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5 Books for Spiritual Growth – YWGtv Episode 10

on April 24, 2017 by Jami Balmet 1 comment

One of the most important things we can spend our time doing, is working on growing our relationship with the Lord. But growing our faith and being intentional with our time doesn’t happen by accident. 

But most of us don’t really know what it means to be intentional with our relationship with the Lord…or at least, how we should start going about that! Over the years I’ve come across some fantastic resources to help you do just that so I want to share those with you today.

On the podcast we’ve covered some of these topics in even greater detail so you can go back and listen to: 

These book suggestions are in order. Of course, you can read these in any order you want. Or just pick one or two you want to focus on, but I tried to put them together in an order that will help you with your spiritual growth and spiritual disciplines as much as possible. 

Watch the video below to see inside each planner or keep scrolling to read about each one (or do BOTH). Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you never miss an episode!

1) Growing Your Faith: How to Mature in Christ by Jerry Bridges
 
Our home group is starting this book next week to go through together. It would work well as a small group, to read with your husband, or on your own! 
 
This is the very first book I recommend you read. Go order this one and start reading it right away. I recommend this book first and foremost because Jerry Bridges does an excellent job of starting from the beginning: WHY we should want to grow in our faith, the path to doing so, and then gives wonderful encouragement on the root of our spiritual growth: hint: it’s all about God’s love and His Grace. 
 
Bridges is one of my very favorite authors and his publisher asked him to write this book because throughout his many books he had written in the past he had sprinkled throughout all of those, writings about growing in your faith. His publisher knew that we needed one solid book written on the subject, so he combined all of his expertise and wisdom on the subject in this book. It’s very easy to read and despite, how big it looks, is not the longest book. 
 

2) Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus Through the Spiritual Disciplines by David Mathis

This is the next book I recommend you dive into after Growing Your Faith. Instead of the plethora of spiritual disciplines that he could have focused on (some people reckon there are 15-20 or more spiritual disciplines) he chooses to focus on the three most important.

 

He dives deep into: hear his voice, have his ear, and belong to his body. This means that throughout the book, he focuses on reading God’s Word, on prayer, and on fellowship. I have some other great suggestions for you on reading God’s word and prayer below, but this book is the one that focuses on fellowship and community within the body of believers.

I’ve read a ton on spiritual discipline and so when I picked up this new book in 2016, I was skeptical that it could contain more. But Mathis brings so much wisdom and extremely practical application, I highly recommend this to everyone.

3) Women of the Word by Jen Wilken

Even if you feel like you have a decent Bible reading routine (which I know, most of us don’t feel that way) this book is well worth it. It’s a quick short read, but Jen dives so deep into why we should study the bible, how we can, ways to get deeper, and practical suggestions for making it a daily habit. This is one book that I highly recommend all women read.

If it’s not already on your to-do list, put it there now and find some time to read it this year!

 

 

4) Praying the Bible by Donald Whitney

This is another treasure trove of a book. It’s short, sweet, and to the point and has taught me more about prayer than anything else. He of course goes over why we should pray and the importance of it. But the real treasure lies in the fact that he helps give you guidance on how to pray.

Donald recognizes how all too often it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to prayer. We pray for the same old things day in and day out and our prayer life often lacks passion and depth.

Whitney shows that by using God’s Word, we can take our prayer life and make it more consistent and deeper than we ever thought possible. And after reading this book about a year and a half ago, I can attest to that being true. My prayer life is richer and deeper in the last 12-18 months than any other time in my life.

I actually got the privilege of interviewing Donald Whitney last month and he had some great encouragement for busy moms who just can’t find the time to be in God’s Word. It’s well worth the 13 minutes to watch this or listen to it when you can. 

5) Simplifying Your Spiritual Life: Spiritual Disciplines for the Overwhelmed by Donald Whitney

At this point, if you are feeling overwhelmed, then this book is for you. In quick, short chunks, usually only 1-2 pages, whitney walks you through how to simplifying your spiritual life. It can feel overwhelming, confusing, and really hard to figure out how to draw closer to the Lord. But often, we make it far more complicated than it needs to be.

Whitney takes things back to the basics and gives you that extra motivation and grace that you need.

Bonus Suggestions! 

Here are a couple of other books that are also incredible helpful. 

1) How to Study the Bible by John MacArthur
 
I suggested Women of the Word first, because that book is more comprehensive. However MacArthur covers other things in this book that Wilken does not. And in fact, he shares his personal Bible reading plan which is what my husband and I have followed for almost two years now. There are some excellent nuggets in this book and highly recommend it. 
 
 
 
 
2) Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine 
 
This book is actually not on spiritual disciplines, but it’s incredibly helpful in it’s own way. Crystal gives you the practical advice to dig out of survival mode, plan your priorities, find the time in your day for things like Bible reading, and really get back on track.
 
If you are struggling to even find the time to read your Bible, or feel utterly overwhelmed at the idea of putting anything new in your schedule, then go RUN and get this book and start it right away! It will really help you with your priorities for your day and your life. 
 
 
 
 
 
This was my introduction into the world of spiritual disciplines. I have read this book twice  through so far and plan to do so again in the future. I would say that you need to read this book at some point in your life but included it as a bonus resource but you might already be feeling overwhelmed with too many book suggestions. So plan to get to this one one day. 
 
Whitney covers things like Bible reading and prayer, but then he gets into other spiritual disciplines that we don’t often talk about like: worship, evangelism, serving, fasting, journaling, learning and more. He takes a thoroughly biblical approach to all the discussions but ties it all so beautifully with practical application. 

If you’ve ever read any of these books, leave a comment and let me know! Or tag me on Instagram and share what you are currently reading: @jamibalmet

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