Literary Insights

Literary Insights: A Book Lovers Review

Friday, July 17, 2015

Lazarus Awakening: Finding Your Place in the Heart of God by Joanna Weaver

         Joanna Weaver has a gift of taking a Bible passage and looking at it from new angles. In the passage where Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, most commentators focus on Mary and Martha, but Joanna shows us that Lazarus plays a vital role as well. What did he do? He died. He never speaks in the Bible, never does anything dramatic, but when Jesus is sent for; they tell Him that the one He loves is sick unto death. We live in a performance-oriented world and it is hard to believe that God loves us and it has nothing to do with what we do or don't do. Joanna shows us how to live in His love and how Jesus can bring us back to life no matter how dead our circumstances and life seems. There is a resurrection awaiting each and every one of us if we reach out and accept His love.

            Lazarus Awakening speaks about how God deals with the stones of unbelief, unforgiveness and unworthiness that cover the tombs of our lives. With study guides that provide provocative questions, individuals and small groups can begin to look at what stones need to be rolled away and how to shuffle out of our tomb. Joanna Weaver points out that Jesus loves us so much that He is willing to wait until we are willing to die to ourselves so He can restore us.

            Once out of the tomb, restoration is a process, but true restoration comes only after what is old and no longer working in our lives dies. One of the most helpful chapters for me was guidelines of things we can do to lovingly help others unwind the grave clothes that bind. The one who is in charge of healing is the Holy Spirit but there are things we can do to help. Besides the study guide, there are appendixes that provide resources for resurrected living. Sidebars placed throughout each chapter help us to further apply what we learn in real, practical ways.

            I recommend this book for personal or group bible study. Weaver offers readers beautiful biblical insights into this oft glazed-over story and will open eyes to new details that provide deeper appreciation for this story. Lazarus Awakening includes a ten-week Bible study, filled with thought-provoking questions, and it encourages further exploration of the Bible as it relates to the theme of the book.
            I received a free copy of the book from WaterBrook Multnomah books in their Blogging for Books program for my review.
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