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Christian Literature Books to Know and Worship Jesus More

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Christian Literature Books to know and worship Jesus More
Christian Literature Books help us Know and Worship Jesus More: here are 15 from the Old Testament to Modern Hymnals and prayer books.

The most popular article published on this blog was 7 Ways How to Know Jesus Better back on Apr 16, 2020


This week’s focus is on reading Christian Literature Books to know and worship Jesus more.


The linkage between knowing and worshipping is important because we want to know who we worship and that our object of worship is worthy of worship.


Do you know who wants worship even more than Jesus? The devil!!

Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;


And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.


Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Matthew 4:7-9


Now we have already come to the #1 source of


Christian Literature Books to Know and Worship Jesus more


The Bible is the Word of God, our primary source of His teaching and example of His character.


Just as we get to know other people by listening to them talk, so we get to know Jesus by hearing Him speak in the Bible.


We also get to know people by what they do or how they act, and again, the same is true of the Lord Jesus Christ.


The Old Testament is our starting point.


It was completed about 500 years before Jesus was born, but He is there on every page! Every time we see the word LORD (all in uppercase letters), all 7274 times in the King James Version, it is referring to Him in His pre-incarnate divine person.


We first meet Him as Creator, then as Judge and Redeemer, and next as Covenant Maker and Sustainer of His People. Although He takes many roles, His character is consistent; He is righteous and holy, and always a Friend and Deliverer of His people but a fiercely jealous God who hates idolatry and pours out His wrath on those who reject Him.


Christian Literature Books to Know and Worship Jesus More


Psalms is one of Jesus’ favorite books.


He is referred to prophetically in it 68 times and worshipped many more. He used it as a hymnal, singing with the disciples after instituting the Lord’s Supper.


He quoted from one Psalm on the cross, and another describes His crucifixion 1000 years before Calvary.


He is portrayed as the Good Shepherd in Psalm 23 whose first lines have been called the greatest in English literature:


The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.


He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.


He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.


Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.


Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.


Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.


David refers to Him in the 3rd person in the first 3 verses and then speaks to Him directly in the next two, and finally winds up resting in His goodness and mercy. We have such a relationship with Him too, personally.


Christian Literature Books to Know and Worship Jesus More


A Shepherd Looks at the 23rd Psalm, W. Philip Keller, 1970


Most of us are not familiar with shepherds and taking care of sheep, but this excellent work by a real-life shepherd teaches us much about both.


Christian Literature Books to Know and Worship Jesus More


The Gospels show us Jesus as He was on Earth.


The New Testament picks up on this theme as Jesus says:


I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.


But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.


The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.


I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.


As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. – Jesus in John 10:11-15


The Good Shepherd verses come from the Gospels, where we also see Him as a Friend of Sinners, a Man of Compassion, and a Miracle Worker. This is Jesus as He was when He was here on Earth, 2000 years ago.


And while all of that is still part of His character and personality, He has been glorified by His death and Resurrection and now lives in the presence of His Father. We see this in Revelation where He appears as Glorified Lord, Our Intercessor and Coming King and Judge


The Epistles show Jesus as Christ


The Epistles show Him as Christ, not a part of His name, but an office He assumed when He died for us. “Christ” is a title, the Greek form of the Hebrew “Messiah” meaning “the Anointed One.”


But what does knowing all of this mean “operationally”? St. Paul puts it like this:


Christ is all, and in all. Colossians 3:11

Our next book explains that more fully.


Centrality & Supremacy of Jesus Christ, Theodore Austin-Sparks, 1933


CHRIST IS THE “IMAGE OF GOD” AND THE LORD OF ALL CREATION


Christ is the visible representation of the invisible God, the Firstborn of all creation. For in Him was created the Universe of things in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, thrones, dominions, princedoms, powers – all were created, and exist, through and for Him.


And HE IS before all things, and in and through Him the universe is one harmonious whole.

What this means is that we worship Him. We react when we see this as John did on the Isle of Patmos:


And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:


I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. – Revelation 1:17-18


We enter a two-way relationship with Him, Jesus as our “All in all.” It is a personal, one-to-one relationship, He knows us, and we know Him:


the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.


