Johnnie Moore is an acquaintance of mine from my time at Liberty University so when I noticed this book was available, I went for it. Having heard Johnnie speak as well as travel with him to Israel in 2005 or 2006, I knew it would not be a waste of my time. I was able to watch Johnnie from a distance and admire his heart and passion for the gospel and for the world. If you follow him on Twitter or read his blog, you are constantly noticing his passion for God and his love for the students at Liberty. At only 29, he has traveled more and probably accomplished more than I might in my lifetime. But that is what God has called him to do and how he is gifted. I mean, there are not many 29 year old university VP’s. After reading this book, you are able to understand more of what drives Johnnie Moore.
With that said, let’s take a brief look at Johnnie Moore’s sophomore release, Dirty God. From the time you pick up the book and see the picture on the front, to the time you finish the book, you are introduced to the idea that God, Jesus, is all about “getting dirty.” The main thread woven through this whole book is that of grace. As you read each page you are left challenged and encouraged to look at Jesus in a different way. Every Christian will tell you that Jesus did come to earth to die for us to reconcile us to God, as well as adopt, justify and sanctify us. It is what we believe. However, how many of us would ever really think about Jesus coming to get “dirty?” Our lives are messy and anyone who works with people or is around people for a long time, we can see just how messy life can be. And the beautiful thing that we see about Jesus while reading through Dirty God, is that Jesus did not care. Jesus came to save us and bring us back to Him and because of this, the mess never bothered him.
Grace is one of those words in Christianity that we throw around so very often and yet just as often, miss what it is all about. The last couple of weeks, I have been teaching the youth at Journey Church about grace and even while I have been studying it and learning about it, there is still so much to learn about the topic of grace. Jesus never let anything stand in his way of extending grace to everyone, beginning at what we would say the bottom of the totem pole. Jesus did not head straight for the rulers. No, instead he went to the poverty stricken areas; He went to the poor people, to the lepers, drunks, sinners, etc. That is why the religious leaders of His time were so infuriated, because Jesus spent so much time with the people they tried to avoid. And that is the beautiful thing about grace; it does not allow anything to stand in its way. Grace goes after those society looks over. Grace goes after those who have been hurt by others. Grace goes after…everyone. Johnnie Moore’s book will introduce you and remind you what that grace looks like. Many of the stories he shares are inspiring and yet he is also so transparent as to share times when he has fallen short of showing grace to others. That is one thing to admire about him, he does not write this book from a perspective of “come see what I have done” but “come experience what grace really is.”
Where and how can we experience this grace that Jesus has so lovingly bestowed on us? By rolling our sleeves up, getting our hands and feet dirty and join Him in the trenches.” If we really want to show grace as God has shown it to us, we cannot do it from a distance. Jesus stepped out of heaven, was born as a baby and lived a life right where we are to show us how much He loved us and to show us what grace is all about. He could have done it from heaven but that was not enough for Him, He wanted to come down and walk among us and live among us and show us that He is not just some distant God, but He is the God who has come near. After reading Johnnie Moore’s book, you will be challenged to inspect your life and inspired to extend grace. There really is no other way to live the Christian life. Here are a couple quotes from the book:
“Jesus’ love and Jesus’ grace are so great it’s scandalous – too much to bear, and too easy to get, and that’s why it’s always been so controversial…Grace accepts us as we are but is too powerful and too transformative to leave us as we are.”
“Christians should never blend in. Our lives should preach our loudest sermon.”
“Grace treats people precisely not as they deserve.”
I highly recommend this book as it will refresh, encourage and maybe breathe some new life into you. If you have a chance, pick it up and read it. Allow yourself to be reintroduced to the God who came to “get dirty.”
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”