Posts filed under Books Worth Reading
I want to recommend Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem by Kevin DeYoung. My time was certainly well spent reading the 128 pages of this book. The Spirit used these words to quickly convict me on how I am not as careful with my time as I need to be. It's filled with practical changes to make us better stewards of the time God has given us. I especially enjoyed the last chapter on Mary and Martha from Luke 10. Below are some of my favorite quotes from the book. In this first quote the author confesses that he too has the problem of being too busy.
You and I have an enemy within us. Our flesh fights against us and leads us into sin. We must kill it! This book can help. The Christian life is about becoming more like Jesus Christ everyday. Jesus was perfect, righteous and holy. He never sinned. We on the other hand sin often. The Christian life is a an ongoing battle against sin. We put off the old and put on the new. Christian maturity is about the process of putting sin to death and striving for holiness. The war will last the rest of our earthly days, but we are not fighting it alone. We have been given the Spirit of God Himself. He is at work within us. He is also given us a weapon for the fight which is the Word of God. Sadly many Christians neglect the power and weapon that is available to them. Probably the most helpful writing on the topic was penned about 300 years ago by John Owen. His works Indwelling Sin, The Mortification of Sin and Treatise on Temptation have become Christian classics. They are a very challenging read and have been recently combined and updated into more modern English under the title Overcoming Sin and Temptation. Owen's writings are a boot camp that will prepare you to fight sin. To make this treasure of wisdom even more accessible an author has done a modern rewriting and abbreviation of Owen's books. The Enemy Within: Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin
The Hope of Glory: 100 Daily Meditations on Colossians by Sam Storms is an interesting hybrid of a daily devotional and a commentary. He walks through every verse of the book of Colossians, but he does it and bite size meditations perfect for someone to start their day thinking deeply about the truth of the Word of God. The title Hope of Glory is drawn from the text of Colossians itself as is most of the book. Storms is not trying to be exceptionally creative but rather simply helping the reader to understand the Scripture. He provides an excellent help to a careful reading of Colossians. It is stylisticly simple yet theologicaly substantial. I regularly read commentaries and enjoy having studied theologians walking me through the text, but often they can get rather technical and sometimes chase rabbit trails, or use unnecessarily large words. This book does get technical at some points and even makes reference to the Greek a couple times, but always in a well explained little chunk and only to make the text even more clear. The 100 daily meditations on the other hand are a breath of fresh air. They can each be read in ten minutes or less so that even the busiest person can take time to read them. The result is a reliable guide to walk you through the entire book of Colossians slowly as you read each of the manageable meditations that encourage and instruct. This is a great resource for anyone wanting to dig into the Word of God.
I loved reading Sam Crabtree's Practicing Affirmation and found it to be one of the most practical books I have read in the long time. It's one of those books I'm sure to reread again and again. He convincingly argues for the necessity of praising others in a way that glorifies God while being careful not to flatter or build up pride. His convincing arguments are clearly from the Scripture. I came across this book while trying to understand the fine line between speaking words that build up and flattering others. I see value in giving compliments, but I've certainly seen how complements can go to people's heads. I remember listening to a highly acclaimed speaker at a photography conference. He was giving detailed instructions on how to flatter people, so that they look better in pictures, but I could not help but see how this pride producing speech was sinful. Sure I want people to look their best in my pictures of them but I'm not willing to flatter in order to make that happen. In Ephesians 4:29 Paul writes, "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." I want to speak words that build up and encourage, yet I must be very careful because I certainly don't want to build up pride.
Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions by Gregory Koukl is a very helpful book for engaging with those who disagree with you. It's focused on speaking with unbelievers who have an entirely different worldview, but the tactics described here are helpful in any disagreement or debate in which you want to stay cool tempered and speak with love and grace. This is one I will certainly reread. Kindle ebook Price: $1.99 (Feb 23-Mar 2)
Wow! Instructing a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp is a practical and Christ centered guide to Biblical parenting. The Tripps rely heavily upon the Word of God as they explain the importance of dealing with the heart issues behind your children's behavior. They take serious the Christian responsibility for parents to disciple their own children. The main thrust of the book is formative instruction where parents train their children in the ways of the Lord. It is a great help! I found this material encouraging and convicting. I highly recommend it!
If you are struggling against pornography or if you want to help others in the fight, then you should read Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace by Heath Lambert. It Is a great resource. It's filled with sound theology and enough Scripture that anyone who reads it will find it challenging, convicting and helpful. It is a practical guide to growing in purity. I thoroughly appreciated it and know it will be one that I will reread and share with others. What makes it such a great resource is that it starts with the gospel and then from there looks extensively at a variety of weapons that can be used in the fight against lust. Dr. Lamber provides an arsenal to be used in the battle. This book is certainly worth the effort and time it will take to read it. Lambert sets his sights high, "In this book, I want to share with you the amazing depth and effect of Christ's power to eradicate pornography from your life. Whether you struggle with pornography yourself or are trying to help someone who struggles, I have good news for you: no matter how intense or long-standing the struggle, it is the work of Jesus Christ to set people free from such sin." Here are some more great quotes from its pages.