And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. – John 10:3-4


Christian Literature Books to Know and Worship Jesus More


Himself, by A.B. Simpson, 1891


All of these books help us know the Lord Jesus Christ in many ways. First, intellectually, that is, we know about Him and see Him in all these roles as a historical figure, but that is not going to save us.


We must answer the same question Jesus asked His disciples so long ago:


He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?


And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.


And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. –Matthew 16:15-17


A.B. Simpson made this connection and encourages us to recognize Jesus for whom He really is and to trust in Him for Himself:


But I thank God we have been taught that it is not the blessing, it is not the healing, it is not the sanctification, it is not the thing, it is not the "it" that you want, but it is something better. It is “the Christ”; it is Himself.


How often that comes out in His Word – “Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses”, Himself “bare our sins in his own body on the tree”! It is the person of Jesus Christ we want.


Christian Literature Books to Know and Worship Jesus More


A Short and Easy Method of Prayer, Madam Guyon, 1685


We hear Jesus’ voice in His Word and long to talk with Him to build our relationship. He encourages us to speak to Him privately, promising He will hear:


But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. – Jesus in Matthew 6:6


He gives greater promises still in the next chapter:


Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:


For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. – Matthew 7:7-8


How do we begin? I have found Madam Guyon’s book a great help. She loves Jesus with all her heart and simply comes to Him softly as she invites us to join her in this preface to A Short and Easy Method of Prayer:


It is Thou alone, O Holy Jesus, who lovest simplicity and innocence, “and whose delight is to dwell with the children of men” (Prov. viii. 31), with those who are, indeed, willing to become “little children”;


it is Thou alone, who canst render this little work of any value by imprinting it on the hearts of all who read it, and leading them to seek Thee within themselves, where Thou reposest as in the manger, waiting to receive proofs of their love, and to give them testimony of Thine


Jesus prayed in secret but also with His disciples, so often that they asked Him to teach them to pray. He also asked them to pray with Him, showing us that corporate prayer is important not only for fellowship and support but for power.


We see this when He asked those disciples to pray with Him in that dark hour in the Garden of Gethsemane, and we too recognize our need to pray with other Believers.


Christian Literature Books to Know and Worship Jesus More


St. Paul on the Lord's Supper


The Church has been creating worship models since its Apostolic days, like the one St. Paul gives to the church at Corinth, modeled on Jesus’ directions at the Last Supper:


For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:


And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.


After the same manner also he took the cup when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.


For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26



The Book of Common Prayer,


written by Thomas Cranmer in the 16th century, remains the prayer book for Anglicans throughout the world. I use it daily to pray and to worship and to learn more about Jesus.


It is beautiful and anointed with prayers and praise for every occasion. This is even more powerful and inspiring in corporate worship, where Jesus Himself is present.


For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. – Jesus in Matthew 18::20


Venite, exultemus Domino.


O COME, let us sing unto the LORD; * let us heartily rejoice in the strength of our salvation.


Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; * and show ourselves glad in him with psalms.


For the LORD is a great God; * and a great King above all gods.


In his hand are all the corners of the earth; * and the strength of the hills is his also.


The sea is his, and he made it; * and his hands prepared the dry land.


O come, let us worship and fall down, * and kneel before the LORD our Maker.


For he is the Lord our God; * and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.


O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness; * let the whole earth stand in awe of him.


For he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth; * and with righteousness to judge the world, and the people with his truth. –


Morning Prayer, BCP


Christian Literature Books to Know and Worship Jesus More


Both the above books are centuries old, but their principles and standards remain true and 100% in keeping with the Word of God.


A more recent prayerbook in contemporary language has been a great blessing to millions since its publication in 1979


Prayers That Avail Much, by Germaine Copeland, 1979,


applies the method of praying the Scriptures into our personal lives. Here is a brief selection from its table of contents:


Table of Contents


To Walk in the Word 31.


To Be God-Inside Minded 33.


To Rejoice in the Lord 35.


To Walk in God’s Wisdom and His Perfect Will 37.


To Walk in Love 39.


To Walk in Forgiveness 41.


To Watch What You Say 43.


To Live Free from Worry 45.


There are literally hundreds of prayers for every circumstance, and I have prayed and received answers using this model for years. This link provides a typical prayer (on Maintaining Good Relations )with its supporting scriptures.

