Gratitude, God the Father, Death and Time

There are so many books out there being sold and more being published every single day. As more books get published and sold, my ‘to-read and review’ pile just gets bigger and bigger. Here are some of the books that have been sitting on my shelf for a while that I’ve been meaning to get to. There is a big variety of topics, and a variety of writing styles here too, each book has it’s own strengths and weaknesses, but there will definitely be something for you here…

The Grace of Gratitude by Paul Mallard

Gratitude isn’t always easy. It is often easier to live with grumbling due to suffering, or the way that we have been treated by others. Whilst we cannot always control our circumstances, we can control our response, says Mallard. The gratitude of every Christian should be in God, who is above each situation and who is in control. In just 57 pages Paul Mallard helps the reader reflect on Psalm 66, which is used as a window to reflect ton who God is and all that He has done for His people. This is a helpful little book, with short, snappy chapters and good reflection questions at the end. This isn’t necessarily a book that I would give to someone who is struggling with contentment initially. Whilst it is helpful, due to its length, Mallard cannot address all of the pastoral difficulties and struggles that may be behind someone’s grumbling. I have really enjoyed Mallard’s writing, and I know he manages this elsewhere, so it is merely a matter of the size of the book. It is worth a read.

Raising Kids with a Heart for Mission by Daniel Akin

Buy this book! Sure, it is great as a guide to help you think about raising kids, but it is much more than that. In this very short book you’ll be challenged to consider how you engage with missionaries in your own life, and how you live out the Great Commission in front of the entire family. I would love to see church members implimenting the 10 principles that Akin gives in this book for building ‘Great Commission Families’. If whole churches bought into this we would see missionaries being supported better, we’d see churches with a deep desire to see Christ glorified and we’d have churches full of people really invested int he spread of the gospel. It’s a no-brainer, go buy a copy!

God’s Way of Peace by Horatius Bonar

Sometimes it is hard to know who the intended audience is for a book, it can sometimes make it difficult to read because you’re imagining who the author has in mind. Not at all with this book! Bonar wrote this book for sinners. Every think you’ve gone too far, that you’ve sinned too much? Every think that you’re not worthy of the gospel? Ever think that the gospel is true for everyone else except for you? Bonar wrote this book with you in mind. This book is written to help the sinners, who is plagued by their sin, to find peace of mind and conscience as they repent and turn to Jesus. Bonar explains the gospel, what Jesus has done and how His death on the cross is the place for the sinner to find refuge and peace. This book will be a comfort to many and I’m glad that Christian Focus reprinted it for the benefit of modern readers. The cover of this edition also looks quite nice in my opinion.

God’s Way of Holiness by Horatius Bonar

There can be confusion within some circles about the nature of a person’s devotion and obedience. Some think that their actions of obedience and moral living could earn them good favour in God’s eyes, this is moralism and not the Christian faith at all. There are others who think that they’re saved and therefore they can live as they please. Neither of these extremes is right. A Christian is someone who has been saved through the work of Jesus and, being enabled by the Spirit every day, lives a life of obedience to God’s Word out of a deep love for and devotion to Christ. This book is a great short read which explains the wonderful life of holiness that Christians are called to live out. Bonar doesn’t promote legalism or moralism, but he encouraged a Spirit-filled life which points to and glorifies Jesus!

Good, Good Father by C. L. Chase

Is it important that we think of God as our Father? Yes, it is. Especially because that’s how God has revealed Himself to us in His Word. In this short book, 190 pages, Chase takes you on a glorious journey to discover the importance and beauty of the Fatherhood of God. I marked my copy of this book like mad. I enjoyed it so much. The Fatherhood of God is a massive topic, but chase brings pastors sensitivity, a wonderful love for the Lord and a genuine desire to see believers be built up in their faith. I highly recommend this book. The chapters are very short so you could even take a chapter a night and finish the entire book in jus over 20 days. I highly recommend you grab a copy!

Not Uninformed by D. Eryl Davies

Death will come to us all and until that day comes death still effects us all. The death of a loved one is never easy. But how can we have true and lasting hope in the midst of death? How can we as Christians speak hope into a world that doesn’t want to talk about death? Davies takes you to Jesus, he takes you to the Bible and he helps you see the hope of the gospel, the glory of the future and how you can proclaim that message fo hope to people who are lost in their grief, or in their own decaying bodies. Davies writes on a very difficult and sensitive topic with a pastoral heart and love for people. The book is written with church leaders in mind and therefore it gives practical advice also on things like preaching at funerals and so on. This book could certainly be a help to anyone who reads it.

How Christianity Transformed the World by Sharon James

It can be so easy for Christians to go ‘into the world’ on the back foot, often playing defence and sometimes Christians are afraid to actually confront things that simply are not true. For example, there is a stream in popular culture that sees Christianity as a poison and nothing more. People can think that Christians and the Christian faith has nothing good or relevant to say today. However, that simply is not true, Christianity has done a lot for this world. Sharon Jame, in this very brief book, looks into some of the ways that Christianity has transformed topics like;

  • Religious Liberty
  • Freedom
  • Justice
  • Protecting Life
  • The Dignity of Women
  • Healthcare and more…

This book is insightful and has a lot of helpful things to say. My issue with the book is that the author tries to do too much with the allocated space. The book is only 198 pages long but James tries to cover nine massive topics. Each chapter does end with a ‘further reading’ section which is helpful. This could be a brief overview to help a young Christian understand some of the history that has gone before them.

Time Well Spent by Colin Webster

Many Christians would love to get into the routine of a ‘quiet time’ but they just don’t know how to. In this very short, and practical, book Colin Webster helps the reader see what a quiet time is, why it’s a good thing to do, how to actually have a quiet time and more. Maybe you’ve been in the same quiet time routine for years or maybe you’ve never had one, this book will be of interest for both parties. It can act as a good refresher course or as an introductory course to spending tie in God’s Word. At the back of the book there are also eight studies that the reader could use to start off a new routine. I found this book helpful and I’m sure you will too.

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