Here are three books I highly recommend to read any time. They are especially suited to deepening your faith throughout Lent.
Perfect Trust by Charles Swindoll is a small but powerful book. Its size belies the profound wisdom it contains. This is a great little book to use devotionally to increase trust in God. It can be given as a small gift. There are memorable quotes throughout. One of my favorite is “When God says no it’s not necessarily discipline or rejection. It may simply be redirection.” This little book is a gem.
Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ
Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ by John Piper is a beautifully written, profound and inspiring book that asks who was Jesus Christ? John Piper answers this question in chapters describing Jesus’ ultimate aim, deity, excellence, gladness, power, and wisdom. These are followed by chapters on his desecration, anguish, saving sacrifice, mercies, severity, resurrection and second coming. Each chapter brings new insight into the character of Jesus, with biblical references. Here are a couple of samples:
Jesus “knows all people thoroughly, our hearts and our thoughts….There is no one who perplexes Jesus. No thought or action is unintelligible to him. He knows its origin and end. The most convoluted psychotic and the most abstruse genius are open and laid bare to his understanding. He understands every motion of every mind.” Pg. 52
What God has made is like a toy compared to the complexity and depth of who God is. All the sciences that scratch the surface of the created universe are mere ABCs compared to Christ’s exhaustive knowledge of the created universe. Pg. 54-55
The chapter titled The Tough Side describes the severity of Jesus. Piper says “It is often the offensive side of Jesus that we most need.” This chapter alone is worth the price of the book.
Timothy Keller in King’s Cross gives a profound, detailed and inspiring account of the Gospel of Mark. In Part 1 Keller offers an exposition of the first eight chapters of Mark demonstrating the Kingship of Jesus and in the process exposing our sinfulness. In Part 2 Keller shows that the purpose of Jesus is to die on the Cross. He tells this to the disciples over and over but they don’t get it. This section of the book is an exposition of the book of Mark from the Transfiguration to the Cross and the Resurrection. Keller unearths many beautiful gems of Truth throughout the book. This is an insightful book to read and reread. It convicts us of sin, reveals a more complete picture of Jesus, humbles us before our Lord and Savior who died for us, and cements the reality of the Resurrection.
These are excellent books to read during Lent. They will inform you, inspire you and deepen your faith.