Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Worth Living by Mary DeMuth

Back Cover...

With deep compassion, Mary DeMuth dares you to believe that the God who started a good work in you is faithful to bring it to glorious completion. That the God who redeems you also loves you--right now and always--with a beautiful love. That you are a daughter of the King and always welcomed in his presence. 

Discover here a future of strength and security, knowing that you are wildly loved and destined to have a great impact on the world around you. 

This book is one of those books that's attempting to fill a void in the evangelical realm. When we listen to Christian ministries, preachers, teachers, and leaders in general we often hear two extremes: "God loves you so you don't have to worry about sinning because you're going to heaven" or "You're worthless because you've sinned and you deserve hell and judgment." Neither ideas are completely Scriptural because they either add in man's ideas or leave out the rest of the biblical context.

DeMuth's book describes how we are worthy because God loves us and because He's offered salvation for us. Coming from a difficult past and childhood, she has struggled to understand her worth as a child of God, so she writes from a personal perspective as well. She begins each chapter with a lie that we believe and sums up the statement of truth at the end of the chapter.

This book is intended for a Christian audience, I believe, but I would recommend that the reader has strong biblical foundation before taking all her statements at face-value. DeMuth explains the worth of a person as found in Christ alone, but her statements of loving oneself or "unmasking" who you are or becoming more of yourself can be misleading if not understood from her Christian worldview. I would completely disagree with the idea of learning to love yourself because Scripture tells us that we naturally love ourselves already and a spiritual fight takes place when we must learn to love others as we love ourselves. Also, I wouldn't totally agree that we are worthy, as DeMuth states, simply because Jesus loves us. We are not worthy in any way, shape, or form except that once saved we are seen as in Christ. In Him, though we still sin and struggle against the human nature, we do have the perfection of Jesus written in us, though it will not be realized until we enter heaven.

Aside from those underlying ideas in this book, it was an encouraging read. She exhorts her readers to let go of productivity and embrace purpose in our actions. To live freely, not embracing sin, but living faithfully for God within His limitation and our personal consciences. To trust in God for His work within us rather than idolizing perfection. To give criticism to Jesus instead of letting it drag us down. To find our security in God and to allow other fellow Christians to come alongside and help us instead of living in isolation. To dare to live and walk by faith knowing that we serve a big God who delights in us and who loves us unconditionally.

Favorite Quotes

We think, errantly, that people can fulfill our deepest longings for worth. This simply is not true. 
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God's church isn't a robot army of identical warriors. It's a body of mismatched, unpicked (but picked) pilgrims who dare to live unmasked.
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Your circumstances may rail against a loving God, but the truth is that his love never, ever fails. You may not understand it this side of heaven's shores, but it is true nonetheless. God's love is bedrock. Build your life on it.
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Herculean effort doesn't mean success will come.
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Rest is a holy act of faith through which we show we truly believe in God's ability to run the universe without our control or help.
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I used to think that if I was sad, or I grieved, then something was terribly wrong wtih me and I hadn't fully healed. In those moments, I forgot all about Jesus in anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane or his weeping at the tomb of Lazarus or his crying out to God the Father in agony on the cross.
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Suffering becomes the darkened backdrop where redmeption shines all the fiercer....We are not made for this world but for one where wrongs are righted, tears are wiped away, and unending joy abounds.










Disclosure:
I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers www.bakerbooks.com/bakerbooksbloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

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