“Read one book a month.” The majority of my favorite self-help gurus have always offered me this advice. No matter if they pitch it as a habit of millionaires or as a sure-fire way to success, I can always count on each one of them to follow it up with, “And by the way, I have a new book!”
Well, I don’t have a new book! But I do have a new perspective on Jesus thanks to the books I’m about to share with you.
If you choose to read one book a month this year, I highly recommend each of the following books. Each book transformed my view of Jesus in some significant way. While they’re not self-help books, they definitely helped me die to myself a little bit more.
1. Who is this Man? by John Ortberg
Before I read this book, I viewed ancient Greece and Rome as pretty decent places. I also viewed Jesus as someone who just saved my soul. It turns out neither is true. John uncovers the truth about ancient humanity’s past and how God’s unrelenting love through Jesus literally saved the world from itself.
2. Counterfeit Gods Timothy Keller
I used to think I was a pretty good dude. Then, I read this book. Since I read it, I’ve slowly begun to uncover and give up a few of my counterfeit gods who have controlled me from the shadows for most of my life.
3. Redeeming Love Francine Rivers
It’s fair to say, “I cried my way through this book both times I read it.” This Gold Rush era re-telling of Hosea showed me how much God loves me even when I’ve traded Him in for other lovers.
4. The Chronicles of Narnia C.S. Lewis
In kindergarten, my dad read these to my sisters and I almost every night. We always begged him to keep going until we’d fall asleep. The stories captured me back then with fun, magic, and adventure. In my late twenties I read through them again and discovered deeply moving truths I hadn’t ever remembered picking up on as a kid.
5. Prayer Timothy Keller
Prayer is hard. I used to make a list of things I wanted and pray through it like a grocery list. This book showed me how to have a meaningful conversation with God through Scripture, awe, and intimacy. Unlike most prayer books, it gave me practical ways to approach God and pray on His terms, not mine.
6. Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer Eugene Peterson
The first chapter is worth the whole read. I will never look at Psalm 1 & 2 in the same way.
7. Love Does Bob Goff
Bob tells whimsical and outrageous stories about his own life, but all along, he’s really telling the story of how God can use anyone.
8. Everybody Always Bob Goff
If you read Love Does, you have to read Everybody Always. The conclusion literally took my breath away as I heaved out uncontrollable sobs because of God’s goodness.
9. The Prodigal Prophet Timothy Keller
Before I read this book, I somehow believed God could only work through me if I set the right goals, maintained self-discipline, etc. It turns out though, God can use me even if I go in the exact opposite direction to his call and hate the people he’s called me to love. I don’t recommend that path, but God still rescues prodigal prophets and prodigal sons like me.
10. The Jesus Storybook Bible Sally Lloyd Jones
My wife and I received this as a gift for our 18 month old daughter from our neighbors. While my 18 month old has no interest in this book yet, my wife and I have read it cover to cover. This paraphrased Sunday School version of the Bible showed us more deeply who the Bible is all about: Jesus.
11. Every Good Endeavor Timothy Keller
It’s easy to think our work is meaningless. After reading this book, I discovered the beauty in my work.
12. The Meaning of Marriage Timothy Keller with Kathy Keller
I know. I know. Timothy Keller again. Why do I love his books? He doesn’t focus on telling me how to make my life better. He always points me back to my brokenness and my need for Jesus. Whether his books talk about work, prayer, or marriage, He always helps me see every area of my life through the lens of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
(You can influence this generation to love and follow Jesus by buying these books from the links above. When you use our links, you help our ministry earn a small percentage from each book bought. Full disclosure: This list wasn’t influenced by any financial incentive. I love each of these books and have recommended them all multiple times to my personal friends. My friends have either read each of these books by now or are sick of hearing about them.)
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