One Way Love

One Way Love Of the six books local pastor Tullian Tchividjian has written, including the bestselling and award winning Jesus + Nothing = Everything, he considers his most recent project “the book I was born to write.” One Way Love, which is being released through publisher David C. Cook on October 1, is Tchividjian’s self-described “gospel bomb” in which he masterfully weaves together rock solid theology with engaging – and sometimes brutally honest – stories of how the one-way love of God has transformed him during times of personal struggle and weakness.

The endorsements found in the first few pages of One Way Love read like a who’s who of modern Christianity, with glowing reviews from names like Rick Warren, Max Lucado, Tony Romo, Michael W. Smith, Lee Strobel and Ed Stetzer, among others. Warren says, “My friend Tullian is a man on fire. He has one thing to say: Jesus came to set you free.”

In sharing the impetus behind the book, Tchvidjian says, “Within the church today, I hear many voices pushing for more; more dedication, more diligence and more devotion. While obedience to God is certainly a necessary and important thing, the beauty and truth of the gospel get lost when our performance for God is made the focus of the Christian life. One Way Love is a clarion call for the church to return to the truth that Jesus came to do for sinners what we could never do for ourselves. This book stands to declare that it is high time for Christians to cease from our efforts to save ourselves through our activity for God, and to rest in the glorious and liberating truth of the one-way love of God.”

Tchividjian believes that while many today teach “grace a lot,” an equal number fail to embrace the truth of “grace alone”; the reality that those who belong to Christ do not simply need the grace of God to absolve them of the sins they committed prior to salvation, but that grace is as essential as air is to the human body – that grace is the sustaining force of the Christian life and the very fuel that the engine of love, obedience and devotion runs on.
Author Jerry Bridges, who Tchividjian quotes in the introduction of One Way Love, perfectly describes how we often fail to relate to God based upon his grace and instead try to earn his favor and blessing through our good works. Bridges writes:

‘My observation of Christendom is that most of us tend to base our relationship with God on our performance instead of on His grace. If we’ve performed well—whatever “well” is in our opinion—then we expect God to bless us. If we haven’t done so well, our expectations are reduced accordingly. In this sense, we live by works, rather than by grace. We are saved by grace, but we are living by the “sweat” of our own performance. Moreover, we are always challenging ourselves and one another to “try harder.” We seem to believe success in the Christian life (however we define success) is basically up to us: our commitment, our discipline, and our zeal, with some help from God along the way. We give lip service to the attitude of the Apostle Paul, “But by the grace of God I am what I am (1 Cor. 15:10), but our unspoken motto is, “God helps those who help themselves.”’

If Bridges just described your life as a Christian, the message of One Way Love will come as water to your thirsty soul and gospel fuel to the flickering flame of your love for God.

The Message version of the Bible eloquently brings Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-30 to life: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Whether you’ve found yourself tired, worn out and burned out on religion – or if you just need a reminder, as we all do, of the incredible depth and height of God’s unconditional love and grace – pick up a copy of Tchividjian’s One Way Love today, and get your first dance lesson in the unforced rhythms of grace.

Justin Young is a writer/editor for the Good News. He can be reached at justiny@goodnewsfl.org. You can also follow him on Twitter at @thejustinyoung.

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