written by: Savannah Johnson
Life is to be loved and to love. Life is to trust God in every moment. Life is to be at peace with God and yourself. Life is to enjoy God. Judah Smith is the pastor of City Church in Seattle, Washington and wrote this book: “Life Is ______” as a follow up to his previous New York Times bestseller, “Jesus Is _____.”
Smith uses this book and those four fill-in-the-blank answers to help both new and long-time believers understand God’s love and His intentions for us in this world. Christine Cane, an Australian evangelist, author, and speaker, says, “Judah Smith, in his engaging, relevant, fun, loving, and deeply profound way, helps us all to see exactly what this thing called life is all about. This is the book that you want to give to all your friends. Trust me.” That is exactly what I would like to do for you: help “give” you this book by writing this review and, hopefully, persuade you to go read it for yourself.
In the introduction of the book, Smith says, “When I preach and write, I try to retell Biblical stories in modern language. It’s not a new translation; it’s a paraphrase. It is my attempt to put myself in the shoes–well, sandals– of the original audience.” Smith uses this approach, and his own life stories, to reach not only those who are well-versed in the Bible, but also those who have not yet made up their mind about if they believe the Bible or not.
Smith talks directly about his book when he says, “I don’t think any human has figured out life completely. We’re on a journey of self-discovery and God-discovery. My goal in this book has not been to tell you how to live, but rather to point you to the source and the focus of life itself: Jesus. When we see Jesus for who he is, when we begin to learn from him and follow him, we discover satisfaction, joy, and peace that we never before imagined.”
The first time I read this book, I read it in a matter of days. I stayed up late at night because I simply could not put it down. A specific quote struck me when I first read through and continues to strike me now: “We are good at missing the good ol’ days, and we are good at longing for someday. But in the process we often undervalue the importance of today….Life is what is happening –– right now.” I hope you choose to pick up this book for yourself because I really cannot do it justice without just quoting the entire book for you.