Lessons From the East by Bob Roberts Jr.

I did not know what I was getting myself into when I selected this book for review. It's hard to tell which direction people are going these days with the adulteration of the church. Thankfully, Bob presented a simple, honest plan for spreading the gospel. It's the plan I would say is closest to my heart.

Bob shares stories from around the globe, not about major marketing plans for our churches, but how people were reaching thousands by loving their neighbors and encouraging others to do the same. It's authentic and relational. The words are a call to self-abandonment. It's counter-culture. It sounds radical. So many of the ways that he is engaging different cultures would be terrifying to us. We are comfortable and have a hard time veering from our routine. We never engage these people except with disdain or pity. What if we were their friend? What if we really listened? What if we were there when people needed us? What if we respected people and allowed God to work in our relationships with them.

This is how we are trying to live. Not in a big, churchy program conversions, but by way of relationships. Loving people is hard. If you read this and choose this, prepare your heart. It hurts. You will pour out everything you have and be a good friend and love deeply. Some people will receive it, but many will abandon you. Grief will flood your world and you will need to pull so close to Jesus to endure it. When you do endure it and continue to be kind to others, pray they see him. Discover needs and meet them. Serve others. Do it for Christ. Don't do it for some culturally acceptable charitable reason. Do it because you love him and you love people because he loves people. He so loved the world. Do it because you need him. Do it for the gospel. Engage someone somewhere. Be ready and listen for his guiding. Who is the least likely person you could reach out to right now? Go. Love.

This book was graciously provided by David Cook Publishing for review.


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