The title exactly describes this book. It is about Jesus and how we as Christians can be more like Him. The author teaches you through scripture who Jesus is and how His life can change your life. It is a simple book and written so anyone can read and understand it. It was not condescending in any way and is a great recourse for anyone who wants to learn more about Jesus. I gave this book 4/5 stars. I liked the book and only had a few spots where I felt it was repeating itself or the idea got lost in the words. Overall it was a good book and a joy to read!
I would like to thank the publisher for the copy of this book I enjoyed reading. I gave an honest review based on my opinion of what I read.
When I received “Jesus Pure & Simple” I was really excited to read it! The back of the book asks, “Do you ever feel like you’re being pulled in a million directions?” Why yes, many times I do! I’m sure many people feel that same way these days! There are so many good things to be a part of now that it is hard to know when to say no. I am learning that there are many projects and ministries that are good, but just aren’t for me right now. And that is ok!
Back to the book…I started reading it, and was frustrated within a few pages. The author has many good stories and illustrations, but he jumps back and forth constantly. I kept reading hoping maybe it was just the first chapter, but it wasn’t. It just didn’t flow easily from subject to subject. The stories were great and encouraging, but I like books to flow. I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t love this book since I had such high hopes. If you like to read short encouraging stories, you might enjoy this book; otherwise, you might want to keep looking for a different ‘simple’ book.
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Review 3 for Jesus: Pure and Simple - eBook
Date:January 5, 2013
The title of the book is self explanatory. The first few chapters, Pastor Cordeiro takes a while to explain his thoughts about the subject and I think to the average person, this might seem like it is a slow going book. With that said- Please do not stop reading this book! It is a well written book with many practical applications of how we need to step back from what we think we know is right, or even from our school of thought and get our focus back on Jesus. The style of the writing is simple, almost like a conversation. As far as the versions of the Bible, he uses many. (personally I do not like this, but that is another discussion) Although there are few things in the book that I would not agree with (coming from a more conservative school of thought) this book was very helpful in some areas to focus on Jesus, which is what the Christian life is all about. At the end of each chapter there are discussion questions that you can go back and reflect on or use in a small group session. This book gives many examples, many of which were first hand experiences for the author. He is not just saying that we should do this, but is giving first hand accounts of where he has learned the lesson, and sometimes the hard way. Overall I think that this book was helpful tome and would suggest it to others. I am part of a review program with Bethany House and received a free copy of this book. The manner of receiving the book in no way affected my review of this book.
Everyone goes through difficult times in life. You may be experiencing a situation that has left you feeling lost and hopeless. What’s the answer? Return to Jesus – pure and simple. On the other hand, you may be involved in ministry, being pulled into several different directions at once as you try to balance family, friends, job, studies and faith. These are all good things, but they can leave you feeling overwhelmed. What’s the answer? Return to Jesus - pure and simple.
Wayne Cordeiro reminds us of the simplicity of faith and following Jesus. He points out how we often lose sight of our true priorities as we try to accomplish our own goals. We become overwhelmed, or stray for the path, and the only thing that can truly be at peace (no matter what our circumstances may be) is to return to Jesus. Jesus is our example, and spending time with Him will make us more like Him.
In the final chapter, Cordeiro discusses three choices we must all make. 1) Choose this day whom you will serve. 2) Choose the posture you will take. 3) How will you respond when tested?
All of these are extremely important, but in today’s world I think we really need to focus on the second. The posture you take is the “attitude or disposition that you have as a believer.” Cordeiro shares these points: •Be steadfast without being belligerent. •Be teachable without being gullible. •Be courageous without being arrogant. •Be righteous without being self-righteous.
Overall, this book is a reminder to every believer. We may stray. We may fail. We may move so far away from the Father that we feel like we can never return. But we can. If we only look for Jesus, we’ll find Him. He’ll be waiting there with open arms… pure and simple.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes from Bethany House.
Jesus: Pure and Simple had many great points about going back to simply following Jesus and doing as He did. Studying/ reading your Bible, praying, loving others, and always being ready to share your knowledge of God with others. Using both scripture and personal stories, this book will lead you back to a more simplified life of following Jesus as opposed to the business so many of us fall into. We may be busy doing the Lord's work, but too busy to spend time with Him or telling others about Him in a personal way. Several chapters reminded me of ways I am guilty of doing that.
I scanned through some other reviews online and saw a couple of remarks about Cordeiro teaching a "prosperity gospel". I did not think he ventured that far. I saw it more as finding contentment with what you have when you are back to the basics of being a disciple of Jesus. I had some trouble getting into the book, but I believe it was more due to the format: I had to accept an e-book version this time, and I still prefer to hold a book in my hands, especially since I sometimes want to go back to a passage...and that is simply the way I have 'always' done it! (I can't fault the author for that). I do recommend this book for others.
Disclosure: I was provided a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.
The introduction alone, or rather the first sentence of the introduction immediately convicted me. It convicted me that "It's time to get back to Jesus."
It's time to get back to Jesus. That seemed to be the theme for the first several chapters, and as I read, I whispered a lot of "Amens" and did a lot of head nodding. In these chapters, the author discusses what distracts us from Jesus and draws us away from Him, how we can so many times fall just short of Jesus, how we constantly need to correct back to Jesus (and also not overshoot Him), how we need to remember who we are and what we are here for, how to live in this world without becoming of this world, and how to continually shift our focus onto Him. These were all things I needed to hear and I found these chapters very refreshing for me.
As I continued to read, the focus of the book seemed to change to how we should bring others to Christ. The book didn't seem to flow as well as in the beginning; it became a bit confusing, and in my opinion, not so simple. The author goes on to discuss what we should and shouldn't be doing in order to have a pure and simple devotion to Christ and to bring others to Him (which is ironic, because on the inside flap of the book is says, "And the good news is that it's not about doing more or doing less"). The author devotes a whole chapter about performing acts of hidden service, but I feel the whole book was laced with way too many "success" and "service" stories of the author's; there was way too much Wayne in this book, and not enough Jesus, in my opinion. The author did refer to many different scriptures and bible stories throughout the book; I just don't feel that many of them were relevant to the topic at hand or the point he was trying to get across.
As I finished up the book, I felt that the author redirected the book back to the original message of getting back to Jesus and how we are the ones that need to make changes because Jesus never changes.
Overall, I feel the author could have gotten his message (or at least the message I thought the book was about according to its description) across using half the number of pages than he did (the book is 200 pages). The book was definitely a good reminder of where our focus needs to be, with an unfortunate lull in the middle of the book.
Next time I feel that "It's time to get back to Jesus," I will pick up my Bible - pure & simple.
* I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in return for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
When I first read this, I laughed a little. Who doesn't know what it is like to be pulled in a million different directions these days. Something is always competing for our attention. As a mom of three (and a new homeschooling mom to boot) being pulled in all directions in nothing new for me. So could getting back to what Jesus is all about really be an answer to my chaos? We will get back to that in a bit.
Pastor Cordeiro's book from the beginning kept my attention. The everyday examples he used to make his arguments were ones I could relate to. One of my favorite quotes from the book was:
" In the end, the church will not be defined so much by what we separated ourselves from, but by that to which we have given ourselves. Jesus gave His life to reaching lost people for eternity's sake. When I stand before the throne of God, He won't ask me, 'How many friends did you have on Facebook?" or "How many hits did you get on your website?" I personally think He will ask, "How many did you bring with you?"
In my opinion that is something we all need to remember. Jesus had followers and enemies. He performed miracles on people and aided in their salvation. How did he, by being with the people. By being in the world and not of it. It is not an easy task to undertake but a worthy one.
Pastor Cordeiro touches on many more subjects in his book. At one point he says that one needs to pull back from the activities that they do if those activities pull you away from Jesus. Later he goes on to say that if you choose to continue with those activities let them be done with humility and without recognition. I believe that is so important. It doesn't matter if people see you do it, God does.
In the end this was a wonderfully written book that not only had humor but some transparency as well. Hearing another's story and their walk with Christ can be encouraging. So to answer the question from before, yes Jesus is the answer to my chaos. He won't magically change my circumstances just because they are hard (lets be honest it might be a little boring if everything was perfect :) ) but he does say that he will give us peace. Getting back to where it began, and in God's word can be answers to prayer. Yes it sometimes is that pure and simple.
I received this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion. No other goods were exchanged.
Wayne Cordeiro’s premise behind the book Jesus: Pure and Simple is that we have strayed from Jesus and complicated the process by which we try to find him. Masked behind religious traditions, man made rules and convenient excuses lies a man that deeply wants to connect with us and offer us something more than we have been experiencing.
