As we have been going through the Letter from Jude, we have been learning the importance of knowing God's word well - the best way to spot a counterfeit teaching is not in knowing the counterfeits well - they change all the time...it is in know the truth of God's word, the faith once delivered to the saints - knowing it well, knowing it deeply.
The best book in your pursuit to know Jesus intimately and personally is the Bible. Nothing is a substitute for spending time reading God's inspired word to his people. Dwight Smith says Bible Study - the kind that changes lives is - The Word of God, in the Hands of the Spirit of God, Amidst the People of God. Reading the Bible 15 - 30 minutes a day is paramount for our growth as a disciple - nothing can replace it.
However, there are other really good books that would be a good supplement to reading the Bible - learning from other Godly men and women. Not all books are created equal and much of the books that are available in Christian book stores or are popular among Christians are not good at all - in fact some are actually full of questionable at best or false teaching at worse. I have made a short list of some of my favorites, as well as a couple of titles that are a little bit more challenging of a read but will help your understanding of scripture. I hope you will expand your horizons this year by reading the Bible consistently every day that you might know Jesus deeply and passionately AND by reading other good books to help you grow as a disciple. I also have a couple of authors that I think are worth avoiding all together.
Great Books To Supplement Your Bible Reading: Jerry Bridges (Pursuit of Holiness; Trusting God; The Practice of Godliness; The Gospel for Real Life; & Respectable Sins); Don Whitney (Spiritual Disciplines Within The Church; Spiritual Disciplines Within The Christian Life; Simplify Your Spiritual Life); Tim Chester (You Can Change); David Platt (Radical; Counter Culture) Matt Chandler (The Explicit Gospel); Greg Gilbert (What is the Gospel); Paul David Tripp (Lost In The Middle; How People Change; What Did You Expect); Tedd Tripp (Shepherding A Child's Heart); John Piper (Desiring God; Don't Waste Your Life; When I Don't Desire God; Future Grace); Tim Keller (The Meaning of Marriage; The Prodigal God; Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering; Every Good Endeavor; The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness); Ed Welch (Why People Are Big And God Is Small; Addictions; Running Scared; Blame It On the Brain; Depression); John MacArthur (Twelve Ordinary Men; Twelve Extraordinary Women; The Gospel According to Jesus); Russell Moore (Adopted For Life; Tempted and Tried; Onward)
There are books here for all levels of reading - these are not the only good books but these are some that will enhance and grow your walk with Jesus.
Now - just a couple of authors to avoid, primarily because their understanding of the gospel is at best lacking or at worst false: Joel Osteen; Joyce Meyer; Rob Bell; Joseph Prince.
If you are not sure what books to read speak to your pastor or church leaders - not all books are created equal - but a good book, that celebrates the good news is worth every penny & every minute it takes to read it.