Book Review: Something More by Theron St. John

xkak8tvThere are books that rely on heavy arguments and controversial issues to make a case for the need of the gospel. It can be on the issue of abortion, same sex marriage or the prosperity gospel. Sometimes it is tackled pages upon pages that is grueling to read. Theron St. John’s Something More diverts from those books and dishes out answers to ones purpose in life.

Something More is a relevant and fresh book geared for young adults who are in pursuit of their dreams. Caught up in their goals in life they neglect ultimate purpose that is found in God. Theron St. John step by step, real life stories after stories, in every chapter with laser focus unravels the reality of finding that purpose and eventually joy. It is a straight trail with the end goal that is to present the need of salvation. A brief book that hits the heart of the millenials to stop and consider that there is something more.

St. John wrote Something More with an evangelistic tone that doesn’t cram the Bible on someones throat, bog down someone with theological jargon or too preachy. Neither does this book succumbed to a water down gospel. On the contrary it does still points to the gospel and God. Something More presented the gospel in a way that  half of it feels like a book and half of it is like a friendly conversation.   I’m totally hands down on how St. John wrote it and looking forward for more of this kind of stuff in future books he will release.

If you want to give a book to someone who is in college or just starting to work then this book is highly recommended. If you want a book that is not hard hitting but still gives a spark of hope to people who are burden by their pursuit of their dreams this book is for them. Something More caters to new believers also who are connecting their personal pursuit with what God wants them to have.

4.5 out of 5

Buy the book at Lulu.com

Squad Goals: Delighting Grace Interviews Theron St. John

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The millenial crowd is the in thing right now. If you know words like “lit”, “bae”, “tbh” or “jk” your the crowd I’m talking to. But beyond the slang , there is something that every generation will eventually face.  Whether you’re a millenial, Generation X or a Baby Boomer, like any other human being, it will come to a point that you’ll ask serious questions of your existence. “Who am I?”, “Why do I exist?”, and “What happens when I die?” are something to ponder out. And it do have a connection to the things we pursue. We connected to Theron St. John to find out what Millenials do when confronted with these “Why” questions on life.

Delighting Grace: What do you think is the one mistake most millennials do in finding purpose?

Theron St. John: I am not sure I would say this is the one mistake, but a major mistake millennials make in their pursuit is they believe purpose is something they create. In other words, we live in a postmodern day and age where we are told there is no absolute truth. With no absolute truth, there is no ultimate purpose. Truth is relative, and purpose is left up to the individual to create. However, the reality is truth is absolute and it is found in God’s Word. It is in God’s Word we discover the ultimate purpose of life, glorifying God! To state it succinctly, then, millennials make a mistake when they believe they create their own purpose for life rather than understanding they can discover it and find it as it has been revealed by the Creator!

Delighting Grace: What do millennials think about when they hear the word “purpose”?

Theron St. John: When millennials hear the word “purpose”, the question, “Why do I exist?” comes to mind. One encouraging aspect I see from my fellow millennials is the desire to know “why”. They don’t want to go through life living out a meaningless existence. They know there is something bigger than themselves to live for. I think that is, in part, why millennials are viewed more as activists on issues than maybe other and older generations. That said, millennials miss the point on answering why they exist if they believe they are in the driver’s seat, so to speak. Humanity must look to the One who has created life to discover the purpose of life, because there is something more to life than what millennials are living.

Delighting Grace: Some Christians do pray to find purpose which is a great thing. But sometimes they just rely in praying more than pursuing something. So how much praying and pursuing must a Christian do in finding purpose?

Theron St. John: This question reminds me of the oft-asked question, “What is God’s will for my life?” You are right to say praying for purpose and understanding of God’s will is a great thing. Most certainly, we should be praying regularly for God to give us wisdom in this. I am reminded of 1 Thessalonians 5:17, which reads, “pray without ceasing”. Following that verse is 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”. We see the revealed will of God is found in the Word of God. When it comes to particulars and specific issues in everyday life, we glean wisdom from God’s Word. Without giving a quantity of time, I’ll say this: In our pursuits, our prayer needs to be coupled with the study and application of God’s Word.

