Cover image for Fresh faith : what happens when real faith ignites God's people
Fresh faith : what happens when real faith ignites God's people
Cymbala, Jim, 1943-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Grand Rapids, Mich. : Zondervan Pub. House, [1999]

Physical Description:
219 pages ; 22 cm
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BV4637 .C96 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
BV4637 .C96 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
BV4637 .C96 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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One thing moves God: faith. Not doctrinal savvy. Not willpower. Trust in God alone stirs him to move miraculously on our behalf. Time and again, Jim Cymbala, author of Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, has seen the power of faith displayed in the lives of the ordinary people in his church -- and in his own life. He has seen drug addicts and prostitutes set free, marriages restored, and sinners transformed by the love of Jesus Christ. All through the kind of radical, living faith described in this book. Read about it -- and discover how fresh faith can change your life, too.

Author Notes

Jim Cymbala has been pastor of The Brooklyn Tabernacle since 1972. He lives in New York with his wife, Carol, who directs the Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.
Dean Merrill is vice-president and publisher of the International Bible Society in Colorado Springs, where he and his wife live.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

This sequel to Cymbala's 1997 success, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire (still holding its own on the hardcover religion bestseller list), manages to offer what few sequels can muster: a "fresh" and invigorating perspective. Cymbala has a real knack for bringing Bible stories to life (King David, with all of his flaws, figures prominently here). The book's short homilies comprise readable chapters on issues such as trusting God, overcoming discouragement and acting on God's promises. Cymbala shares stories from his congregationÄincluding of his daughter's miraculous healing and the unforgettable conversion of Amalia, a drug-addicted incest victimÄto demonstrate God's power in transforming lives. Cymbala has some hard words for those who rely upon good works in hopes of earning God's approval, which in his estimation demonstrates a grievous lack of faith in grace. He chastises those who profess belief in the truth of the Bible but never read it for themselves; they suffer from "stale" faith because they refuse to be refreshed. On the other end of the spectrum, his message is also for "those Christians who pound the Bible the hardest [but] are the most unbelieving and cynical about God ever doing a new thing in his church." Some of Cymbala's politics may offend readers (one chapter profiles an ex-gay husband and father who renounced his former lifestyle and established a ministry to AIDS victims), but he generally manages to rise above divisive polemics to preach a gospel of truth-telling and ineffable love. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



Chapter OneStolen PropertyI live in a city where things get stolen all the time. Along Flatbush Avenue, where our church is, car thefts are an everyday occurrence. So are muggings, purse snatchings, and apartment break-ins.Once in a Sunday night sermon I made the mistake of asking our congregation to raise their hands if they had personally experienced some kind of rip-off. The place broke into laughter as 98 percent of the hands went up. What a silly question to pose to a crowd of New Yorkers!My wife, Carol, and I live in the borough of Queens, east of LaGuardia Airport and Shea Stadium, where the Mets play. I came out to my car parked in front of our house one morning a few years ago and noticed it had been vandalized. As soon as I opened the door and got inside, I saw a huge, gaping hole in the center of the steering wheel where the air bag had been.Crack cocaine addicts love air bags because they are a quick-sale item. Within minutes they can walk into a “chop shop” â€" an illicit garage that deals in used auto parts â€" and trade an air bag for up to $200 cash. It is just one of the ways that crack has devastated New York and other major cities in America. Heroin was one thing, snorting cocaine another â€" but crack has brought massive destruction.I moaned to myself about the loss. When I called my insurance agent, he took it in stride. “Well, thatâ€TMs the Big Apple for you,” he said. “Happens all the time.” We filled out the claims paperwork and ordered the part from the dealer. I didnâ€TMt ask what this would do to my rates next time around; I didnâ€TMt really want to know.A few months passed before I finally got around to taking the car in for the replacement. At last the damage was repaired.And wouldnâ€TMt you know â€" within three weeks I got ripped off again! Same parking place in front of my house, same window forced open. Iâ€TMm almost sure it was the same thief.This time I didnâ€TMt even bother to file an insurance claim. I just paid the $800 for replacement out of my pocket rather than risk my rates going through the roof.I even found a way to joke about it with someone: “You know, maybe I should leave coffee and cake for this guy on the front seat . . . with a note that says, â€~Hey, letâ€TMs be friends! If Iâ€TMd just supply you with other stuff to sell, at least you wouldnâ€TMt have to break into my car every few months.â€TM ”More Than MerchandiseFortunately, air bags can be replaced. As much as you hate the loss and inconvenience, you gradually go on with your life. A year later, you wonâ€TMt even remember that it happened.But in the spiritual realm, a kind of stealing is going on in many lives that is much more serious. Satan is in the business of ripping off things far more important than an air bag. That is his nature. As Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.”Satan obviously doesnâ€TMt want car parts. Nor does he want your house; he doesnâ€TMt live in a house. He doesnâ€TMt need your vehicle, for he has other modes of transportation. He has no interest in your clothes; heâ€TMs a spirit being. He doesnâ€TMt care about your investments; what would money mean to him?In the spiritual realm, a kind of stealing is going on in many lives. Satan is in the business of ripping us off.But he is very interested in stealing spiritual treasures â€" things that have value with God and are of eternal significance. Take, for example, our very purpose for living. Satan loves snatching men and women on the streets of my city and your city â€" people who have potential â€" and turning them into glassy-eyed wanderers through life, with no goal from day to day. They lie in bed at night staring at the ceiling, saying, “Whatâ€TMs the point? Just to make money? Just to have kids? Why?”People turn to drugs and alcohol because they donâ€TMt have a clue as to why theyâ€TMre alive. Others turn to career achievement, or pleasure, or materialism . . . something, anything to fill the void. But it doesnâ€TMt work. God created them to worship and enjoy him forever, but this awareness has been stolen from their consciousness.Notice the progression in John 10:10. Satanâ€TMs first move is just petty larceny. Once he manages that, he can move on to actual killing, and from there to mass destruction. “Steal . . . kill . . . destroy.” But it all starts with stealing.What Happened to “First Love”?Even among those who are Christians, the devil has a strategy of theft. For example, as a pastor I have seen over and over the tragic loss of our “first love” for Jesus. There was a time in our lives when we loved Jesus so much more than we do today. Our appetite for Godâ€TMs Word was voracious. Our love for Godâ€TMs house was enthusiastic. Our eagerness for spreading the gospel was so strong. . . . Now, how is it? Yes, we still love the Lord. We still come to church. But what happened to all that energy and passion?That is the problem Jesus addressed with the Ephesian church in Revelation 2:2 â€" 5: “I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. . . . Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”Where does “first love” go? Our zeal and our intensity donâ€TMt evaporate. Satan steals the hot embers of devotion and consecration. We get ripped off. Excerpted from Fresh Faith: What Happens When Real Faith Ignites God's People by Jim Cymbala All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Something Is Missing
1. Stolen Propertyp. 9
2. Amalia's Storyp. 23
3. The Question Nobody Is Askingp. 37
Part 2 Getting Past the Barricades
4. Free from a Hurtful Pastp. 53
5. Can I Trust God to Lead Me?p. 67
6. The High Cost of Clevernessp. 85
7. Faith Runs on a Different Clockp. 97
8. Overcoming Discouragementp. 113
9. Grace That Is Greaterp. 129
Part 3 Following the Divine Channel
10. Father of the Faithfulp. 149
11. God's Deeper Workp. 163
12. Addition by Subtractionp. 179
13. The Atmosphere of Faithp. 191
Epilogue: 33 Treasuresp. 211
Notesp. 219