In the tradition of “best of” lists, here are my favorite gospel-centered books that I read in 2011.
Comforts from the Cross: Celebrating the Gospel One Day at a Time by Elyse Fitzpatrick
Each devotional is several pages long and over the course of a month you’ll read entries with titles like “Celebrate Jesus,” “No More Wrath,” “Dead to the Law,” “Presented in Splendor,” “Cured–and Clean,” Silencing the Accuser” . . . Okay, those are the titles of the first six entries. As I flipped through the book, I kept thinking, “Oh, that’s a good one . . . Oh, so is that one . . . and that one . . .” I read this book during a very difficult time for me and these reflections on God’s grace and the power of the gospel were a great source of strength and comfort. I cannot recommend this book enough. It will be a blessing to your soul. I think I need to read it again!
Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges
I spent a long time going slowly through this book and it reinforced the truths I learned in Comforts from the Cross. Excellent, thorough, logically laid out book. As soon as I started thinking “Well, what about . . . ?”, he answered my questions in the next chapter. I thought the chapters about love and obedience were the most helpful on a practical level. I’m currently memorizing the verses used as chapter headers and the main passages discussed in the book. After my friend finishes reading it and returns it, I plan on rereading it. I also have The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges to read this year.
What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert
Gospel Meditations for Women by Chris Anderson and Joe Tyrpak
This is another 31-day devotional that I greatly benefited from this year. Each entry is only one page, but each page is packed with great expositions of Scripture about how to apply the gospel to every day living. I love that each entry ends with “Let the Gospel affect your . . . ” and those simple statements alone provide much to think about. I’ve been buying this devotional book and the one for men (haven’t read that one yet, oddly enough) and giving them away to my family and friends. I’ve also purchased a copy of Gospel Meditations for Missions and I look forward to reading that one soon. Here’s a link to sample pages of GM4W.