Book Recommendation from a Pastor
Making All Things New by David Powlison
Recommendation by Pastor Mat Pau
While most books address the topic of sexual desire from one perspective, Powlison thoughtfully and concisely recognizes that sexual desires in a broken world are much more complicated than that. Which is why this book is so helpful, especially at a time like this when this season of life has brought about various pressures – our hearts are always interacting and responding to those pressures (ch. 3). And I think for many of us and those that we know, sexual desire is most likely one of those areas affected – whether it’s because we struggle with sexual immorality, or are struggling with the impact of being sexually afflicted (ch. 1) – to some degree or another (ch. 7). And yet in this brief yet impactful book, Powlison thoughtfully and practically helps us to see the hope that we have in Christ (ch. 2).
Here’s what I mean: While most books I’ve read have been helpful in practical ways, Powlison is helpfully realistic. He understands that sanctification looks different for all, and that the issue isn’t speed or distance, but rather direction (ch. 4). This is incredibly freeing because for many who struggle, sexual struggles can often feel the most disheartening. Along with this, he also recognizes that sexual struggles are rarely an isolated issue – but intertwined with all of life (ch. 5), especially our hearts (ch. 6). And yet in its complexity, Powlison reminds us that the goal is simple: Not just sinning, but growing in knowing and being more like Christ (ch. 8). It is knowing Christ, how He speaks to our specific struggle, and how we relate to Him in prayer (ch. 9).
- “To see sexual immoralities as wrong is not to be nervous about sexuality. Christian faith envisions sexual joy before the eyes of the holy God. Neither immorality nor prudishness understands that” (16-17).
- “The Son of God came into the world to save sinners. You do not need to fear telling the truth about yourself. He already knows. He has come to bear our wandering and our woe that we might turn to him and find a new life that is filled with goodness” (29).
- “God works organically in our lives. Organic growth has integrity. God works step-by-step. He walks with you. He’s always interested in how you take your every next step. Walking through life with him feels right. You’re going somewhere. The day of ‘completion’ will not arrive until the day when Jesus Christ arrives (Phil. 1:6)” (59).
- “Understanding the deeper battle for our hearts deepens the significance of the Savior” (89).
- “Your battle always gets fought at the next step, not all at once. ‘Today’s trouble’ is where you find God’s aid” (113).
Read it. I trust you’ll be as encouraged and edified as I was.
Following Sunday’s sermon on abiding in Christ, this article shows us how indispensable our devotions are. Do you realize the power of time in the Word? This simple habit of reading the Scriptures rehearses how apart from Christ, we can do nothing.
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A fitting prayer to echo at the start of your week. Or any week.