Book Review: Be The Message

Be the Message

In Be The Message, authors Kerry and Chris Shook, challenge the reader to live their life as a walking presentation of the gospel. They challenge us to live beyond ourselves and to listen for God to show us ways in which we can meet needs that are often right in front of us and overlooked.

Hearing God’s Voice is one of the most difficult elements of the Christian life to explain. Everyone hears differently. There’s not a clear formula that works for everyone all of the time. Yet, Kerry and Chris provide some ideas that can serve as basic principles to hearing God. Clear space. Stop doing stuff and allow God to speak. Read and meditate on Scripture. Listen for those things–the authors call them “Holy Disturbances”–that cause you frustration, discomfort, scream injustice.
We often miss God’s voice because our lives are so noisy. Hearing His whisper requires diminishing the racket that screams through our daily lives, and creating a space and time when we push back against the confusion and find sacred silence. — Kerry and Chris Shook in Be The Message

The authors illustrate their points through numerous stories and examples from their own lives as well as the life of their church–Woodlands Church in Houston, Texas. Many of these stories center around a “Holy Disturbance” and their acting upon what God had to say about that disturbance.

Oftentimes in our lives, we come across things that make us mad. Things that cause a “righteous indignation” to rise up in us. An injustice that causes pain for someone. Something that clearly is not the way that God intended for life to be lived. Yet, we tend to look at things through calloused eyes. Maybe they’re poor becuase they choose to be. Perhaps they don’t have food becuase the dad drinks too much. It’s their fault.

Yet, the example of Jesus and the message of God don’t allow us space to make those judgements. They force us to act on the behalf of the poor and the needy and the widow and the orphan.

The poor and the powerless are mentioned nearly three thousand times in Scripture. It’s simply not possible to read our Bibles for five minutes without coming face-to-face with God’s fierce love for the poor and His intense passion for justice. — Kerry and Chris Shook in Be The Message

Justice is a word that we often misunderstand. We often think that justice means that someone gets what’s coming to them. We confuse justice with judgement. God calls us to be people who bring justice. He calls us to be people who look not at what someone has done, but rather looks at people through the eyes of a loving and forgiving and compassionate God.

And that’s the message. The message that God came in the person of Jesus. That He looked on us not as people who need judgement, but rather people who need justice. He provided that justice in the person of Jesus. And, because of that, our lives have been transformed. And that story of transformation is a message that the hurting world needs to see.

Regardless of the circumstances of your past, you get to choose today what your life message to the world will be. Regardless of the sins and mistakes of your past, because of God’s grace, the rest of your story has yet to be written. — Kerry and Chris Shook in Be The Message

God’s desire for the rest of our story is that it involve other people. Our stories aren’t intended to be monologues. Rather, they are intended to be a beautiful tapestry that includes all of the mess and ugliness and pain and suffering of a broken world around us. A broken world that needs us to Be The Message.


073818: Be the Message: Taking Your Faith Beyond Words to a Life of Action Be the Message: Taking Your Faith Beyond Words to a Life of Action
By Kerry & Chris Shook / WaterBrook PressTake your faith beyond words to a life of action! Exploring the Bible story of the rich young ruler, the Shooks observe that he had the right theology—but when Jesus called him to action, the wealthy man couldn’t accept the cost. Discover what might be holding you back from being God’s message to the world. 240 pages, hardcover from Waterbrook.


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