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With a brand new, vibrant cover, discover the most exciting truth in the universe: Jesus lives! And from your heart’s deepest cry to life’s joyful praises, the King of kings is in them all!
Knowing Jesus on a deeper, more personal level not only means seeing Him at work in your life, but also sharing your heart with the Savior. Whether you’re struggling your way through a valley or reaping a bounty of blessings, Jesus is very much alive and present. The question is: Do you see Him? Do you recognize His voice? His comforting hand? His desire to fellowship with you?
In Jesus LivesTM, 180 topical devotions exemplify Jesus’ presence in your life. Through this journey, Sarah brings to light the truth of Romans 8:11: The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you! This promise will come to life and bring new meaning as you discover that Jesus lives indeed!
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||4.40(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Sarah Young, the author of the bestselling 365-day devotionals Jesus Always and Jesus Calling®, has sold more than 25 million books worldwide. Jesus Calling® has appeared on all major bestseller lists. Sarah's writings include Jesus Calling®, Jesus Today™, Jesus Lives™, Dear Jesus, Jesus Calling® for Little Ones, Jesus Calling® Bible Storybook, Jesus Calling®: 365 Devotions for Kids, and Peace in His Presence, each encouraging readers in their journeys toward intimacy with Christ. Sarah and her husband were missionaries in Japan and Australia for many years. They currently live in the United States.
Read an Excerpt
By Sarah Young
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2009 Sarah Young
All rights reserved.
The very name I use to address you—Beloved—proclaims how dearly I love you. I showed you the full extent of My Love by enduring humiliation, torture, and death for you. No greater love than this is possible, or even conceivable.
You have tucked into your memory many experiences of My unparalleled Love. I want you to dwell on these memories: Enjoy them over and over again! This practice will help convince your doubting heart that My extraordinary Love is really yours—every nanosecond of this life and throughout eternity.
When you abide in Me, you also abide in My Love, for I am Love. As you live close to Me—communing with Me more and more—My living Presence permeates your entire being. This empowers you to trust in My unfailing Love, secure in the salvation I won for you.
It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.
John 15:13 NKJV
We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
1 John 4:16 NASB
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.
Rejoice in Me always. This is a moment-by-moment choice. It is possible to find Joy in Me even during the most difficult times. Because I am always near, I am constantly available to help you. I can even carry you through times of extreme adversity.
Imagine a woman who has become engaged to a man she deeply loves and admires. Her heart overflows with pleasure whenever she thinks about her beloved. Problems fade into the background, unable to dampen her enthusiasm and excitement. Similarly, when you remember that I am your perfect Betrothed and that you are promised to Me forever, you can rejoice in Me even though you face many problems.
It is in the present moment that you find Me ever near you. My Presence in the present is an endless source of Joy: a continual feast! The soul-satisfaction you find in Me helps you relate well to other people. As you enjoy My abiding Presence, you can bless others with your gentleness.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
All the days of the afflicted are evil, but he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.
Proverbs 15:15 NKJV
My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
John 15:4 NKJV
My Light shines on you continually, whether you are aware of it or not. During the wee hours of the night, your thoughts are often distorted—even catastrophic. Although you may feel as if you're enveloped in darkness, remember that darkness and light are alike to Me. I am with you, and My Love for you never fails. You need the Light of My Presence supremely more than you need the light of day.
When the way before you seems dark and threatening, you can still trust Me to guide you. Walking by faith is akin to using radar to discern the way you should go. Instead of trying to see through clouds of uncertainty up ahead, fix your eyes on Me. I can show you a way forward where there appears to be none. Moreover, as you strive to stay in communication with Me, your soul opens up to Me. Even in the midst of your struggle, My loving Presence can fill your soul with warm delight.
Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.
Psalm 139:12 NASB
For we walk by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
In My Presence you have infinite approval. You often judge yourself on the basis of what you see in the mirror, even though you know how fickle and shallow that ever-changing image is. You tend to be equally enslaved to viewing yourself through the eyes of other people, rigorously evaluating your personal performance and almost always feeling displeased with something you've said or done.
"Enslaved" is an appropriate word. You are indeed a slave when you try to measure yourself through any perspective but Mine. Evaluating your worth based on how you look, to yourself or to others, is always a trap. It's as if you are sifting sand in a search for gold—looking only at the grains of sand filtering through the sieve, while ignoring the priceless nuggets that remain. The gold represents the eternal part of you: your soul. It is invisible to everyone but Me, the One who plans to spend eternity with you. Though invisible, a well-nurtured soul can actually improve your appearance: As you rest in the certainty of My unfailing Love, your face glows with the Joy of My Presence.
