How Jesus Designed His Church,

by Robert G. Weber, 2007; 216 pages.

Jesus’ design for His Church is God’s mercy to believers and the world.  Old Testament hints along with a vast sum of New Testament scripture provides the raw material for a “3D Printed” working model of the New Testament church; a church unmistakably designed by the Divine hand;  a church for those whose hearts yearn for more of Jesus.

The Church of the New Testament; It’s Organization and Functions: A Semi-programmed Textbook,

by Dr. Sam Westman Burton, Wipf & Stock Pub, 2001.

A simple, yet effective, primer describing the church designed by our Lord.  Basic concepts are reinforced through illustrations in this 122 page paperback, a book easily read by children and appreciated by adults.

The Practice of the Presence of God,

by Brother Lawrence, 1967 Revell.

A simple, short and practical book about how to enter and stay in God’s presence throughout the course of one’s day.  Bro. Lawrence relayed His daily spiritual journey during private conversations with his religious superior, who transcribed and published Lawrence’s shared thoughts in spite of his brother’s objections; for the benefit of future generations.

In Christ,

by E. Stanley Jones, Grace Chapel 2011.

In 365 one page meditations, E. Stanley Jones will help open your mind to the length and width and height and depth of what the Bible describes as “in Christ”.

Spontaneous Expansion of the Church: and The Causes That Hinder It,

by Roland Allen, 1962, Wm. B. Eardmans Publ. 1976.

God granted this fervent Anglican missionary the humility of heart to understand and believe what the Bible actually says about the church and its mission.  He was not confused when man’s traditions crossed God’s Word.  Roland Allen wrote a number of keenly insightful books exhorting the faithful to fulfill Christ’s command to go.  “Spontaneous Expansion” and “Missionary Methods” (below) are two of my favorites.

Missionary Methods, St. Paul’s or Ours,

by Roland Allen, Forgotten Books 2015 Classic Reprint.

New Testament Order for Church and Missionary,

by Alex Rattray Hay, Self-published, 1947.

A missionary and a man before his time,  God imparted to this dear author ways to describe the Church through powerful and poetic terms.  The 531 page volume is long enough and deep enough to soak your entire mind, heart and soul in the wisdom and knowledge of God’s plan for His beloved Church.  The fact he lived before the Charismatic Revival serves only to make God’s grace through him so much more awesome.  In reflection, Alex Hay’s work acted as a catalyst for my own, personal study of the Bible, leading to the writing of my book, How Jesus Designed His Church.

Every Man a Bible Student,

by J. E. Church, Paternoster Press, 1976.

A short sketch of central Bible truths, brief on the author’s opinions, yet generous on scriptural references; covering enough of each verse to be easily recognized and meaningful.  A powerful dose of lifegiving truth.  I particularly appreciate the emphasis on God’s Word and the author’s disciplined  purpose to allow the Bible to speak for itself.   I adopted his pattern for the book I wrote.

What the Bible Teaches about Mercy,

by Rex B. Andrews, Zion Faith Homes, 1985.

Written by a man who, after seven dreadful, backslidden years, was restored by the mercy of God!  Follow the cord of God’s mercy through the Bible from start to finish and wrap yourself in the reality that every believer can be a mercy doer.  A crown jewel in this practical study of mercy is found in the simple prayer, “Lord, flood this one (the one in my sight or in my thoughts) with fulfilling mercies.  Do the good to them You have done to me and more so.  May they get into the kingdom of God ahead of me;”  a crown jewel, not the only one you will discover in his 231 page volume.

Dying Testimonies of the Saved and Unsaved,

by S.B. Shaw, Newby Book Room, 1969.

Glimpse the glorious joy of Heaven opened, or shudder at the dreadful perdition of those hell-bound.   Modern medicine’s morphine drip possibly pulls a curtain over much of the reality of crossing over.  An eye opener!

The Celebration of Love and Life In the Body of Christ: A Forty Day Program,

by Thomas A. Carruth, Faith Printing Co., 1977, Not Copyrighted.

Dr. Tom led Asbury Theological Seminary’s Department of Prayer and Spiritual Life for many years.  For Dr. Carruth, spiritual life was not academic.  Tom Carruth was a man of prayer and faith and love.  In class he was moved by the Spirit of God, revealing his passion for the body of Christ to come alive; a beat that resounds in my own heart.

The Master Plan of Evangelism,

by Robert E. Coleman, Fleming.H. Revell Co., 1963.

Dr. Coleman’s book sparked my personal quest to develop a method to win the world to Christ; a journey that eventually led to discovering the church as Jesus originally designed it. Robert Coleman also taught at Asbury during my seminary years.  Passing Dr. Coleman on campus, it seemed he had one eye on heaven and one on those around him.

Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, New American Standard,

by Robert L. Thomas, Holman Nashville TN, 1981.

An indispensable tool for topical Bible study.  My preferred method is: 1. Make copies of the scripture references listed under a key word(s) of interest, 2. Copy-enlarge the column of verse references so they are easier to read, 3. Using scissors, cut each verse reference off in a strip and tape it to an individual 3 X 5 card, 4. Sort the cards into piles of similar thought, 5. Copy the entire verse with context, if needed, on each card, 6. Recheck each reference card to ensure the meaning still fits with that particular category and 7. With God’s help, let the Bible speak to you.