What Christian doesn’t want to love Jesus more? It seems pretty obvious that if you are a Christian, you want to love Jesus more – but practically speaking its hard, really hard. I think I’m not the only one who feels that way – I know for a fact that I am not the only one who feels that way. I work with college students – week in and week out I see this battle to love Jesus more being played out in the lives of these students. I see that they really do desire to love Jesus more, but find it hard to do. This new book by Wheaton president: Philip Graham Ryken attempts to help us do what all Christians really desire – that is, love Jesus more.
The book works through the question – how to we grow to love Jesus more. Ryken shows us that our love for Jesus is not something that we generate, it’s a gift from the Holy Spirit. He shows us that our strongest motivation for loving Jesus is to look at the truth of Jesus love for us on the cross. He helps us see that when we face doubts, we need to go back to the gospel where we see God’s love fully on display. Ryken reveals the connection between love and forgiveness. He shows us that obedience is the overflow of love and that one of the best ways to love Jesus is to love the church. He walks us through those days when we feel like we really don’t love Jesus. He hones in on how we love Jesus even though we don’t see him. And ends with the hope of heaven, the beatific vision, when we will see Jesus face to face and love him perfectly.
Ryken’s book is super encouraging and it addresses a real need. As I read this book there were several times when I had to put the book down and just thank God for his love for me. It is awesome when a book can make you do that. As this happened, I started to think…
Yes, I can love Jesus more. Its possible, even though I love Jesus now, I do want to love him more, I do want to pursue him more. Its hard, but its worth it!
I loved the fact that such a short book could make me feel that way. So this book certainly has a fantastic devotional aspect to it. But the devotional side of the book isn’t just for individuals – its for groups too. At the end of the book there is a study guide, which you can use on your own or you can use as a group. The guide will help you to think through the things you just read and process the things you are learning. Finally, the book was also full of great illustrations. Ryken draws from puritans, from great literature, from movies, and from life in order to bring the truths in this book to life. Ryken gets the fact that its not enough to simply speak the truth, you have to show it too. Ryken shows how powerful a good illustration can be to make truth stick.
Overall, I highly recommend this book. If you are looking for a short book to work through as a devotional, or if you are looking for a good book to encourage you to love Jesus more, pick up Ryken’s Loving Jesus More.
(Note: I received this book from Crossway in exchange for an impartial review.)