Christmas is a time to reflect upon the person of Jesus, and the joy of having the Son of God come to earth in human form to save broken humanity. This time of reflection upon Jesus always leads me to reflect upon the previous year: what I've learned, what I'm learning, and what books I've read.
Every year, I challenge myself to read a certain number of books, like Tim Challie's Christian Reading Challenge. The goal for 2016 was to read 24 books (two per month). With the number of life changes this past year, I didn't quite reach that goal, but I did read a number of excellent and recommendable books.
If you're looking for great books to read over this next year, you might consider buying or borrowing one of these books.
Love Walked Among Us by Paul Miller
If you want to be in awe of the love of Jesus and grow in loving Jesus and loving others in response, this is a great book for you! Paul Miller's writing is very practical and helpful in learning how to love like Jesus.
You can read my more in depth review from earlier this year: Love Walked Among Us
None Like Him by Jen Wilkin
I recently shared a review of this book (There Are None Like Him), but if I could give this book away to all of my friends, I would! The strength of this book is that it takes things that we learn about God's character from Scripture and offers up how that characteristic is diferent from us. I was left in awe of God after reading this book.
Prayer by Tim Keller
I haven't read a lot of books on prayer, other then A Praying Life, this is one book I would recommend for those that want to deepen their prayer life and their relationship with God. Keller goes into the theology of prayer, takes a look at what theologians have used to aid their prayer life, and different ways of praying. While A Praying Life gave me a desire to pray more, this book gave great practicals in different ways to pray and why we should pray.
Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman
I've followed Emily P. Freeman's blog for years, but never read one of her books until this past summer. This book encouraged me in a season of life when small-moment living didn't feel like it was Kingdom building. In a season when serving Jesus looked like making a PBJ for my husband, it was encouraging to be reminded that God's Kingdom is not about flashly and extravagant things and moments, but about small-moments lived for God's glory.
Habits of Grace by David Mathis
I just finished this book, but I would recommend it to anyone looking to grow in grace and in their relationship with Jesus. We are saved by God's grace, and we grow more like Jesus by God's grace, but there are things that we can do to put us on the path to God's grace. Mathis writes that the three primary ways are through "having God's ear, hearing God's voice, and belonging to His body." Basically, we can put ourselves on the path of grace by spending time in God's Word, praying, and being a part of the local church and fellowship of believers.
If you struggle with any of the spiritual disciplines (i.e. spending time reading Scripture, prayer, or fellowship), this is an encouraging and grace-focused read.
If you're looking for a recommended read for 2017, look no further!
What are the best books you've read in 2016?
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Shalom! I'm Madi, a laughter-loving, movie-going, spontaneous-dancing, follower of Christ. Join me as I seek glimpses of God's grace in the ordinary and everyday.
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