word of encouragement.  Let me bring it even closer to home.  If you have children, you are more than a parent.  You are a prophet to your children.  No one knows them, loves them, or believes in them like you do.  And it’s your job to call out who God has created them to be.
  • God wants to give His gifts more than you want to receive them.
  • If you want the starring role, you’ll miss the miracle.  If you’re willing to be an ordinary extra, God will do something extraordinary.
  • “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”  Hebrews 10:24
  • If you believe in a Choreographer who sequences every step, there are no coincidences.  Only providences.  No accidents.  Only divine appointments.  Every twist of fate is a part of the dance originally designed by God Himself.
  • The true test of our faith is not our actions.  It’s our reactions.  It’s relatively easy to act like Jesus.  It’s much harder to react like Him.  And forgiveness is the litmus test.
  • If you live a Spirit-led life, it’ll become a subplot in your life as well.  You cannot setup supernatural synchronicities.  That is God’s job.  But it’s your job to see them and seize them.
  • Lord Latitude is His name.  Supernatural synchronicities are His game.
  • Someday God is going to pull back the space-time curtain and connect the dots between our prayers and His answers.
  • When we forget the faithfulness of God, we lose faith.  That’s why we need to go back to the vintage miracles God has already done in our lives.  When you lose your way or lose your faith, you need to go back to the burning bushes in your life.
  • If you want to repeat history, do it the way it’s always been done.  If you want to change history, do it the way it’s never been done before.  History makers are rule breakers.  And no one was better at it than the One who wrote the rules in the first place!
  • He asked this to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.  John 6:6
  • Hearing a testimony is the way I borrow faith from others.   Sharing my testimony is the way I loan my faith to others.
  • The way you steward a miracle is by believing God for even bigger and better miracles.
  • Miracles don’t just happen when we believe God for big things.  Miracles happen when we obey God in the little things.  When we do little things like they are big things, God will do big things like they are little things.
  • Instead of allowing our circumstances to get between you and God, faith is putting God between you and your circumstances.
  • It is I; don’t be afraid.  John 6:20
  • The logical mind can only see two options when stepping out of a boat in the middle of the lake: sink or swim.  That’s why most people stay within the comfortable confines of the boat.  That’s also why most people never walk on water.
  • Miracles are simply peepholes into His providential care.  They are the intersections where power and compassion parade God’s glory.
  • “God is still sovereign no matter what.  He still knows my name.  Angels still respond to his call.  The hearts of rulers still bend at his bidding.  The death of Jesus still saves souls.  The Spirit of God still indwells saints.  Heaven is still only heartbeats away.  The grave is still temporary housing.  God is still faithful.  He is not caught off guard.  He uses everyone for his glory and my ultimate good.  He uses tragedy to accomplish his will and his will is right, holy, and perfect.  Sorry may come with the night, but joy comes with the morning.”  Max Lucado, You’ll Get Through This
  • “Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you.”  Aldous Huxley, Texts and Pretexts
  • “Never put a comma where God puts a period and never put a period where God puts a comma.”  Dr. Charles Crabtree, “God’s Grammar”
  • When Jesus died on the cross, Satan smiled.  But the Grave Robber go the last laugh.  He always does.  And if you give Him a chance, He’ll give you a second chance.  He will give you your smile back.  He will give you your laugh back.  He will give you your life back.  Do you believe this?  If you do, He will make the impossible possible.

 

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