Monday, April 11, 2016

Jesus Called. He Wants His Church Back

As early as 50 AD, Christians had gotten away from knowing who Jesus really is. Our generation is no different.

In every decade we, as Americans, lost something important that we couldn't afford to lose:

In the 1950's, we lost innocence 
In the 1960's, we lost respect for authority 
In the 1970's, we lost love 
In the 1980's, we lost values 
In the 1990's, we lost faith 
In the 2000's, we lost security 
In the 2010's, we lost hope in the future 

 What can restore what we've lost? Only Jesus. Jesus gave us His name, His friendship, and a commission to accept responsibility for ourselves and for the world. When introduced to His words and ways we'll rediscover the Jesus who:

Wants His enemies won over, not wiped out 
Wants you to stop playing it safe 
Believed great things were possible no matter what things are like right now 
Was full of grace and truth 
Unleashed compassion 
Believed no one was too far from God to return to Him 
Came to seek and to save that which was lost 
Loves the church                                                                     

Pastor Ray Johnston shares the Jesus of the Bible and how we can be Christians without being jerks. He reveals how the radical message of the gospel calls us to love and serve not only our neighbors but our enemies as well. That’s the Jesus the American Church has missed and needs to meet.

Jesus' mission is clear—risk everything in order to take care of people, starting in our home, neighborhoods, cities, and those in need around the world. That's the Jesus the American Church has missed and needs to meet.

My review:

  The title of this book really intrigued me, and is the main reason I decided to review it. It sounded worth reading, and like something that would be relative to me.... and I was right on both counts.

  This is not a book slamming the church. The author does talk a lot about where our churches are failing, and what we are doing wrong; but it is not done in a malicious or mean way. I found his points very valid, and his solutions and advice very solid and Biblical.

 There is a lot packed into this book. There is what I mentioned already, but the author also discusses what can happen and what has happened when church is done right, when Christians actually let God use them.

 One of the most valuable chapters in my opinion, was the one titled "Stop thinking you don't matter". It is a great chapter on how God can use any Christian if they are willing and jump in with all they have.

  This book is very convicting. I found myself saying "ouch" more than once, and was praying as I read the book that God would help me in this area and that area, and that I wouldn't finish the book and not be changed. It made me want to do more, to be a better Christian, and to be used by God. I highly recommend this book. It is near the top of non-fiction books I have read lately.

About the author:

Ray Johnston has a rich, varied background as a speaker, writer, and founder of Thrive Communications and the Thrive Leadership Conference. Author of the bestselling book The Hope Quotient, he is the founding pastor of Bayside Church, one of the largest churches in the United States, with more than twelve thousand people. Ray has spoken to more than four million people over the last ten years and served on the board of trustees at Azusa Pacific University, his alma mater. Ray and his wife, Carol, have four adult children.

Jesus Called....... is available from Thomas Nelson Publishing.
Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for the review copy.