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40 Ways to Get Closer to God Paperback – September 1, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Dare to Turn Faith Into Action


Would you like to be closer to God? Sometimes it's not enough to just take in more information about the Christian life. When your faith is dry, you want something to do--practical steps to get your heart in the right place.

40 Ways to Get Closer to God is a day-by-day action plan that will stretch your faith. Each chapter asks you to complete a unique and enjoyable challenge that was carefully designed to bring new energy to your walk with God. You can use this book as a 40-day journey or choose individual exercises in areas where you most need to grow. Either way, you will come away transformed.

About the Author

Jerry MacGregor has written more than two dozen titles, including two books that hit #1 on the best seller lists in their category. Jerry earned his master's degree from Talbot Theological Seminary and did his doctoral work at the University of Oregon. Jerry lives with his wife in Hillsboro, Oregon
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; Csm edition (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764209183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764209185
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,154,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 32 customer reviews
One of the things I really like about this book is how each chapter begins with a quote.
Lesley P. Weaver
If you're looking for practical ways to dive into the spiritual disciplines in order to get closer to God, 40 Ways to Get Closer to Godis the book for you.
Ashley Pichea
Seriously, I really recommend getting this book to use as a devotional or to study with friends, I think that it would make a great book study.
A. Copulos

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Jessica A. Dewaay VINE VOICE on November 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
Overall, I found this book to be lacking in several areas. My biggest concern, however, is having a book about getting closer to God that doesn't present the Gospel first. We all know that there are tares amongst the wheat, and we cannot assume that everyone who picks up a Christian book is already a Christian. And an unbeliever cannot get close to God without first repenting and believing the Gospel.
Some of the steps are biblical but are so basic that true Christians should not need to read a book to do these things. Perhaps it's just a sad reflection of the church today that Christians need to be told to pray and study their Bibles.

Some of the steps go beyond what God has said. God hasn't promised to sanctify us if we abstain from watching TV, and we need to be very careful to make promises that God hasn't made. While some of these things may be a good idea, and may even be beneficial, to claim that they will truly draw us closer to God if God Himself has not said so is a very dangerous thing. If we "fast" from TV and replace it with prayer and Bible study, we will grow - but its not the TV fast that caused the growth, but the prayer and Bible study, which are means that God has ordained for our sanctification.

My other concern with this book is that it is full of aestheticism and quotes from known mystics/contemplatives. A brief flip through the book makes it abundantly clear that the author has embraced the mysticism that is growing so prevalent in the Evangelical church today. God has given us the true means of grace revealed in the Scriptures, and we don't need man made practices or practices borrowed from Eastern mysticism to grow close God.

I must mention that I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Bethany House publishers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M & S Scales on January 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
Jerry MacGregor wrote this book as a "God Challenge," which he explains to mean he wanted to "create something that would challenge you, ask you to try some ideas and to do some work, with the end result being that you'll have moved a bit further down the path in your spiritual walk." That peaked my interest! He goes on to explain that "everything here is practical and real" and "from his experience." Real, practical, and proven ideas are very good!! I was relived that he also reminded the readers that this book isn't a shortcut or a miracle experience, because real spiritual growth takes time and effort. Very true! It reminded me of James 1:27--"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you." Let's show the world the love of Jesus!

This book is written as a 40 day challenge, but I think that is way too rushed. I would recommend slowing it down and focusing on one challenge for a week or two. The ideas range from serving someone to fasting from media to memorizing scripture to even planning a party. Some may challenge you more than me or vice versa, but by the end of the 40 ways, I promise, that everyone will be stretched and inspired. Actually I think this would be an excellent resource to use with the whole family - to put some feet on your kids' faith too!

The best way to end this review is in Jerry MacGregor's own words...
"If you too are a wreck, my prayer for you is that you'll discover you have much greater spiritual depth than you thought when you began this book. I wish you all the best as you start walking the path."

Disclosure: I received the book free from Bethany House Book Reviewers' program. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rajdeep Paulus on January 20, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this for my husband as a Christmas gift, but I've been taking sneak peaks when he's a work. I love how the author suggests simple yet profound ways to reflect on your faith and act out your convictions. Like a trainer who comes alongside you to help you break old habits and begin a new routine that wakes up your muscles and gets your blood flowing, MacGregor's words have the power to do that for your spiritual journey. In the end, of course, just like the trainer can't lift the weights for you, you still have to get off your couch and live out your faith! But if you're like me, a motivating voice goes a long way when it comes to progress!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Moeller on September 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
It's a plan that anyone can do. It's not baby steps, but it is taking it one day or week at a time. It's not a grid; it's a journey and MacGregor motivates you to want to launch out. What a great book to do for advent or lent. Do it alone or gather a small group. It's not a book to read once, it's a book to go back to over and over again. Buy 10 and pass them out to those that mentor you and those you mentor. I'm so in!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By raspberrygirl on December 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
When I saw this book, the title and blurb about it caught my attention. The theme of "40 days" made me think of the book, The Love Dare, which is a book that has 40 days of ways to re-connect or get closer to your spouse. It was made popular due to it's use in the movie Fireproof.

I am one who struggles a lot with my devotions and getting closer to God. I want to read my Bible and pray, but somehow I can't always make myself sit down and do it. In many things I am not a fan of change, but in other ways I can easily get bored. Often I get bored and feel like I am just going through the motions of my devotions. While I have not had the opportunity as yet to actually do the 40 day challenge, I have read some of MacGregor's ideas, and I like them. MacGregor challenges the reader to do for others (give an anonymous gift, send a card to someone sick or hurting in your church), memorize Scripture, have a 24-hr. media fast, choose to not worry for a day, purposefully create a situation where witnessing to an unbeliever can happen, write out a gratitude list, and so much more. Some of the ways that the author proposes might seem like they have nothing to do with getting closer to God, like sending a card or taking a bag of groceries to someone, but I think that things like that do play a part in our relationship with God. God wants us to care about the hurting and those in need. Too many times we (myself included) can become caught up in making sure that our needs are taken care of, we become selfish and care only for ourselves.

While this book and all the "ways" to get closer to God should not take the place of our actual relationship with God, if used in the right way and context with our focus towards God, I think that these ideas can be beneficial.
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