Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lazarus Awakening by Joanna Weaver

Joanna Weaver's previous two books have focused on Mary and Martha.  She writes, "We all know Jesus loved Mary...after all, look how she worshiped.  And we can even understand how Jesus loved Martha.  Look how she served.  But what about those of us who don't know where we fit in the heart of God?"  This final book of the Bethany trilogy dives into the story of their brother Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead.  The book brings insight into the account of Lazarus as told in John 11:1-12:11, as well as expanding on various related themes.  For those who wonder....Does Jesus really love ME?  What does it mean to be a friend of God?  Why isn't He answering my prayers?  Can I truly be free?  How much faith do I need to have?  How can I hear God's voice?  What would it look like to be awakened, living in the light of eternity?...this book is for you.  There are also study questions included for use in a small group.

I found this book to be very well-written, pulling together insights from many sources.  But it wasn't until Chapter 8 that my pencil started underlining frequently and God really started speaking to my heart.  I'm at a point in my life where my struggle is not with whether or not God loves me (I've thankfully got that truth moved from my head to my heart already)'s if and how He can use me.  That's what Unwinding Graveclothes is all about.  When Lazarus came out of the tomb, resurrected but still wrapped in graveclothes, Jesus instructed others to "loose him, and let him go." (John 11:44)  This chapter explores what our part is in helping to free others.  Jesus does the work, but we get to be involved in "loving someone back to life."  Joanna learned a few lessons that were important reminders for me.  "First, that I'm not responsible for everyone, but I am responsible for the ones God lays upon my heart...Second, to lay down my expectations for the people I try to help...and finally to obey God and His promptings, then leave the outcome to Him."  As Mother Teresa once said,"God has not called me to be successful.  God has called me to be faithful."  Great words of wisdom for any ministry leader!

I now enjoy seeing the story of Lazarus through a new set of eyes, and I'm sure the truths in this book will stick with me in the years to come.  Click here to read the first chapter for yourself...

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.

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