20 Things I Learned From ‘God Shines Forth’

Every once in a while, I read a book that brings me joy—not just knowledge or exhortation, but actual joy. And, I felt that when I read Daniel Hames and Michael Reeves 2022 book, God Shines Forth. My passion is evangelism and missions, and I love a God-centered focus on those topics. 

Here are 20 meaningful quotes from the book to give you a taste:

20 From God Shines Forth

“But here is the great admission that many of us need to make: When it comes to the Great Commission, our hearts aren’t really in it. Something far deeper than practical or operational limitation is causing our mission fatigue. What ails us goes right to the core of our relationship with God” (Pg. 16).

“This book is an invitation to start again at the beginning with your vision of God. Our aim is to set before your eyes God as he truly is: God who is so full of life and goodness that he loves to be known; not as a campaign to impose himself on us or on the world but to give himself and share his own life with the world” (Pg. 19).

“To get a right and true understanding of God (and to correct any faults and distortions we may continue to pick up) we must look to the Son” (Pg. 24).

“The glory of God is personal: the Father’s radiance is the Son. It is God the Son who comes to be with his people and, in doing so, shines upon us the truth of the Father” (Pg. 29).

“The glory of God is often rightly spoken of as the goal and end point of mission…The missionary efforts of the church are the means to the end that our God is worshiped by all the people of the earth” (Pg. 35).

“From the fellowship of Father, Son, and Spirit, superabundant goodness spreads. God’s life and love overflow in his creation of the world.While he always had his Son at his side, it is in the Father’s very nature to give to another” (Pg. 60).

“We associate God’s grace most readily with the forgiveness of sins, but long before there was any sin, God brought creation into being  out of unbounded love” (Pg. 61).

“This was God’s design for humanity: that we would delight ourselves in the love of God, image him in the creation, and reach to the ends of the earth in abundant fruitfulness. Here is the root of our sense of dignity, the reason we feel an itch for purpose and significance. We were created for glory and to be glorious, like our God” (Pg. 72).

“Perhaps the most perplexing response we encounter in evangelism  is not so much anger but apathy. This reaction may frustrate the evangelist, but it should provoke our compassion. It is the fruit of a heart that is simultaneously deeply unsatisfied and without hope of satisfaction” (Pg. 80).

“Given all we have seen, it is no wonder that our culture is overrun with issues surrounding identity. Since the garden, we do not participate in the fullness of God’s life, his image in us has been vandalized, and we are consumed with self-love. Sinners do not know who, why, or what they are” (Pg. 83).

“’You do you,’ says the world. This self-assertion is a kind of mission, but one driven by the empty self and not by the glorious God of heaven. It reaches out into the world not to give but to take” (Pg. 84).

“The church alone can see  that the city built on love of self is the city divided against itself that  cannot stand (Matt. 12:25). The church alone can show the world where real fullness, happiness, and life are to be found” (Pg. 86).

“Christ cam to remake us after his image. This is where our mission began. For this renewal of human beings is not only the birth of Christians but the birth of missionaries, as we who once were darkness become ‘light in the Lord’ (Eph. 5:8)” (Pg. 87).

“The Christian life in the Spirit is a cruciform life, preferring others over ourselves (Rom. 12:10), giving over and above what is asked of us (Matt. 5:40), laying down our own lives for the sake of others (1 John 3:16)” (Pg. 100).

“When Christians are not filled to overflowing with the glorious goodness of God, mission is not a natural or comfortable thing, and we will have to find other motivations to drive them” (Pg. 106).

“If we are not captured specifically by the glory of God in Christ and  propelled outward in happy proclamation of the one who has freely given himself to us, then it will be no surprise when our message quickly has little to do with him. If it is not him we are enjoying, it will not be him we convey to others” (Pg. 110).

“The foundation of all our mission is our knowledge and enjoyment of God” (Pg. 125).

“Wounded soldiers, struggling saints, and stumbling preachers are not dismissed from the Lord’s army, because they are not expected to be full in and of themselves. In our suffer ing, our battle with sin, and our lack of experience or boldness or eloquence, we are nonetheless invited to delight ourselves in the Lord and find fullness in him” (Pg. 132).

“That God should meet our sin and hard-heartedness with forgiveness is one thing; that he should flood the world with his own blessed life and joy is another. That he should do so by pouring out his own blood is beyond our comprehension (Acts 20:28)” (Pg. 147).

“The future we have to offer to our friends and neighbors is a world of unshakeable, unquenchable love. Can you imagine a life where you know, without any creeping anxiety, that you are perfectly and totally loved by God?” (Pg. 155).

This article originally appeared here and is reposted by permission.

Ed Stetzer
Ed Stetzerhttps://edstetzer.com/

Ed Stetzer is the editor-in-chief of Outreach magazine, host of the Stetzer ChurchLeaders Podcast, and a professor and dean at the Talbot School of Theology at Biola University. He has planted, revitalized, and pastored churches, trained pastors and church planters on six continents, and has written hundreds of articles and a dozen books. He currently serves as teaching pastor at Mariners Church in Irvine, California.

He is also regional director for Lausanne North America, and is frequently cited in, interviewed by and writes for news outlets such as USA Today and CNN. He is the founding editor of The Gospel Project, and his national radio show, Ed Stetzer Live, airs Saturdays on Moody Radio and affiliates.