I recently read a book called Simply Jesus by Joe Stowell. It was a simple read, had simple concepts, but made a HUGE impact on my life. I’ve lived many years in ministry feeling frustrated with all I’ve done behind the scenes only to be treated disrespectfully or as if I was a “no one” in church. I’m sad to see that most pastor’s wives feel this way. They spend so much time praying, supporting, working when no one sees, yet they get most the complaints, most of the disgruntaled phone calls, and the most criticism. Yet, in the grand scheme of things, its not about me! It’s not about all I do, or all I pray, or all I endure. My role in my husband’s ministry is not to get the highest praise, the most appreciation. I don’t spend time on my knees, or my quiet time making phone calls, or the hours I spend behind closed doors so that my congregation ooohs and ahhs, or so they hold me high… My job as God called me into ministry is to put HIM first. And to take it all to HIM, good or bad. I’m tired of myself. I just simply want Jesus.
“Jesus intends for you to experience the pleasure and reassuring peace of His presence at the core of your life. He wants to be more than just another volume in your encyclopedia of Biblical facts. He didn’t die for you to simple strike a deal guaranteeing heaven. He died for you to make you His own and to grant you the unspeakable privilege of experiencing Him personally.” And Simply Jesus by Joe Stowell tries to show you how to get to the point of experiencing just that. Stowell puts things in simple facts drawing you to realize things you maybe already knew, but never really applied to your life. Putting Jesus first may be a known concept, but we rarely do it. In this book Stowell gives ways to meet Jesus in a real way so that we want to put Jesus in front of ourselves.
“It’s time to stop rejoicing in ourselves and start rejoicing in Jesus.” The world tells us to pamper ourselves, to puff out our chest, to toot our own horn. But in reality, we are nothing without Christ. And it’s actually freeing to put Christ first. Simply Jesus helps put that all in perspective. It takes us on a journey through Joe Stowell’s experiences, and stories to bring us to a point where we can and WANT to make changes in our lives to start putting Him ahead of ourselves. It’s freeing to not have to worry about being recognized, affirmed, or appreciated. Our egos feel they need to be stroked on a regular basis, but when we praise Jesus for all we have, for all we get to do, for the wisdom He gives us, the joy is unspeakable. There is FAR more to brag about in Him than the best of what any of us could ever hope to accomplish.
Simply Jesus by Joe Stowall is written in a very simple, easy to read way. I highlighted so much as each page jumped out and gave me those “a ha” moments. I highly recommend this read for everyone. Even when we don’t think we focus on ourselves, there are times when we aren’t focusing on Him. Since reading this book, I’m living more aware of where I put my focus. And for me, I simply want Jesus. Great read, can’t wait to have my husband read it as well so we can help each other in making changes in our “ME” world and make it our “Jesus” world.
If you’d like to read this book, I’d be interested in discussing it with you. You can get it here.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.