Stevens reminds us in this world of anger and hate that Jesus was marked by love. He has included thirty readings, thirty challenges to see if our lives are marked by love. It is only by love that we can change the world.
My favorite reading was the fifth one, Famous Last Words. After telling a couple of stories about dying people and their last words, he writes about Jesus washing his disciples' feet. John 13:13-14 says Jesus knew God the Father had put all things under his power. Then he washes the feet. Jesus knew He was the most powerful person on the planet yet showed His love by doing a servant task. In case the disciples miss the lesson, Jesus tells them, “This is how you love one another.” (Loc. 360/2237) This changes everything, Stevens says. “What if love became the filter through which everything [we] did or said flowed?” (Loc 374/2237) How would that change our relationships, our discussions, our actions?
That is just one of the thought provoking chapters Stevens has included in the book. His writing is not preachy nor accusative. He honestly shares his journey, frustrated with “Christians” giving Jesus a bad name. (Loc 413/2237) His problem is not with Jesus, he says, but with what Christianity has become. (Loc 435/2237)
I recommend this book to people who are frustrated with Christianity today. If you want to be marked by love, to be a different kind of Christian, this book will give you good encouragement to be so. You won't be preached at. You'll only read some really thought provoking essays that just might change your idea of what it means to be a Jesus follower. You may not agree with everything Stevens writes. I didn't. But I did appreciate the challenges.
Food for thought: “...you can study all you want … you can win every religious argument – but if you aren't becoming more loving in the process, then it is all worthless.” (Loc 103/2237)
More food for thought: “Imagine if every person on planet Earth who claims to follow Jesus would do just [these] three things: 1. Love God. 2. Love yourself. 3. Love the next person you see.” (Loc 1035/2237)
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Tim Stevens was on staff at Granger Community Church for twenty years. He now serves as the Executive Search Consultant Team Leader at Vanderbloemen Search Group. He is the author of several books on leadership. You can find out more at https://www.leadingsmart.com/.
Shiloh Run Press, 224 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.