Reading For Spiritual Growth

Dear friends,

Today’s re-blog from my old Land of Promise blog was inspired by a post by a fellow blogger, Wendy. You can read her post HERE.

READING FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH:

“Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do.” (Prov. 4:7).  In addition to reading the Bible, one important way we can grow spiritually is by reading good spiritual books. One of the reason God gave us teachers is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ (Eph. 4:12). Reading good Christian books will help you to grow in the faith.  It would be impossible to come up with a conclusive top ten list of my favourite books – as I have hundreds, if not thousands of volumes in my library – but I have tried to pick some of those that have most impacted my life, and that I believe would be a blessing to you as well.  So here is a look at ten of my favourite books, by some of my favourite Christian authors.

TOP 10 BOOKS:  (alphabetical by the title of the book)

  • 1. All of Grace – Charles Spurgeon
  • 2. Desiring God – John Piper
  • 3. Living by the Book – Howard Hendricks
  • 4. Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness – Jerry Cook
  • 5. Ragamuffin Gospel – Brennan Manning
  • 6. Spiritual Leadership – J. Oswald Sanders
  • 7. Under Cover – John Bevere
  • 8. Waking the Dead – John Eldredge
  • 9. When Heaven Invades Earth – Bill Johnson
  • 10. With Christ in the School of Prayer – Andrew Murray

1.         ALL OF GRACE: BOOK BLURB: Of Spurgeon’s many books, this is probably his all-time best-seller.  This book presents a comprehensive teaching on the subject of God’s grace. Spurgeon shows how salvation is all of grace.

MY COMMENTS: Charles Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers, was a Baptist Pastor in England in the 19th Century. He is probably one of my favourite authors and preachers. Although many of his works are out of print and hard to find in bookstores, you can get most of his sermon notes and books online at www.spurgeon.org. This book gives a deeper understanding of what Jesus accomplished through His death on the Cross, and how truly amazing God’s grace really is.

2          DESIRING GOD: BOOK BLURB: “Meditations of a Christian Hedonist.” Scripture reveals that the great business of life is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever. In this classic, John Piper reveals that the debate between duty and delight doesn’t truly exist: Delight is our duty.

MY COMMENTS: Like all of the authors on my top 10 list, John Piper is one of my favourites. His books are deeper and meatier than most – this is no light and fluffy treatise here – but it is well worth taking the time to feast upon his writings. All of his books, articles and sermons are designed to help you find your joy in God.  http://www.desiringgod.org/.

3.         LIVING BY THE BOOK:

BOOK BLURB: Hendricks’ book will remove the barriers that keep Scripture from transforming your life. In a simple, step-by-step fashion, they explain how to glean truth from Scripture.

MY COMMENTS:  When I taught Bible Research at Pacific Life Bible College from 1999-2006, this is the textbook that I used with my first year students. Of all of the Bible study books I have ever read – and I have read many – this is the most practical, applicable, and easy-to-read. If you want to get more out of your Bible study, this is a great book to start with.

4.         LOVE, ACCEPTANCE AND FORGIVENESS:

BOOK BLURB: Your church can, with hearts of servants, reach thousands – real people seeking real love and real acceptance. Designed to help the church become what Jesus was in the world, “a center of love, designed for the healing of broken people, and a force for God.”

MY COMMENTS: When I was in my first semester of Bible College at PLBC, I read this book in my Concepts of the Church class.  This book revolutionized my understanding of the church, and helped me to lay down the basic principles I still endeavour to live by in ministry today. This book will challenge you to walk in love, acceptance and forgiveness towards others.

5.        THE RAGAMUFFIN GOSPEL:

BOOK BLURB: “Embracing the Unconditional Love of God.” Brennan Manning wrote this book “for the bedraggled, beat-up, and burnt-out,” the marginalized folks to whom Jesus ministered: the children, the ill, the tax collectors, the women. In other words, the ragamuffins.

MY COMMENTS: If you ever doubt or question the love of God, then this is a must-read book for you. This is one of the few books that I have read over and over again, and continue to find comfort and encouragement from. One of my favourite quotes of all time comes from this book, although Manning did not originate it: “The church is not a museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners.” (quoting Thomas Merton).

