I was first introduced to Jerry Cook’s book Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness during my first year at Pacific Life Bible College. This book quickly became the blueprint I adopted for my philosophy of ministry, and now, some almost 20 years later, it still contains many well-expounded Biblical principles that I employ in my ministry as a pastor.
As I have been re-reading this book this past week, I felt compelled to share it with the readers of my blog to introduce you to the readings of this amazing Foursquare pastor. In my involvement as an adjunct professor at PLBC after graduation, I had several opportunities to meet Jerry Cook, before he went home to be with the Lord in January of 2014. He is a gentle and humble servant of the Lord, and I pray that his teachings will encourage and inspire you as they did me!
LOVE, ACCEPTANCE AND FORGIVENESS QUOTES:
“The church is people – real people – changed by the power of Christ, filled with the Spirit of Christ, touching the hurting, dying and cynical modern man with the life of Jesus Himself.”
“Love, acceptance, forgiveness – those three things are absolutely essential to consistently bring people to maturity and wholeness. If the church – the living presence of Christ in His people – is to be the force for God in the world that it should be, it must learn to love people, accept them, and forgive them.”
“The minimal guarantee we must make is that we will love people – always, under every circumstance, with no exceptions. The second guarantee is that we will accept them, totally, without reservation. The third thing we must guarantee people is that no matter how miserably they fail or how blatantly they sin, our unreserved forgiveness is theirs for the asking with no bitter taste left in anybody’s mouth.”
“Love means accepting people the way they are for Jesus’ sake. Jesus hung around with sinners. He didn’t isolate Himself in the synagogue. In fact, Jesus mixed with sinners so much that the self-righteous people got upset about it.”
“When love, acceptance and forgiveness prevail, the church of Jesus Christ become what Jesus was in the world: a center of love designed for the healing of broken people, and a force for God.”
“One basic premise in my own philosophy of the church is that the people themselves are the ministers. Sunday morning is a meeting of the church staff. When a crisis arises, it doesn’t necessarily have to come to the pastor’s office.”
“It’s not the job of the pastor to minister to every need in the church. The job of the pastor is to teach everybody in the church how to minister.”
“The church is people, redeemed, filled with the Holy Spirit, equipped to serve, meeting needs everywhere in Jesus’ name.”
“Releasing people to minister means setting them free to meet other people’s needs whenever and however they can… Let’s be clear about this: ministering is not inviting people to church services. Ministry is serving people… Jesus was literally Immanuel; He was God with us. He came where we were and brought God to us. That is Christianity – bringing God to people where they are.”
“I am convinced that pure, raw, direct exposure to the Word of God will absolutely change people’s lives.”
“Sometimes people get offended with one another or the pastor. These situations must be resolved immediately before they get worse. Often, the problem is spiritual in origin. The Bible says, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” (Psalm 119:165, KJV). A person who is easily offended apparently doesn’t love God’s law very much.”
“One of the greatest services a church can offer a community is to provide a place for people to be brought to wholeness – to be healed physically, spiritually, and emotionally. A place where people can be loved, accepted and forgiven. People are fragmented. They are torn. Life doesn’t work for them because they are without Jesus.”
Quotes by Jerry Cook (c) 2009.