Books That Have Helped Me Grow

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One of the best college graduation gifts I received was a book from one of my mentors. During this time, I hated reading with a passion. It was not the book that made the gift so special, it was the note inside. In this note, it said, “Jeremy, leaders read! Read!!” She also wrote Proverbs 3:13 at the bottom of the book, which reads  “Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding.” It is where my love for reading began. So I wanted to use this post to give you the top 5 Christian books that have helped me grow during this season.  If you have interest in taking a look at other Christian books I highly recommend,  take a look at my Goodreads account by CLICKING HERE.

 

5.

The Jesus I Never Knew by Phillip Yancey-

Journalist and Author, Phillip Yancey, was a skeptic of the Christian faith growing up as a child. He grew up in church, like many of us, but denied the power and deity of Jesus. Using his investigative journalistic skills,  he began to research and study on the life of Jesus. During his study, he began to discover that this poor carpenter from Nazareth was much more than just a man; he began to wonder how can a poor carpenter from the ghettos of Nazareth can have such an impact on the influence of mankind? Jesus found Phillip Yancey, and his eyes were opened to know that Jesus was truly the Son of God, and his words are still alive and active today. Christ transformed a skeptical Yancey into a devout believer. He writes about his transformation in this book!

“Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe. Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

4.

Experiencing The Trinity: The Grace of God for the People of God by Joe Thorn –

The Bible teaches that there is one God as three distinct persons ( Father, Son and Holy Spirit.). Yes, the doctrine of the Trinity can become extremely complex for the human mind to fully conceive, but as finite human beings, who are to fully understand divine things? The Father is God, Jesus is God and the Holy Spirit is God. All three have been in a perfect, harmonic relationship that has existed forever. This book simply explains the role each member of the Trinity has in the lives of a believer. If you are not an avid reader but would just like a simple read to dive into, this is the book for you! It is at a lower reading level intentionally for the person who does not read for leisure. If the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have been in this perfect, loving relationship forever, then how are we, made in God’s image, suppose to live our life? We are made to be in relationship with our creator God, his people and leading others outside the kingdom into relationship with him. “Experiencing The Trinity”  is simply a book about the triune God’s relationship with us and how that plays into our life.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:26-27 NIV

3.

Heaven by Randy Alcorn-

Throughout time there have been so many misconceptions about Heaven. Some believe we will be spiritual beings playing the harp with halos on top of our heads for eternity. Although it sounds “Heaven-ish”, it is not biblical. Heaven will actually be on this Earth, and we will live in a physical world with physical heavenly bodies for eternity! And if we thouroughly study the scriptures, it gives us an idea of what the New Heaven and New Earth will be like. Author Randy Alcorn goes in great detail of what scripture tells us what Heaven will be like. Of course we will not know what Heaven is like until we are there in the presence of God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). But Alcorn provides a lot of great points in this book to give us an idea of what a Christian’s eternal home will be like. For example, who’s to say we will not have recreational sports in the new Heaven and Earth. Are sports the result of the Fall? No, the Bible clearly tells us that God delights in the enjoyment of his people. Highly recommend this book; it is amazing how very few preachers teach on the theology of Heaven. With this book, you can have a synch of what God has prepared for the ones who love him! What we do know is that it is a place of ever increasing eternal joy.

However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him– 1 Corinthians 2:9

2.

Abraham by Charles Swindoll-

This book could have easily been number one on my list. This was one of the more enjoyable books I have ever read.  Most believers know about the story and walk of faith of Father Abraham. But you may be surprised by how similar your story is to Abraham’s? I loved how this book elaborates on how God pursues us, instead of us pursuing him. At no point did Abraham approach God to take this walk of faith. God elected Abraham to be the father of rescuing and ransoming his people for reason we do nit know. But we can say the same thing. God pulled us out of the world and into relationship for reasons we just don’t know. It was just out of his good grace.

And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith. – Genesis 15:6

 

1.

The Pleasures of God: Meditation on God’s Delight In Being God by John Piper-

You really cannot go wrong with a John Piper book. I have grown to enjoy his books and admire his love and affection for Jesus Christ. Piper’s ministry is predicated  off this one quote, “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in him.” In this book, we find that God delights in his people, but most importantly, according to the scriptures, God delights in himself. I never gave that much thought until I dove into this book. It comes off as may serve a narcissistic God, right? But it is great news that God delights mostly in himself because he is the source of all things. Everything we see is operating off of God’s power, not vice-versa. For God to delight in anything other than himself would be idolatry. It all comes back to the point on why God created us. He did not need us and was not lonely. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit have been in this perfect relationship for eternity. God made us to glorify him and for us to enjoy him forever! This elaborates in great detail on the theology of our eternal God’s affections for himself and his Son, how the Holy Spirit glorifies the Father and Son and how the triune God’s delight in himself and happiness pour out into his people.

For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.- Isaiah 48:11

 

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