This week I’ve been going through my bookshelves selecting books for a retreat I’m leading next week. While there are many great books to choose from, I was drawn to Invitation to the Jesus Life by CLASS alumni and my good friend, Jan Johnson.
What first caught my attention was this question on the back cover: “What would it be like to walk with Jesus on a daily basis and know Him personally?” I know some of you are saying, “I already do this.” So, I’m going to respond to you as God often responds to me. “Do you really?”
In my daily Bible reading I came across these words in Genesis 5:24, “Enoch walked faithfully with God.” It caused me to wonder what does it look like to walk with God. It was later that day I came across Jan’s book. It seemed that God wanted to answer my question.
Shouldn’t our Christian lives be about more than responding to the question, “What would Jesus do?” Most of us can answer that question without difficulty. However, merely knowing what Jesus would do is never enough. Johnson challenges us to find out how Jesus would do what He would do. She does this by leading us through “Soul School.”
Soul School introduces readers to seventeen characteristics of Jesus that help you experience transformation in a fresh way. As we come to know Him better, we become more like Him.
Reading Invitation to the Jesus Life is much more than just reading a book on spiritual formation. It truly is an invitation, an open door, to meeting Jesus face to face. Not just the Jesus we hear about in church on Sundays, but Jesus, the relator style Savior, the proactive lover, the confident, purposeful Savior, and the selfless, hidden Savior. You will see Jesus in ways you never imagined. And you will grow deeper and deeper in love with Him.
One of the things I liked most about Jan’s book is the “Experiments in Connecting with God” at the end of each chapter. Yes, some of them will take you out of your comfort zone, way out. I happen to think that’s where true transformation takes place.
As the new year gets off to a start I encourage you to go back to school, Soul School. Get a copy of Invitation to the Jesus Life and dive in. Expect your life to change.
Keith Matthews, professor of spiritual formation at Azusa Pacific University says it best, “Invitation to the Jesus Life is a welcomed guide to following Jesus that is biblical, practical and most of all possible.”
Invitation to the Jesus Life is not only a resource for your personal spiritual growth, but can be used as a book study. It contains questions and group study suggestions to help you lead a group.
Jan Johnson lives in Simi Valley, CA with her husband. She is a speaker, teacher, and spiritual director. Jan writes primarily about spiritual formation topics. Visit her website at www.janjohnson.org to learn more about her books and ministry.