Jesus, Continued: Why the Spirit Inside You Is Better than Jesus Beside You is available for pre-order starting today.
Anyone who pre-orders (book delivers on Nov 4) will get two free gifts—a digital download of a five-song sampler from The Summit Church Music’s latest CD (with my favorite songs from it!) and a seven-day devotional based on Jesus, Continued.
What makes this book about the Holy Spirit different? Most books about the Holy Spirit focus on describing who the Holy Spirit is. This book is not so much about the Holy Spirit as it is for helping you understand the Spirit’s guidance in your life and how to move in his power. This book asks one, central question: Are you living by the power of the Spirit and do you know what it means to walk with him? Along the way, we get into others questions like:
- “How can we tell when the Spirit is speaking to us?”
- “How do you know which part of the mission God intends for you to pursue–in other words, how do you know your calling?”
- “What do you do when God feels totally absent?”
I wrote this book because of the relational gap many Christians (including myself for many years) feel with God. God is more of a doctrine we know about than a Person that we know. But God’s desire has always been fellowship with his people. Through the Word and the gospel, we can not only know about him, we can know him–and truly fellowship with him.
A second burden behind this book is the number of Christians I’ve observed who feel burned out with the weight of the Great Commission. They’ve been inundated with messages to be “radical,” full of “crazy love,” and “followers not fans” (all great messages), but focusing on the needs of the world eventually feels crushing–how can we possibly make a difference in a world of such great needs? Whereas the weight of the need can feel crushing, discovering the role the Spirit of God has for you, specifically, is empowering. Not everything that comes from heaven, you see, has your name on it. We are responsible to discover that special slice of the mission of God the Holy Spirit has for us and pursue it with passion. Did you know that Pentecostals are the most effective mobilizers on the planet? One of the reasons why is that Pentecostals focus not only on the weight and urgency of the mission, but on helping you discover what the Spirit wants specifically for you. Hearing about the 6,000 plus unreached people groups can be overwhelming; knowing that God has called you to a particular one, or a neighborhood, or a dorm, is empowering. Through depth in the gospel and fellowship with the Holy Spirit, we can go from guilt-driven to grace-driven and gift-driven.
Tim Keller calls this book, “A readable, practical guide to the Spirit’s relationship to the individual believer and the church.”
About the title: Jesus, Continued… Jesus said that through the church Jesus would “continue” his work. It wasn’t that in his earthly life he worked and now the church works in his absence… the Holy Spirit is the continuation of Jesus’ ministry on earth, now through his body, the church. Luke opens the book of Acts by saying that his Gospel was the story of all that Jesus “began” to do and teach. In other words, what Jesus began in Luke’s Gospel, he continues through his church in Acts.
Why the Spirit Inside You is Better than Jesus Beside You: Jesus said that the Spirit’s presence with us would be better than if he himself stayed beside us (John 16:7). How many Christians are living in the fullness of that promise? Would most Christians, if they had a choice, choose the Holy Spirit inside them even over Jesus beside them? Doesn’t that show us how far we are from the relationship Jesus intended us to have with the Holy Spirit? Most Christians relate to the Holy Spirit in the same way I relate to my pituitary gland–I know it’s in there; I know it’s essential to life and don’t want to lose it, but I’m not entirely sure what it does and I certainly don’t “interact” with it.
With Jesus, Continued I want readers to see that personal, interactive relationship has always been God’s plan for his people. This book exists to lead people to that experience if they’ve never had it, and help clarify it for them if they have.
In this book I also hope to show that both conservative and charismatic Christians have a lot to add to this conversation. From charismatics we learn that God wants fellowship with his people–not just obedience or subject mastery. God is not an absentee God who left us to complete a bunch of assignments we are to complete for him and which he’ll check on when he returns. We are to fellowship with him in the Holy Spirit–which means a living, dynamic relationship. Conservative Christians (Baptists, Reformed) rightly emphasize the Word and the Gospel as the core of Christianity. In this book I show that depth in the gospel and the fulness of the Spirit are really, in the New Testament, one and the same. For Paul, the two things are interchangeable: the deeper you go in the gospel, the more alive you become in the Holy Spirit (Eph 3:14–21).
Click here to pre-order today!