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Thursday, December 20, 2012

"Jesus Pure and Simple" (Wayne Cordeiro)

TITLE: Jesus: Pure and Simple
AUTHOR: Wayne Cordeiro
PUBLISHER: Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2012, (210 pages).

Have we forgotten what being a Christian is all about? Are we loading too much excess and non-essential stuff in our small luggage bag of life? What if by working on all the steps of discipleship, or trying to fulfill all the important spiritual disciplines per se, that we have forgotten our main goal: Jesus? Indeed, the things we do reflect the primary goal of our activism. "Jesus: Pure and Simple" attempts to cut through all the flowery ribbons of busyness, to unwrap the paper covering the true identity in Christ, to open up the present of the gift of God, that is Christ Jesus, pure and simple. "It's time to get back to Jesus." No more multiple characteristics that define one's identity. No more steps to take in order to attain a certain security. No more seminars, conferences, talks, sermons, that only go to increase one's inadequacy. For only Jesus defines our identity, gives us security, and comfort us to know that Jesus is not just the answer to our mental faculties, but the Person who is our Guide for life. In order to do that, first we need to recognize and to move away from the two symptoms of Pharisaic lifestyle: self-righteousness and self-deception. Second, why choose the imperfect activism when we have the perfect Christ? Third, remember that while we are in the world, we are not of the world. This requires us to break away from the subcultures that hinder us, and to long for God in person. Four, before one can focus on Jesus, one needs to know who is this Jesus. Cordeiro helps us see the difference between getting answers and receiving promises. The former worries while the latter trusts. Such a trusting disposition is evident in our life through patient service, mature perspective, dedicated commitment, courageous endurance, regular discipline, and simple faith. Six, instead of worrying ourselves through multi-tasking activities, we can focus all our goals and efforts on just knowing God. On and on, Cordeiro goes through the Christian life from beginning to end, from knowing Christ to wanting to know Christ more. Through personal relationship, through sharing the gospel, and through living the life of a disciple.  The author ends with three challenges at the end.

  1. "Choose this day whom you will serve." - Decide whose side we are on. There is no middle ground.
  2. "Choose the posture you will take." - Choose to serve the Master.
  3. "How will you respond when tested?" - Stick to faithfulness in spite of trials.

Indeed, the saddest part about life is when we allow temporal things to fill up our prime time of life, and we only deal with the things of permanence with our leftover time, if any.

We have a choice. We can choose now.

The older we get, the more complacent we can become. Anyone who thinks that maturity comes about through the accumulation of years, think again. We are all so prone to the deceptions of the world that we can be sidetracked by the worries and cares of the world. We are easily tempted to try to take things on our own hands, turning good intentions into self-driven efforts to glorify oneself in the name of God. These things only add to our already complicated lifestyle. Cordeiro reminds us again that these things are the peripheral, not the fundamental. This book is an important antidote in a world infatuated with efficiency, productivity, and all kinds of spiritual progress that are not based on the gospel or the Person of Christ. We need to cut through all these and focus again on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. This book is a powerful resource to help us do just that.

"Nothing is as refreshing as a cold glass of fresh orange juice, pure and simple. For that matter, anything that is pure and simple is refreshing in today's artificial world of sleek packaging and million-dollar marketing." (11)

Rating: 4.25 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me free by Bethany House Publishers and Graf-Martin Communications in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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