The Top 5 Books on Following Jesus
"...So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own" (Luke 14:33)
The word ‘disciple’ is used as a synonym for a Christian believer throughout the book of Acts. So, it is right to presume that every Christian is a disciple of Jesus Christ. In Luke 14:25-35, we read that there were large crowds of people who were inquisitive about Jesus and were following him to hear from him. Jesus looks at the crowd and without sugar coating his words or beating around the bush tells them directly what he demands from his disciples...
A disciple, according to Jesus, is a single-minded follower who is willing to go all the way for his teacher. This means that followers do not have the freedom to pick and choose aspects of following Jesus and disregard or ignore the parts they don’t like. They can only be a disciple of Jesus on Jesus’s term. Therefore, the terms of discipleship are not up for debate or even for negotiation. One can live as a disciple on Jesus’s term or one does not live it at all.
This has to make us uncomfortable.
Why? Because Jesus says that being His disciple is not easy. It is costly, demanding and sometimes painful. Following Jesus requires us to give up, let go and surrender everything we are holding onto dearly more than GOD Himself.
Today, Christians around the world are making the choice of following Jesus in the midst of death, persecution, sickness, suffering and excommunication. They do this because the love of Jesus compels them to. They do this because they are committed to Jesus and desire to follow Him to the end, even in the midst of pain, suffering and discomfort. If we follow Jesus for convenience or cultural reasons or as a familial obligation or for friends or because we want to receive something from Jesus – we will get disappointed, run out of steam and give up at one point or the other.
We follow Jesus for Jesus.
To be with Jesus and become like Jesus is the primary purpose of our discipleship. Jesus is not teaching that we must be perfect in order to be a disciple. He is calling us to have a "long obedience in the same direction".
Here are our top 5 books on following Jesus:
The Cost of Discipleship compels the reader to face himself and God in any situation. Bonhoeffer speaks of "Cheap Grace": preaching forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession. "Cheap Grace" is grace without discipleship. "Costly Grace" is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. "It's costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life."
What did you leave behind when you chose to follow Christ? For some, the answers are obvious. If you struggled with habitual sins or addictions like alcoholism, drugs, pornography, violence, or promiscuity, the choice to follow Christ often marks a distinct ending of your old life and beginning of a new one. Or, perhaps you grew up in a culture unfriendly to Christianity, where your conversion would mean instant alienation from friends and family, maybe even a threat to your life. In these situations, the cost of following Christ seems clear.
Shauna Niequist was in a season of extreme busyness that finally broke her enough to become desperate for change. In Present Over Perfect, Shauna shares what she's learned in her journey to follow Christ with slower living, which has become more abundant, fruitful living. Come alongside to rest, play, and recreate. What you'll find there satisfies more than you can imagine.
From the best-selling author of One Thousand Gifts comes an impassioned message: We are desperately loved by Jesus just as we are, and his love compels us to be broken open for others! You'll be deeply encouraged by Ann Voskamp's thoughts on how God takes flawed and imperfect sinners, redeems us, and makes us useful in his kingdom as we follow in Jesus' steps.
Outwardly, Pastor John Mark Comer appeared to be successful. Inwardly, things were a mess. Turning to a trusted mentor for guidance, he was told, "Hurry is the great enemy of the spiritual life." It wasn't the response he expected, but it's the one he lives by today. Discover the compelling case in favour of a slower, simpler lifestyle as we follow Jesus.