Some things seem so obvious, until it comes down to actually putting them into practice. Putting God first in everything we do is one of those things that should be obvious, but somehow, it doesn't always come across that way. In his latest book The God First Life: Uncomplicate Your Life, God's Way (Zondervan, 2014), Stovall Weems does an incredible job in offering tips to make things a lot less complicated than we usually see them as being.
Weems starts with a single, simple verse from the gospel of Matthew: Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matt 6:33, NIV). For such a simple verse, it certainly is powerful, so powerful that I wondered if Weems wasn't oversimplifying things. But he's not. The place we should start is with God, and the rest will fall in to place. Ask anyone who tried doing things their way first, and then turning to God as the last resort. Most of them will be glad to tell you that they got things backward, and as a result they paid the price.
A major premise of this book is that putting God first allows the Christ follower to reap the promises of God, a new family, a new life and, and a new freedom. I usually don't like books which the author claims will give you anything, I read this book expecting to find the catch, to find the words which would seem to be adding something to the gospel of Jesus, but it just wasn't there.
Another thing that pleased me about this book is that the author doesn't paint everything as coming up roses. He talks about servant hood, he talks about giving, yes, giving, as in tithing, as in ten percent to the local church, and he does so unapologetically. We read that sometimes Christians suffer, just like anyone else, but it's better to suffer as a Christian than as a non-believer.
Well placed scripture references reinforce the whole concept of putting God first. He even includes a breakdown of the Lord's Prayer to help people understand the purpose of each phrase.
Thanks to the publisher for providing me an advance review copy of this book in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review.
Finally! A straightforward guide to how to do life as a Christian. Book stores are jam-packed with books about priorities, juggling life, and fitting God into your schedule. The God First Life by Stovall Weems is simple, direct, and clarifying.
In his first few chapters, Pastor Stovall Weems introduces us to the idea of a God First Life. In this life, we trade anxiety and chaos for order and blessing. Throughout the rest of the book, he lays the framework from scripture of what our life should look like. My favorite chapters are on the priority of community. The reality in the Christian life is the need for relationships. We need them to get through times of growth, change, difficult situations, and healing.
Stovall Weems truly addresses all of the necessities of the Christian life in this book. He gives helpful guidance in areas including worship, prayer, and devotion time. I found myself taking notes, and loving all the golden nuggets in every chapter. Another highlight in this book for me was in the chapter on serving. He says, "Serving is not something we do, serving is who we are." Weems goes on to give a Self-test to Servants and it is definitely challenging.
I highly recommend this book to new and old Christ Followers alike. It would be perfect for new believer packs at your church. The God First Life is an encouraging, life changing read.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book by its publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. I have not been compensated and all opinions are my own.
Is your life the pits? Weems wants you to know there is a better way to live life - God's way.
Life does not have to be complex, Weems writes. It's simple. Put God first. Living a God-first life releases the freedom and joy you are to have in Christ. It is the only way your deepest needs will be met.
It is an easy thing to say, but how do you do it? How do you live it out? That is what this book is about.
It begins with a decision to follow the right order of putting God first, Weems writes. Once the decision is made, it must be sacred and irrevocable. He explains the life following that decision, covering our position in God's family and how we become a functional member of it. Next is being part of community and doing life together. He explores worship (engaging God with our bodies, encountering God in our minds, experiencing God in our souls). Next comes personal devotions (prayer, being in the Word, daily quiet time), serving (having a servant heart, ways to reach out), and tithing. He then looks at how the freedom we have in Christ works its way out in our lives (freedom from the past, freedom in the present, freedom for the future).
This is a good book for new Christians. It will really give one a sense of the importance of making quality decisions putting God first and then following through in living the God-first life. Seasoned Christians may be familiar with much of the information in this book.
If you are unhappy with your life and want to understand what it means to live life God's way, this is the book for you. You'll be introduced to the best possible life you can live.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Icon Media for the purpose of this independent and honest review.