Thursday, November 8, 2012

Quick Review of Heart of the Matter

I am a big fan of CCEF, the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation.  Several of the books published by those affiliated with CCEF have been life changing. One of the most instrumental books in my walk with Christ has been How People Change by Timothy Lane and Paul Tripp. But CCEF’s impact on my life does not stop with that book. I have also received marital help, assistance in dealing with issues of shame and abuse, training in counseling others, and much more. 

All of the writers affiliated with CCEF are very good at exposing our sinful tendencies. Reading these books will rip you open and expose you.  But it never stops there. In as much as they tear they also heal with gospel balm. They never leave you on your own to deal with your problems. Change is always found in a person; namely Jesus Christ. The folks at CCEF are very faithful in pointing to Jesus.

With my love for CCEF it will be no surprise for you to hear that I was excited about Heart of the Matter. This book is a compilation of sections from other CCEF books put into a daily devotional format. Each day the reader is given a Bible verse and a brief devotional related to that passage.

Everything You Need

One of my favorite things about CCEF is that they believe that God has given us everything that we need for life and godliness in the person of Jesus Christ as revealed in His Word. That is essentially what this book is about. Every day the reader is given a devotional that relates to various life situations. I believe that a year in this book would convince the reader that they have in Christ everything they need for the situations that life throws at them. In fact, they’ll probably come to discover that it is not merely “life” that is throwing things at them but the God of grace. 

There are a variety of topics included in this book: love, hope, grace, redemption, faith, contentment, conflict, relationships, prayer, fear, patience, humility, and anger. Not everything is covered but the reader is given a framework for relating the gospel to everyday life.

Should You Buy It?

I plan to use this as a daily devotional in January. I would not suggest only using this book, though. It does not have in depth study of the various texts. This book is valuable in application. I would suggest taking the passage at the top of each day, studying it a little, chewing on it, thinking and praying through it, and then reading the devotional that goes along with the text to drive home gospel application. 

The book is retailing at $19.99 which is not a bad price.  I imagine that it will go down as the book becomes more readily available at online stores like Amazon. Yet, even if it does not 20 bucks is not a horrible price for a book that you will use all year. 

I believe you would benefit from reading this book. 

2 comments:

  1. Joshua Van Der MerweNovember 8, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    I've thought multiple times about buying How People Change. Could you give me a quick reason why you recommend it?

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  2. Here is my review from 2009: http://www.mikeleake.net/2009/02/review-of-how-people-change.html

    Many of the books I read in 2009 have stayed on my shelf. How People Change has been continuously used since '09. It really is a life-changer.

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