I put off reading the book for 6 months, believing it to be an advertisement for World Vision. Instead I found it to be life changing in my ideals and beliefs, biblically speaking. It is full of God's truth and His perspective and value of human life.
This is a book that offers food for thought. It brings awareness to poor and hurting people, one individual at a time. Instead of producing guilt, it makes me think about what kind of difference i am making in this world. We need to be serious about fulfilling The Great Commission.
The prologue and introduction of this book began to teach me and make me think before I'd even started reading the book itself. The study guide questions and other resources in the back, including the interview with the author's wife, were all intriguing and made me want to dive into the book, as well. Once in the book, I could barely put it down. Thought-provoking, to say the least. Written in a style that's easy to grasp. Reading during my lunch breaks at work, it gave me snatches of things to think about and process the rest of the day. Amazing book. Can't recommend highly enough. My only slight concern is that I hope my copy holds up. I anticipate it being well worn, dog-eared, and marked up in the margins over time.
The gist of the book is all about the full gospel of Jesus, focusing on serving and loving the poor of the earth. Richard Stearns is the president of World Vision U.S and takes the reader on an in depth look at what the Bible says about ministering to the poor and the topic of justice.
I enjoyed this book. I liked the way Richard began the book with his own personal testimony in the first few chapters. It was very easy to feel his passion for the poor through his writing and I found my heart drawn and reminded about my own experiences in missions. I really enjoyed the stories of his travels and the incredible people he has met along the way.
Though I enjoyed the book, was provoked and challenged, I still felt something was missing. The basis of our service coming from a place of a living, intimate relationship with Jesus seemed to be missing, as well as a perspective of the time in history that we are living in in regards to the return of Jesus. There were parts that seemed to be borderline with a very strong focus on works and service, without the connection to the Man whom we love as the point of our actions. It had a real social justice feel that didn't always seem to point to the true Answer. Because I tend to be turned off from materials that have a strong social justice feel, I sure didn't like the quotes from Bono. I would have liked to see more connection at a heart-level to Jesus being the true Answer to poverty and injustice and more focus on the power of prayer. Chapter 12 and 13 were fairly depressing as they described in details the challenges surrounding the poor. I was hoping that Richard would bring the readers some hope in the midst of all the grim reality of Part 3 and 4. He brought some positive perspective, even if it wasn't the turn around that I had hoped for. I enjoyed Part 5 the most and really appreciated the challenge to the reader about what are we going to do to live out the Gospel.
On the whole, I really enjoyed this book and it was special for me to read it after returning from the mission field abroad. I would recommend this book as it is challenging and provoking about living out the whole Gospel. (I received this book complimentary from Booksneeze).
Awesome book to read. It really opens your eyes to what you can do in your daily life to serve God. It also opens your eyes to things in your life you should do differently to serve the Lord. The author has a great testimony to share!