Saturday, November 3, 2012

Jesus - Pure and Simple: A Book Review

About The Book:

It's Time to Get Back to Jesus, Pure and Simple
Do you ever feel like you're being pulled in a million directions? Like you' re overwhelmed with various programs and ministries, or with studying the steps to good parenting or the best ways to share Jesus with your neighbors? These are all good things, but even good things can sometimes take us away from our number one responsibility--knowing Jesus better.

Wayne Cordeiro shares how to focus on the One who matters most and take part in the joy and fulfillment that He brings. But he also teaches how this leads to selflessness, a true love for others, and effective ministry. It will, in fact, change how you see the world around you.

When you focus on Christ, everything else falls into place. Your relationships. Your job. Your church. Your mission. It's all placed in the hands of Jesus, pure and simple.
Here's something refreshing: a pure and simple devotion to Christ. Sounds wonderfully inviting, doesn't it?
And the good news is that it's not about doing more or doing less. Because God created you in His image, the more you become like Jesus, the more you become the person you were created to be. It is in Him that you actually find fulfillment, not in religious activities (as good as they may be) or in serene settings that give you a needed respite from your harried workplace. He is not the rest from our labors. He is the rest in our labors.
"A promise remains of entering His rest" (Hebrews 4:1). It's the rest of a child close to his mother. It's the rest that comes when we are near the one we love. It's the rest we find when we are walking through unfamiliar surroundings with a guide who knows the way.
The closer you get to Jesus, the more at home you will feel in this journey. God designed it that way. --Wayne Cordeiro

About The Author:

Wayne Cordeiro is founding pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship in Honolulu, Hawaii with over 14,500 in weekly attendance as well as an author, songwriter, and highly sought-after speaker. He has authored ten books, including The Divine Mentor, Leading on Empty and Doing Church as a Team. He is a church planter at heart and has helped to plant over 100 churches around the world. He has been featured in numerous media outlets including Focus on the Family, Outreach andMinistry Today. Wayne and his wife, Anna, have three children and several grandchildren. Wayne and Anna now split their time between Hawaii and Eugene, Oregon where they have a family farm.

My Review:

Jesus: Pure and Simple has truly been a delightful read. From the very first pages until the very last, I was reminded that so often in life, distraction has taken me from really knowing Jesus, and learning what He wants for me, how He wants to use and how to "let go" and go to Him. Pure and Simple. 

This is an easy read, perfect for new Christians, but a fantastic reminder read for those of us who have followed Christ for years. What I loved best is the reminder that distractions like music, doctrine, and tradition will always be around, but its our job as a follower of Christ to keep Him first and at the forefront. 

My favorite part of the book was chapter nine, The Power of Contentment. Contentment is one area that I tend to struggle with, so was incredibly blessed by the authors words in this chapter. One passage that resonated with me was this:

"Whenever a lack of separation seeps into our lives, we're on very dangerous ground. Our eyes get distracted and we become a host to other scriptural parasites:

-We get secretly jealous
-We start to covet what others have.
-We become susceptible to advertising for something better.
-We compare ourselves with others.
-We complain about those who have more.
-We grumble about what we should have but don't.

It's time to get back to Jesus!"
                                                 (p. 135)

Here are a few more amazing tidbits from Jesus: Pure and Simple:

"Dissatisfaction is a symptom of disappointment with how God is caring for us (p. 138)

"Sometimes our lives may resemble a pile of pickup sticks, a cluttered mess of unorganized pieces going every which way. But we can choose to say, like David did, "no matter how my life might look right now, no matter how clumped or disordered, no matter how hectic or tangled, I am satisfied with the way God is treating me at this time in my life"  (p. 139)

"It's not about reading the Bible more, praying more, having more faith, or doing more, more, more. It's about getting back to Jesus and surrendering to Him completely." (p. 187)

"The more you fall in love with Jesus, the more you become like Him. It's that simple. It's pure. Fall in love more and more with Jesus. That is the simplest and most compelling way to grow."
                                                                                                        (p. 195)

The book also includes several questions at the end of each chapter for reflection purposes, as well could be used for a small group setting very easily.

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up.

BUY IT: You can purchase Jesus: Pure and Simple at your favorite bookseller, from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc., for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

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