by J. I. Packer
If you Read One Book on God…
I read a lot of different kinds of books. On scripture, leadership, theology, poetry and literature, current events, history, and even on some new skill I want to learn. I love to learn- expand my mind, and become the person God created me to be, fully. And all of these areas uniquely reveal something about who God is. I want to live a life of beauty, intimacy, and adventure for the glory of God. Why? Because the one true God has revealed Himself to me, saved me in spite of myself, and gives me limitless joy, meaning, and purpose for my life. How do I know that? I have spent the last 20 years getting to know God. It all starts with knowing Him. What you think of when you think about God determines everything about you (paraphrased from some smart person I cannot remember). Packer packs (I know, I know…) this book with a crash course on the nature, character, person, and promises of an infinite, personal, triune God who is. You will be richer as a person to have deeply considered the truths of this book. Keeping God as the beginning, middle and end of the Christian experience is difficult, but nothing is as beneficial to a person and a high view of God. The majestic, exalted, sovereign, holy, lover of my soul.
Here is what you will get
- Know God- why we study and meditate on God, know God vs knowing about God, the God who is
- Attributes of God- His wisdom, unchanging nature, wrath, truth, jealousy and many more.
- God for us- gospel is God’s good news for man, our promises that are true in Him, how He guides, comforts, conforms us to His image, and in Him we have all we need.
“The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God is the name, nature, person, work, … and existence of the great God whom he calls his Father.”
On the humbling effect of contemplating God: “Would you lose your sorrow? drown your cares? Then go, plunge yourself in the God deepest sea; be lost in His immensity and you shall come forth rested, refreshed, and invigorated…”
“A little knowledge of God is worth more than a great deal of knowledge about Him.”
“What makes life worthwhile is having a big enough objective, something which catches our imagination and lays hold of our allegiance; and this the Christian has, in a way that no other man has. For what higher, more exalted, and more compelling goal can there be than to know God?”
How to use this book
- In our research, this is one of the better books for study in a small group. Grab the study guide for ideas how to teach the topic or for discussion questions (if you feel like you need it). It would work for almost any group.
- Read it yourself or as a staff/leadership team. A chapter a week is not a big assignment. It could supplement your devotional and prayer time.
- Give it to a graduate. You can never go wrong with this.
This book will leave you in awe, in love, and in a deeper understanding of God. You can never commend to others what you do not cherish yourself. If you want to be a great leader, or missionary, or campus staff, you must first cherish Christ deeply. Then you cannot help but boldly, convincingly, and lovingly commend Him to others. This book helps your soul exult in God. Enjoy.
Don’t look for practical applications. The best sermons and books leave room for the Spirit of God to work. There are no 10 steps here. Sit, soak, listen, be lost in His immensity. Then act. Knowing God always results in loving obedience to Him. Get the newer version of the book as the the language and scripture references have been updated since original 1973 version. There is e-book version and also a study guide available.