My Top 10 Books for 2014December 19, 2014
“Read,” said Harold Ockenga, “to refill the wells of inspiration.” Every year I catalogue the books I have digested over the past twelve months to see which ones have “filled up my wells.” Not every book is helpful, not every author is accurate, and not every chapter is inspiring, but if you pick through enough books, you’ll eventually find something to eat. Like a cheap buffet, sometimes you have to pass over a ton of food to get the right entrée on your plate. You can’t take it all in, and you’re not supposed to. Sir Francis Bacon said it like this, “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. That is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read holy, and with diligence and attention.”
With that being said, here is my top 10 list for 2014.
10. He is Not Silent – Albert Mohler
Mohler calls the preacher to speak with biblical conviction and clarity. He establishes the need for preaching in this post-modern culture, and then pleads with men of God to rightly proclaim the Word of God with accuracy and urgency.
9. Come Boldly – Devotional Reader
This is a daily devotional read full of classic writings from treasured authors of the past. Daily excerpts are from prolific writers like Spurgeon, Moody, Tozer, Chambers, Lewis, Mueller, Bounds, Bonhoeffer, and many others. Great way to start the day!
8. Good Leaders Ask Great Questions – John Maxwell
Though the book is a little redundant in some places, it does prove why Maxwell is the leadership guru of our generation. This book has literally hundreds of questions that any relevant and growing leader should ask. Maxwell not only asks the questions in this book, he answers them.
7. The Seven Decisions – Andy Andrews
Having studied the life and biographies of hundreds of successful people, Andrews saw a pattern. In this book, he outlines the seven basic decisions that successful people make. This is a very practical, simple, and straightforward read. You can take his advice and immediately put it into practice.
6. Transforming Grace – Jerry Bridges
I do not know of another author who writes with such humility and meekness. Bridges’ disposition uniquely comes across in his work, I suppose, because he typically majors on the subject of grace. This book, though fundamentally simple, shows how radical and life-changing the grace of God is in the life of a believer.
5. Replenish – Lance Witt
This book is full of practical advice and counsel. Witt warns of the danger of overload and spells out realistic ways to “replenish” your heart and soul. The chapters are short and easy-to-read, but the content is life-changing.
4. A Praying Life – Paul E. Miller
Miller writes from the perspective of a father whose child is challenged with autism. The struggle to communicate with his child is paralleled in his prayer life. In candid fashion, he honestly discusses the real issues of prayer and how we can break through to communicate with God.
3. The Divine Mentor – Wayne Cordeiro
In this book, Cordeiro gives practical instruction on how to develop the devotional life. He looks toward certain patriarchs of Scripture and allows them to “mentor” him in his walk with God. Ultimately, his dependence upon Christ, the Divine Mentor, is the key to successful Christian living. Great read!
2. Spiritual Maturity – J. Oswald Sanders
I have had this book in my library for many years but never took the time to read it. It was so intriguing that I actually read the entire thing in one day while on the beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama. The first section alone, on the Vision of God, was worth the investment.
1. Tempted and Tried – Russell Moore
This was another “beach read” for me. Tempted and Tried is one of the most cleverly-written books I have ever read. Moore gives remarkable insight regarding the spiritual realities of temptations. He processes the temptation of Christ throughout the book and gives helpful instruction on how to overcome our enemy. This is the best book I have read on the subject of temptation, and by far the best book I read all year long.
Be Real Because Fake is Exhausting – Rick Bezet
Out of Commission – Paul Chappell
Leading on Empty – Wayne Cordeiro
The Utter Relief of Holiness – John Elderedge
A Resilient Life – Gordon MacDonald
Ashamed of the Gospel – John MacArthur
Treasures of the Transformed Life – John Mathison
The Purpose of Man – A.W. Tozer
Fasting for a Miracle – Elmer Towns
Crazy Busy – Kevin DeYoung