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Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  1,554 ratings  ·  217 reviews
Hear his voice. Have his ear. Belong to his body.

Three seemingly unremarkable principles shape and strengthen the Christian life: listening to God's voice, speaking to him in prayer, and joining together with his people as the church. Though often viewed as normal and routine, the everyday "habits of grace" we cultivate give us access to these God-designed channels through
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published February 29th 2016 by Crossway Books
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Peter Yock
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Quite a good read. Reading this book’s like spending time with an old friend. By his own admission, the author is a John Piper Junky and has worked alongside Piper for years. So it’s kind of like he’s tried to boil all of Piper’s teaching on daily habits down to a simple book. But it works.

I found his categorising of all the spiritual disciplines into three main categories REALLY helpful, even if that means he ends up with heaps of sub chapters. The broad categories make this book excellent. I
Darlene Nichols
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Sometimes you just need small, practical reminders to refresh and refocus your heart toward growing in Christ. This book did that for me.
Mandy J. Hoffman
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own, theology
In each chapter, Mathis spreads the table with a beautiful presentation of theology and then serves up 5 to 6 morsels of food for thought that leaves you full and appreciative of his labor of love in preparing such a balanced meal for the mind.
Jordan Shirkman
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A simple and practical approach to spiritual disciplines. Short, engaging chapters and lots that motivated me and encouraged me to engage more intentionally with means of grace.

Mathis divides the book into three parts: hearing from God, having God's ear and being with God's people. It's a helpful and accessible way of thinking about how we can engage with the Lord.

As seems typical for spiritual discipline books written in the last 20 years, it seems like John Piper should be credited as a coau
Jacob Prince
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the best book I’ve read on spiritual disciplines. While it may not go into great detail or pragmatically on individual disciplines, it builds frameworks that are grace-filled, approachable, and refreshing. It makes the disciplines seem like skiing rather than cross country skiing- includes some effort but moved by a greater force, the grace of God.
Natalie Herr
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great book on the disciplines/means of grace. I really like how he separated them into three easy to remember categories. The section on the Word (hearing from God) was excellent. The only thing I missed was Sabbath, which he said almost nothing about and is a huge means of grace.
Lauren McCrary
Aug 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
easy read full of wisdom
Becky Pliego
Very good, but not better than the books Mathis refers to often (Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Whitney, Prayer by Keller, and When I Don't Desire God by Piper).

The chapter "Embrace the Blessing of Rebuke" is a must read. Excellent.
Bambi Moore
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I try to re-read Don Whitney’s Spiritual Disciplines book from time to time but substituted this one for it on my reading list this year after I read a review by Tim Challies. Very glad I did! Habits of Grace builds on Whitney’s book with fresh illustrations and a winsome style that greatly nourished my desire to continue pursuing Christ through the means of grace He has given us to know him and be known by him.

