I’ve been accused of having way too many books on my bedside table. Recently Jon and the girls ‘helped’ me by removing some of them and relocating them to an actual bookshelf in the living room .. leaving me just a few of the books I’m ‘actively reading.’ I’ve including a section in my sidebar of those books that currently remain on my bedside table. I’m sure it will change regularly, but for now, these are the top reads for me.
One of these great reads is ‘Because He Loves Me,’ by Elyse Fitzpatrick. In her own words, it’s a book about the Gospel for people who think they already know it. I’m one of those people, and the truths emphasized in her book have really challenged me. Throughout the book, she asks the reader to consider, “In your pursuit of godliness, have you left Jesus behind?” The book is divided into two parts, Part One: How God’s love transforms our identity, and Part Two: How God’s love transforms our life.
I’m currently reading it for the second time and meeting occasionally with a few other women to talk about how we can apply it to our lives. Today we considered who we are in Christ, and how we should live as a result of that reality. Further, looking more specifically at what we should put off and what we should put on. So many great truths to consider. I’ll share just one paragraph here.
Be Renewed, Put off, Put on
“What would laying your life down right now look like? I don’t know. We’re all in different circumstances. But there is something that he is calling each of us to do: we’re to be renewed in the attitude of our mind. We’re to remember the gospel, to let it renew our thoughts about who he is, who we are, what our neighbor needs. Our attitude (and the behavior that flows from it) needs to be continually informed by the gospel. We’re more sinful and flawed than we ever dared believe; we’re more loved and welcomed than we ever dared hope. In light of this, we’re to put off all the unbelief and self-love that motivated our former identity. And then we’re to live a life of loving service because we’ve been created in the image of a holy and righteous God who is himself love (Ephesians 4:22-24) We can be faithful servants to each other because “the immortal Word took on the form of a servant,” and he has gone before us, clearing the way.”
I find it most challenging to live this out in my most primary relationships . . . marriage and family. I confessed today that I have not lovingly served my family this week. Thankfully, God’s mercies are new each day . . . I can do it differently tomorrow.