Lately, guilty of neglecting an important area of my spiritual life (Praying and Reading God’s Word) hinders my ability to grow closer to Jesus.
To remedy this failure, I pulled from my shelf an array of devotional and sat down with my Bible.
First, I apologized to God. “Please forgive me for not nurturing an important area in my life that draws me closer to you. Give me a hunger that will not let me sleep, until I take of your Bread of Life.”
As usual, my mail provides an answer to prayer. Recently, I received the latest book by Holley Gerth, Fierce Hearted : Live Fully, Love Bravely, (affiliate link) from Revel Reads. I signed up for their wonderful blogger program and in exchange for a review, I have received many free books through the years in exchange for my honest review.
I digress. I am reading through her book with an earnest prayer to use what I find in these chapters to reconnect me with Jesus’s Word and to revive in me that hunger to grow spiritually. I pray this in earnest because all though I receive great devotional books, they will not fully bear fruit in my life if I don’t also take my Bible and open it to the verses that the authors share in their books. Sometimes, I need to just take the Bible and open it without any devotionals and read to grow in the Lord.
Without fail, Holley delivers another book that promises to help me grow in the Lord as long as I remember to read it in tandem with God’s Holy Word.
I believe Holly did not pen this book with an intent that you read it from cover to cover. Instead, it is like a place to come and hang out: a literary coffee shop. You can buy a pastry and tea one day when you need something sweet and encouraging or a hot, deep drink and satisfying muffin when you want to sink and dig a little deeper. You can start with the Table of Contents to decide your pick for the day.
My picks recently dealt with prayer and church life. These subjects drew me to the chapters entitled “Praying Wronger,” and “Like Water in Wine.”
I found so many great truth nuggets in each of these short chapters to chew on. Including:
God is okay with us praying as we are, rather than the way someone tells us we must.”
She reminds us here that the Lord’s prayer found in Matthew 6 is not a formula but an outline of what we need to pray about each day.
Another great truth.
Praying is about aligning our hearts with God.”
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
In the chapter, “Like Water in Wine” she touches on our lives in church through discussions of weddings, fun, and “partying.” I know these thoughts are not the usual “thou shalt not forsake the gathering of yourselves together” messages we hear thundered from the pulpit.
She audaciously questions:
“How can we meet the innate need for freedom and fun within the church.”
She reminds us that we are not just minds that need to be intellectually fed. Our churches do not have to keep a tight rein on everyone because if they are not places to rejoice, fellowship in Christ, and embrace life; some people may walk away from church and struggle alone. More seriously some may also never find grace and forgiveness in Christ.
I am still in a time of reading this book, dancing in the pages. Flitting from topic to topic depending on where the Spirt leads me as I read, pray, and grow in Christ,
This book is one of many that have graced my bedside in the last few years.
Some of the most useful books that I have reviewed during the last two years include:
- Danise Jurado‘s Fulfilled: Learning to Live the Life God Promised
- Glory Days by Max Lucado
- God, Me, and Sweet Tea by Rose Chandler Johnson
- The Beauty of Grace Compiled by Dawn Camp
- 365 Pocket Prayers for Mother
- Finding Unsinkable Faith by Tracie Miles
(By the way, these past reviews contain affiliate links so if you purchase any of the books using my link, I will receive a small portion of the sale from Amazon at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support. I also received these books for free from various blogging programs in exchange for my honest reviews.)
I encourage you today to dust off your Bible and open it. Read and grow. Also find a great devotional, like Fierce Hearted, (affiliate link) to read with your Bible.
If you neglect this area of devotional reading your spiritual life will wan. Worst, however, is that you can create great spiritual gulfs in times of great stress in your life, and you will discover that you do not have the tools you need to overcome the terrible tests thrown at you by Satan.
Why is reading your Bible and great devotionals important to you? Share some good titles and come read, pray, and grow with me today.