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God Impulse Paperback – July 31, 2018
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From the Inside Flap
Spend even a few minutes scrolling through your newsfeed and you will be bombarded by stories of disenfranchisement, disconnection, and discontent. God's first impulse toward our broken world was to show mercy--even when justice was justified--and Jesus has invited us to "go and do likewise."
The secret of Jesus's powerful ministry was combining mercy and truth in the context of relationships. This is the model that changed the world. In everything he did, Jesus brought hope and healing through a pattern of love--see, go, do, and endure--that we are called to emulate.
The God Impulse shows you practical ways you can live out this pattern in your own life, enabling you to experience
- peace and joy as you partner with God in His mission of mercy
- healing in broken relationships
- the opening of your heart to those around you
- a new way to engage social justice issues
- the rewards God promises to those who show mercy
From the Back Cover
"Jack reminds us that while God is often portrayed in culture as a harsh and distant master, he is in fact a loving father who longs to grow closer to us--and for us to show mercy to one another."--Andy Stanley, author, communicator, and founder of North Point Ministries
"The God Impulse unpacks the meaning of true mercy as Jesus taught and ultimately modeled it. In these pages, Jack provides a master class that is inspiring, simple, and very practical--and that every one of us needs."--Shaunti Feldhahn, social researcher, speaker, and bestselling author of For Women Only, For Men Only, and The Kindness Challenge
"This book is worth reading! It's a revolutionary lens on life, the character of God, spiritual formation, and the church that will provoke the kind of deep reflection and evaluation that always precede significant life change."--Chip Ingram, teaching pastor, Living on the Edge; author of The Real God: How He Longs for You to See Him
"The God Impulse takes us on a journey through the rich, wonderful, transforming power of mercy. Throughout the book, Jack reminds us that mercy is more than a sentiment or feeling. It is tied to truth and is a picture of the heart and nature of our great God."--Dr. Crawford W. Loritts Jr., author, speaker, radio host, and senior pastor of Fellowship Bible Church
"The God Impulse is both a refreshing breeze and a slap in the face. Jack Alexander makes the case that mercy is one of the defining characteristics of God and as such should be the same for those who follow him."--Clayton King, president, Crossroads Summer Camps and Missions; teaching pastor, Newspring Church; author of Stronger and Overcome
"It is important to be reminded of mercy's role in saving us and in how we share it with our neighbor. Hopefully, this work will stir many to go from recipients of mercy to distributors of mercy, especially among those who might not look like us."--Eric Mason, pastor, Epiphany Fellowship; author of Manhood Restored: How the Gospel Makes Men Whole
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First off, understanding what mercy is is challenging both in and of itself! But actively applying it to your life…well, that’s a whole other obstacle to tackle!
It took me nearly a decade to grasp the complexity of God’s grace and once I finally received that “aha” moment, I kinda forgot all about studying mercy and thus tossed it aside like yesterday’s newspaper.
That is, until I stumbled upon my latest read, The God Impulse: The Power of Mercy in an Unmerciful World by Jack Alexander.
Mercy, by definition, is “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.” In other words, it is like extending an olive branch and forgoing the justice that would be considered justified.
Alexander uses mercy to describe as God’s first impulse toward reacting and responding to our fallen world. The God impulse of mercy is demonstrated through a “pattern of love” and if you think about it, you can’t have real love without mercy and vice versa because biblical (originally designed) love is truth marinated in mercy. The God Impulse portrayed through the “pattern of love” encourages followers of Christ to see, go, do, and endure in order to bring hope and healing to a broken world. The first step in the “pattern of love,” the “see and feel” step, is the God Impulse. This impulse acts as a bridge of love and compassion in a world that would rather tear people down than build people up.
The crux of this book focuses on Jesus’ well-known parable of The Good Samaritan. Jesus used the Good Samaritan as an example of how we can show mercy to all people regardless if they deserve it or not. Mercy is both complex and controversial because it is not only for victors but also for perpetrators. Learning how to extend mercy to the hard people, like our enemies, the broken, and those who we feel don’t deserve it, is something a human brain cannot easily comprehend. However, it is what Jesus commanded us to do and how God hardwired our hearts to beat. [The song that says, “Break our hearts for what breaks Yours…” comes to mind…]
I really enjoyed reading this book because:
1.) It helped me to understand the depth of mercy and the power it has to impact our world
2.) It gave me a new perspective on social injustice and opened my eyes to my own ignorance
3) It encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone and into the counter-culture mindset of breaking down my personal wall of living an “easy” life versus a life of complete abandonment of self
The God Impulse is a book everyone should read because it makes mercy make sense. In a loud and angry world that screams at us to be the complete opposite of everything God intended, mercy can silence the noise and heal our deafened ears. Jesus was incredibly simple and straightforward in His teaching and this book delivers on showcasing the Truth behind what the gospel is all about.