Friday, June 17, 2022

What's Big Starts Small by Mike Novotny

You seem to be doing all the right things. You read your Bible regularly, you attend worship and Bibles studies and you pray often. Yet your life is not at the level of spiritual maturity you would have thought. You wonder why.

I think Novotny has the answer or at least an answer. Going through Jesus' parable of the seeds, he identifies six enemies to our growing to spiritual maturity. They include pride, pain, worries, wealth, desires, and impatience. He provides good explanations on how these issues derail our growth and provides good suggestions to address each one.

Here are a few of the teachings from Novotny I thought particularly insightful. One was on wealth. “What should be a blessing can leave you stressing as money stops God's Word from producing the kind of joy and peace that the Father intended.” (104) Regarding pride, he drew my attention to the painful reality that I preferred helping people in ways that were convenient for my personality and my time schedule. (44) And then he explored the time we spend on TV shows, watching sports or using apps. He wonders, along with challenging us, how much he could have grown with more intentional use of time. (136)

Those are just a few of the penetrating insights Novotny has on what keeps us from growing. He has included thought provoking questions for personal reflection or group discussion.

I highly recommend this book. Read it only if you really want to know why you are not growing to maturity in Christ and are willing to face the distractions and obstacles Novotny explores. You will find great insight in reading this book, even if you may squirm quite a bit in the process. If you want to put God first, love others well and live life the way God intended, this book will get you on your way.

You can read an excerpt here.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Mike Novotny
 ( pours his Jesus-based joy into his ministry as a pastor at The CORE (Appleton, Wisconsin) and as the lead speaker for Time of Grace, a global media ministry that connects people to God through television, print, and digital resources. Unafraid to bring grace and truth to the toughest topics of our time, he has written numerous books, including 3 Words That Will Change Your LifeGay & GodHow to Heal, Sexpectations, and No Fear Year. Mike lives with his wife, Kim, and their two daughters, Brooklyn and Maya; runs long distances; and plays soccer with other middle-aged men whose best days are long behind them.

Bethany House, 208 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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