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Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  1,823 ratings  ·  245 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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Average rating 4.27  · 
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 ·  1,823 ratings  ·  245 reviews

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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
Apr 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
A really helpful book on the importance and utilization of spiritual disciplines, both corporately and individually.
Whitney’s Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life is perhaps a bit more accessible for the average reader. But there’s a lot of good stuff in this one. Mathis’s chapter on receiving and giving correction/rebuke is excellent.
His “hook” of hearing God’s voice, having His ear, and belonging to His body so closely mirrors the approach I took in my book, Everyday Faithfulness. It
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.
Nov 15, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A very simple summary is that this book is a mile wide and an inch deep. The author pointed out many important disciplines in the Christian life, but each was skimmed over to the point that it seemed like a lot of fluff with no actual substance. It was a mashup of thoughts which lumped the Great Commission and the ordinances of the local church together as personal disciplines of the Christian life. I also believe that the author’s premise as stated in the title was never developed. The connecti ...more
Mar 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book is fantastic, I would highly recommend it to all Christians who want to grow in "habits of grace", which the author defines as "God's word, God's ear (prayer) and God's church" and honestly who doesn't want or need to grow in these areas. I think this is a book that I will keep coming back to. There are so many practical tips I have already re read a few chapters but I need to go back and think practically about how I am going to make changes to my everyday life. A brilliant book. ...more
Kailie Hesner
Nov 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An easy read that provides practical insights and encouraging notes on how to implement habits of grace. Helpful for the new and seasoned Christian to hear God’s voice, have His ear, belong to His body, and more. A book I know I will come back to often for refreshing perspective on the spiritual disciplines!
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
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
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
Adam W
May 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Helpful to read through along with someone else to challenge, encourage, and have conversations regarding the topics in this book
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.
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
Matt Chapman
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
Christ-focussed, joy-filled and very realistic. A perfect introduction to (and a refresher on) the spiritual disciplines.
Would be a great book to read and discuss together with a friend or in a discipling relationship with a younger Christian.
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
Dec 16, 2021 rated it liked it
This was a good pretty good read. David Mathis gives good explanation of the different spiritual disciplines we can implement in our lives, and a deeper understanding behind them and their benefits. Although there was lots of good information and Bible references throughout the book, I that it was a bit boring in places as it was explaining some things I already knew about, and parts were written in quite a systematic way. Would recommend this book to people who are newly discovering spiritual d ...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
Ethan Doucet
Jan 06, 2022 rated it it was amazing
This is, by every means, the best book I have ever cracked open. Each chapter, while usually short, is cram packed with the best information all believers need in knowing how to pursue God and learning how to bask in His grace. Amazing!!
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!
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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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