My approval of you is infinite because it will continue forever. It is based entirely on My righteousness, which is yours for all eternity. When you look in a mirror, try to see yourself as you truly are—arrayed in perfect righteousness, adorned in glowing approval.
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
Surely you have granted him eternal blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence.
I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Come to Me with the difficulties that are weighing you down. Even though there is no relief in sight, your troubles are actually light and momentary—from an eternal perspective. Your problems feel so heavy because you have given them too much power. Each time you focus on them and forget about Me, you empower them a bit more. Even small objects placed very close to your eyes can obscure most of the vista before you. I want you to put your troubles down long enough to view the vast expanse of Life that is spread out before you—all the way into eternity!
The best way to lay your problems down is: Bring them to Me. Unburden yourself by pouring out your heart to Me, for I am your Refuge. As you release your woes to Me (even temporarily), your vision improves and you can see Me more clearly. Linger with Me while My Light shines powerfully into your heart. This Light illuminates the knowledge of the Majesty and Glory revealed in My Face. This is the eternal Glory that outweighs all your troubles.
Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
2 Corinthians 4:17
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah.
For God Who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts so as [to beam forth] the Light for the illumination of the knowledge of the majesty and glory of God [as it is manifest in the Person and is revealed] in the face of Jesus Christ (the Messiah).
2 Corinthians 4:6 amp
I am the firm Foundation on which you can dance and sing praises and continually celebrate My Presence—just as you long to. Most of the time, however, you feel earthbound and weighed down. Worshiping Me requires the engagement of your entire being—something you delight in and yet somehow resist.
If you want to learn how to celebrate Me more consistently, more abundantly, begin by lingering in My peaceful Presence. As you relax in My everlasting arms, sense how safe and secure you are. I am indeed the rock-solid Foundation on which you can live exuberantly. Dancing, singing, and praying are ways you can express your delight in Me.
My very Presence radiates Joy in vast, unmeasured fullness! When you praise Me, your Joy increases, as does your awareness of My holy Presence. Your body may or may not be mightily engaged in this endeavor, but I see into your heart. That is where the ultimate celebration of My Presence takes place.
The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the Lord with all his might.
2 Samuel 6:14
But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
1 Samuel 16:7 NKJV
I want to make your life a glorious adventure, but you must stop striving for a lifestyle that feels safe. I know how ambivalent your heart is in all of this: You long for the adventure that a life abandoned to Me can be, and at the same time, you cling to old ways because change frightens you. Though you feel safest when your life is predictable and things seem to be under control, I want you to break free and discover the adventures I have planned for you.
The greatest adventure of all is knowing Me abundantly: discovering how wide and long and high and deep is My Love for you. The power of My vast Love can feel overwhelming. That is why many people choose to limit their knowledge of Me, keeping Me at a distance. How this grieves Me! People settle for mediocrity because it feels more comfortable. Meanwhile, they continue to battle fear. Only My Love is strong enough to break the hold that fear has on you. A predictable lifestyle may feel safer, but it can shield you from what you need most of all—Me!
When unexpected events shake up your routines, rejoice. This is exactly what you need, to wake you up and point you toward Me. Recognize that you are on the threshold of a new adventure, and that I will be with you each step of the way. As we venture out together, cling tightly to My hand. The more you abandon yourself to Me, the more exuberantly you can experience My Love.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18
My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.
DEPENDING ON HIM
Your awareness of your deep need for Me is a profound strength. People who think they don't need Me are in serious trouble, because they rely on their own insufficient abilities. I am training you to depend on Me—your Strength.
Living in a fallen world can weigh you down. However, as you keep looking to Me, I make your feet like the feet of a deer. I lighten your load so much that you hardly notice the jagged rocks beneath your feet or the steepness of your ascent. Before you know it, you are on the high places—with Me!
You need to remember that I am Sovereign. I will not help you go along a path that is not My choice for you. So it's vital to commit your way to Me, asking Me to lead you each step of the way. This is how you collaborate with Me as I enable you to go on the heights.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.
Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.
Isaiah 40:30–31 NASB
Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.