Delighting Grace: As a single and a youth pastor, how should a millennial prepare to pursue marriage? How do you prepare yourself in marriage?

Theron St. John: Much could be said on preparing for and pursuing marriage, but if I may paint with broad strokes, I (and any Christian millennial) would be wise to pursue and prepare for marriage by developing and deepening a relationship with God and with His church. Of course, a relationship with God through Jesus Christ must be central and first. What this looks like in practical terms is depending on God in prayer to empower you by the Holy Spirit to make purity a priority in your life and to be wise in romantic relationships. As well, knowing God through His Word will show you where you need to grow in Christlike character and it will shape the qualities you ought to be looking for in a potential spouse (for more of this subject, please click here).

A second relationship a Christian millennial like myself should develop and deepen is with the local church. One of the worst things millennials can do when preparing and pursuing marriage is to neglect the wise counsel of brothers and sisters in Christ. Christians do not live autonomous lives but accountable lives. The place for such accountability is the local church. I know from experience the blessing of wise counsel given to me from faithful friends in the local church. I was delivered from some heartache and poor choices because I heard and heeded the wise counsel of those in my local church.

Delighting Grace: There had been floods of books in the 2000 and until now that attaches the word “purpose”. So how do “Something More” stand out among these “purpose” books.

Theron St. John: Something More stands out because of the book’s aim and audience. The aim of the book is to provide a basic framework for understanding our pursuit, identifying the problems, and pointing to the solution. The book is meant to serve as an evangelistic tool, equipping Christian millennials to take their non-Christian friends through the material. Because the book’s ideal audience involves reaching non-Christians, the book does not explicitly address the matter from a biblical worldview until the end of chapter 3 into chapter 4. In the typical Christian book on this topic, the worldview is stated upfront. My reasoning for the distinct structure is due to my target audience. I wanted to lay down some common denominators in our pursuit before showing how the Word of God exposes our problem and offers the solution. I believe the brevity of the book makes it useful as an evangelistic tool. (You can check selected quotes from the book by clicking here.)

Delighting Grace: I read Something More which is short and a great read. Can you tell us the process of producing that book?

Theron St. John: Since Something More is a self-published book the process was a little more flexible than it may have been otherwise. The idea for the book really started 2 ½ years prior. As I interact with those in my generation, I saw a need to produce a concise resource that would share the gospel in an engaging way. For about a year, I took down notes here and there when ideas on the book would come to mind. From there, the challenge was to write the books in a concise manner. Once I did complete that phase, I had friends who serve in student and campus ministry read the book and offer suggestions. After taking their suggestions, I had a couple of other people give feedback, and they edited the book’s grammar and structure. Case in point, the process of producing a book takes commitment and, if it is be done well, is a community project.

Delighting Grace: Thank you for this opportunity Theron. Please do invite our readers to get a copy of “Something More”. Also invite them to check your blog and social media accounts. 

 Theron St. John: You’re welcome. I am grateful for the opportunity to share and for your graciousness in interviewing me. Below is how you can find more of my writings and connect with ‘Entrusted By God’:

Link to Something More book

Link to Blog: http://www.entrustedbygod.org

Link to FB: www.facebook.com/entrustedbygod

Link to Twitter: www.twitter.com/entrustedbygod

Link to Instagram: www.instragram.com/entrustedbygod

Delighting Grace: Any parting advice to a millennial who is down and can’t find purpose in his or her life?

Theron St. John: My counsel to them would be to examine where they have sought purpose in the past. From there, I would encourage them to recognize the symptoms of their problem but also look for the diagnosis of the problem. Only when the symptoms (fruit problem) lead us to a diagnosis (root problem) can we offer the proper solution. These three elements are covered in chapters 2–5 of Something More. First and foremost, they are revealed in God’s Word. So, if I had to condense the answer in a tweet-size sentence, I would say: If you are down and can’t find purpose, don’t look within yourself but look in God’s Word and look up at the cross of Jesus Christ.

