Spiritual Depression: It’s Causes & Cures by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
This is going on my “x-number of books every Christian must read” list! Personally this was a very encouraging book. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones does a great job looking at causes (and roots) of “spiritual depression” and oh my word there is SO much amazing truth that I was reminded of! Now I have some rules about my books: 1. Only underline in pencil; and 2. Use a bookmark to save your place - do not ever lay a book down with its binding open and do not dog-ear book pages - only if it’s something really good that I want to be able to find again sometime. This book has 9! I’m pretty sure that’s a record! It’s hard to pick a favorite quote, but this one sums up the book really nicely:
“Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them, but they start talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you… The main art in the matter of spiritual living is to know how to handle yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself. You must say to your soul: ‘Why are thou cast down’ – what business have you to be disquieted? You must turn on yourself… and say to yourself: ‘Hope thou in God’.” (p 20-21)
The Joy of Fearing God by Jerry Bridges
Jerry Bridges is one of my favorite authors. He’s very simple and clear in how he writes and is a humble and sincere man of God. I heard him speak at a conference last fall. One session was about the transcendence of God and he spoke from Isaiah 40 (see also the chapter “Transcendent Majesty” in this book). I went outside afterwards and cried… just so overwhelmed by the awesomeness of God! So, while this is, in many ways, a very simple book, it’s deep and beautiful. And it was convicting too! How I need to fear the Lord more, and realize that that is the way to joy!
“Properly fearing God is more than just a feeling or attitude – it’s a feeling or attitude that changes our lives.” (p.31)
The Hole in our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung
This book is ALSO going on my “x-number of books every Christian must read” list. Yup, you should read it. Kevin DeYoung takes a tough and controversial subject (the Christian’s relationship to the law and the process of sanctification) and does a great job examining what the Bible says about how we should live. If nothing else, chapter 7 will be more wealth to you than gold (it’s all about our union with Christ – simply glorious!). This book was of naturally quite convicting in a lot of ways… it’s so easy to be apathetic and lazy in our Christian life and not “work out our salvation”. We forget that abiding in Christ also means “keep His commandments” and vice versa. Great reminders and encouragement. I mean, if this doesn’t fire you up, I don’t know what will:
“In effect God says to us, ‘Because you believe in Christ, by the Holy Spirit I have joined you to Christ. When he died, you died. When He rose, you rose. He’s in heaven now, so you’re in heaven. He’s holy, so you’re holy. Your position right now, objectively and factually, is as a holy, beloved child of God, dead to sin, alive to righteousness, and seated in my holy heaven – now live like it!’”
The Rose Guide to End-Times Prophesy by Dr. Timothy Paul Jones
Sound interesting? It certainly was!!! I got this last weekend and read through the 300+ pages in less than 2 days (granted I had quite a bit of time one day to just sit and read!), but it was really fascinating! Dr. Jones gives a really balanced and non-biased presentation of the different views Christians hold of the end times. I learned much more about what each one believes and why. If you’re interested in studying this topic, this is a great resource to start with!
Convergence – Spiritual Journeys of a Charismatic Calvinist by Sam Storms
This book was written for both cessationists (those who believe the “miraculous” gifts of the Holy Spirit have ceased) and charismatics/continuationists (those who believe they continue today). I’ve heard some of Sam Storms’ story on a radio program series, but reading about his journey was still surprising in some ways. He brings a lot to the table for discussion that are roots of this controversial issue and has concerns and exhortations on both sides. In my opinion, his Biblical arguments are very good and it’s a beneficial book to read! It will certainly challenge your way of thinking, but I hope you’ll be open to it.
“Biblical balance is pursuing everything the Bible demands with the degree of emphasis and energy that the Bible commands.” (p. 105)
“Praying and thinking are not two mutually exclusive options. The person who only thinks and does not pray is just as bad and dangerous and unbalanced as the person who only prays and never thinks.” (p. 185)
“The sure and certain way to go down in God’s eyes is to go up in your own.” (p. 200)
A Treasury of Prayer – the best of E.M. Bounds edited by Leonard Ravenhill
Additional books I want to finish this month:
Spurgeon on Prayer & Spiritual Warfare (by Charles H. Spurgeon)
The Lamb is All the Glory by Richard Brooks (book on Amillennialism – something I’m interested in learning more about)
How I Know… God Answers Prayer by Rosalind Goforth
(Yeah… I’ll be reading a lot about PRAYER this month, but hopefully DOING a lot of it too!) :-D