Part 3 was probably my favorite, regarding fellowship of the Body of Christ as a spir
Cheryl Linebarger
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
This book is outstanding! It's a thorough look at the spiritual disciplines (Scripture reading, prayer, fellowship), and yet it is not a difficult book to read. I've longed to read Donald Whitney's, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, for many years but found it hard to begin. David Mathis includes many references to, and quotes from, Whitney's book, which did two things for me. First, it let me know that though his book is easy to read, it's still covering the spiritual disciplines in ...more
Erin Moore
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very good book....his strength is the organization of the disciplines into three main categories: the Word, prayer and the Body. In my humble opinion, Donald Whitney is still the man when it comes the the disciplines.
Dave Carroll
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Flooded with scripture-inspired, practical and applicable examples to lead a life glorifying to God and in that becoming a closer follower of Him. Would recommend to anyone looking to grow in their walk with Christ no matter what stage they're at. ...more
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
If you love casual church attendance, maintaining a loose affiliation with a vague network of christians, occasional and accidental gleanings from the bible, and saying your tidy prayers from time to time, then don't read this book. ...more
Caleb Sturgis
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
In this book, David Mathis provides his reader with a practical book on three essential Christian habits: word (hearing God's voice), prayer (having God's ear), and fellowship (belonging to His body). Tim Keller, Donald Whitney, and John Piper have all written somewhat similar works on Christian disciplines which Mathis acknowledges as beneficial influences on his writing. He desires for us to find ourselves enjoying God in His regular channels of grace to the ultimate glory of God. The book its ...more
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent little primer on the spiritual disciplines. Mathis does a good job of briefly describing habits that fall under three main categories (Scripture, Prayer, and Fellowship) and providing some tips and practical examples of how to incorporate these habits into your life. Mathis is aware of the fact that none of these things are easy to start and maintain, and that the reader should slowly take up one new habit at a time, so he is realistic in the way that he approaches each topi ...more
Austin Hoffman
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Went through with small group in June 2017. Helpful breakdown into three main categories: hear God's word, have Gods ear, belong to a His body. As with most spiritual disciplines book, the lists of disciplines can be overwhelming, but Mathis's emphasis on means of grace and the broader categories helps relieve some of that works-righteousness pressure. ...more
Tyler Kelley
Jan 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully written book. Even though I had already read and enjoyed Donald Whitney's book on spiritual disciplines I still found "Habits of Grace" to be useful and encouraging. As a person that is prone to box checking I needed the reminder of why we exercise spiritual disciples. Highly recommend this book to any follower of Christ that desires to know God better. ...more
Rex Blackburn
Mar 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Ratings are subjective, no two ways about it. I feel that this book deserves more than three stars, but the goodreads description for three stars fits my experience with this book. "I liked it." Love Mathis, Piper, and the rest of the ministries at Desiring God. I was especially pleased at the inclusion of the local church as a major means of grace. Also, don't skip the epilogue. ...more
Bob O'bannon
Aug 21, 2018 rated it liked it
If this were the first book on the spiritual disciplines that I have read, it would certainly get a higher rating, but since Donald Whitney’s and Richard Foster’s books on this subject have already made their impression on me, this book feels like a review of what has already been well articulated elsewhere.

There is a helpful chapter on “communing with Christ on a crazy day,” and I appreciate how Mathis makes the point that the spiritual disciplines should not be the occasion for a “low-grade se
Brandyn Brooks
Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
For a new follower of Christ. This book will help you establish roots for growing in your walk. For seasoned believers. This book serves as a reminder of things you may have moved away from. While also brining in new ideas.
Heather Carrillo
Jun 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Feels weird to give a Christian book I totally agree with 3 stars but remember 3 means “liked it” and I did. It was more simple than what I was looking for but it’s a very helpful and simple approach to the spiritual disciplines
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Mathis unpacks a helpful, grace-oriented approach to the spiritual disciplines. I found the writing to be a little 'flowery' at times, but overall I don't think it detracted from the book. ...more
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challies-2017
This is one of a number of books available as a free PDF download from Very good overview of spiritual disciplines and worth the time.
Scott Guillory
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every Christian should read this book! Seriously!
Essie-Marie W.
I didn't finish this book, but it's still pretty good. I'd recommend it to any Christian who wants to know God better and serve Him more. ...more
Aaron Frasier`
Aug 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
It’s not a bad book, but I felt like it was basically a collection of blog articles more than a study of spiritual disciplines.
Aaron Hixson
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
Good book. Thoroughly biblical. Nice inclusion of body life. A little too poetic for my taste at the end of the day, but GREAT content that I would 100% pass along (and would re read).
Mark Christenson
Jan 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
A helpful and practical treatment of the means of grace. I appreciate the author including fellowship as a key means of grace and a habit for us to walk in.
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was good. It was practical and laid out some really solid and achievable things to do to grow in Christ. I found it really useful and enjoyed the way Mathis wrote, not preachy, but practical.
Bruce Dickson
Feb 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Very helpful guide to the three Christian graces of word, prayer and fellowship. A lifetime of wisdom to help make Jesus the focus of our everyday and relationships. So many good reminders of practices not only for our own Christian growth but enabling us to be mission-minded with our time in leaving margins in our daily planning to respond to and meet the needs of others.
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David Mathis (MDiv, Reformed Theological Seminary Orlando) is executive editor at and an elder at Bethlehem Baptist Church in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. His seminary experience includes Reformed Theological Seminary and Bethlehem College & Seminary, where he now serves as adjunct professor.

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