Mike Jones’ Favorite Reads of 2009

Rethinking Retirement by John Piper
This little essay won’t necessarily lift you to some great and lofty, theological height (as Piper is so often prone to do) but it is profoundly practical, especially for so many believers surrounded by worldly wisdom about work, money and retirement (like myself). Much of Piper’s short treatise on retirement is about the true glory for which we strive as believers, not the glory of riches or contentment on this earth, but the glory of our future home with our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. And when we live a life full of the expectation of our perseverance toward that final glory our aim in our final years and days will continue to be for His glory. The rest and respite so many in this world strive for in those final years is but dust compared to the glory we will bask in before the throne. So why would we stop our perseverance on this earth for some temporary and failing rest from the true work of making the gospel known?
Click here to download it in a PDF for FREE

Humility by C.J. Mahaney
Mahaney has quickly become one of my favorite authors for the concise practicality he brings to high thoughts on God and our relationship with Him, as redeemed sinners. In Humility Mahaney again addresses my most inward need for a savior and gives me hope that through the daily remembering, remarking on, and savoring of the gospel of Jesus Christ I am brought low that He might be made most in my heart and life. Pride is such a ruthless enemy that only the Lord of all the earth could conquer it in my heart. I daily need to be reminded of this and Mahaney brings many practical ideas and tools to bear in order to draw me close to Jesus and His grace and to persevere against the temptations of pride.

Tribes by Seth Godin
I do not recommend this book for most believers but thought that as Seth Godin is a very hot topic in the marketing and sales world right now a review of one of his more recent books might be apropos. The essence of Tribes is that for amazing things to happen (whatever it is you are passionate about) people must passionately lead the tribes we as human beings naturally form (around ideas, shared interests, religions, ethnicities, political affiliations, etc.). While mainly focusing on business and marketing leadership, Godin’s ideas can easily stretch to any body of humans. His is clearly a man-centered perspective on how change happens in societies, however much of it is based on accurate descriptions of human behavior that can even be found in the Bible. Humans do naturally congregate and follow passionate leaders (think the tower of Babel, the early nations of the world, or even the Church for that matter, following the one and only truly perfect leader, Jesus). And many of Godin’s remarks on what makes a great leader (such as humility and the willingness to serve others) ring true with a Biblical worldview. However, Godin never fully reaches who in history (and beyond) is creating the ultimate tribe, Jesus Himself. The Church, its formation and growth, as Christ’s body, His redeemeed people, His bridegroom, and His future kingdom-dwellers are the tribe history is swirling around and racing toward! One good take-away for myself from Tribes was Godin’s emphasis on creating and maintaining a passionate tribe. Within the church I think this must be realized in our resolve to remain grounded at all costs in God’s Word and intensely focused on the Gospel of Jesus Christ in all that we do. When we lose this passion and this focus we will lose sight of what it means to be the Church.

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