11.) The one I began begrudgingly because it’s a New York Times Best Seller, which I equated with Christian-esque fluffiness and pointless “relevant” so-called Christian books. The one that further confirmed changes we had been making as a family, and prompted us to change even further. The one that drove me to my knees begging God to help me learn to live a life truly centered around Christ.
Radical by David Platt
“You and I can choose to continue with business as usual in the Christian life and in the church as a whole, enjoying success based on the standards defined by the culture around us. Or we can take an honest look at the Jesus of the Bible and dare to ask what the consequences might be if we really believed him and really obeyed him.”
12.) The one that consistently challenged me to decrease as Christ increased. The one that left me painfully yet delightfully convicted at each reading, giving me the consistent proverbial kick-in-the-pants the Lord knows I need.
Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray
“No words can tell the sad state of the Church of Christ on earth. I wish I had words to speak what I sometimes feel about it. Just think of the Christians around you. I do not speak of nominal Christians, or of professing Christians, but I speak of hundreds and thousands of honest, earnest Christians who are not living a life in the power of God or to His glory. So little power, so little devotion or consecration to God, so little perception of the truth that a Christian is a man utterly surrendered to God’s will!”
13.) The one that was captivating, being a biography written by one so close to the subject. The one which perpetually challenged me to evaluate my motives, my work, and how dependent upon Christ I really was – or how much I was trying to do in my own strength.
Why God Used D.L. Moody by R.A. Torrey
“If you and I are to be used in our sphere.., we must put all that we have and all that we are in the hands of God, for Him to use as He will, to send us where He will, for God to do with us what He will, and we — on our part — to do everything God bids us do.”
14.) The one that I keep with my Bible and journals and reference regularly for direction for prayer and Bible study regarding my own flesh, thoughts, words, and deeds. The one that taught me that keeping my heart is indeed my own responsibility – by the grace and power of God.
On Keeping the Heart by John Flavel
“The greatest difficulty after conversion is to keep the heart with God. Here lies the very force and stress of religion; here is that which makes the way to life a narrow way, and the gate of heaven a strait gate.”
15.) The one that reminded me how critical it is for me to purposefully pursue Christ while battling sin and temptation.
Sowing and Reaping by D.L. Moody
“Beware of ignorance and indifference. You cannot afford to neglect your soul. There is too much at stake.”
Caveat: (though in my opinion I shouldn’t have to point this out) The Lord used the work of these authors in conjunction with His own Word to help me to grow in grace and truth. I do recommend them for your own reading. This does not mean that I affirm every belief of every author, nor every thought in every book, nor that there won’t be some “bones” to spit out when reading some of these books. I don’t believe in or agree with every conclusion reached by every author. I don’t share the same theology & beliefs in all areas with every author (as always, if you wonder where I stand, see my statement of faith). I do still think that these books are all worth reading, though. Please use discernment, and as with any book you’d read do so “with Bible in mind and on hand”. It should also go without saying that when you must choose between the Word of God and another book due to time constraints, the Word of God should always come first.