I think that when Jesus said he came to give us more abundant life (John 10:10), he didn’t mean a life full of stuff. I think he meant that he wants our spirits to be fully developed, and he wants our spirits to be free.
That’s why I’m excited to share some ideas and resources to help your human spirit soar strong and free.
What is Health?
The biblical concept of health is so much more than the absence of disease. It’s also more than just the state of the physical body. It is the idea of wholeness and completeness. For a masterful treatment on this topic, check out the first two chapters of John Wilkinson’s The Bible and Healing: A Medical and Theological Commentary. Don’t let the title put you off. Wilkinson does a great job, in everyday language, of exploring what the Bible says health really is. And guess what? You can get a free PDF copy of that book! See the very end of my recent blog post on Wilkinson’s book to find out how to request your free copy via email.
What is Peace?
In the same way that health is a more full state than just the absence of physical disease, the biblical idea of peace—or shalom— is about complete wholeness, not merely the absence of conflict. Check out this excellent 2017 talk, Cultivate Peace, by teacher Steve Carter.
Every book on this month’s list helped my spirit expand a little more, and helped me reach into new areas of freedom. These are real gems, and I’m excited to recommend every one of them to you.
Healing by Francis MacNutt – This book was absolutely an answer to my prayers. If you haven’t already read my blog post about Francis MacNutt’s book on healing, please check it out to find out why I so highly recommend this book.
By the way, I have to tell you: It blows my mind a little bit that God used a book that was written in 1974 to answer my prayers decades later. He’s done that several times now, with books that were written long ago. That gives me a lot of hope for how my own writing can continue to build the kingdom of God far into the future.
After recently reading John Eldredge’s All Things New (which I recommended last month), I wanted to check out more of his writing, so I dove into several more titles of his, both new and several years old. Good stuff.
Moving Mountains by John Eldredge – I got so much out of this book. I talk in this month’s blog about an aha moment of synthesis about why Elijah’s prayers were so effective and how I can apply the same principle to my prayers. It’s a life-changer, so make sure to check it out.
Waking the Dead by John Eldredge – Speaking of life-changers: this book! (Also, in case you are into audio books: I listened to it as an audio book, and the narrator on this one is excellent.) I was trying to decide what is so appealing to me about Eldredge’s way of dismantling long-entrenched notions that aren’t helping Christians. And then I realized that it’s because that hits a note that harmonizes with my own calling to write books. In Waking the Dead, Eldredge introduces a synthesis of four ideas that can get people free. It’s time to get free. I want to be free, and I want you to be free. If you want that, too, then do not miss this book.
Walking with God by John Eldredge – I loved how transparent Eldredge was with his sharing of episodes from his own life. Rather than preach a sermon on how to walk with God, he tells his story of walking with God through recounting events from his own life. It’s authentic and captivating.
Fully Alive by Susie Larson – I first listened to this book as an audio book from the library late last year and it was so good that I asked for the companion DVD and the paperback for Christmas so that I could go through it again more slowly and really chew on it some more. (Don’t you love receiving great books as gifts? I do!) I am soaking up every word of the book again, and if the first chapter of the DVD is any indication of the rest, I will be highly recommending that, as well, when I’m all done watching it. I am not going to rush through these; I plan to camp out here for a while.
Reading is feeding. Like food, the words go deep inside and get assimilated. So I’m reading what I want to be made of.
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May your spirit soar, strong and free.
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AmyLu Riley is the author of
Jesus as Healer: Miracles and Meditations in Luke.