Last week, I let you guys know about one of my audacious goals. I’m looking to read 52 books this year. That might be a tad much for you. So I wanted to offer you an alternative. I’ve selected ten books that I’d suggest you read if you are interested in your own spiritual growth and development. I’ve read nearly all of them. The other two are on my reading list and I know both authors, so I know they’ll be good reads for you. I’ve included a synopsis of each book—some are my own thoughts, others I pulled from the publisher’s book descriptions.
1. Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God by Tim Keller
Tim Keller is a pastor and theologian. He has a way of seamlessly integrating theology and practice without skipping a beat. Many books on prayer are long on practice and short on theology—or vice versa. In Prayer, Keller fuses the two and offers readers a glimpse of what it looks like to experience awe and intimacy with God.
2. Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves by Trillia Newbell
I met Trillia last year at the Legacy Conference. She’s an amazing gift to the body of Christ. In Fear and Faith, you will look our fears in the face, name their root cause, and learn how to lean on the One who we can and should trust. Fear has a way of whispering lies to our souls about who God is. But the Lord is better and through exploring what the Word says about our sovereign, good, and loving God, you can learn to rest in his ever-open arms. Ultimately we fight fear by trusting in the Lord and fearing him.
3. Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper
Most people slip by in life without a passion for God, spending their lives on trivial diversions, living for comfort and pleasure…and perhaps trying to avoid sin. John Piper believes God has designed us for far more than this. By the time you finish reading this book, you’ll believe the same thing.
4. The Radical Disciple: Some Neglected Aspects of Our Calling by John Stott
In this book, John Stott opens up what it means to be a follower of Jesus. He explores eight aspects of Christian discipleship which are too often neglected and yet deserve to be taken seriously.
5. Christian History Made Easy (Rose Bible Basics) by Timothy Paul Johnson
In twelve easy-to-read chapters, this book summarizes the most important events in Christian history from the time of Jesus to today. Learning more about the foundation of our faith can lead to a deeper relationship with our Savior.
6. Set Apart: Calling a Worldly Church to a Godly Life by R. Kent Hughes
In this book, R. Kent Hughes builds a case for godliness in the church—a case that echoes the biblical call to holiness. The church can reach the world only if it keeps itself from being ensnared by the world. Hughes is not simply urging Christians to say no to worldliness—he is calling the church to say yes to Christ and to his call to reach our lost world.
7. The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness by Tim Keller
In this short, punchy book, best–selling author Timothy Keller, shows that gospel–humility means we can stop connecting every experience, every conversation with ourselves and can thus be free from self–condemnation. A truly gospel-humble person is not a self–hating person or a self–loving person, but a self–forgetful person.
8. The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tower
This devotional masterpiece is at once thought-provoking and spirit-enlivening, an invitation to think deeply about your faith even as you come alive to God’s presence surrounding, sustaining and—yes—pursuing you. “This book is a modest attempt,” Tozer wrote, “to aid God’s children so to find Him.” If you are hungry, The Pursuit of God will lead you to the only One who can satisfy the soul.
9. Weakness Is the Way: Life with Christ Our Strength by J.I. Packer
Most people think of weakness as purely negative, but true Christianity embraces weakness as a way of life. In this collection of meditations on 2 Corinthians, renowned Bible scholar and theologian J. I. Packer reflects on the central importance of weakness for the Christian life. He exhorts readers to look to Christ for strength, affirmation, and contentment in the midst of their own sin and frailty.
10. Disciplines of a Godly Man by R. Kent Hughes
One of my favorite titles on spiritual disciplines. Hughes pastorally walks through the importance of implementing spiritual disciplines in your life and encourages readers to grow in their faith in Christ. For women interested in the same, Hughes’ wife offers a companion book called, Disciplines of a Godly Woman.
Question: What kind of books are you looking for this year to help you grow spiritually?