"If you take away one thing from this book, let it be this: Jesus has no half-hearted followers."
~ This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years, Jaquelle Crowe, p. 19
This statement reveals the heart of the author's message in her new and first book. Written by one teen to another, This Changes Everything challenges young people to center their lives on Christ - not just in theory, but in every word, thought, action, and decision they make even today.
What The Gospel Changes: The Message of the Book
This Changes Everything focuses on how the Gospel changes the way people (specifically teens) relate and respond to eight different areas of life. We no longer find our identity in ourselves, but in Jesus; we live and die for God's glory instead of for our self-centered passions and dreams. As Christ-followers, we are part of God's story; we are redeemed sinners shown mercy and grace so that we might worship and glorify Him forever, whether on earth now or in heaven for the rest of eternity.
The Gospel changes how we see the local church: not as a social club, but a family of God's children who we have the privilege to love and serve as we grow together. We no longer see some sins as big and others as "no big deal" - the Gospel tells us that all sin is wicked in God's sight, and that though Christians are forgiven through Christ, we must constantly be fighting against sin. Because of the Gospel, we know that our good works don't save us, but instead are a reflection of our love for Christ - and so we strive to be faithful in various spiritual disciplines, including Bible reading and studying, Scripture memorization, prayer, and evangelism. Spiritual growth involves discernment, and so Christians should be seeking resources that will point their focus on Christ, especially in the books we read, the music we listen to, and the sermons we take in.
The message of the Gospel teaches us how to use our time in light of eternity, and that how we use our time is critical, because we are merely stewards - and as stewards, we have an obligation to use our time in a way that is kingdom-focused instead of self-focused. The Gospel will change our relationships, as we learn to consider others as more important than ourselves and desire to display to others the same love that Christ shows us every moment.
Every aspect of our lives is touched by the Gospel, and this is the message Crowe desires to impart to this coming generation. A Christian's life must be drastically different from that of the world's; if not, has the Gospel - has Jesus - really changed them?
Praise for This Changes Everything
There are very few books - even Christian ones - written for teens that will boldly address and convict them of sin, all the while never simply pointing the finger at them. Crowe is not afraid to honestly confront teens with serious issues, knowing that the truth of how the Gospel can and does change the lives of even teenagers is far too critical a message not to share. It is not enough for teens to simply meet society's expectations for them - God has called teenagers to so much more.
Probably what I love most about This Changes Everything is that it isn't a book written by some great, famous, well-known Christian author, figure, or speaker. It's a book written by a faithful teenage Jesus-follower who simply loves God, wants to glorify Him with her life, and desires to challenge everyone else to do the same.
Read this book. Definitely read it if you're a teenager, but even if you're below or above the said age-group, read it anyways. You will not regret it. I do not know how any Christian could read this book without being convicted and encouraged to renew their faith and trust in God, and to follow Him in His steps.
If I've aroused your curiosity (which I hope I have), please check out any of the following links
or look it up on your favorite search engines to see where you can get your hands on a copy of Jaquelle Crowe's book, This Changes Everything. It will be worth every cent you spend.
- Christian Books Distributor: https://www.christianbook.com/changes-everything-gospel-transforms-teen-years/jaquelle-crowe/9781433555145/pd/555145?event=
- Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/This-Changes-Everything-Gospel-Transforms/dp/143355514X/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1490922713&sr=8-2
- Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/this-changes-everything-jacquelle-crowe/1124588704?ean=9781433555176
- Indigo (Chapters): https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/home/search/?keywords=this%20changes%20everything%2C%20jaquelle%20crowe
~ Mandie Pitre, 22 years old.
Soli Deo Gloria!
*I received a free copy of this book from Crossway in exchange for giving my sincere opinion of it.