He says, “It’s easy to confuse self-worth with net worth or our spiritual vitality with our spiritual activity. We rate our maturity by what we do: How often we go to church How many Bible studies we attend each week How many times we’ve read the Bible How much we volunteer at church We become vulnerable to the enemy’s distraction when we use the wrong measuring stick. We rate ourselves by what we do rather than who he is.” (14-15)
Cordeiro tries to offer an alternative, something simple that take stress away from our lives and help us connect more deeply with Jesus. He shows us the a spirituality firmly rooted in what Jesus has done and accomplished can give us fresh eyes to harvest with and a deep abiding place for our soul to rest. I wrote recently about Jesus command to not worry about our lives, that faith in God is incompatible with a life of fear. Cordeiro offers something similar. We serve a holy God that delights in us and wants us to experience a life full of his grace and truth. Distractions, discontentment and religiosity threaten to take away the life that Jesus offers. The Good: Cordeiro’s easy to read style makes the book fun, easy to read and engaging. It’s a fairly quick read that offers some helpful insights for an average reader. Questions at the end of the chapter make it useful for group discussion and dialogue.
The Bad: Many personal examples seem to paint him as a hero too often. It’s typically good practice to not refer to oneself in preaching too often. We either look like a goat (boy, this guy is really an idiot) or a hero (I could never live up to his example). Too many personal examples from Cordeiro seem to paint him as a hero too often. He highlights that he started out with a small house but now (because of faithfulness to God) can have multiple houses and one is really big. What about the person that lives a life of simplicity in Jesus but never experiences those things? It can be a little distancing.
The rating: Overall, this is probably somewhere in the 3 to 3.5 out of 5 stars range. Besides my critique on the number of personal examples I think it could be a helpful book for some church small groups or people questioning how to have a more vibrant faith.
Disclaimer: I reviewed a free copy of this book through the Bethany House Publishers book review program. I was in no way compensated for this review and all views are solely and completely my own. I was not required to offer a positive review either through the publisher or author.
Jesus - Pure and Simple by Wayne Cordeiro is a book that you will not want to read through and let it collect dust on a bookshelf. Its context will challenge you to look to the core of who you are in Christ even after you are done reading the book. This is the second book I have read of Wayne’s and I must say this book takes center stage. As I read through the chapters, I often walked away with conviction of mind and heart to return my own life to a pure and simple devotion to Christ. Life today has every distraction that will compete for our attention and attempt to pull us away from Jesus. This book will give you the Biblical basics of the whys and how tos to live a life uncomplicated by the world and even religion itself.
Each chapter is well organized and presents it context in such a way that it will capture you from page one. I thought that the group study questions at the end of each chapter provide a great tool for group discussion. I believe that this gem of a book deserves a place in every home. If you just read it and put it down it will do you no good. This book and its message must be injected into the heart of the Christian so that it can go deep. It must be pondered and reflected upon in order for it to really sink in. I highly recommend this book to every believer. It has the potential along with the power of the Holy Spirit to change your life. It’s time to get back to Jesus!
I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers for this review
Have you ever felt that your life has been pulled in a million different directions? Ever felt overwhelmed with so many programs at church? Author Wayne Cordeiro says, if that is you, then it is time to get back to Jesus. Cordeiro's latest book, Jesus: Pure & Simple is all about coming back to Jesus when life gets chaotic.
Cordeiro's book is not a theological book on who the Bible says, it is more like a book of coming to Jesus as if you need him when life stresses you out. To be honest it was hard to read this book, must less write a review about it, because Cordeiro seems to have reduced Jesus into a moral teacher that will be there for you when life gives you lemons. It is true that Jesus promised to be with until the end of the age, but, in my opinion, to get back to Jesus (pure & simple), we need to get back to the biblical Jesus.
There were some quotes in the book that I did agree with Cordeiro on:
Because God created you in His image, the more you become like Jesus, the more you become like the person you were created to (pg 12)
We did not reach up to God; God reached down to us (pg 52)
The Scriptures are the way to get to know the very One who is walking with you (pg 80)
Other than that, I really had a problem with reading this book because I felt was nothing another moralistic attempt to make Jesus the best buddy in the world that God, Savior, Christ, Prophet, Priest, and King.
Maybe you feel overwhelmed with programs and ministries. Maybe you've been doing all kinds of religious activities and still do not feel fulfilled. Cordeiro calls you back to Jesus, pure and simple. The devil would have you believe that devotion to Jesus is complicated – weekly Bible activities, following rules. “Don't let the devil lead you astray from what is pure and simple about walking with Jesus (see 2 Corinthians 11:3).”
