Simply Jesus And You by Joseph M. Stowell

Scott Volltrauer

4.5 Stars

July 29, 2012

“Hands down, Jesus has drawn more attention and interest than anyone who has ever breathed the air of this planet.”

The author invites us into a deeper examination of what “Simply Jesus And You” might mean, “what does it really mean to enter into a relationship with God’s Son? What does it mean to invite Him into our lives?”

Answering his own question he expands, “A relationship with Jesus is not about us. It’s about Him. He didn’t die for us to advance His cause or hawk His wares. He died for you because He loves you, and seeks to welcome us into a growing and satisfying fellowship with Him. And it is in the confines of that fellowship that He graciously and generously bestows the blessings and benefits that only He can provide.”

Stowell extends an olive branch of clarity, “So welcome back to the pursuit! It’s an adventure that you will not regret. If your heart has told you there must be something more to following Jesus than orbiting around His brightness at a safe distance, you are right.”

“And just in case you think that a closer relationship with Jesus is about some kind of rigid morning routine, some tedious-but-essential religious exercise, think again.”

While regular Bible study and cultivating a life of prayer are indispensable, there is far more to a personal experience with Jesus. — It’s about a deep and abiding sense of His nearness on the journey. — It’s about an unshakable confidence that only His abiding presence can give. — It’s about courage in the face of previously intimidating encounters. — It’s about access to wisdom and unfailing guidance. —It’s about a closeness that enables your spirit to commune with Him, anywhere, anytime, regardless. — It’s about meeting Him in places you may have never dreamed of…in the most heated of seductions, in the midst of suffering, and in acts of unflinching surrender.

I agree with the author, that “There is a marvelously mystical aspect to all this. You can’t wrap words around it. You can’t put it in a box and tie it up with a red ribbon. When you try to fully define it, you degrade it… (and that) Jesus is never predictable.”

I struggle the assertion that Jesus is “Just totally available.” Jesus does not appear to be standing next to me as I type this.

While I accept the theological statement that Jesus is omnipresent, my ability to understand “totally available” is not omni-anything.

Jesus is surely “totally available” to God, but I am ignorant: – muted by my moods – stunted by my lack of spiritual sensitivity – deafened by my defenses – blinded by my (mis)beliefs

Stowell understands our struggle, “to many of us (Jesus) seems so illusive…The great news is that Jesus is there, patiently waiting for you. In fact, He not only waits, but is also at this very moment busily pursuing you.”

I enjoyed this book and I think that you will too.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”