Serving Christ: Two Must-Read Books

24 May

Here are two books I think you must read this summer and no, neither of them is the new Harry Potter novel!

Total Abandon is the inspiring biography of Gary and Bonnie Witherall a young couple who were missionaries to war-torn country of Lebanon. Bonnie was martyred at the hands of an Islamic gunman in 2002. The website is Secondly another book which challenged me about how I serve Christ is John Piper’s Don’t Waste Your Life (check out
Many would speak of Bonnie Witherall’s death as a tragedy and in one sense they are right. She was a young missionary who was giving her life to help others and share the good news of Christ to the Muslims around her who she had seen celebrating the death of her country men on September 11. She had done nothing to deserve or provoke the attack by the terrorist. John Piper in his book however argues that the death of Christians who have given their lives to serving Christ “is not a tragedy. It is a glory. These lives were not wasted.” It is a tragedy, he says, to waste the precious time on Earth that God has given us.

This made me think. What do I want to do with my life? These books challenged me to make my life count for Christ and I hope as you read them (if you haven’t already read them) you’ll be challenged similarly. John Piper asks “Where are the young radicals for Christ?”. Total Abandon asks “Is what you’re living for worth dying for?”. It is easy to answer “Yes, of course my faith’s worth dying for” but do we really live like it is in our day to day lives? Would you’re non-christian friends and colleagues think that you would be prepared to die for your faith by how you live your life? In the Reformed Presbyterian Church are there too many who are saved but are wasting their lives? “Radical devotion” sounds like a thing to be avoided to many RPs. Many think it is just for Ministers and Missionaries. Or maybe they think it is just for those Christians who they look down on thinking “they don’t have the same understanding as us”. Whilst we cling dearly to our doctrines such as exclusive pslamody and non-accompanied singing (and these are good things) we need to be prepare to step outside our comfort zones and serve Christ radically.

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