I had such high hopes for this book. It started out so promising. And then Cordeiro began to write about all of the activities we need to be doing. He emphasizes we need to be doing what God has asked us to do. We will be held accountable for it. Cordeiro writes about the actions we should be doing (beginning with chapter 5). We should be tithing. We should be giving gifts anonymously. “Do you want to get closer to Jesus? Then follow in the footsteps of hidden service.” (66) He writes that we should be praying and fasting. And then he writes about Mary and Martha: “Getting back to Jesus is recognizing that you are, right now, in the presence of Christ.” But then he says we should be in the Word, should regularly take time for solitude, we should be immersed in gratefulness, should be taking time for reflection. We should be leading others to Christ. We should be keeping our hearts clean. We should be content and thankful. We should be effective.
So, it seems like there are lots of activities Cordeiro suggests for getting back to Jesus, pure and simple. It is not so simple after all!
Cordeiro gives many of his own personal stores as examples of what God is doing. Did I really need to know that when he turned over that royalty check to ministry God rewarded him by selling his house for twice what he paid for it? Do I really need to know Cordeiro has a beautiful house on a ranch in Oregon as well as a condo in Hawaii?
If you are looking for a pure and simple way of getting back to Jesus, I suggest you look elsewhere. If you are looking for a refresher on the various disciplines that will help you grow in your spiritual walk, this is the book for you.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
Reading through the first several chapters of this book I didn't have anything stand out, speak to my heart or wow me. But then I reached chapter 8 where the Holy Spirit pointed out that I had an internal correction that needed to take place. I love when this happens because it means I'm growing to become more like Jesus. Pure and Simple.
Throughout this book, author Wayne Cordeiro does an amazing job showing who Jesus is. He gives us this insight and encourages us to check our hearts and lives as a whole to see how we measure up next to Jesus. Do we talk like Him? Do act like Him? Do we fully understand what it means to follow Him? By using various examples and metaphors, scriptures and story's, we see how this knowledge can be applied to our lives. At the end of each chapter you find a few questions about what you have just read to further your understanding in that area. I personally enjoyed that. I took my time reading through it and taking notes in it to make sure I understood it all and gave it time to sink in to my heart and spirit.
If you are curious on how to strengthen your walk with Jesus, have a friend or relative who has been recently saved or simply want to know more about Him, this is a great place to start. I have been walking with the Lord for 16 years and this book brought fresh revelation to many areas in my walk. I highly recommend this book no matter if your just starting out or are many years into it. Jesus-Pure & Simple will not disappoint. **Thank you Bethany House Publishers for the free book in exchange for my honest review.**
And the good news is that it’s not about doing more or doing less. Because God created you in his image, the more you become like Jesus, the more you become the person you were created to be. It is in Him that you actually find the fulfillment, not in religious activities (as good as they may be) or in serene settings that give you a needed respire from your harried workplace. He is not the rest from our labors. He is the rest in our labors. (p. 10)
Cordeiro has a gift for simple and practical teaching. Sometimes the back to Jesus emphasis can be reductionistic. Focus on Jesus but not on that nasty doctrine stuff. But Cordeiro encourages us to focus on Jesus in the word of God. He argues that the word of God is the clearest and best way for us to see Jesus pure and simple.
The voice of God, the foundation of truth, will always sound just like the Bible. Do you want o know what God is like? Read the bible. That gives you a true picture of Christ. (p. 121)
He also argues we must be about our Father’s business in a way that honors the gifts God has given each of us (pp. 35-40).
Cordeiro offers many helpful points but one sentence struck me so hard that I still can’t shake it weeks after finishing the book. Cordeiro says,
The truest assessment of a servant is how he responds when he is treated like one. That’s the litmus test. We all want to be known as servants just so long as no treats us like one. (p. 196)
A silver bullet to my monstrous heart. That’s my struggle. I want to serve my family and I want to serve at church but I find myself wanting the title without the treatment. If the gospel teaches us anything it’s that Jesus claimed the title of servant and accepted the mistreatment as one as well.
Another emphasis worth noting is Cordeiro’s discussion on prayer. He says we often want God to meet us in our timing and answer our prayers in our way. He reminds us we must be less about the answer and more about the promises of God (pp. 53-54). God’s been working on me about my own prayer life over the last month and this again helped move my prayer life in a way that focuses less on me and more on the promises of God in Christ.
For those wishing to untangle yourselves from the varied concerns of life and return to the simple truths found in Scripture about Jesus check out Jesus: Pure and Simple. You won’t get bogged down reading the book and its message is simple yet impactful.