Let me ask you a question: If you had to limit your reading library to the Bible and only 5 other books, what titles would you choose? Be careful. There are a lot of great titles to choose from! No doubt there are one or two favorites that already stand out in your mind that would make the cut. But I would suggest that you should include one book to accompany your Bible reading that would stand as a tried and true study companion, helping you both understand, appreciate and enjoy your reading of the scriptures. Perhaps “What the Bible is All About,” (published in 1973) the world’s best selling Bible handbook by renowned Sunday School teacher and Christian Educator Henrietta Mears might make your list. You would not go wrong with that choice, because it gives a concise, articulate overview of the Bible, book by book and theme by theme. It is is a wonderful teaser that makes you want to dive deeper into the Word to discover more nuggets for yourself. It is one of those priceless treasures you may want to add to your shortlist because it does such a
great job of showcasing the greatest book ever written: the Bible.

Hilde Lundgaard Grimstad

But perhaps you are looking for something in the Bible overview genre that is more up-to-date and perhaps more geared to equip than inform, a thoroughly Bible based study that focuses on applying scriptural principles to your life in practical ways, drawing upon some of the best scriptural teaching that has emerged over the past 30 years. “Embraced, Empowered and Equipped” by Hilde Lundgaard Grimstad is one such priceless treasure.  It was only recently released but has all the qualities of an enduring classic that is sure to inspire Bible students for decades to come.

 

Perhaps you are looking for something in the Bible overview genre that is more up-to-date and perhaps more geared to equip than inform, a thoroughly Bible based study that focuses on applying scriptural principles to your life in practical ways, drawing upon some of the best scriptural teaching that has emerged over the past 30 years. ‘Embraced, Empowered and Equipped’ by Hilde Lundgaard Grimstad is one such priceless treasure.

 

Developed from a 40 week Bible study conducted in the Philippines by Grimstad, a Norwegian missionary, “Embraced, Empowered and Equipped” is informative, scholarly and written with a refreshing, delicious non-religious tone and style. After reading just a few sample pages, I knew I had to order it and read the whole thing and offer this review.

If you are a new Christian, this book covers it all, serving as an outstanding “full Gospel” introduction to the Christian faith. Topics like Bible study, the role of the Holy Spirit, Worship, Gifts, Identity in Christ and Spiritual Warfare are covered in detail with a solid backdrop of scriptural support. If you have been walking with the Lord for many years, this book will serve as a refreshing reminder of just how wonderful the Gospel is,  how great the Father’s love is for us,  and how many tools are at our disposal to live the victorious Christian life.

Here’s a sample from the chapter “Guard Your Hearts”:

“God has given us the responsibility to guard our hearts carefully. We are asked to guard, watch over and keep our hearts clean and soft. Our heart is like a garden, and we need to watch over it so that weeds, thorns and thistles do not overtake it. We cannot allow bitterness, unforgiveness, resentment, insults or misunderstandings to take root in the garden, as these things will harden the soil of our hearts.

This is very well stated in Proverbs 4:23. Let us look at it in different translations to understand its full meaning:

 “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” (NKJV)

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (NLT)

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (NIV)

 

Why Guard Your Heart? The first reason why we should guard our hearts is that the condition of our hearts will determine how we live our whole life.”

In the intro, Grimstead lays out the purpose of the book:

“When you understand that God loves YOU, has called YOU, empowered and equipped YOU it will set you free and take you on a journey into your true identity, intimacy, calling and purpose in Him. The Holy Spirit plays an essential part in this journey. You will get to know Him in this book: who He is and how He is there to lead you, help you and empower you in every possible way in your life. You will learn how to discover and develop your spiritual gifts, how to hear from God and be led by Him and how to pray powerfully with the help of the Holy Spirit. As you are filled with the Holy Spirit, boldness and confidence will rise inside of you. You will be unstoppable! To sustain your journey with God, you need to be able to read, understand and apply the Word of God in your life. Don´t worry—you will learn it in this book.”

Yes indeed! And this is a book you will want to read again and again as it draws you unto deeper study of God’s Word.