Christian Literature Books to know and worship Jesus more


Liturgies or other forms of Christian worship will always be built upon the Bible, prayer, and the congregation. But another essential mention is singing.


The Psalms are basically a hymnbook.


Jesus and the early Christians encouraged the singing of hymns. After the Lord’s Supper, the Gospels tell us:


And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. Matthew 26:30 & Mark 14:26


St. Paul encourages his churches to sing hymns too:


Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord Ephesians 5:19


Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. – Colossians 3:16


The Holy Spirit often moves in powerful ways through hymns, both when they are sung in church or when we read them alone.


We can recapture the blessing of what we have heard sung when we take up the hymnbook and read/sing the words for ourselves. If you play a musical instrument, just playing the music can bring God’s presence in a wonderful way.



The Hymnal 1982 of the Protestant Episcopal Church


is one of the most complete and beautiful. In it you will find over 700 hymns by men and women of God written over hundreds of years. Two of our family favorites are:


410 Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven
562 Onward, Christian Soldiers

These are classics that I am sure you know, both the words and music. The music is equally important both in and of itself and for the role it gives musicians to join with choirs for worship of extraordinary beauty.


The example I have selected here is a lovely communion hymn written by John Henry Hopkins, Jr., 1820-1891 and arranged musically by Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750:


Come with us, O blesséd Jesus,


With us evermore to be;


And in leaving now Thine altar,


Let us nevermore leave Thee.


Be Thou one with us forever,


In our life Thy love divine


Thy own flesh and blood hast taken


And to us hast given Thine.




Christian Literature Books to know and worship Jesus more


Less formal and choral is another hymnal of Methodist hymns.


The Cokesbury Worship Hymnal, 1938.


Its 296 songs are more personal, experientially driven, centering often on coming to know Jesus and being saved from this world.


As you might expect, it includes 9 Charles Wesley hymns but 11 more familiar songs by Fanny Crosby.


Methodists love to sing, and I know a Pentecostal family who went to a Methodist church for 5 years so their children could learn these precious, anointed hymns. Among them, and quite typical is this one that you already know:


Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,

calling for you and for me;

see, on the portals he’s waiting and watching,

watching for you and for me.


Refrain:

Come home, come home;

ye who are weary come home;

earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,

calling, O sinner, come home!


Will. L. Thompson


Christian Literature Books to Know and Worship Jesus More


I love both of these hymnals, but not as much as I love this one;


Melodies of Praise, 1957, Assemblies of God.


Next to the Bible, this has been the most important book of my life.


It is with me now, as I write. It is full of the power of God, the Holy Ghost inspiring every page, pointing to Jesus every moment of every day.


I was dedicated to the Lord Jesus in 1946 when I was just 3 months old as the church sang #340 Jewels about “Little children who love their Redeemer” being “precious jewels, His loved and His own.”


When my parents and other loved ones went home to Jesus, we wept and sang #173 When We All Get to Heaven, “what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory!”


Those two songs make nice bookends in my story, but the heart of the story, the most important event in my life is told in #46, I Will Praise Him!


When I saw the cleansing fountain,

Open wide for all my sin,

I obeyed the Spirit’s wooing

When He said, “Wilt thou be clean?”


Refrain:

I will praise Him! I will praise Him!

Praise the Lamb for sinners slain;

Give Him glory, all ye people,

For His blood can wash away each stain.


Blessed be the name of Jesus!

I’m so glad He took me in;

He’s forgiven my transgressions,

He has cleansed my heart from sin. [Refrain]


Margaret Jenkins Harris, 1898


Closing Thoughts on Books to Know and Worship Jesus More:


Billions of people know about Jesus, but few worship Him. How do we know this? If they knew Him, they would worship Him, and very few do. We must know Jesus as God, not a historical figure, not a mythical character.


These books we have been looking at will help us come to know Jesus when we read in faith. Doubt is the enemy, faith is the victory. When we come to Him believing, the Holy Spirit will quicken us and lead us to worship Jesus as God, in Spirit and in Truth.


As we read, we must read in faith and then we can enter into this truth that St. Paul writes us:


The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;


That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. – Romans 10: 8-9


God bless us all as we hunger and thirst after righteousness. Jesus promises, They shall be filled. Amen.


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