January 26, 2009 I am always thinking of superlatives. By that i mean, I love knowing things like who the tallest man in the world is, what the top selling records of '08 were, etc. Thus, recently I was thinking through what I would say to someone if they ever asked me, "what is your favorite book?" I don't know if any of you are readers out there but in case you are, I thought I would give you a list of 5 books that have really shaped my life and walk with God. I would recommend them to anyone and if you dare, please consider picking up one or all of these, as I think they are really powerful. Here goes (in no specific order).

1. 'The Pursuit of God' by A. W. Tozer This past year God has used this book to open my mind and heart to the reality that God Himself is truly accessible to the Christian, if only we would position ourselves to apprehend Him. If you're looking for a similar book that's more recent and might read a little less old-school, check out my friend Susan D. Hill's book, 'Closer Than Your Skin'. Very good as well.

2. 'Redeeming Love' by Francine Rivers I gotta admit, this is considered by most to be a chick book. All I'm saying is it brought me so much clarity to the depths of God's pursuing, relentless love. All I'm saying is I wept like a baby on the last page. All I'm saying is it's a worth while read. It's a fictional allegory of the biblical story of Hosea set in the 1800's in America.

3. 'Revolution In World Missions' by K. P. Yohannan God used this book to open my eyes in high school to the spiritual condition of the lost world in places like India, Sri Lanka and China. You can't read this book and continue as you were previously living. This book also equips us with ways we can help reach the lost in the 10/40 window.

4. 'Sex Isn't The Problem (Lust Is)' by Joshua Harris I feel like this is a very fair and balanced look on the issue of lust and how the Christian ought to most appropriately fight against it. Joshua Harris does a great job of preparing the Christian for battle with temptation while avoiding the tendency of some books in the same genre to get legalistic in how we wage war against the flesh. I found this to be extremely helpful for me in my battle and I can now say that for three years I've been totally free from addiction. A must read for anyone struggling, guys or girls.

5. 'Hard To Believe' by John MacArthur This hard hitting book exposes many of the false assumptions we have as Americans about what it means to be a Christian. MacArthur, as always, does a phenomenal job of defending the true message of the Gospel. This book is eye opening, in your face, and powerful. Check it out if you want your faith shaken up.

There you have it. Check them out, purchase them, read them, delight in what God might be saying to you through these authors.

I would love to hear back from those of you who take up my challenge to read one or more of these books. Let me know what you think. Post a comment on this blog and let others know as well. Thanks gang!

Yours and His, jimmy

p.s. I am not, by providing this list, implying that I agree with ALL of the theological points stated or implied by these people, just that I had been touched by the truths I did find in their writings. So don't send me hate mail. : )

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