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40 Days with Jesus
By Sarah Young
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2010 Sarah Young
All rights reserved.
Taste and see that I am good. The more intimately you experience Me, the more convinced you become of My goodness. I am the Living One who sees you and longs to participate in your life. I am training you to find Me in each moment and to be a channel of My loving Presence. Sometimes My blessings come to you in mysterious ways: through pain and trouble. At such times you can know My goodness only through your trust in Me. Understanding will fail you, but trust will keep you close to Me.
Thank Me for the gift of My Peace, a gift of such immense proportions that you cannot fathom its depth or breadth. When I appeared to My disciples after the resurrection, it was Peace that I communicated first of all. I knew this was their deepest need: to calm their fears and clear their minds. I also speak Peace to you, for I know your anxious thoughts. Listen to Me! Tune out other voices, so that you can hear Me more clearly. I designed you to dwell in Peace all day, every day. Draw near to Me; receive My Peace.
* * *
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
For Reflection: Genesis 16:13–14 (AMP); John 20:19CHAPTER 2
Let My Love enfold you in the radiance of My Glory. Sit still in the Light of My Presence, and receive My Peace. These quiet moments with Me transcend time, accomplishing far more than you can imagine. Bring Me the sacrifice of your time, and watch to see how abundantly I bless you and your loved ones.
Through the intimacy of our relationship, you are being transformed from the inside out. As you keep your focus on Me, I form you into the one I desire you to be. Your part is to yield to My creative work in you, neither resisting it nor trying to speed it up. Enjoy the tempo of a God-breathed life by letting Me set the pace. Hold My hand in childlike trust, and the way before you will open up step by step.
* * *
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18
Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
For Reflection: Hebrews 13:15CHAPTER 3
Follow Me one step at a time. That is all I require of you. In fact, that is the only way to move through this space/time world. You see huge mountains looming, and you start wondering how you're going to scale those heights. Meanwhile, because you're not looking where you're going, you stumble on the easy path where I am leading you now. As I help you get back on your feet, you tell Me how worried you are about the cliffs up ahead. But you don't know what will happen today, much less tomorrow. Our path may take an abrupt turn, leading you away from those mountains. There may be an easier way up the mountains than is visible from this distance. If I do lead you up the cliffs, I will equip you thoroughly for that strenuous climb. I will even give My angels charge over you, to preserve you in all your ways.
Keep your mind on the present journey, enjoying My Presence. Walk by faith, not by sight, trusting Me to open up the way before you.
* * *
For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service]. They shall bear you up on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
Psalm 91:11–12 (AMP)
For we walk by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)
For Reflection: Psalm 18:29CHAPTER 4
You are My beloved child. I chose you before the foundation of the world, to walk with Me along paths designed uniquely for you. Concentrate on keeping in step with Me, instead of trying to anticipate My plans for you. If you trust that My plans are to prosper you and not to harm you, you can relax and enjoy the present moment.
Your hope and your future are rooted in heaven, where eternal ecstasy awaits you. Nothing can rob you of your inheritance of unimaginable riches and well-being. Sometimes I grant you glimpses of your glorious future, to encourage you and spur you on. But your main focus should be staying close to Me. I set the pace in keeping with your needs and My purposes.
* * *
Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.
Ephesians 1:4 (NKJV)
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory.
For Reflection: Proverbs 16:9CHAPTER 5
I am the resurrection and the life; all lasting Life emanates from Me. People search for life in many wrong ways: chasing after fleeting pleasures, accumulating possessions and wealth, trying to deny the inevitable effects of aging. Meanwhile, I freely offer abundant Life to everyone who turns toward Me. As you come to Me and take My yoke upon you, I fill you with My very Life. This is how I choose to live in the world and accomplish My purposes. This is also how I bless you with Joy unspeakable and full of Glory. The Joy is Mine, and the Glory is Mine; but I bestow them on you as you live in My Presence, inviting Me to live fully in you.
* * *
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies."
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:8&ndah;9 (KJV)CHAPTER 6
My kingdom cannot be shaken! This present world seems to be shaking more and more, leaving you off-balance much of the time. As you worship Me, however, your perspective changes and you regain your balance. To worship Me acceptably with reverence and awe, thankfulness is essential. I designed you to be thankful on a daily, moment-by-moment basis. You need to resist the temptation to grumble when things don't go as you would like. Remember that I, your God, am a consuming fire. If you saw Me in all My Glory, you would be much too awestruck to venture even the tiniest complaint.
My unshakable kingdom is for all people who love Me, who know Me as Savior. This everlasting kingdom consists of things that no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived. I have prepared infinite, wondrous delights for those who love Me. Moreover, at the end of the age I will come back and take you to be with Me so that you may be where I am. Let these precious promises ignite your thankfulness, till you are aglow with My living Presence—shining brightly in this dark world.
* * *
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.
For Reflection: Exodus 24:17 (NKJV); 1 Corinthians 2:9; John 14:3CHAPTER 7
I am Immanuel—God with you—an ever-present Help in trouble. No matter what may happen, I am sufficient to provide whatever you need. Instead of imagining how you might respond to terrible things that could happen, draw your mind back to the present and take refuge in My Presence. I am much like a mother hen, eager to cover you with My protective pinions. As you snuggle under My wings, you will not only find refuge; you will also discover a growing ability to trust Me. It is in closeness to Me that you realize how trustworthy I am.
Remember that I am both your Rock and your Redeemer. Though I am impregnable in My vast strength, I became a vulnerable Man so I could redeem you from your sins. The more you take refuge in Me, the more aware you become of My overflowing Love. In Me you are utterly safe, for I am your Rock of everlasting Love!
