Over the past several months I have been rekindling my passion for reading. I used to read all the time when I was child. Harry Potter was my favorite — I even had a Harry Potter bunk bed with a tent version of Hogwarts that took up every ounce of space in my bedroom! Don’t tell anyone, but I still have the dresser that came with the bed that has broomsticks and Golden Snitches as the drawer handles! But, as I grew and life got busier, I lost both my time and my desire to sit down with a book.
I started being serious about my faith when I was a junior in high school. No longer was my faith simply a single drawer in the dresser that was my life; it was the whole dresser itself. I didn’t compartmentalize God into the drawer with the Golden Snitch and only open it when I needed him. He became the life source that held everything together — the whole dresser!
Each component of my life — friendships, school work, life decisions —became swept up into a whirlwind pursuit to know more deeply the God who gave Himself for me.
At the time, my Young Life leader told me something that I’ll never forget: “Christians are readers. If you want to be a Christian, you need to be a reader.” Of course I knew I needed to read the Bible, but he meant that I needed to read other books too. I shook the idea at first. I thought to myself, “Who has time for that?” I wanted to go out and lead younger guys and serve at my church and fill up my days with things that mattered to God. I wanted to do it all. Who had time to waste to sit around and read?
But as I matured in my faith and came on staff with Young Life, I quickly learned that I needed to be full in order to pour myself out. Taking time for my personal spiritual growth was something that mattered to God even more than filling up my days doing things for Him. I learned to BE WITH God, not just DO FOR Him. If I wanted to share insights with kids and leaders, I needed to be diving deeper than I was. As they say, you can only lead someone as deep as you are.
Below are some links to resources that have helped me grow both in my knowledge of God (theology) and my knowing of God (relationship). I
hope they spur you on to a greater depth of intimacy, trust, and ultimately
wonder in the God who made you, knows you, and loves you.
“Pioneers vs. Settlers” || This 1-page read might change the way you live out your faith – it did for me. Be a pioneer.
“Prayer by Timothy Keller” || I just worked through this with a friend. I usually buy devotionals for high school seniors as a graduation gift – I now plan to buy them this. This book is good for the head, the heart, and the hands. It gives you a theological background to prayer, teaches you to draw your desires into it, and offers practical prayer plans. Pick up a copy for yourself!
The Bible Recap || A few years ago, someone told me that I needed to stop
reading every book other than the Bible until I read the whole Bible through -it’s that crucial in the life of a Christian. This podcast will help you see Jesus in every verse of Scripture.
“New Wine” || “In the crushing, in the pressing, You are making new wine.” Sometimes life gets rough. But you have a God who is working all things together for good, HIS good, which is ultimately yours. This song will draw you to a place of peace.
“Word Study: Shema – Listen” || Our daily cry to God should be “I will listen to you and do what you say.” In this fascinating, 4-minute Bible Project video, the most important prayer in Judaism is explained to the follower of Christ. Make “Shema” your battle cry this week.