Monday, December 14, 2015

Abundant Life Devotional


Abundant Life in Jesus: Devotions for Every Day of the Year


Have you ever observed one of those families where the parents are able to command outward compliance from their kids, but they've clearly lost the children's hearts? Everyone says "Oh, what nice children you have. So well behaved!" and yet the child secretly doesn't trust the parent, and doesn't feel the parents love. So the kid performs, but they don't know if it really matters; they don't know if their parent really sees or cares. There are few things more painful to see. You know that the relationship should be so much more than it is, you know that this facade is cheating both parties. And you don't know how to slap them awake and convince them to change. 

A lot of times, we live that way towards God. Either we were raised religious, or we sincerely converted, but we learned how to behave. And so we do, enough to get by, enough that we've got "I'm Religious" tattooed on our forehead. We just don't really trust the heart of our God. We're not sure that he knows our heart. 

How do we get back where we need to be, alive in Christ, sure that we have God's heart?

That's what Nancy Guthrie was ultimately concerned about as she penned these devotions. There are 365 of them, and they run the gamut from comforting to provoking. Nancy has written them as if God were speaking directly to the reader. Sometimes I find this style awkward, but once I got past this, I was able to appreciate the "meat" of these reflections. 

Nancy speaks of our God as the God who finds joy in doing good for his children. She says he has made himself knowable. She says he will share his happiness with us. She says he will redeem everything the enemy intends for evil. She brings her thoughts back to Christ, over and over, showing us that everything we want from God is in Christ, and everything we need for life on earth is in Christ. 

So that's a look at the contents of this book. Now for a word on the packaging. Tyndale has designed this book to look like a present without any need for wrapping paper. It's got one of those flexible leather-like covers stamped with flowers and birds and hearts. I can imagine this as a gift for a teen girl or for an elderly aunt.... any lady that you think would appreciate some feast-on-the-Word devotions. 

Thank you to the publisher for giving me a copy to review in exchange for my opinion.

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