Book review: Alive in Him

“I know I’m going to sound silly here, but I picked this book because I feel like I’m ‘Barely-making-it in Him’”, I told my husband as I showed him the pretty cover of Alive in Him. I was going through a time of many questions, sleep deprivation and great concern for my new born baby’s health. Add to that a complete inability to keep a clean house, have patience with my potty-training toddler and put dinner on the table every night-I was feeling completely helpless.

But God speaks truth and encouragement to us through His Living Word (Hebrews 4:12). And that’s what I like about this book. Alive in Him is written with the intention of studying Ephesians section by section with an open Bible.

“It is sober minds that think thoughts that are in line with God’s truth and are confident in the sufficiency, authority, and clarity of his Word. It is doing all things as service rendered unto the Lord by his strength that God supplies for Christ’s glory—that He might be glorified in all things.”

The author Gloria Furman mentions that we often study Ephesians as if it was a series of lists: blessings, roles, armor of God, etc. Instead, the letter is divided in two chunks, the first one explaining what Jesus has accomplished and the second, what we have to do as a response to that.

Ephesians 1:3-6 says:

“…who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”

We need to be reminded of who we are, and for what purpose constantly. It is in these times of busyness: being a mom of young children that need so much from me, working part-time, driving everywhere, and keeping a house and marriage in order that I have to stop and look to my end goal.

“The life we long for is actually the one that gladly raises its glass at every occasion of weeping, laughing, working, defending, building, submitting, leading, serving, marrying, eating, and dying to humbly affirm that all things are ‘to the praise of his glory’”. (P. 43)

As a sinner, I tend to make my life about myself, about what I want, about my dreams, about my happiness.

“Left to ourselves, we invent ridiculous things that serve to glorify ourselves only. We need the Spirit to open our eyes to God’s truth, warm our hearts to love that truth, and empower us to live in line with the truth that God alone is worthy to be praised.” (P. 51)

Alive in Him showed me the great value in seeing each aspect of life with the correct lens:  “to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace” and was a great reminder that I have available everything I need to do the job that He had prepared beforehand.

“We arrange our budgets, schedules, and lifestyles in order to live out the design of God in our households. We soak our minds in Scripture in order to reshape the way we think about our relationships and authorities now that we see that we are in Christ. We strategize to serve others using our gifts, we conspire with one another to serve more effectively, and we pray that the Spirit would move among us and let there be light.” (P. 169)

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