(Theron St. John and the author of this blog also contributes articles on Top Christian Books (TCB Media). Check them out and all other stuff at www.topchristianbooks.online)

 

The Quotable Round-Up #83

tpn6bjcHello guys! I hope you’re having a great day as you dive in this brand new collection of quotes! This time we are featuring fresh quotes from the late Jerry Bridges book titled “Who Am I?” . And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon.

“The good news of the gospel is that Jesus took our place on God’s death row and actually died in our place to satisfy the justice of God so that God might fully pardon us without violating his justice.”
— Jerry Bridges

“On our good days we think God must surely be pleased with us and is smiling at us. We forget, as we saw earlier, that all our righteous deeds are like polluted garments in the sight of God (Isaiah 64:6). On our bad days we tend to think we have lost the favor of God because of our sin. We forget that he no longer counts our sin against us because Jesus has already born that sin in his body on the cross.”

“(This) faith is like the two sides of a coin. On one side is “renunciation.” On the other side is “reliance.” In order to trust in Christ we must first of all renounce any trust in our own perceived righteousness. Then we must rely completely on the finished work of Christ in both his life and death. That’s how we are justified.”

“In the plan and purpose of God the Father, he caused Jesus to become sin for us—again, with Jesus’ cooperation, despite the unimaginable anguish and torment involved. God took all of our collective sin down through the ages, all of it, and laid it upon Christ. Every sin that we commit in thought, word, deed, and motive was heaped upon him. He was made to be sin.”

“By his perfectly obedient life over thirty-three years, Christ earned the blessings of God. By his death on the cross he experienced the curse for disobedience. As our representative, all that he did in both his life and death accrues to our benefit.”

“Everything good in me or around me, whether spiritual or material, is a gift from God. More importantly, as one who has trusted in Christ as my Savior, I know that he has taken on himself the accountability for all my sins and has fully paid the penalty for my every act of disobedience.”

“When we begin to answer the question, “Who am I?”, we need to start with the most basic truth about us: we are created beings. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). While being made in God’s image puts us on an entirely different plane from any of the animals, we are still creatures. This makes us both dependent upon God and accountable to God.”

The Quotable Round-Up #82

tpn6bjcHello guys! I hope you’re having a great day as you dive in this brand new collection of quotes! This time we are featuring fresh quotes from Theron St. John’s book titled “Something More” . And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the book at Lulu.com.

“Inquiring about identity is an essential element in finding one’s purpose.” — Theron St. John, “Something More” #theronstjohn #somethingmore #purpose #satisfaction #meaning #joy

“Understanding the purpose, or aim of life, will enable one to endure the ups and downs of life.” — Theron St. John, “Something More” #theronstjohn #somethingmore #purpose #satisfaction #meaning #joy

“When someone can identify who they are at the core of their being, when they realize their purpose for life, and when this search for purpose couples with the pursuit of joy, the hoped-for result is to find satisfaction.”– Theron St. John, “Something More” #theronstjohn #somethingmore #purpose #satisfaction #meaning #joy

“Maybe the reason our relationships, possessions, and achievements fail to provide us with purpose and fulfill us with satisfaction is not because we are searching for what cannot be found. Maybe the issue is not in the objects in and of themselves. Maybe the vanity of our search stems from our ruling desires and expectations. In other words, the problem is not that we are looking for happiness. The problem is that we are looking for happiness in all the wrong places. We settle for lesser things.” — Theron St. John, “Something More” #theronstjohn #somethingmore #purpose #satisfaction #meaning #joy

“We can only unearth the root problem in our pursuit when we discover how far we’ve drifted from the grand and glorious purpose for our lives.” — Theron St. John, “Something More” #theronstjohn #somethingmore #purpose #satisfaction #meaning #joy

The Quotable Round-Up #36

For this week we are featuring quotes from Gloria Furman’s latest book titled “Missional Motherhood”. Hope you’ll like it and please pick up a copy.

