Author Photo by Audrey Hannah Photo
Trading Rumors of God for a Firsthand Faith
by Glenn Packiam
David C Cook Publisher
Does God believe in the "American Dream"? Is He around just to make cuts feel better and pain go away? Do you really know the God you say you are serving? Are your notions of God secondhand? These are some of the questions Glenn Packiam will run by the reader in his book Secondhand Jesus. He does not cower from the truth, Secondhand Jesus aims to destroy the myths that there are shortcuts to knowing God. While reading this you are likely to realize that you believe many more rumors of God than you would feel comfortable with. If you found Jesus while in search for an easier faith, or CliffsNotes, or just a spiritual journey with beginning and end, you will be challenged in Secondhand Jesus.
When God puts His foot down we all feel the pressure, especially if it is right on top of a dream of ours. Our first thought should be, "well God does know better" and "whatever I am going through will only lead me to know Him more" but that takes a certain level of relationship with God. If that foundation isn't there, we won't realize it in the easy times but when the difficulties come around we will curse and scream and quit because He didn't do what I thought he should. It is time to take God from where we have him at arms length and allow His embrace to cover us, both in the joys of life and the pain.There are many myths that our culture preaches that are not accurate in accordance with what the Bible says about God.
A circular trail of rumors can become verifiable truth, community's dogma, in less than a generation.
- If you believe it, you can receive it.
- God knows your heart.
- God just wants you to be happy.
It sounds right. People we respect say it, people who know a lot more than we do. And we don't want to miss out on something that might be true. We've heard it for so long, nobody has stopped to ask if it's true or why we think it might be. (Secondhand Jesus, p. 44)
There are experts in medicine, photography, gurus of even the lost arts of Nintendo and Atari, if we are into that we respect them, we take their word as truth. With God, we do that too, if someone knows better than us many times we take their word as our sole source to God, we get lazy and apathetic thinking the Bible experts will find the verse that we were thinking of, or be able to explain salvation in an easier way to understand. Leaders are good, they are there for a reason, but there place is not that of God, they are humans too, mistakes will be made and they will fail--if your faith is in a human, you will be let down. Don't live on rumors, on what others say, search the scriptures, know what you are agreeing to when you place God as Lord in your life.
The whole premise of Secondhand Jesus comes from Job 42:5-6 (The Message):
I admit I once lived by rumors of you; now I have it all firsthand--from my own eyes and ears! I'm sorry-forgive me. I'll never do that again, I promise! I'll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.
That is the climax of the book of Job, and for me it really cut to the chase. I do not long to know God the way that I should, or enjoy him just for him as much as I need to. Secondhand Jesus re-enforced so many things I already knew and believed and at the same time it brought forth new ways of saying it that broke through to me--powerfully.
Secondhand Jesus impacted my life, Glenn Packiam made me think more clearly of God and who He is, but mostly it told me and taught me to search for myself, not out of guilt, pride or piety but out of love and a hunger to know God better daily. If I am at this same spot spiritually in even one year I will be guilty of living a passionless walk with God. I have heard it said this way, "if you aren't making an effort to move forward, know that you are drifting backwards". I loved this book, I am challenged, renewed and stirred--I would recommend it to any Christian, no matter where you are in your walk, it will get you thinking straight and challenge you too. I highly recommend it.
Hear what Glenn Packiam has to say in this Secondhand Jesus YouTube Book Trailer: