The book is divided into the three parts. In the first part Laurie shares stories of lives changed by the gospel, including his own. He ends this section with how to know God and how to receive Jesus into your life.
The second part is on discipleship. Laurie notes that many Christians never grow up spiritually. He lays out what it means to be a disciple and grow in faith. The requirements for discipleship are serious. Discipline is an essential ingredient of becoming a disciple of Jesus. “Discipline requires us to set aside our aims, goals, ambitions, and desires. It involves giving up our wills, dreams, and rights.” (83) “The only 'obsession' a disciple should carry is an obsession with Jesus Christ.” (84) Unlike some authors who encourage care of family over church service, Laurie says, “One day your life will come to an end. I assure you of this: you will not regret going to church too much. You will not regret reading your Bible too much.” (107) In this sections he covers the Bible, prayer (using the Lord's Prayer as a model), church (practices of the NT church), discipleship, ministering to others.
In the third section, Laurie says, “...God wants to use you to bring others to Himself.” (177) We don't share the gospel because we are out of touch, living in our own Christian culture. “And honestly, many of us don't care about people who don't know the Lord.” (181) Laurie gives seven principles and three Ws for effective evangelism and ends with the practical effects of salvation.
Laurie reveals his desire for every believer: “Normal Christian living in the New Testament was a passionate, Spirit-empowered, all consuming devotion to God and His Word.” (143)
One area that a new believer might find confusing is the nature of believer. Laurie says, “We all have a new nature and an old nature that are constantly battling.” (244) He tells the story of the two dogs inside and feeding the one you want to win. But later, he says we are to reckon ourselves dead to sin. “Reckoning is not claiming a promise in faith, but acting on a fact. God does not command us to be dead to sin; He tells us that we are dead to sin and alive to God...” (246, italics added) I am confused, as I am sure any reader would be. Do I live as if I have two nature yet within me or do I live as if the old nature is dead?
This is a good book for a relatively new Christian. A seasoned Christian would not find much new. Laurie calls us to live the Christian life with passion, as have other authors recently (such as David Platt).
About the Author: Best-selling author Greg Laurie (Gold Medallion winner for The Upside-Down Church, Lost Boy, and more) is senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, one of the largest churches in America. Founder of the Harvest Crusade, Laurie’s nationally syndicated radio program, A New Beginning, is broadcast on more than 500 radio outlets around the world. Along with his work at Harvest Ministries, Laurie serves on the board of directors of the Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, among others.
I received a copy of this book from The B & B Media group on behalf of the publisher for the purpose of this review.
David C Cook, 279 pages.
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