We want to begin the year by encouraging your own personal growth in following Jesus Christ. To help you in that growth, we want to give you some suggestions regarding resources that we believe can help. We hope that God will use these resources to draw you deeper into a relationship with him over the course of the next twelve months.
Obviously the most important, and only truly essential resource for the Christian is a Bible. You need your own Bible and you need to be reading it daily. We like the ESV (it’s the version our staff uses), but the important thing is for you to find a Bible that you can understand. After you have the Bible, the second step is to make a commitment to read it daily. We want to encourage you to make it your goal this year to read through the entire Bible over the course of the next year. That sounds like a daunting task, but it is eaily doable with only a few chapters a day. The best way to read through the Bible is to have a reading plan to help organize and guide your daily readings. We have copies of some great reading plans, and if you’d like one please let us know! Several copies of a great reading plan will be available at the front of our church over the next few weeks.
In addition to reading through the Bible, we also want to point you in some good directions for some other great reading over the course of the next year. The goal shouldn’t be to read tons of books, but to read good books. Thats why we have selected a list of books that we think are some of the best.
First, here is a list of twelve books that we just generally think are fantastic for growing in faith and discipleship. Many of these books are short, and as far as we know are all available either on cd or through audio download on i-tunes.
1. The Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney
2. Humility by C.J. Mahaney
3. What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert
4. Desiring God by John Piper
5. God is the Gospel by John Piper
6. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
7. The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
8. Dug Down Deep, by Joshua Harris
9. It is Well by Mark Dever and Michael Lawrence
10. Knowing God by J.I. Packer
11. The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller
12. 40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible by Robert Plummer
We think that each of these books would be worth your time and effort and would be more than rewarding! If you’re looking for some great books about individual topics, however, these next books suggested by category might be a great place to start.
The Ministry of the Church: Nine Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever
Church Membership: Membership Matters by Chuck Lawless
Evangelism: The Gospel and Personal Evangelism by Mark Dever
Missions: Let the Nations be Glad by John Piper
Devotional: Taste and See by John Piper or Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon
Biography: George Muller: Delighted in God by Roger Steer
Theology: A Concise Theology by J.I. Packer
Biblical Theology: The Glory of God by Christopher Morgan et. al.
Church History: A Short History of Christianity by Stephen Tomkins
Christian Growth: The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges
We hope these books help you as you go through the next year. They have been a blessing to us, and we believe God can and will use them in your own growth in grace as well. If you can’t read them all, we still encourage you to pick a few this year and dive in. It will be well worth the read.