by Mark Batterson
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This was actually my first book by Mark Batterson. I honestly don't read a lot of non-fiction because I love fiction so much but I do love a good Christian Living book so when I was offered a spot on Batterson's book launch team I jumped for a chance to broaden my horizons.
I'm glad I read this book. This book really is meant to be read a chapter a day for a month. And it is based on Romans 8.
The first of four parts really spoke to me the most. The first section is "If Only" and some of my favorite parts were:
"We define ourselves by what we've done wrong instead of what Christ has done right." p. 30
"Jesus didn't die on the cross to forgive you - but to change you." p. 34
"it is finished" was used to say "debt paid in full" on receipts. p. 41 (yes this probably appealed to the part of me that loves paying things off or maybe the part of me that works in banking...)
But what I really loved about this book was Mark Batterson's honesty. He didn't start a 7 location church in the DC area. He started with a double digit congregation. He didn't start out with best-selling books. He isn't a millionaire. He is a normal, family guy.
My favorite chapter in the whole book was chapter 26 about blessings.
"Just as you cannot out-give God, you cannot out-bless Him either." p. 240
"What if you increased your standard of giving instead of your standard of living?" p.243
Love that! In our house we strive to increase our giving whenever we are blessed with raises. It only seems right that as we are given more we give more...and not just 10%...
But I think my favorite line in the whole book is this one:
"If we keep giving to missions and caring for the poor in the city, I'm absolutely confident that God will take care of our bottom line."
I love that for Mark and the church he leads it isn't all about the numbers. Yes, they have their place and paying the bills is great but it is evident from this chapter that he wants to bless those around him in any way he can. I love that!
This book would be a great bedside devotional. It would also be a great couples devotional. Or it would be good to just accompany your prayer time. I would be shocked if you could read this and not glean at least a few quotes that make you think!
The publisher, Baker Books, provided me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.