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41 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Advanced Lessons about Sancification for Christian Believers, October 24, 2007
This review is from: Become a Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day (Hardcover)
One of the great pleasures of this book for me was to re-read many of my favorite sermons by Pastor Joel Osteen. No matter how many times I've listened to a sermon that's included here, the Holy Spirit helped me to draw new meaning from reading it in Become a Better You.

Another great benefit was to see the structure that Pastor Osteen used to organize these sermons relative to one another. Just by seeing that structure and thinking about it after finishing the book, I better understood the process of sanctification (the way that Christian believers go about becoming more like Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit).

People who don't know Jesus as their Lord and Savior often think that Christianity is simply about accepting or rejecting Jesus. That's the first step, the step of salvation from our sins. But our relationship with Jesus builds from there through sanctification.

Those who aren't Christians often don't know what large impacts becoming saved and sanctified have. This book is eloquent testimony of how much Christianity does for you here on Earth, long before you die.

Through the many stories (many of them based on his own experiences and those of his family) in the sermons, Pastor Osteen does a marvelous job of showing that transforming experience and potential for even more improvements.

The 31 sermons are organized around seven steps which I have paraphrased as follows:

1. Seek continual improvement and larger challenges.
2. Use your faith to have a positive view of yourself.
3. Improve your relationships with others.
4. Eliminate bad habits and form better ones.
5. Accept your situation.
6. Listen more carefully to and act on God's directions.
7. Embrace life with Godly passion.

Each step concludes with a few action points that allow you to refocus and redirect your life. These are good habits.

The book concludes with a call to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

Some would argue that this book is only for Christians. But if you are not a Christian and wonder what the Christian life is like, I think you'll find this book to be interesting and valuable as well.

I was struck that some people think this is a self-help book that should be filled with novel ideas. Pastor Joel Osteen is drawing on the timeless words of the Bible. I'm glad he didn't vary from what God has directed for us.

May God bless you!
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Donald Mitchell
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