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What is your greatest desire?
Do you crave the latest gadget or gizmo or perhaps something more long–term, like a great job or a hot wife/husband?
Maybe you’re searching for the answer to your deepest problem or desperately trying to realise your wildest dreams?
Or are you looking for meaning, security and acceptance?
We all have idols, things that creep into our hearts where only God should be.
Whatever we’re chasing after, whether it’s money, sexual fulfilment, good grades, a shining future or everyone’s approval, all these things can out us in grave danger.
Jesus asks, ‘What good is it to gain the world but lose your soul?’
This book helps us spot the hidden idols in our hearts and shows how Jesus is way better.
I really enjoyed this book. It was surprisingly eye–opening, when I read the title I was sceptical about what it was about but the book is really relevant to teen life! I am currently facing exams and loved taking time out to read this as it was really suitable for this time and helped me. The book clearly highlights how God wants us to view not only material things but other things in our lives and was really applicable to my situation and I’m sure that of many other teens. I loved the modern examples as well, they were amusing and particularly fitting and beneficial. The short chapters and sections make it into manageable chunks, that are easy to read in short sections. But it’s very hard to put it down! The bible references are also a really helpful way to get into the bible and the ‘think it over’ sections are really helpful way to reflect and put things into practice. Overall, the book was very humbling and thought provoking, I would really recommend giving it a read, not only those who are teens/students but anyone whether you think your struggling with idols or not, this book will help everyone!!
In Gain the World? C.B. Martin writes about how young people can identify and free themselves from idols to focus on Jesus. The short book looks at common things in the world that can distract or pull teenagers away from God and centres on Jesus’ words from Mark 8:36, “What good is it for someone to gain the world, yet forfeit their soul?” Money, school work, alcohol, sex and the self are all tackled directly and practically. Gain the World? is saturated with and written around a framework of scripture, explaining it with relevant and up to date illustrations and anecdotes then applying it in a simple yet challenging way. It starts by reminding us that God should be number one in our hearts then helps us identify what we are putting there in place of God and explains how we can put God back on top. After this the idols of self, pleasure, addictions, money and appearance are all discussed and dealt, comparing them to the future Jesus has for us. The tone of the book is simple and easy to understand yet it isn’t dull and doesn’t feel patronising as some books for young people are. This makes it accessible and relevant to a wide range of teenagers from 14 up to around 18. This, its extended passages of scripture and questions or discussion points at the end of each chapter make it an ideal book youth bible studies or devotionals. Gain the World? is a great book and I would recommend it to any Christian teenager who is trying to work out what really matters in life or any youth leader who want to lead young people though a biblical way of making God first in their lives.
Idols, we all have them and we all need to identify them and get rid–only God is the one who deserves our worship and offers us what we need. Gain the world is a fantastic book that looks at exactly that. It takes you through the classic idols that teenagers (and probably lots of adults) struggle with. Self, money, image–this book gets into the nitty gritty of our thoughts about life–what and who we live for and how God surpasses them all. C.B.Martin uses really clear, everyday illustrations from films to social media to help you understand what the big deal is with idols and the dangers we face if we try to gain the world. This book is really easy to read but packs a punch. It uses God’s word to help us realise his perspective on our lives and leaves you more amazed at God’s character. The last chapter (“The End of Idols”)…wow! This book is much needed in our world today where young people hear so many false and dangerous messages. It’s practical with questions to help you reflect on the chapters and I’m sure it will help many teenage Christians to grow in their faith, becoming people who put God first. I only wish this had been available sooner–I would have loved this as a teenager!
This is a brilliant book: punchy and readable. It’s a much needed guide to exposing what is really important to us. C.B. Martin helpfully and clearly points us to the one true God. You need to read this!
How do we deal with the issue of idolatry? Cassie Martin brings Bible truths to bear with freshness, passion and humour. “The awesome good news of the gospel.. is we don’t have to ‘be’ good, sporty, clever, funny, successful and/or beautiful. We already are”.
Cassie Martin has provided us with a great means of diagnosing life’s obsessions which distract us from the Living God. Punchy and witty, with a great pastoral heart, this is a usefully provocative set of studies!
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