After posting this last week I’ve had more than a few requests come in for books I’d recommend so that people could do something similar. I’ve been hesitant because when I find a book that’s particularly moving, it’s often because it’s speaking to something I’m currently facing. And so, I thought – what if others aren’t facing the same things? Perhaps these books will be rubbish to them.
But then I got over it because why wouldn’t I want to encourage more people to pick up a book and spend time studying and mulling over the words the author has chosen to share. Why wouldn’t I want more people spending time in contemplation and prayer over passages of scripture. Why wouldn’t I want people to read about the journey of others and be inspired – perhaps in different ways than I was – but inspired nonetheless.
I’ve been brainstorming about books that have been meaningful in my life and turns out – there’s been a lot. Also turns out there are many that I’m not thinking about right now so I guess this will be an ongoing sort of post.
These were a few that immediately came to mind. I’m praying for you, friends, as you choose a book to read on your own journey, that God would challenge and convict, that you would find rest and joy and most of all that your heart would grow in love for our great Saviour as you seek Him through study and word.
In no particular order:
The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
This is the first book I remember rocking my world, opening my eyes to big things and challenging my heart to pray prayers that seemed so scary. It’s been years since I’ve read it and I’m thinking it might be time for a redo.
You can read it for free as an e-book here.
What’s So Amazing About Grace – by Philip Yancey
If you’ve asked this question – read this book. Such a simple breakdown of why grace is the massive changer in a christians life, how it changes us, our interactions, our ability to forgive.
Bonhoeffer – by Eric Metaxas
I’m a sucker for a good biography. I find that for my style of learning, watching the lives of others is inspiring to me. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians to, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.” When someone is living a life that is a journey of following the God they know and love, I want to follow them. Of course, this doesn’t mean that we do exactly what they do or are called to the same ministry they have – but it does mean that their ways, their journey, seeing how they know God, trust God, seek God and abide in God are things I want to imitate. Bonhoeffer lived a life most extraordinary and yet even the most ordinary of us can be inspired by Him to follow Jesus in the most radical ways.
Radical – by David Platt
Noone challenges me more than David Platt when it comes to living a life that is counter cultural. He gets the upside down kingdom language and in this book he shatters a very North American “me” centred gospel and forces us to look at what the bible ACTUALLY says about following Christ. His questions, call to actions and challenging prayers are scary in that life-transforming, am I really willing, sort of way. I was pushed to ask God for things I was quite sure I didn’t want and yet if we say we want a life lived for Christ, well then….
Falling Free – by Shannan Martin
Shannan Martin shares the story of how God rescued her from the life she thought she always wanted and pushed her deeper into the life He had for her – which, of course, is the life she really always wanted but just didn’t know yet! Her journey spoke deeply to me in her no-nonsense way as we were walking similar paths, asking questions about what caring for the widow and orphan means (uh, it means caring for the widow and orphan) and challenging the ways we get so caught up in ourselves that we don’t look any different from the world around us. She is a beautiful soul who writes with raw honesty and pulls no punches.
You Are Free: Be Who You Already Are – by Rebekah Lyons
This is the book that I most recently spent the evening with. The truths in this book are not new information for a christian but rather a lovely re-hearing of the things we already know and need to be reminded of. Rebekah shares her journey with anxiety and panic attacks and striving to keep up and tackles the ways that we’ve lost our freedom as we’ve grown older. When was the last time you felt like running, arms wide open in the wind, or danced or laughed with abandon. She challenges us to look at our lives and the things that have bogged us down, the ways we are living burdened or striving to one day be free and instead speaks the words of scripture to us – free isn’t something we are in the future, it’s something Christ says we are – right now. Let’s live like it!
Morning and Evening – by C.H. Spurgeon
If you’re looking for a devotional to go through in a year, this is my favourite of all time. Every single reading is impactful and truth-filled and just – dear Lord thank you – inducing. I’ve gone through it a bazillion times and it never ever gets old. Also, do yourself a favour and get the leather one. It’s timeless and something that may be a legacy passed down.
These are just a few, so obviously not an exhaustive list. If it was it would include everything by Edith Schaeffer, Madeleine L’Engle, C.S. Lewis and so many more. As I remember or discover more I’ll add them and if you have any that have shaped your journey, would you share those with me? If you missed my post on spending a night with a book and scripture and pen and paper and prayer – you can catch it here!