Monday, June 21, 2010

Life Changing Books

I love those men of God who spend a lot of time reading, and their lives are transformed by the things they read. I wish I were a man that did both of those things, but I seem to struggle finding time (making time) to read. And then when I do, the books that I read are great, but I am like the man who looks at his reflection in a mirror, then walks away and forgets what he just saw! Or I have the "youth camp" experience, and am changed for a while, then it fades... O wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from the body of death! So, my prayer is that God would burn the truths in these last three books that I have read in my mind, heart, and soul, and that my life would be transformed!

A couple of things make a good book for me. It is full of scripture. It is full of accounts of saints (past and present) who lived radically for Christ. It kicks my spiritual tail all around the room. It reminds of me of truths I forget. And it teaches me new truths, new perspectives, and challenges my preconceived notions and beliefs. These three books do that. And they have a common message: the gospel is worth any sacrifice, therefore let us go outside the camp and bear His reproach suffering for/with Him in radical obedience to His commands.

The first book I finished The Heavenly Man, is the account of Brother Yun, and the suffering and persecution that he suffered in China at the hands of the communist government in the '80's and '90's. Yes, that is the 1980's and '90s. Miracles abound, torture abounds, and through all of this, he is faithful to share Christ, love his torturers, and be obedient to the leading of the Spirit. This book was incredibly inspiring! Thanks to Mike Gibbs for the recommendation.

The next book was Francis Chan's book Crazy Love. The premise of the book is that most of us live lukewarm Christian lives that do not demonstrate to the world the power of the gospel or the beauty of Christ. You gotta get through the first couple of chapters before the book really gets challenging, but it is worth it. Talks about our responsibility to love those who hurt us, and do other unnatural things that Christ told us. Thanks to Don Pirkle for the recommendation.

Finally, David Platt (my favorite young pastor/preachers) has written his first of hopefully many God-ordained, Spirit-wrought books--Radical. I am not done reading it yet, but the first few chapters are great! He challenges the American church to not pursue the American dream of comfort, security, self-sufficency, and self-perpetuation. He says that we must really believe what Jesus said, and do it, not just adapt it to our American situation. It is replete with accounts from his overseas work among the underground churches of Asia, and the passion the have for the Word, and the spread of the gospel. He really challenges us to think about where we are as a body, and where we are as individuals, noting that the gosple demands our all; and that genuine believers pursue that. Awesome!!!! May God continue to use this book in my life and in yours!

Hope these are helpful to you!

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