Posted on Saturday, January 14, 2012
in Reviews, Spiritual
People I trust and admire read and discuss Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling devotional. Their faiths have been strengthened and their lives transformed.
I was excited to review the Jesus Calling Devotional Bible even though it was published using The Holy Bible, New King James Version a translation I seldom have used.
There is a topical index listing more than forty topics most readers of the Jesus Calling Devotional Bible would have chosen.
Following the Topical Index is the “When Your Heart Longs for Help” index.
This index guides readers to personalized prayers and Bible passages that address the concerns and situations readers of the Jesus Calling Devotional Bible would likely face. This index includes both page numbers for the prayers and the related verse references on the topics.
The “When Your Heart Longs for Help” index is broken into three sub-categories, listed below with an example.
When you need: Balance … 1070, 1322 (Psalm 18:31–33; Proverbs 3:5, 6)
When you want: Comfort … 298, 1828 (Psalms 23:1–6; 119:49, 50; 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4)
When you feel: Afraid … 292, 348, 776, 782, 844, 1036, 1254, 1292, 1508, 1672 (Proverbs 29:25; Isaiah 26:3; 41:10; Revelation 1:17)
Devotionals are selected from Sarah Young’s devotionals and placed in the Bible text near a key verse or reading that is related to the topic.
For instance below is the text of Romans 12:1-2, a personal prayer from “Conrad” followed by the devotional written by Sarah Young, who uses the words of Scripture to provide Jesus’ voice which answers and provides guidance to address the prayer.
Living Sacrifices to God
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Transformation — to become all that You have created me to be. That, Lord, is my goal. I know it is Yours as well. But everywhere I turn nowadays I get distracted by other goals I am supposed to accomplish or expectations I am supposed to meet. I feel driven to succeed, driven to make more money, driven to be the best at my job. When I start to dwell on these goals and my inability to accomplish them, I feel as if I’ve stumbled into a deep, dark pit.
Discouragement is always the result.
I am much older now than when I first met You; my youth is long past. Realistically, I may have fewer years left than I have already lived. It’s a daunting thought when I consider how far I have come and how far I have yet to go.
I’m tired of the pattern I see in my life, Lord—the pattern of going after goals You haven’t given me and the discouragement that inevitably follows. Help!
Renewing Your Mind
DO NOT BE CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD, BUT BE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND.
I understand your struggles; I know that the world exerts relentless pressure on you, trying to squeeze you into its mold. This is why you need time alone with Me. When you open up to Me and invite Me to transform you, I can work freely in you and accomplish amazing things. One of My most challenging tasks is renovating your mind, and My Spirit is always at work on this project. He does not overwhelm you with His Power. Instead, He prompts you gently and convicts you cleanly—showing you where you need to make changes and helping you develop new attitudes.
Many Christians are unable to discern My will because their minds are entangled in worldliness. The glitter and glamour of this world distract them from Me, so they do not sense My nearness. As you are transformed by the renewing of your mind, you progress in your ability to discern My good and perfect will. You also become increasingly aware of My loving Presence with you. This awareness is so pleasurable that it draws you ever closer to Me—increasing the effectiveness of My work in you, creating an upward spiral of transformation. Thus you grow not only closer to Me but also more like Me. This is a foretaste of what is to come when I am fully revealed: You will be like Me, for you will see Me as I am.
See also Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:17; 1 John 3:2
(From Jesus Lives by Sarah Young)
FOR MORE ON THIS TOPIC, SEE PAGE 1713.
While Sarah Young’s devotionals are excellent and I would give them five stars, personally I would find the Jesus Calling Devotional Bible much more engaging if a translation of the Bible I preferred was chosen.
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