Christian Living
Don't Waste Your Life - John Piper
5 out of 5 - Avoid the tragedy of a wasted life

This is a tremendous book; a great book to read at the start of another year. The vast expanse of the rest of our life (or the not so vast, God alone knows) stretches before us – the question hangs in the air: Will we waste it? What will we have to show at the end of our one and only precious God-given life?

Is Jesus useful only for escaping Hell, or is he the Treasure of our lives? Do we live lives that demonstrate something of the all-surpassing value of Jesus, or lives that show only too clearly that we have the same earthbound focus as our neighbours? Are we wasting our lives?

John Piper demonstrates with passionate forceful clarity that a life lived revelling in God’s glory and seeking to bring glory to him in every sphere of life is the only way to really live your life. He issues a call to serve and glorify Christ in the ministry, on the mission field, and in secular jobs. Amidst his passion there is balance and wisdom for all believers.

In the first two or three chapters, perhaps less easy to read than the rest of the book, Piper tells us of his discovery of the preciousness of Christ. And this is his great prayer for the readers of his book – that we will not only see it, but live it out. The succeeding chapters are powerfully challenging with titles like:
‘Risk is right – Better to lose your life than to waste it’
‘Living to prove He is more precious than life’
‘Making much of Christ 8 to 5’
‘The majesty of Christ in missions and mercy’

This isn't a book to read quickly, but a book that will take you time and will profoundly challenge you – your use of time, money and life itself. If you want to live life as God intends this is a book is for you. It should be compulsory reading for every Christian!
Not Even a Hint - Joshua Harris
5 out of 5 - Straight-talking, honest, no-nonsense, non wishy-washy

Lust - a small word, a big problem. Have you ever thought, "Am I the only one struggling with these thoughts? Am I the only one who can't seem to control myself? Everyone else seems so untroubled, surely they can't know what it's like to be plagued with the constant barrage of filth that assaults my mind?"

Lust - maybe you think you're ok, you think you can handle your thoughts and feelings. Don't kid yourself - our enemy, the Devil, is extremely subtle. Perhaps you genuinely don't feel you have a problem with lust, but could it be that you are causing problems for others?

Lust - it ruins our relationships, with God and with each other, it robs us of our spiritual vitality, and it leaves a foul emptiness behind.

And this is something that affects the girls as well as the blokes.

How can we slay this demon that haunts us so persistently? What hope is there for those ensnared in its nets who have lost the hope of freedom? Joshua Harris deals with the problems that lust brings both to men and women, to young men and young women. He writes openly and honestly from his own personal experience, combining a biblical realism with practical wisdom as he sets out God's help for the battle.

This is a powerful book on dealing with sexual temptation. Harris doesn't miss and hit the wall; this is a straight talking book that deals openly and honestly with sexual purity. He does not go soft on sin. Yet it is a book that aims to "instil a love for holiness and a hatred for lust without dragging the reader's imagination through the gutter."

This is a practical book - there is a great chapter on the things that trigger lust, there is advice about dress sense and the impact that films, TV, books and music have on us. It is also a biblical book - He outlines God's high standard - "Not even a hint" - and then demonstrates how God provides the resources we need to make it a reality. There is an even greater chapter than the one mentioned earlier on how to fight lust's lies with the promises of scripture.

This is a book full of practical help, but above all it is a book that keeps bringing the reader back to the power of God not only to forgive, but to set us free.
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