“The Bible is about Jesus Christ and what he did for us in order to restore us to a right relationship with God.”—Gloria Furman, Missional Motherhood

“Whether we see it or not, we creatures are ever on the receiving end of God’s emanating goodness. As children of God, we have been given the privilege of grace that no one could merit.” —Gloria Furman, Missional Motherhood

“Let us humble ourselves in awe-full, expectant, happy submission to this holy God. God created everything as an overflow of his fullness.”—Gloria Furman, Missional Motherhood

“The mercy God showed the man and the woman was for a purpose—that he might accomplish his plan through the offspring of the woman.” —Gloria Furman, Missional Motherhood

“Our past is all grace. Our future is all grace. And whatever circumstances you find yourself in today—its all grace.” —Gloria Furman, Missional Motherhood

“God’s power is made evident in our human weakness so that he is the one who gets the glory. It is his story.” —Gloria Furman, Missional Motherhood

“Our ability to provide for the people who are in our care does not come from our ability at all, as though we are anything. But our supply—energy, time, resources (coffee!)—comes from the Lord.”—Gloria Furman, Missional Motherhood

“For God’s people to truly love and obey him, they needed more than rules. They needed new hearts—hearts with his good law written right on them. God had to transform his people from the inside out.”—Gloria Furman, Missional Motherhood

 

Who is God? Part 4

” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
–Romans 11: 36
Meditating in this climatic text of Romans chapter 11, we now turn to another element of God being in control. We discuss last week that He sets a purpose. Now we look at our second point which is His will. But first let view the text which is the basis of our study:
“…and through him.”–Romans 11: 36
Will
At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
Luke 10: 21-22
In viewing the God’s sovereignty, the will of God is not for the sake that He allowed something to happen. His will is clothed with wisdom and knowledge, that it cant be questioned by man. We might not understand some aspects of it because we cant fully read the mind of God but if its the will of God, it is unquestionable. Yet in His mercy and goodness, we are not left in the dark to know some of His will for us. He has given us enough information that we should be content and make much of His will. When we open the Bible, we can read His will.
As we look at our text, we can find that His will is not just cornered in what He allows but what He also surpress. He is in control for choosing who He will and will not bestow the wisdom He has. Knowing this truth is truly knowing who God really is. With holy astonishment let us bow down to His sovereignty.

The Blueprint of God’s Ultimate Purpose Part 4

For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering. In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain. (Zephaniah 3:9-11 KJV)

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:21-24 KJV)

The last thing that God’s ultimate purpose brings to the church is:

2.) ownership – we need to again look at verse 10 and notice the word “my”. God claims his people. The reason why we are saved is not just to put us in a safe place, out of danger of God’s wrath but also to own us that we might “bring mine offering” including worhip to our King. We dont just know Him, but also we know Him because He acquired us for Himself to be fitting (because of Christ) to worship. We are saved to serve, first and foremost to serve God. What are our excuse for not complying to this? Nothing. Because in verse 11, we see God knocked out the barriers for not worshipping Him. Christians, dont make excuses not to unite with the church. Dont make excuses for not giving what God demands from you. Obey Him and give what He requires from you!

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (Acts 20:28 KJV)

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: (1 Peter 1:22 KJV)

Conclusion:

Where do you fit in this big picture? Do you see yourself in this church cuddling your complacency? Are you not willing to be in one with the church to worship God? Stop and consider you have been saved for this sole purpose. Reexamine yourself and repent if youre not giving God that reason you are created.

