“Impossible is where Jesus does his best work. Are you facing an impossible situation? Something you can’t fix? A problem you can’t solve? Then you’re in the perfect position to see Jesus perform a miracle because a miracle doesn’t happen until there’s a mess that demands one.”
In Reborn: How Encountering Jesus Changes Everything, Clayton King shares testimonies and biblical stories of God’s transforming work in the lives of believers.
I loved the cultural and historical insight he gives as he retells the stories of people in the New Testament whose lives were radically changed by encountering Jesus.
His writing helped me learn new things from Bible stories I’ve heard my entire life.
In Mark 5 Jesus heals a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. King helps the reader imagine what it must have been like to suffer for so many years and live in isolation because she was considered unclean.
“If this woman prayed once a day, every day, for God to heal her, that’s 4,380 prayers over twelve years. What if she asked God for healing five times a day? That’s 21,900 seemingly unanswered prayers.”
“When there’s no relief, no hope on the horizon, no prospect of healing, and no human solution, Jesus changes everything. He can do that for you. Have you given up? Then get back up. Have you stopped praying? Start praying again. Have you waited for years for a touch from God? Don’t give up now, when you may be days or even moments away from an encounter with Jesus that will change everything.”
I read this at a time when my faith felt dried up and I wanted to give up praying when my prayers seemed to go unanswered.
This book reminded me to remember God’s answers to me in the past.
“When we’re wrestling with doubt and wondering if Jesus is really paying attention to the details of our lives, the very best thing we can do is remember. Think back to the answered prayers. Recall the moments we’ve felt his presence. Rehearse the times he came through for us or someone we love. And remember the promises of Scripture, the verses and stories we read from the Bible. It’s so easy to forget when we’re distracted by doubts.”
”Both often live side by side: trust and doubt, faith and fear. Two competing feelings try to occupy the same space in our heads and hearts. What Jesus wants for us is to simply trust him, to choose faith over doubt, even when we can’t possibly know how he will work it out. But isn’t that what faith is, really? Believing God will come through when we have no clue how.”
“The stunning thing about being reborn is that God loves us because he is God, not because we are good. Our value and identity come from being made by God and loved by God.”
I couldn’t help but notice the division within the church that was going on back then and that is still going on today. I think this is a timely book to read and will encourage Christians to love others and stand firm in their faith during this pandemic.
“Not once in the Bible did a Christian ever complain about losing their rights when they were persecuted for their faith. Instead, they saw it as an opportunity to be bolder with the message of the gospel.”
“Jesus doesn’t always lead us to safe places. He often walks with us into uncertain and terrifying situations to show us his power.”
The author’s writing helps paint a picture so the reader understands Bible stories in a way that will help them encounter the true heart and compassion of Jesus that changes lives.
I received a free copy of this book from Baker Books in exchange for my honest review