Top 5 Books I Read this Past Year

Plus tips on finding the books to read and the time to read them.

One of the best bargains available to us today? Books. Why? A good book summarizes an expert’s best thinking on a subject for a fraction of the cost of a course, or a conference, or counseling.

Top 5 Books I Read this Past Year

(You can even read while floating in the Dead Sea. Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Our problem, of course, is that precious commodity: TIME. Your life is busy—just like mine. So I’ll keep it simple.

I’d like to share with you the top 5 books I read this past year, the 5 strategies to read more books—and 5 ways you can find some free books.

(If you’re curious, I’ll also share all of the books I read this past year.)

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Make This the Year You Read the Bible

It's the best thing you can do to grow in your walk with God.

If you want to grow in your relationship with God, there’s one thing you can do this year that will make more difference than anything. Read the Bible. Here’s why.

Read the Bible with Me This Year

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Did you know? Research shows that someone who reads the Bible 4 or more times each week is:

  • 228% more likely to share their faith
  • 407% more likely to memorize scripture
  • 59% less likely to view pornography
  • 30% less likely to struggle with loneliness

Bottom line? A person who reads the Bible will have a life that looks different from one who doesn’t—even as a Christian. Perhaps this is why Peter wrote:

Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation (1 Peter 2:2).

I’ll be reading the Bible this next year. I urge you to join me!

Here are some easy ways you can do it.

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FREE Resources for Your Bible Reading This Year

There's one way to grow to you potential.

Let’s be honest. Bible reading can be intimidating. It’s a big book! But with only about 15 minutes a day, you can finish the whole Bible in a year. Why not make this year the year you do it?

FREE Resources for Your Bible Reading This Year

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Bible reading is essential for growth as a Christian. But it’s not as if you read it once and you’ve got it. We have an inexhaustible text. What’s more, we’re not always ready to understand it all the first time. Or the third.

That’s why both Paul and Peter write about the value of repetition in reading Scripture (Philippians 3:1; 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 1:13; 3:1-2).

Every year, I’ve discovered it true.

Here are 7 free resources to help you with your Bible reading this year.

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7 Christian Christmas Readings for Download

Remember these essential truths in your spiritual life

It’s a good thing we have holidays. Without these forced pauses in our hurried schedules, we would plow through life with only a headstone to stop us.

7 Christian Christmas Readings for Download

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Christmas certainly offers us a time to take a break from work. It’s also a time for family to reconnect. But most importantly, the holiday reminds us of essential truths in our spiritual lives.

Here are 7 Christian Christmas readings from Scripture with suggested themes for personal reflection or group discussion.

You can also download these Christian Christmas Readings if you prefer to print them.

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Jerusalem’s Water Gate—Where the Source of Truth Gushed

Why You Need to Wall Off Your Time with the Bible

The best way to make sure we respond positively to the opportunities God provides us is to prepare ahead of time for them. But how do we anticipate those moments? The Lord has shown us how.

Jerusalem’s Water Gate—Where the Source of Truth Gushed

(Photo: Scribe copying the Scriptures. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

At the end of the exile, God moved the heart of the pagan King Artaxerxes to allow Ezra—a scribe and priest—to return to Jerusalem in 458 BC. Fourteen years before Nehemiah returned to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, Ezra returned to rebuild the people. He did it by calling them to return to the Word of God.

Ezra shows us both how to prepare for the opportunities God provides and how to protect ourselves from what threatens them.

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How to Insert Your Quiet Time into Your Crazy Life

One discipline more than any other will make all the difference.

Sometimes I’m amazed at the chasm that stands between my morning quiet time and the rest of the day. You know what I mean? At times, there seems such a huge breach between Scripture and the real world.

How to Insert Your Quiet Time into Your Crazy Life

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Drinking deeply of the Word of God in the early morning hours, I express in prayer my love for the Lord, His Word, and His church. It’s all good.

But then I leave the house.

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How God’s Light Can Help You in Surprising Ways

When you don't know what to do next, do this.

Imagine your life without light. No corrective lenses would help. Without light, even 20/20 eyes see nothing. Why? Your ability to see comes from a source completely outside of yourself. Without light, you have no sight.

How God's Light Can Help You in Surprising Ways

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So often life feels like we’re groping in the dark for answers. How do we know which way to go? How do we find answers to our questions? That’s why David writes:

The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? —Psalm 27:1

The Lord illumines what otherwise would remain hidden in darkness. But there’s a problem. We need more than direction and even more than answers.

So God’s light gives us another essential help.

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5 Reasons to Get the Best Training for Ministry You Can

The question is, how effective do you want your ministry to be?

Years ago I devoured the massive autobiography of Billy Graham, entitled, Just As I Am. Near the end of the book, Billy wrote one sentence about training for ministry I’ll never forget.

5 Reasons to Get the Best Training for Ministry You Can

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In a section of the book where he lists his regrets, he wrote:

I would do many things differently. For one thing, I would speak less and study more. —Billy Graham

When I was young in the ministry, I resisted furthering my training. After all, I already had a ministry position. So why would I pursue more education and training? I’m done, I thought. Better to get busy making a difference.

Then one verse in the Bible hit me square between the eyes.

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How to Unwrap the Bible’s Surprising Gifts in 4 Steps

It's the best way to benefit from your Bible.

Did you unwrap all your Christmas gifts? Silly question, I know. If we left a gift unopened, we might hurt the feelings of the giver. Plus, we wouldn’t get our gift! Still, we do have surprising gifts to open. 

How to Unwrap the Bible's Gifts in 4 Steps

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The Bible is a book of gifts, often unwrapped, because we simply don’t realize its tremendous value to our lives.

I want to share with you 4 steps that can help you unwrap the Bible’s blessings in your life.

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4 Reasons You Should Try Listening to the Bible for a Change

Experience the Word of God in a brand new way.

Do you want God to speak to you audibly? That’s easy. Just read the Bible out loud. When was the last time you tried listening to the Bible instead of simply reading it? I recently listened to the whole Bible in a year. In years past, I had only read the Bible through. But listening was a different experience.

4 Reasons You Should Try Listening to the Bible for a Change

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It took longer to listen to it, of course, but the experience helped me connect with the Word of God in a way much closer to the way the original recipients interacted with Scripture.

The Bible tells us, for example:

At the end of every seven years . . . you shall read this law in front of all Israel in their hearing. —Deuteronomy 31:10–11

When this letter is read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodicea. —Colossians 4:16

Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture. —1 Timothy 4:13

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for reading the Bible. But the biblical authors originally wrote the Scriptures primarily to be heard—not read.

Here are 4 reasons why you should try listening to the Bible for a change.

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