* * *
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
For Reflection: Psalm 46:1–2; Matthew 23:37 (NKJV); Psalm 91:4 (AMP)CHAPTER 8
I will never leave you or forsake you. Many of My followers think they have to jump through all the right hoops to "stay in fellowship" with Me. If that were true, they would never be able to enjoy My Presence. They would have to be perfect to gain an audience with Me. Instead of striving to be good enough, I invite you to come confidently into My bright Presence.
If you walk in the Light as I am in the Light, My blood continually cleanses you from all sin. When you become aware of sins, I want you to confess them and seek My help in making needed changes. Nonetheless, your status with Me is not based on confessing your sins quickly enough or thoroughly enough. The only thing that keeps you right with Me is My perfect righteousness, which I gave you freely and permanently when you joined My royal family.
Walking in the Light of My Presence blesses you in many ways. Good things are better and bad things more bearable when you share them with Me. As you bask in My Love-Light, you are better able to love others and enjoy fellowship with them. You are less likely to stumble or fall, because sins are garishly obvious in My holy Light. As you walk in this Light with Me, I encourage you to exult in My righteousness.
* * *
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord. They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness.
For Reflection: Hebrews 13:5; 1 John 1:7 (NKJV)CHAPTER 9
I am the Risen One who shines upon you always. You worship a living Deity, not some idolatrous, man-made image. Your relationship with Me is meant to be vibrant and challenging, as I invade more and more areas of your life. Do not fear change, for I am making you a new creation, with old things passing away and new things continually on the horizon. When you cling to old ways and sameness, you resist My work within you. I want you to embrace all that I am doing in your life, finding your security in Me alone.
It is easy to make an idol of routine, finding security within the boundaries you build around your life. Although each day contains twenty-four hours, every single one presents a unique set of circumstances. Don't try to force-fit today into yesterday's mold. Instead, ask Me to open your eyes, so you can find all I have prepared for you in this precious day of Life.
* * *
The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17CHAPTER 10
You are a child of God, and you are Mine forever. Someday you will see Me as I am—face to Face in Glory. You have been a member of My royal family since the moment you trusted Me as Savior. I am training you in the ways of My kingdom: to be made new in the attitude of your mind; to put on the new self, created to be like Me. Although your new self is being conformed to My image, this process does not erase the essence of who you are. On the contrary, the more you become like Me, the more you develop into the unique person I designed you to be.
Since you are part of My royal family, you're a fellow-heir with Me—sharing My inheritance. However, you must share My suffering if you are to share My Glory. You don't need to search for ways to suffer. Living in this broken world provides ample opportunity to experience pain of many kinds. When adversity comes your way, search for Me in the midst of your struggles. Ask Me to help you suffer well, in a manner worthy of royalty. Everything you endure can help you become more like Me. Remember the ultimate goal: You will see My Face in righteousness—and be satisfied!
* * *
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
1 John 3:2 (NKJV)
For Reflection: Ephesians 4:22–24; Romans 8:17 (AMP); Psalm 17:15 (NKJV)CHAPTER 11
I speak to you from the depths of your being. Hear Me saying soothing words of Peace, assuring you of My Love. Do not listen to voices of accusation, for they are not from Me. I speak to you in love-tones, lifting you up. My Spirit convicts cleanly, without crushing words of shame. Let the Spirit take charge of your mind, combing out tangles of deception. Be transformed by the truth that I live within you.
The Light of My Presence is shining upon you, in benedictions of Peace. Let My Light shine in you; don't dim it with worries or fears. Holiness is letting Me live through you. Since I dwell in you, you are fully equipped to be holy. Pause before responding to people or situations, giving My Spirit space to act through you. Hasty words and actions leave no room for Me; this is atheistic living. I want to inhabit all your moments—gracing your thoughts, words, and behavior.
* * *
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
For Reflection: 1 Corinthians 6:19CHAPTER 12
I am calling you to a life of constant communion with Me. Basic training includes learning to live above your circumstances, even while interacting on that cluttered plane of life. You yearn for a simplified lifestyle, so that your communication with Me can be uninterrupted. But I challenge you to relinquish the fantasy of an uncluttered world. Accept each day just as it comes, and find Me in the midst of it all.
Talk with Me about every aspect of your day, including your feelings. Remember that your ultimate goal is not to control or fix everything around you; it is to keep communing with Me. A successful day is one in which you have stayed in touch with Me, even if many things remain undone at the end of the day. Do not let your to-do list (written or mental) become an idol directing your life. Instead, ask My Spirit to guide you moment by moment. He will keep you close to Me.
* * *
1 Thessalonians 5:17
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:6CHAPTER 13
Heaven is both present and future. As you walk along your life-path holding My hand, you are already in touch with the essence of heaven: nearness to Me. You can also find many hints of heaven along your pathway, because the earth is radiantly alive with My Presence. Shimmering sunshine awakens your heart, gently reminding you of My brilliant Light. Birds and flowers, trees and skies evoke praises to My holy Name. Keep your eyes and ears fully open as you journey with Me.
At the end of your life-path is an entrance to heaven. Only I know when you will reach that destination, but I am preparing you for it each step of the way. The absolute certainty of your heavenly home gives you Peace and Joy, to help you along your journey. You know that you will reach your home in My perfect timing: not one moment too soon or too late. Let the hope of heaven encourage you, as you walk along the path of Life with Me.
Excerpted from 40 Days with Jesus by Sarah Young. Copyright © 2010 Sarah Young. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
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