Book Summaries

The 10 Second Rule

The 10-Second Rule will encourage you to do the next thing you’re reasonably certain Jesus wants you to do (and do it within the next ten seconds before you change your mind!). If you want to break out of this spiritual gerbil cage and begin living the adventure Jesus intends for you just follow the Rule!

The Rule is like a spiritual defibrillator! Just a few chapters in, you’ll begin to experience the excitement of making yourself available to God 24-7, and impacting the lives of everyone around you, even total strangers. All over the world, Christians just like you are returning to the simple faith of Jesus and living by the 10-Second Rule. In living by the Rule, you’ll rediscover the revolutionary power of simple obedience as Jesus taught it, the early church lived it, and before religious Christianity tamed it.

Finally, a rule you’ll love keeping!

  • Quote: “I think we Christians who were once on fire for God often slowly and unconsciously drift toward religious activities, even good ones, because they’re relatively convenient and culturally acceptable forms of obedience …  It’s a spirituality that we can measure ourselves and others by — familiar and predictable, and it still leaves 95% of our waking hours for ourselves.” (12)
  • Quote: “What is it that causes one believer in Jesus to become a passionate follower, someone whose life significantly impacts others lives, and another to settle for a life of beige Christianity? A decision. A personal decision to be far more serious about being like Jesus, whether anyone else in your life is or not.” (14)
  • Summary: Author Clare De Graaf lays out the differences between being a lukewarm cultural Christian, and a passionate follower of Jesus. He exhorts readers to choose a life of radical obedience to whatever Jesus asks by using the “10 Second Rule.” After exploration and experience of his own, De Graaf is convinced that this is the life Jesus intended for us, and that it leads to more fulfillments in your spiritual life than you could ever hope for.
  • Quote: “So the primary reason some of us aren’t making more progress on living more godly lives is that we’ve made peace with our consciences. We’ve come to what we think is a reasonable balance between sin and surrender — a compromise we can live with, and one we think God is okay with too. We tell ourselves that Jesus died not just for our past sins but for our present and future ones as well. We’ve been forgiven! And that’s a powerful incentive to settle for partial surrender. For good enough.” (24-25)
  • Quote“Remember when Jesus said in Matthew 6 not to worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself? It’s as if Jesus is saying to you and me, “Just start here today; trust me.” When you and I give up trying to figure it all out ahead of time and simply follow Jesus, daily and hourly and in the next ten seconds, doing whatever he asks us to do, we’ll actually move closer to that previously elusive ideal of absolute surrender than we ever dreamed possible. That’s exactly what dying (surrendering) daily to the will of God, means.” (31)
  • Summary: De Graaf goes deeper into what obedience looks like day to day and reminds Christians of the “dueling voices” in their heads, one calling for obedience and the other for self-preservation and protection. He calls Christians out on living lives of “partial surrender” and claiming grace covers them for the rest as a sort of cop-out on living fully surrendered. The key to this sinful habit of disobedience is to live minute-by-minute, willing to obey the next thing Jesus asks you to do, and to NOT overthink the consequences.
  • Quote: “ The men and women I’ve known whose lives are characterized by this simple but courageous childlike obedience end up making career, college, ministry, and marriage choices with far less angst, precisely because they spent far more time actually doing the will of God than looking for it” (45)
  • Quote: “When God impresses you to do something and you hear yourself respond mentally with a but, be very careful. That word and the thought that follows it are very likely the other voice.”
  • Summary: In this chapter, De Graaf outlines what it means to listen to the voice of God and respond in obedience. He talks about how to discern if it is the “will of God,” but also encourages readers to not focus so much on knowing exactly what God wants, and instead being willing to just act and trust that God will make the most of it.
  • Quote: “One of the reasons you and I are often reluctant to follow Jesus is that it’s hard to see how our small life truly fits into the eternal plans of God.” (57)
  • Quote: “As spiritual children, simple obedience to his requests like the Rule gets things done in the household of faith, or the kingdom of God, that we can’t possibly understand now or maybe forever.” (59)
  • Summary: This chapter talks about how the little things in life that we view as pointless are all for a greater good. God has us do all of these little things that all will lead to something great. We may not see the end result in our life, but what we do in our life can plant seeds for greater things in the future, even though we don’t always understand why we do a lot of the things we do. It’s these little acts of obedience in life that help shape who we become as Christians.
  • Quote: “When you’re reasonably certain Jesus is asking you to do something, do it immediately! Waiting gives you a chance to overthink these impressions of God, providing fertile soil for disobedience, making it just that much easier to say no to God again the next time he speaks.” (77)
  • Quote: “Most of the hard work it takes to build a life that truly pleases God usually goes unnoticed by nearly everyone — except God.”
  • Summary: This chapter has much to do with having faith in God and being willing to test our faith. When we feel that God is calling us to do something, we need to do it instantly or else we’ll come up with many excuses of why we can’t do what he is telling us to do. One of the main reasons we don’t do these things is because of what others will think. Many things we do in this life will go unnoticed and what we do when nobody is watching is much more important than what we do when others are looking.
  • Quote: “One of the best ways I know to overcome indecision and prepare myself to obey Jesus more intentionally, in addition to prayer and scripture, is to make what a friend of mine calls a pre-decision.” (89)
  • Quote: “Let’s face it: If we’re really going to be serious about waste, we ought to start with ourselves.” (96)
  • Summary: This chapter deals with preparing ourselves for quizzes and situations that God uses in our life to test how obedient we are and learning from our past experiences in order to prepare ourselves for these future quizzes. What we learn from these experiences can become what we use for our pre-decisions to better handle situations that we feel called to. The second part deals with the fact that in order to change the lives of others, we first need to eliminate the waste in our life.
  • Quote: “Being taken advantage of occasionally is an occupational hazard of a servant.” (112)
  • Quote: “Here’s the point: I don’t always like everyone I’m called upon to serve. And unfortunately, I’ve discovered I can’t make myself enjoy someone I don’t.” (114)
  • Summary: This chapter brings to light the hard parts of serving God. There will be difficult people in our lives that we are called to serve that we do not always like. These are the times when we need to remember that Jesus found forgiveness for people who were rejected by society. We need to remember that we need to love everyone, even if they’re people that we’re not fond of. We need to see these opportunities as chances to learn and grow in our faith.
  • Quote: “But what started as an experiment doing the Rule has now become their lifestyle, it helps define who they are as a family. It’s one of the unintended consequences of a surrendered life. They didn’t set out to transform their lives. God transformed it, one obedient step at a time.” (131)
  • Quote: “A faith that doesn’t compel you to occasionally risk personal loss or appear foolish to your friends isn’t a Christian faith at all.” (141)
  • Summary: This chapter makes things real for us as Christians and is telling us to put our faith to the test. We have been given the tools needed to change the world: the Bible and the Holy Spirit that lives inside of us. In order to change the world and make a difference in it, we need to be different than what society says. If we’re not acting on our faith, we are being lukewarm about our faith; this is one thing that God is not fond of. We need to take risks in order to change the lives of many. Change doesn’t just happen by itself. We need to be ambassadors of change and spread our faith with others, or else our faith doesn’t bear much weight

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