Monday, September 1, 2014
Every Christian Needs to Read This! - Dirty Faith - by David Z. Nowell
About the book:
Put Your Faith Into Action
Do you ever feel like something in your faith is missing, that going to church, studying the Bible, and tithing just aren't enough? There has to be more, right? What would it look like to truly follow Christ and not just believe in him?
David Nowell asked the very same questions, and was led to minister to the "least of these," whom God loves deeply. In Dirty Faith, Nowell shares powerful stories of faith in action, and encourages us to move with him from the sidelines to the front line, to get our hands dirty helping the hopeless, the disenfranchised, and the poor.
Loving as God loves is central to the gospel, whether that means taking in foster children, ministering to inmates at the local jail, or something else God has in mind just for you. Let this inspiring book help you find what's been missing in your faith.
This book is amazing! It's challenging and caused me to look at my faith and whether I'm truly following Jesus and being his hands and feet. He starts out by explaining how the Hope Unlimited For Children ministry he's president of got started in Brazil and shares stories of real kids who have been rescued from sex trafficking, prostitution and living on the streets. I was moved to tears more than once reading their stories. He asks us to look at our own hearts, to realize that God loves these kids just as much as He loves you and me, that they are just as precious and made in His image. He challenges us to really look at our faith and whether we are ministering to and loving the least of these, the orphans, the widows, the hungry.
He talks about what Jesus said in Matthew 25: 41-45 when he tells the ones on his left to go to the eternal fire because they did not clothe him, feed him, visit him in prison, etc. because they did not do this for the least of these. If we are truly living as Jesus said and did, we will be taking care of them. He also points out James 1:27, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows..." He points out that this is our problem, that we are commanded as Christians to do this. We can't pass it off on someone else. He challenges the church as a whole and us as individuals to see the need and do something about it. It may not look the same for everybody, but the point is to love with Jesus' love, to spend ourselves, to do something.
We also need to do it wisely, with the focus on the big picture of how will this help someone for the long term? Are we helping to break the cycle of abuse or poverty for this child, but also how can we impact the culture so childhood prostitution is no longer acceptable? He acknowledges this is hard work, dirty faith. Finally, he shares stories of people who are doing just that. I think every Christian needs to read this! It's a wake-up call for us to get our hands dirty doing what Jesus commanded.
I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.