Grace is a tough two-way street: I want it freely, yet I struggle to give it abundantly, which makes this book required reading. My empirical knowledge of this subject has recently been tried by characters in my life who require it – often at odd with my desire to bestow it. Andy Stanley expounds upon this very concept with the living color of stories from Creation to God’s very Grace-with-us: Jesus. His earthy writing reminds me of Eugene Peterson, writer of The Message, while giving the clarity and punch of Max Lucado‘s beautiful prose, and yet so riveting in doctrine, like that of Chuck Colson or Francis Schaeffer, that I could not stop reading. Andy has married a hard concept with examples that breathe for my life today, and in the doing of it, I am encouraged to keep on, to improve, and to smile while on my walk.
He begins by pointing out that “grace is understood best within the context of relationship,” and proceeds to open our eyes to a masterpiece that has been painted for us, by the hand of our God. Before we existed, He created: the creation continues and astounds us daily by the strength of His grace and relationship to us. I would not have seen beyond a pretty nature scene to the care God bestows in it – to me! – without my eyes being opened by this book.
Another example of Andy’s depth comes in the explanation of Matthew’s initial genealogy of Jesus: from the perspective of Matthew, a forgiven tax-collector, and further, from the astoundingly lurid female recipients of grace who pepper Christ’s lineage. Finally, I could understand the inclusion of Tamar in my Lord’s past.
I am supremely grateful to have had the privilege of reading, absorbing, and humbly applying the lessons in this essential book, and joyfully expect it to become dog-eared in my library. I cannot more highly recommend it.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.