Resolving To Read

We are ramping up to a New Year. This usually means New Years resolutions. In the past, I have been down on making resolutions. Maybe its because they have tended to centre around eating less chocolate. Maybe its because it seemed that it was about our efforts to change ourselves. The fact of the matter is, change is what we are created for. Sin works a de-creation in our lives making us less and less like the God we were created to image forth as the image of God. But as New Creations, we are about new creation, which means change. God changes us but we partner with him in that change.
One of the greatest ways this change takes place is through the discipline of reading (and specifically reading the Scriptures). Do you have a plan for this next year and how you are going to read the Bible? Now’s the time to make one if you haven’t. There are a number of reading plans available that help in approaching the 1,189 chapters in the Bible. For many this is a daunting task. The key is a little and often. That means a little everyday. Reading plans help with this. They are not meant to be task masters, but helps in this discipline. My sinful nature will withdraw from the Scriptures. That means if I only read when I feel like it, I am letting my flesh determine my spirituality. On that note, the Bible will often be inconvenient. Working 60 hours a week and also having a family of 6 means I need to exercise extreme discipline, and no doubt you do as well.I encourage you to take 10 minutes to read this post on Justin Taylor’s blogTaylor gives some great tools (for your diary, mobile device, for your understanding of how the Bible works together) for getting a Bible reading plan for 2013.This New Year resolve to read your Bible from cover to cover.

Resolving to Read Books

By far the Bible is our primary book for reading. This is the authority in our lives and the fuel of our souls. But there are a number of other great books that can help illuminate the Bible’s great story. I would like to take a moment to recommend some books to consider reading this year.

On Christian Living

 

The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller. This is one of the best books I have ever read. It has given me a deeper and more profound appreciation for the gospel. £5.28 from The Book Depository, £6.39 from The Good Book Co.

 

 

Living The Cross Centered Life by CJ Mahaney. Mahaney argues that the cross isn’t just for coming to Christ, but also abiding in Christ. This is an excellent read and deserves a place on your bookshelf. We will be using this book for our discipleship course.  £6.90 from The Book Depository, £8.09 from The Good Book Co.

On Prayer

Fresh Wind Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala. This is an excellent book on prayer. Cymbala’s book blends Scripture with testimonies of the power of a praying church. I dare you not to feel inspired to pray after reading this book. I’ve read through this book probably about five times. £7.10 from The Book Depository, £9.16 from Eden.

On Family

Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp. How do we train our children? Do we raise them to be little legalistic rule keepers? Do we let them rule in order to keep peace? Or do we give our children the gospel by reflecting God’s interaction with us to them? If you have younger children, this is a must read. £7.17 from The Book Depository, £10.71 from Eden.

On Men

The Masculine Mandate by Richard Philips. In a society that has emasculated men, this is a helpful book to bring men back to the masculine mandate of our creaturehood. What does it mean to be a man after God’s creative design? This book is helpful in answering that question. £8.45 from The Book Depository, £11.50 from Eden.

On Women

Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney. I haven’t read this volume, but Dianna has. She has used this book to help disciple young ladies. Mahaney, looking at Scripture, focuses on the beauty of femininity according to God’s creative purposes. £7.16 from The Book Depository, £7.99 from The Good Book Co.

On People

Bruchko by Bruce Olson. Olson is a missionary to the Motilone Indians in South America. In this biography, he breaks all types of missionary theory and traditions seeking to bring Jesus to this tribe. This book is refreshing and inspiring. It is also a great book to read with the kids at bedtime. £4.99 from The Book Depository, £9.88 from Eden.

On Theology and Doctrine

Bible Doctrine by Wayne Grudem is a top notch systematic theology that is accessible. This is an abridgement of his work Systematic Theology. We will be using Bible Doctrine for our discipleship course beginning in the New Year. £13.74 from The Book Depository, £15.99 from The Good Book Co (if you are interested in this volume, I may be able to buy at a discounted rate).

 

Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church by Michael Lawrence is an excellent work looking at how the discipline of Biblical Theology applies to the life of the congregation. This is also accessible, but is geared towards those who feel a calling as a pastor-teacher. £7.76 from The Book Depository, £10.29 from Eden.
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