Thursday, February 2, 2012

eBook Review: Jesus+Nothing=Everything by Tullian Tchividjian

I just finished Tullian Tchividjian's book Jesus+Nothing=Everything. This was my second book of his that I had read. The first one, Surprised By Grace, is one of the best books that I have read in a long while, outside of my Bible. It helped to open my eyes to my shortcomings in judging all that I do for God while not giving the Gospel the correct place in my life. This second book seemed to build upon that subject for me.

In many ways, this is a subject matter (the need for the Gospel every day in my life) that I am in much need of studying and comprehending. For too many years now I have consciously (and many more ways subconsciously) based my spiritual "success" on tangible things that I have done - prayer life, Bible study, growth of our church, etc. When those areas where going well, then I felt as if God approved, liked, and blessed me more. And the opposite emotion was felt when I stumbled and struggled in those areas. But there no more of a freeing affect than to begin to fully grasp that God's love for me and for you is not wrapped up in anything we do but is complete in us through what Jesus has already done for us! This book deals with this issue in a very pointed way, and cuts straight to the heart of the issue. 

Anytime we begin to approach this issue of a daily Gospel for the believer and our need to NOT do anything in order to earn God's favor, blessing, and love, one of the first statements made is usually along the lines of:
 That just opens the door for Christians to live however they want and sin without repercussions. What about all those Bible verses about what we are supposed to do and how we are supposed to live?
 Maybe even you are thinking of this or something similar as you read my review. I know this use to be the  default answer for myself when others pushed the issue of the Gospel and grace. But before you accuse the author, or me, of promoting cheap grace, he deals with this issue near the end of the book by showing that we will serve the Lord and follow holiness because of our new motivation of grace. Not out of duty and the need to try to please God and earn His favor; but out of love, liberty, and grace. There is a great freedom in this, and it is something that I feel as if I am growing in each day.

Now, the book seems to get a little "long" in the end. By that, I mean it has a little bit of a repetitiousness feel to it as you get closer to finishing it. But by no means is it a reason to not pick up this book and allow yourself to be help from it and have the burden of performance removed from your spiritual life.

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