The missionary adventures of the Stimpson family

Five Books That’ll Change Your Life, Pt. 4

In the same vein as previous “Five Books” posts we’ve done, I want to give you another list of five books that’ll change your life.  These aren’t necessarily my “Five Top Books” or anything like that, just five books that, if you read them and let God speak to you in them, you’ll walk away different.

1. Jesus the Messiah (Robert H. Stein)
I loved this book, a solidly evangelical, yet authoritatively historical, look at the life of Jesus from birth to resurrection, with plenty of opposing views so you can think for yourself.  Read it and you’ll walk away with a bigger view of Jesus.

“In the ministry of Jesus, a unique understanding of God’s grace and love is given.  Now it is seen as never before what it means to love outcasts, sinners, and enemies.”

“One cannot read the Gospel accounts without the question arising, ‘Who is this man who is master of nature, disease, and even death?’ In Jesus’ actions, people saw a bold claim to a unique authority.”

Buy the book

2. Erasing Hell (Francis Chan)
At one point in this book, Chan writes, “It has taken me forty-three years to finally confess that I have been embarrassed by some of God’s actions. In my arrogance, I believed I could make Him more attractive or palatable if I covered up some of His actions… I am just now seeing the ugliness of my actions.”

To say I loved this book would sound odd given the subject matter, but I really needed it when I read it.  Rather than trying to scare readers with fanciful images of Hell, Chan simply assumes that if God put it in the Bible, we need to believe it, regardless of our feelings.  So he looks at the Biblical truth in its context, one Scripture at a time, and that, I think, is scarier than any turn-or-burn sensationalism.

Buy the book – Buy the Kindle version

3. Living By The Book (Howard Hendricks)
I read this book when I had been a Christian for maybe 6 months.  I didn’t know anything about God, so I decided to take some classes at my church’s Bible college. One of the classes used this book to teach how to read and study the Bible, and, man, it changed my life!

Oh, I love this book!  Read it, use it, do the exercises, learn the concepts, and you’ll get way more out of your Bible than you have in the past.  You’ll fall in love with the Bible as you notice new things, you’ll uncover the God who wants to speak to you through His word, you’ll find yourself spending hours reading and studying and poring through the Scriptures.  Don’t be content with just reading the Bible on a surface level.  Get in deep and let it change you.

Buy the book – Buy the Kindle version

4. How To Hear God’s Voice (Mark and Patti Virkler)
When I took the above-mentioned class at my church’s Bible college, we also read this book about hearing God’s inner voice in your heart.

Thirteen years later, I still remember the first time I heard God speak to my heart, while reading this book, and it completely changed how I approached Him.  God is speaking all the time, He’s always ready to talk to His children.  If we can’t hear Him, usually it’s because we’re not listening or we’re listening distractedly, not because He’s not speaking.

Unlike some books on hearing God’s voice, this one doesn’t get too flaky but consistently comes back to the Scriptures on everything.  It’s not perfect, but I don’t know of a better book on hearing God speak.

Buy the book – Buy the Kindle version

5. To Train Up A Child (Michael and Debi Pearl)
We don’t have perfect kids (just spend more time at our house to see the evidence), but a lot of people have commented on our kids being well-behaved, and I want everyone to know they can have good kids too.  Our kids aren’t magical little unicorns stuffed with jelly beans, flowers, and rainbows.  They’re real kids just like yours, and, just like yours, they need constant training and encouragement to not resort to a brutal Reign of Terror.  Seriously, let me be blunt – there’s a lot of crap parenting books out there that do more harm than good, filled with pseudo-Biblical philosophies and psycho-analyses written by terrible parents with bratty kids.  This book is short, easy to read, full of Scriptures, stories, and practical advice on raising kids that bring peace and joy into your home, like God intended.

Buy the book – Buy the Kindle version – Visit Michael and Debi’s website

So that’s five more for you.  Read a few and let Jesus change your life.

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