My Breakfast Buddy
Nobody…and I mean no one…can write about God’s grace the way Andrew Farley can. Period!
His first two books, The Naked Gospel – The Truth You May Never Hear in Church and God Without Religion – Can It Really Be This Simple are precious classics. HEAVEN IS NOW – Awakening Your Five Spiritual Senses to the Wonders of Grace (Available April 2012)is the third installment in Farley’s Trilogy on Grace.
The book is structured in five sections:
Sense 1: FEEL the Freedom of Grace
Sense 2: HEAR the Spirit Bearing Witness
Sense 3: SEE the Finished Work of Jesus
Sense 4: SMELL the Fragrant Aroma of Christ
Sense 5: TASTE the Goodness of the Lord
After each passage within each section, Farley follows with two sub-sections: Heaven speaks where Jesus speaks to us and Awakening to Heaven – where the reader speaks to Jesus. I really enjoyed the author’s work in both these sub-sections. They gave a remarkable life and personalization to the reading. I used the book as my morning devotional – reading with my tea and breakfast each morning. This book will remain as one of my breakfast buddies.
As usual, Heaven Is Now is a refreshing awakening from Farley. He writes: “Freedom, identity, forgiveness, and life-these make up heaven’s new way. Each enables us to taste the goodness of the Lord in a special way. Each awakens our spiritual senses to a heaven that is now.” (204). Trust me, the author accomplishes his stated objectives in this work.
This book also delves into three issues that seem to perplex those who claim the name of Christ, as his followers. The first is what I refer to as the tragedy of the Christian’s unfinished business – have we done all there is to do to be forgiven, saved – worthy of God’s promises. Farley addresses this in the following:
The choice is ours. One choice leads to intellectual gymnastics and the sense that we are never fully right with God. The other choice leads us to a place of spiritual rest in which we wake up every day and give thanks for the finished work of Jesus. Which do you think brings a smile to God’s face and warms the heart of heaven? (143).
The second challenge facing many Christians I know is the perceived struggle of imitating Jesus in daily life. Farley handles this one when he writes: “Why? Because we were never designed to treat Christianity like a religion, merely imitating a historical teacher. We were designed to house the Spirit of the Teacher and exude him from within. We were designed to partake of his divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4).” (170).
Finally, the ongoing Christian struggle with (somehow) earning righteousness is directly dispelled by Farley: “But righteousness is not gained through finding and doing a secret list of things that God has picked. Our righteousness comes from the death and resurrection of Christ, nowhere else.” (196).
Christians have complicated Christianity since before somebody came up with either term. Andrew Farley’s writings provide the the pathway to return to the essential simplicity that only God’s tender mercy and grace can provide – a grace that one can feel, hear, see, smell and taste – a grace one can live in – now.
Need a breakfast buddy? Yes, you do. HEAVEN IS NOW – Awakening Your Five Spiritual Senses to the Wonders of Grace will provide the spiritual sustenance that will endure long after you have digested your meal. A wonderful book. Buy it.