I’ve been a fan of Matt Chandler’s for quite some time. After moving to Texas, some friends introduced me to his podcast (he pastors The Village Church in Dallas) and I’ve been hooked ever since. He has a way to bring scripture alive with conviction, humor and clear love of his congregation. If you haven’t, I definitely recommend checking out some of his podcasts. Beyond that, he writes great books as well and his latest Recovering Redemption, continues in this fabulous pattern.
You can’t. God can.
Life never lacks for improvement—in ourselves, in our relationships, in just about everything. But all our brave stabs at getting better, if they ever change anything, are incomplete at best, complete failures at worst. Sometimes much worse.
Unless . . .
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the great “unless” of life—both for those who already believe (but can’t believe the messes they’re still capable of making), as well as those who don’t yet believe but just know their way isn’t working.
Recovering Redemption, written with a pastor’s bold intensity and a counselor’s discerning insight, takes you deeply into Scripture to take you deeply inside yourself, discovering that the heart of all our problems is truly the problem of our hearts. But because of what God has done, and because of what God can do, the most confident, contented person you know could actually be you—redeemed through Jesus Christ.
None of us, really, can do what’s required to change our lives for the better, taking what’s persistently frustrating and making it perfectly satisfying. Yet as hopeless as that may sound, it is the flat-line truth in which good news comes to life . . . to your life. For just as what’s lost can be found, what’s wrong can—even now—be recovered.
I loved this quote in the introduction:
“It’s not a new song, really – the song of redemption, the gospel. It’s been around for years. But when the message meets you in the right place, at the right time, the meaning that’s always lived there can suddenly start to spill all over you. Even if the song’s not new to you at all, even if you’ve heard it sung so often by so many singers – enough times that some of its luster has been lost in the repetition – the textures and tight harmonies can still come out of the blue sometimes and stun you with its layers, its beauty.”
Much like the rest of the chapters. Chandler and Michael Snetzer have a way of bringing the truth that will capture your heart for the first time or all over again. It changes you for the better because the words they speak stem from a greater and deeper truth.
Life makes it easy to ignore/forget/etc this (whether because of our own choices or things out of control) and what that means. This book helps with recovering that (thus the title right? :).
“Because this is how we were meant to live out the ramifications of good gone bad gone amazingly good again through the introduction of the gospel into our world and into our lives. We yield. We surrender. We don’t try to force our fixes. We don’t continue in worry and fear, nor bitterness and bad attitudes, nor in self-willed attempts to gain God’s favor in hopes of regaining the relief of His blessings. No, we valiantly raise up out of dust-to-dust handfuls of broken pieces, assured by faith that the same gospel which drew us to Him for salvation is the same gospel that will keep saving us going forward – saving us from what our world and others and even ourselves have done to destroy what God has redeemed.”
It always amazes me how books, scriptures and people will speak to you at the exact time you need it and I can say without a doubt some of the words from these pages have been an answer to prayer and encouraging for my faith. Whether you are looking to change something about your life or whether you’re the person that family member or friend needs, this book will encourage you.
“The gospel of Jesus Christ is still the one reassuring answer to your antsy heart.”
I love the stories of lives redeemed (which this book had many of) and I pray those who pick up this book will read it and create many more ripples of redeemed lives, changed lives and lives that make a difference for the Gospel.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic or if you’re a fan of Chandler too!
(Thank you B&H Books for the copy in exchange for my honest opinion)