9 Books That Changed My Life

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Below is a list of 9 books that God has used mightily in my life. This list is not intended to be comprehensive but as I took some time to think back on key points in my walk with Christ, I can remember how God used each of these to shape the way I relate with him. I hope that one or more can be a blessing to you.

1. John Piper. Desiring God. Colorado Springs: Multnomah. 368 pp. $14.39.

Main Point: God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.

Impact: Before I understood this idea, I believed I had to choose between following Jesus or pursuing joy. John Piper taught me that the greatest pursuit of joy is found in relationship with Jesus.

2. Francis Chan. Crazy Love. Colorado Springs: David Cook. 224 pp. $12.35.

Main Point: When you fall in love with someone, everything changes.

Impact: This book challenged me to consider my walk with the Lord in terms of a relationship rather than a collection of knowledge. It also challenged many of my preconceived notions about the Christian life.

3.  A.W. Tozer. Knowledge of the Holy. San Francisco: HarperOne. 128 pp. $8.46.

Main Point: What you think about God is the most important thing about you.

Impact: My prone-to-wander heart needs regular reminders of the majesty of God. Every time I read a chapter of this book, I stand in awe of God.

4. John Piper. Future Grace. Colorado Springs: Multnomah. 448 pp. $13.58.

Main Point: Grace is not only God’s undeserved gift to us in the past, but also God’s power to make good happen for us today, tomorrow, and forever. 

Impact: Seven years after God used Desiring God to call me to a pursuit of joy in God he brought me to Future Grace. This 31 day "devotional" taught me to not only rejoice in the grace of God given in the finished work of Christ but to ask God each moment for more grace.

5. Milton Vincent. A Gospel Primer. Bemidji: Focus Publishing. 97 pp. $10.95.

Main Point: God did not give us his gospel just so we could embrace it and be converted. He offers it to us every day as a gift that keeps on giving us everything we need for life and godliness.

Impact: This is the best resource I know of to rehearse the gospel to myself daily. The beginning of the book includes a section on 31 reasons to rehearse the gospel every day.

6. Millard Erickson. Christian Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic. 1200 pp. $39.70.

Main Point: A comprehensive introduction to theology that is biblical, contemporary, moderate, and fair to various positions. 

Impact: This systematic theology gave me a starting point for developing my positions on various theological issues. I love theology and this book is my favorite treatment of systematic theology. Millard Erickson served as a pastor for decades. He writes theology for the church.

7. Richard Foster. Celebration of Discipline. San Francisco: HarperOne. 227 pp. $10.17.

Main Point: Learning to draw near to God through the spiritual disciplines.

Impact: I worked through this book my freshman year of college. Before reading this, I thought the only means of drawing near to God were reading my Bible and praying. While these two are essential, there are others. This book taught me other habits of grace and did so in a compelling and winsome way.

8. C.J. Mahaney. Humility. Colorado Springs: Multnomah. 176 pp. $11.75.

Main Point: God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

Impact: I battle with pride...often. God used this book to confront me in my pride and provide a path to pursuing humility. P.S. I'm still in pursuit!

9. Dr. and Mrs. Howard. Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret. Chicago: Moody Publishers. 272 pp. $8.28.

Main Point: SPOILER ALERT! The simple, profound secret is drawing for every need, temporal or spiritual, upon the “fathomless wealth of Christ." 

Impact: Many Christian biographies stir in my heart a desire to know God well and serve God well. Hudson Taylor was a man that moved in dependence upon the Lord. I desperately desire a heart of dependence like his.