Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Book Review: Lazarus Awakening by Joanna Weaver

About the Book: Getting God’s Love from Our Heads to Our Hearts

You believe that God loves the world…but sometimes you wonder if He truly loves you.

For many of us, moving the truth of God’s love from our heads to our hearts is a lifelong process. As we consider our inadequacies or grieve our shattered dreams, we find it difficult to believe that God cares for us personally.

In this life-giving book, Joanna Weaver shows you how to embrace the truth that Jesus loves you apart from anything you accomplish, apart from anything you bring. Just as He called Lazarus forth to new life, Jesus wants to free you to live fully in the light of His love, unbound from the graveclothes of fear, regret, and self-condemnation.

Love is calling your name.

Combining unforgettable real-life illustrations with unexpected biblical insights, Joanna Weaver invites you to experience a spiritual resurrection that will forever change your understanding of what it means to be the one Jesus loves. Bible study and Leader’s Guide available here. http://www.joannaweaverbooks.com/books/lazarus-awakening/

My thoughts: You'd think that after looking at the story of the death and resurrection of Lazarus twice already in her first two books (Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World and Having a Mary Spirit), that there would be no further lessons to be learned. Though I've only read portions of the first book, there are definitely fresh insights to be learned by focusing on the Lazarus. Who knew you could learn so much from one Biblical account? Just goes to show that there's always more to learn.

Joanna's conversational style of writing is very easy to read. She mixes in personal stories and applications to practically illustrate the truths she digs up from the text.

One insight that I really appreciated was this...
God wants a relationship with us more than He wants our acts of service. Obviously service is vital to our walk with God and is evidence of our faith - but it is supposed to be the result of a relationship with God, not a replacement for it.

God also wants a relationship with us more than He wants our worship. That one blew me away a bit. Here's a quote from the book....
I realize it's almost sacrilegious in some areas of today's Christian culture to suggest that God might be looking for more than our praise. We've elevated worship to a place that nearly teeters on idolatry. We've said worship is our highest calling - and important it is.

But listen! The angels already provide God with praise. They surround the throne of God 24/7. You and I were not created to add voices to the angelic choir. We were created to enjoy an intimate relationship with the King of the Universe. (emphasis mine)

Another point that really grabbed me - God is our Friend. And He fulfills His role as our Friend perfectly. But are we a friend to God? Do we treat Him like a close friend, a true friend (the Greek word philos - the term used by Jesus when He called Lazarus "friend")? Or do we treat Him like a genie, only our friend for what we can get from Him? Are we selfish comrades, groupies, unfaithful and deceptive friends (the Greek word hetairos - the term used by Jesus when He called Judas "friend" when he betrayed Him)?

What kind of friend are we to Jesus? Lazarus or Judas?

For these, and many more insights, I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of this book!

Thank you to Stephanie and Amy from Litfuse Publicity for organizing this tour and providing me with my complimentary review copy.


Claire said...

That sounds like a really interesting book!


Miriam said...

My Bible study group did the first book together and we learned a lot. This one sounds really good too!


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