Book Review: Jesus, Continued... by JD Greear

Friday, January 17, 2020

Jesus , Continued... why the Spirit inside you is better than Jesus beside you
by J.D. Greear

I read JD Greear's Not God Enough, Why Your Small God Lead to Big Problems in October 2018 and I like his writing so much I am looking forward to reading this one: Jesus, Continued...Why the Spirit Inside You is Better than Jesus Beside You.

And he did not disappoint. It is an excellent book about how one can and should work with God, not for God, through the Holy Spirit.

He captured me right from the very beginning:

A few years ago a young man sat in my office feeling deeply frustrated with his faith. Although he knew a lot of truths about God, he sensed very little relationship with God--at least, not the dynamic relationship he wanted. God seemed distant.
It seemed that everything God had done, he had done in the past: he created the world, died on the cross, and then inspired a Bible to tell us about it. then he gave us a mission and left through the clouds. God seemed like a busy teacher who had given an assignment and then stepped out of the room, leaving his students to get it done on their own.
So this guy busy at work, trying faithfully to learn the lessons, follow the instructions, and complete the assignments. He had a "relationship with God" in the sense that he prayed about his problems and tried hard to trust that God was working somewhere, somehow, to help him. Yet he lacked any vibrant interaction with that God.
This was exactly what I felt myself. The trying, the doing, and the striving to obey God seemed distant and as much as I wanted to build a relationship with God, I find it difficult to relate to him in a closer and more meaningful way. Yes, I read the Bible, I pray, I believe, but I knew it had to be more real than what I am feeling then.

Greear reminds us that Jesus told his disciples that he had to go: "Nevertheless, I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you." John 16:7 ESV

Greear said, "Do you consider your connection to the Holy Spirit so strong and real that you regard his presence in you to be a better advantage than even Jesus himself beside you?"

And that I found is the "best kept secret" though it is never a secret. The Holy Spirit is already in us when we received Jesus into our lives, and we have the power of the Almighty God in us to do the things he commissioned us to do.

And we have the Spirit already in us to enable us to build the very relationship that we yearn to have with him. 

There is also a chapter in there about prayer that I really appreciate. Greear reminded me that God wants me to seek him through persistent, faith-filled prayer. And that is one thing I lacked. I was not persistent enough. I thought I shouldn't need to "remind" God all the time, but that is exactly what God is asking us to do!

Remember the parable about the person who knocked on his neighbour's door for supplies at midnight until the neighbour had to open the door and attend to him? So from now on, I am going to keep asking until God opens the door, but of course if it is in his will and desire to do so...

...but I am gonna to keep on knockin'!

pearlie

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