As a freshman in high school, I vividly remember reading my first book on spiritual growth. It was Fresh Wind Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala.
Reading Cymbala’s book transported me to a church in urban Brooklyn, NY where God was moving in His church in powerful ways. This church was deeply committed to prayer. By reading the testimony of the power of prayer through this book, I was challenged to consider my own prayer life and become more committed myself. It is a lesson I never forgot.
Books can have a powerful impact. Though they are not a replacement for actually diving into God’s Word, they can deepen our faith. Books can do this by unpacking complex passages, or by inspiring us through testimony and story of God’s work.
If you are looking for a good book to dive into this fall as the school year picks back up, let me suggest five of my favorite books on spiritual growth:
Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges
One of my all-time favorites, Jerry Bridges takes a look at the sovereignty of God, and his faithfulness, even when life seems unjust. I read this book during a difficult time in my family, and it was an incredibly helpful reminder that despite the broken trust that I have experienced with people, I can trust God because he is perfect in keeping his promises.
Humility by C.J. Mahaney
I love this book because I constantly need to push back against my pull toward pride. I was reading an article the other day that put it like this: “When you stand in the water at the beach you feel the persistent pull of the current. Regardless of how long you stand in that water the current will, with varying intensity, pull you. To deny or minimize it will result in potential bodily harm. Such is the case with pride” (Erik Raymond).
Knowing God by J.I. Packer
This book is a bit more practical than some of the others. Packer shares deep theological knowledge, but also conveys the realities of trying to live out the Christian faith in the day-to-day world. Knowing God is a classic. It was voted by Christianity Today as one of the top fifty books that have shaped evangelical Christians.
Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die by John Piper
In this book, Piper looks at fifty reasons found in the New Testament for why Jesus came to die. This is a look at the meaning behind the cross of Christ. It was a humbling book, as well as a reminder of many truths that often get overlooked. Each chapter is one page, so it is easy to read a chapter a day or use as a devotional.
Radical by David Platt
This book helped shape and challenge me when it comes to my struggle with materialism. Radical is more than a book on materialism, though. The book is about following Christ, no matter what.
These are just some of my favorites from what I have read. Do you have any recommendations? I would love to hear what your favorite spiritual growth books have been!
Meet the author!
Lauren McAfee is Corporate Ambassador for Hobby Lobby and PhD student in Christian Ethics and Public Policy. She grew up in Oklahoma City and loves her church community at CRBC. Lauren and her high school sweetheart, Michael McAfee, have been married for over eight years.