Though I’d been a voracious reader all my life, I realized two years ago that I had filled my head with a whole bunch of escapist and romantic nonsense from all the novels and fiction I’d read. So I began reading Christian books that would motivate or inspire me. Hence, a list of books that i consider fundamental to my Spiritual growth.
1. The Bible (New Living Translation) – My sister and I began a year-long Bible reading program with the purpose of reading the Bible from cover to cover. It’s been two years and I’m still at it. But It’s so amazing, and rich, and so wonderful. It’s a slow process for me because for every two or three chapters I read I have to hunt down books and commentaries to know more about it. Then I blog or journal it.
2. Anything by Ellen G. White. I have the App–You should get it too. It’s free. You can also download any of her books and, in any language, and with many format options. Her writing style is absolutely beautiful, if a bit old-fashioned. Happily, many of her most popular books have been rewritten in modern English. The following books are ones I’ve read, or read almost to their entirety.
Steps To Christ (Steps to Jesus – Modern English title) – Let me say that reading her book gave me such a jolting insight on what salvation is and what God’s role in my life should be that I can honestly date my conversion to the day I got the app and read that book. It’s only 13 chapters, and it is seriously powerful.
Patriarchs and Prophets (The Beginning of the End – Modern English title) – Next time I read the Bible cover to cover I will do it in tandem with this book and the others in the series. Covering everything from the beginning of the Controversy between God and Satan, creation, the story of the Patriarchs, Judges, and up to the end of King David’s reign, it broadens your view as to the lessons and plans God had for the Jewish nation as well as for you.
Prophets and Kings (Royalty and Ruin – Modern English title) – Picks up where Patriarchs and Prophets left off. Covers Salomon’s reign, goes into great detail on the life and times of major and minor prophets, and finishes with the destruction of the Judean kingdom and the exile of its people. But it ends with a note of great hope.
The Desire of Ages (Humble Hero – Modern English title) – I cannot rave enough about this book. My favorite of E. G. White’s…indeed, my favorite Christian book. It will change your perception of who Jesus was–and is–transforming him from a distant historical figure to a loving, living, redeemer. Do yourself a favor and read this book. It covers the life of Jesus, based entirely on the four Gospels.
The Acts of the Apostles (Unlikely Leaders – Modern English title) – Picks up right after Jesus’ ascension to Heaven. Covers the work of the disciples, their trials, triumphs, and how God saw them through it all. It deals a lot with Paul’s ministry as well, and ends with the Bible with the visions recorded in Revelations.
The Great Controversy – After reading this book you will see how your little, ordinary, life is still as much part of the battle against Good and Evil as anything you would read in the Bible. Is it a coincidence that it picks up where the Acts of the Apostles left off? It delves deeply into history (starting at the destruction of Jerusalem and to the Dark Ages and the Reformation movement), but if you manage to read through it, it will open your eyes to see the deceptions of Satan for what they really are, and how God’s light has prevailed even in the darkest periods of Humanity. Ends with the Second Coming when we will be reunited with God. Excellent read.
3. Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest – I received it as a birthday gift. One of the best devotionals I have. It is small, concise, and to the point–which is to attain the level of devotion that real Disciples of Jesus should strive for.
4. J. Oswald Sanders, Enjoying Intimacy with God – If anything, this book helped dispel the last traces of doubt I had about the unconditional love of God. I can attain that intimacy that I thought only special “chosen” ones could enjoy. Thinking of doing a small group study with this book, right after I do one for Steps to Christ.
5. Matthew Gamble, Reboot – No nonsense study on “the urgent need for a closer walk with God.” Makes you re-think your notions of a renewed life with God. Gamble is very frank and candid, and it was a very refreshing read. Designed for discussion and study groups, it was an excellent addition to my little library.
6. C. S. Lewis, Complete C. S. Lewis Signature Classics – Has the timeless Mere Christianity, as well as The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, The Problem of Pain, Miracles, A Grief Observed, and the Abolition of Man.
7. Leslie Ludy, Authentic Beauty: The Shaping of a Set-Apart Young Woman – A friend of mine lent me this book. At first glance it might seem that it lends itself to be a great book to do a study group on with a few good girl friends, but after reading the first chapter or so it was evident that it is a book that will make you ask yourself deeply personal questions that will make you think about the role that God should have in your heart–a role that no man and no relationship can ever replace.
8. Kay Kuzma, Serious About Love – A book on relationships and love. There were moments that I was like oooh, so THAT’S why… It is designed for study groups with discussion questions and other material to facilitate group discussion. Good read.
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Study Aids. Since I’m not a theologian, I usually have to hunt down references to understand the meaning behind certain phrases that are in the Bible. Also, whenever I lead discussion and share my discussion notes, I like to have authoritative material upon which to make a point. These are the books I most heavily rely on (at the moment).
1. Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Commentary – Excellent. I have the Spanish version, but sadly, it is incomplete (Whenever you lend money or books to friends, never expect to get them back). We only have six of the total 8 books, but it covers everything from Genesis to Ephesians. I make do.
2. Seventh-Day Adventists Believe – So the title is really denominational, but don’t let it deter you. It is a 100% Biblical exposition of Fundamental Doctrines and beliefs, most of which we share with the general Protestant world.
– – – Last updated 2/2014