The Blueprint of God’s Ultimate Purpose Part 3

For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering. In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain. (Zephaniah 3:9-11 KJV)

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:21-24 KJV)

Before we move on, lets check out again the three components of our salvation:

1.) regeneration – verse 9 we read “then will I turn to the people a pure language…” It is necessary for us to receive the things from God. Dead in sin made alive.
2.) faith – again in verse 9 “that they may all call upon the name of the Lord…”. Faith is the means to grab hold on to Christ’s promises to save. Faith originates from God.
3.) adoption-we draw that from verse 10 “From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.” In salvation, we become sons of God. Now we are able to call and legitimately worship God.

The graciousness of God to us undeserving sinners is truly staggering. Understanding this what should be the church response? What does it brought to us members of His body? Zephaniah 3:9 gives us two (the last one is for next week):

1.) Unity – verse 9 states that we “to serve him with one consent”. In other versions, “one consent” can rendered “one accord” (ESV), “shoulder to shoulder” (NIV) and “with a single purpose” (Holmans Bible). So it is our business as redeemed people of God to unite for the sole purpose to glorify Him and eventually worship Him. We cannot as a church effectively worship God if we dont have this sort of oneness. Unity is what we do and giving our best. Church, we need each other. Let us unity because we are saved. Let us unite for God’s ultimate purpose! Remember the early days of the church in Acts 2: 46:

“And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,”

(To be concluded next week…)

The Blueprint of God’s Ultimate Purpose Part 2

For then  will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering. In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain. (Zephaniah 3:9-11 KJV)

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:21-24 KJV)

Now we turn to the second and third components of our redemption. As a Christian we must know this so that we can get in full terms with God’s ultimate purpose that is the worship of Himself.

2.) faith – “that they may all call upon the name of the Lord…”. After they have been regenerated, meaning restored from being lost to chosen, they are now able to accept the salvation by God. And they can only acquire it by faith. Lets look at the following verses:

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Acts 2:21 KJV)

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (Romans 10:13-15 KJV)

So faith is essential to establish the saving power of God.

3.) adoption. Verse 10 reveals this component, “From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.” After being regenerated and receiving faith to accept salvation, now God gives us the rights to be His. “My suppliants” and “my dispersed” shows the possessiveness of God. This gives His redeemed ones authority and ability to call God in a more personal level. He didnt just leave us regenerated, nor just saved but He gave us dignity. Check these verses out and see how God is good in adopting us:

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (John 1:12 KJV)

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (1 John 3:1-3 KJV)

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26 KJV

Being regenerated, receiving faith to believe and being adopted we must put it in mind that we are very privilege. Knowing this we should carry on that benefit to live for Jesus and to this dying world. And thats why we are elected to salvation. By now we are grasping the purpose of God for Himself.

Having now salvation as the key to God’s ultimate purpose, as a church what does it bring to us and how does it connect to the worship of God? How do we bring about the reason why everything exist as the apex of God’s purpose?

(To be continued next week…)

The Blueprint of God’s Ultimate Purpose Part 1

For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering. In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain. (Zephaniah 3:9-11 KJV)

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:21-24 KJV)

When we say blueprint it is a detailed outline or plan of action. God has a ultimate purpose. He created this universe and everything in it for a reason. You and me were created because of that reason. So one may ask, what is God’s ultimate purpose? The answer is: the worship of Himself! But how do God accomplish this specifically for us, Christians? One may consider that their is a key for this purpose laid out for a believer. And that key is: SALVATION.

In our lesson, we will seek to view “God’s Ultimate Purpose”. But we need to go from the start, or in other words the basics. And whats more basic that to view our salvation.

What are the some of the components of our salvation?

1.) regeneration – verse 9 we read “then will I turn to the people a pure language…”. Regeneration is spiritual birth or restoration. It happens before we have faith. We are decaying with sin but by God’s mercy, He restored us back to we can take the faith necessary to be saved.

And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. But as for them whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord God. Then did the cherubims lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. (Ezekiel 11:19-22 KJV)

As you can see without regeneration, its impossible to be saved and follow God. Notice the “I” mentioned. It came from God not to men’s effort. How magnificent God’s mercy to sinners that He done something to us that are undeserving!

(To be continued next week…)