Friday, October 22, 2010

Review - Outlive Your Life

Outlive Your Life:

You Were Made to Make a Difference

Written by Max Lucado

Let God unshell you. And when he does, “make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that”(Gal. 6:4)

~Max Lucado

The opportunity to review this book came to me at a time when I have been wrestling with the ideas of faith and works. How interconnected are they? Our Pastor preached on this very topic last Sunday.

14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?... As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

James 2:14,26(NIV)

The articulate and friendly approach Max uses to lay out our obligation as Christians to serve really resonated with me. My favorite message in the book comes from Max’s quote above. We are to make a “careful exploration” of who we are and then determine the works that we were created to do. Some of us have a heart for teenagers, some for urban poor, some for the elderly, and some for international suffering. We all have a calling when it comes to works through faith; determining ours and taking action is what is important. This makes sense to me. There are times when an opportunity to aid a cause is presented and I find myself less than enthusiastic. I have always felt guilt over this reaction. However, as Max points out, we are spiritually wired to enthusiastically respond in some areas and not in others. We can’t do it all, so God has given us a heart for those needs that we are best equipped to meet.

This book is a very easy read. I read it in one sitting and enjoyed it thoroughly. I also appreciated the study guide provided at the end. My husband and I will be teaching a young adult Sunday school class. I hope to incorporate this text into the class.

Outlive Your Life is a partner book to the teen version written by Max and his daughter, Jenna, that I reviewed earlier – “You Were Made to Make a Difference.” My thirteen year old son is now reading this book. He came to me just yesterday excited about chapter one and the story of Father Benjamin, a story that starts this book as well. I’m excited to share my Benjamin’s excitement as he reads about his ability to make a difference. If you are a parent of teens, I would suggest both books as a great opportunity to kickoff works through faith in your family.

Whether you believe that “Faith without works is a dead faith” as James put it or not, there is no denying that there are needs in the world that we are called to address. Max’s book is a comfortable overture to each of us to define our abilities and meet the needs of others.

*** I received this book free for review purposes from Booksneeze

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