Tuesday, February 9, 2010

'How to Reach Your Full Potential for God: Never Settle for Less than His Best' by Dr. Charles F. Stanley - Book Review

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One of the foremost pastors in this country is Dr. Charles Stanley.  He has been the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia since 1971, and is the founder and president of In Touch Ministries.

In his latest book, ‘How to Reach Your Full Potential for God: Never Settle for Less than His Best,’ Dr. Stanley points out that God has created each of us uniquely and specifically:

“God has not only created you with the gifts and talents to do His work on this earth, but He also has created you with the desires, dreams, and dispositions to become a person with whom He enjoys fellowship and spiritual intimacy… No one can fully understand the depths of His love, the help that He desires to give, or the blessings and rewards that He has prepared.”

Dr. Stanley lays out seven essentials to an abundant life – the life of purpose that God planned specifically for you. 

The seven essentials are as follows:
  1. A Clean Heart
  2. A Clear Mind
  3. Using Your Gifts
  4. A Healthy Body
  5. Right Relationships
  6. A Balanced Schedule
  7. Taking God- Approved Risk
Although all of these essentials are valuable – essential, for goodness sake! – my favorites were # 4, # 6 and # 7. 

Essential # 4 - a Healthy Body - is so important in the Body of Christ - and often, so neglected.  In order for us to be available to further His Kingdom, it is important that we take good care of this body that He’s given us.  So often – especially in this country – we neglect our body, and it is to our detriment.  According to Dr. Stanley (on page 129):

          God calls for each of us to have:

·         A clean body
·         A fully functioning body
·         A strong body
·         A healthy body

In the chapter of Essential # 6 – A Balanced Schedule – Dr. Stanley uses Jesus’ life as an exemplar on how to set our schedule.  Jesus spent time every day in these activities (pp. 192-193):
·         Prayer
·         Time with family and friends
·         Work, which in Jesus’ case was the work of full-time ministry
·         Scripture reading, study, and discussion

Dr. Stanley strongly recommends that we reevaluate our schedule periodically.  In this world of   media and distractions at every turn, it is very easy to get off track and not allocate the appropriate time to God.  Again, it is to our detriment if we do not spend time with the Creator of the Universe.  Think what we’re missing by not regularly sitting at His feet!

The final essential is Essential # 7- Taking God – Approved Risks.  So many people make the choice to not turn their lives over to Christ because they fear that He will make their lives dull and boring.  Far from!  Dr. Stanley makes this very valid point:

“What you see as a risk from your perspective could be the very situation that God wants to use to strengthen your faith.  What you think holds the potential for loss or danger, God may very well be using to strengthen your character.  What you view as taking a chance, very possibly could be what God will use to carry you one giant step closer to reaching your full potential.” (p. 205) 

I am always so encouraged by Dr. Stanley’s books.  One book of his that has been of profound importance in my life is ‘The Wonderful, Spirit-Filled Life.’  If you have not read this classic, I encourage you to pick up a copy!  I found this latest book to be equally illuminating to the truth of God’s Word and God’s Character.  It is an important book, and a beautifully bound hardbook book; it would be a wonderful gift to young people who are just starting out in life – and equally valuable to those further along in their journey that could use some more Godly wisdom!  Dr. Stanley is the perfect teacher for young and old!

This book was provided to me by Thomas Nelson, Inc. for review purposes.

1 comment:

Jackie Smith said...

Thanks for your post! I am blessed by Dr. Stanley's ministry, books, tapes. A favorite of mine is On Holy Ground, a devotional that I have used daily for years!
Blessings! I enjoy your blog.

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