6.         SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP: BOOK BLURB: With over 500,000 in print, Spiritual Leadership is the perennial favorite for teaching the principles of leadership. In this classic, Sanders illustrates biblical leadership principles through the lives of Biblical heroes and heroes from church history.

MY COMMENTS: If you are involved in leadership in any area of the church of Jesus Christ, then this is the book for you. This is another book that I read on a regular basis to help sharpen my leadership edge. It will challenge you and inspire you as you serve the Lord.

7.         UNDER COVER:

BOOK BLURB: “The Promise of Protection under His Authority.”  This writer uses his personal mistakes to illustrate riveting truths about repentance and forgiveness. As he focuses on the true authority of God, he is careful to explain the important difference between submission and obedience.

MY COMMENTS: We are living in a generation where people don’t understand the concepts of leadership, authority and submission. When I was a youth pastor at Bible Fellowship in Surrey, BC, I gave a copy of this book to all of our youth leadership team, and taught through this book in a class at our Revolution Master’s Commission discipleship school. I have also given copies of this book to our elders and council at BCC, and consider it a must-read for all believers who want to live under God’s protective covering.  http://www.messengerintl.org/

8.         WAKING THE DEAD:

BOOK BLURB: “The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive.” This book leads readers to understand how to live from the heart, care for their hearts like the treasures of the kingdom, and give from fullness instead of emptiness.

MY COMMENTS: This was the second book I read by John Eldredge (after reading his incredibly popular Wild at Heart). Although his books are written primarily for men, you do not have to be a man to benefit from his challenging words. This book will help you to discover your heart, and live a life that is fully alive in Christ.  http://www.ransomedheart.com/

9.         WHEN HEAVEN INVADES EARTH:

BOOK BLURB: “A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles.”  This message provides a biblical foundation for the average Christian to live and walk in the miraculous, supernatural power of God.

MY COMMENTS: This was one of the books that I read during a time in my ministry when we were seeking God for revival at our youth group at Bible Fellowship in Surrey, BC. Bill Johnson’s message stirred us up to take our youth group out into the malls and streets of our city, to pray for the sick, lead people to Jesus, and share prophetic words with people. This book is a catalyst to anyone who wants to be released into the supernatural realm of signs and wonders in their life.  http://www.ibethel.org/

10.       WITH CHRIST IN THE SCHOOL OF PRAYER:

BOOK BLURB: “If there is one thing I think the Church needs to learn,” Andrew Murray writes, “it is that God means prayer to have an answer, and that it hath not entered into the heart of man to conceive what God will do for His child who gives himself to believe that his prayer will be heard.”

MY COMMENTS:  One of my favourite topics in the Bible is prayer, and therefore, I have read well over a dozen books on prayer. Andrew Murray is one of my favourite authors who writes about prayer, and this is one of my favourite books by him. In this book, he goes through all the teachings of Jesus in the four Gospels on prayer, and allows Jesus to teach us how to pray.

So there you have it – ten book recommendations to the believer who wants to go deeper in their relationship with Jesus, and strengthen their faith. If you do decide to read one of these books, or have already enjoyed one or several of them, I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to post your comments on the blog – I appreciate your feedback…

Praying God’s richest blessings upon you…

Pastor Chris Jordan

www.beausejourchurch.ca

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About Chris Jordan

Husband. Father. #Author. #Blogger. Follower of Jesus. And I enjoy a good cup of coffee!
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2 Responses to Reading For Spiritual Growth

  1. Larry says:

    I like the energy and thought you’ve put into this. I’m glad you believe in what you do and want to tell people about it. I do a bit of proselytizing against religion in a similar way, and honestly, it’s just nice to see the effort, thought and devotion you’ve put in assembling this post.

    I find it really thought-provoking and nice that you believe something and so you’ve spent all this time analyzing those books and making your post. It’s so simple but it makes me want to cry ;-; dunno why!

  2. Chrystal says:

    Chris, I just blogged last week about having TOO many books that I either am reading at the same time or want to read. Thanks a lot for adding to my list. HA! Seriously, I will definitely add these to my list. I have read (and reread and reread) Waking the Dead. Totally opened my mind and heart.

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