Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ten Ways: Read a Book

"So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, 'Do you understand what you are reading?' And he said, 'How can I, unless someone guides me?' And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him." --Acts 8.30-31

Do you really want to know God more deeply? Do you want to grow in passion for God? Then you need to see God's glory! You need to see how great God is!

One way to to do that is to read a book. For most people "reading" and "fun" don't belong in the sentence. Maybe you don't feel like you're very good at reading, maybe you don't know any good books, or maybe you've been force-fed a steady diet of Shakespeare, Hawthorne, and Chaucer to the point that you think all books are written in unintelligible old English.

Reading in general has its benefits, but that's not a way to see God's glory. To see God's glory, read books about Jesus by authors who really love Him. These kind of books help us to better understand the Bible. They take truth from God's Word and help us to understand it and do it. They magnify Christ, cause us to more deeply appreciate the gospel, and help us to live holy Christian life.

I want to recommend three books, two that have really changed my life (and helped me to see God's glory) and one that has really changed other people's lives (and that I want to read this month).

1. The Gospel According to Jesus--I read this book when I was in high school and it gave me a totally new understanding of what it means to be saved. I read it when I was a new Christian and it blew me away to learn that not everyone who says they are a Christian really is one. The chapter that still sticks out to me is on the parable of the soils. Dr. MacArthur explains that only the fourth soil--the soil that actually produces fruit--is a believer. This encouraged me to talk to other students in the youth group about their walks with God and to challenge them with their need to repent.

2. Living the Cross-Centered Life--This book is written by CJ Mahaney, who breaks down the gospel--what God has done for us. Each chapter makes you stop to thank God for His wonderful gift of salvation. The best part of the book is the end, when he explains how the gospel is essential for everything in the Christian life. The gospel is the basis for our prayer life, is at the heart of our hope for the end times, and is the foundation for human relationships. We can never fully appreciate the gospel, but this book helps us better stand in awe of the God who won this salvation for us.

3. Crazy Love--I haven't read this book yet, but hopefully it will be on the February book log. Several people in the church, and several more in the youth group, have been really encouraged to walk more obediently because of Pastor Chan's book. God calls His children to live radically holy lives--totally distinct from the world. This book is a push/encouragement towards that end.

I hope that you take time this month to read one of these books. There are many others that I could add to the list, but these are three of the best. I want to know God and see His glory. And what better way than learning from three great men of God and hearing how they've seen God's glory?


  1. Gonna read crazy love when I'm done with No Compromise: the life story of keith green.The MacArthur book really helped me too.

  2. I'm planning on reading The Gospel According to Jesus after I finish Crazy Love!

  3. That's because katelyn is.........AWESOME!

  4. you're just saying that cause you're in her profile picture on facebook...