Psalm 37:5 NKJV
I am training you to hold in your heart a dual focus: My continual presence and the hope of heaven. You'll find no deeper comfort than knowing I am with you always, both here on earth and throughout eternity in heaven. You have known this great truth in your head for many years. However, your heart is fickle and tends to chase after other gods. Only as My Spirit helps you can you grasp the awesomeness of My Presence with you forever. I am indeed with you—watching over you wherever you are, wherever you go. Simply accept My Presence with you as reality: the deepest Reality. Build your life on this absolute truth, which is like building your house on a rock.
Your heart and mind will wander away from Me, but My Spirit within can remind you to return. You need only to ask the Holy Spirit to help you in this way. He delights in being your Helper.
Rejoice, for I am with you not only in this life but in the life to come. Let the promise of heaven flood your heart with My eternal Presence!
I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
John 14:16–17 NASB
In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
Your weakness and brokenness draw Me ever so near you. You can open up to Me because I understand you perfectly. My compassion for you is overflowing. As you open yourself to My healing Presence, I fill you with Peace that transcends understanding. So stop trying to figure everything out. Instead, lean on Me, letting your head rest on My chest. While you rest, I will be watching over you and all that concerns you.
Trust Me in the depths of your being, where I live in union with you. My healing work in you is most effective when you are actively trusting Me. Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing Love for you will not be shaken. This is the essence of My compassion for you: No matter how desperate your circumstances, the one thing you can always count on is My unfailing Love.
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
Proverbs 3:5 amp
"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Ever since the Fall, people have wanted to make idols of themselves and their own creations. They find it easier to deify something visible than to worship My unseen Reality. You have spent years trying to perfect yourself. Now you are more vulnerable to idolizing what you have made or done than what you are. This is a rather subtle sin, especially when you have created something for My Glory and purposes. I have deigned to use some of your creations to bless other people, and this has delighted you. When they express their appreciation to you, you soak up their praises. You forget that everything you make is as flawed as you are. Just as you are a jar of clay filled with heavenly contents, so are the things you have made or done for Me.
Excerpted from Jesus Lives by Sarah Young. Copyright © 2009 Sarah Young. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Jesus Lives is a wonderful pocket-sized devotional written by Sarah Young. I was originally introduced to Sarah Young through her other book Jesus Calling. Jesus Lives is written in a different style, but is just as much an amazing and encouraging devotional! Rather than the format of a daily devotional, Jesus Lives is broken up by category. You can easily look up all relevant devotional writings by category in the table of contents, which directly aligns with themes throughout the life of Jesus. Feeling worried, fearful, full of anxiety, or lacking of faith? These issues and so many more are addressed with how Jesus would respond and encourage us to do the same. Jesus Lives is a fantastic devotional, and I highly recommend it!
I have most of Sarah Youngs' Books and I am always amazed by her insight, clarity and powerful devotions. Sarah Young is always a part of my daily devotions and she never fails to bring something of value to my life.
I received a copy of this book from Book Sneeze to review. It's not for every audience. Some may find this book controversial as Ms. Young writes it from Jesus' POV. But the words she writes are based on inspiration that she felt Jesus was telling her at the time of writing, and on the Bible, and as a strong Christian reading it, it was very enlighting and though provoking. The book is in the form of a daily devotional... It would take approximately 6 months if you read one each day (I read it all in a day or two as I was reviewing it) On the back of the book it says that when you read the book "Your spirit will overflow - alive, awake, and joyful" and this was definately true. I absolutely loved it. Each days reading consisted of one page written by Sarah in Jesus' POV and then a second page of related Bible Verses. 4 of 5 stars.
"Jesus lives" is a very hard to put down book and very helpful. it is a very inexpensive leather edition that address`s different situations that people face in there life and has wonderful scripture and comments by the arthur sarah young who is a missionery and awnsers can be found to peoples storms and tough situations that they face on a day to day basis courage and hope can be found in this wonderful book and it would make a great gift for a friend or family member.
It amazes me how each days message seems to be what I need for that day. Each morning I can't wait to read the days inspiring message. I like how Sarah Young wrote it in the first person, it's like Jesus is speaking to me personally.
Will order again from you.
Sarah Young hears the Holy Spirit talking to her through God's Holy Word. All three of her "Jesus books" are enlightening, bringing you more and more and more aware of living in God's presence.
I must say this wonderful Gift Devotional was just uplifting and is an exceptional source of encouragement and wisdom. I would recommend it for young and old alike. With 180 Devotions arranged by topic, Sarah young really helps you explore Jesus and his presence in your life. This book really addresses a variety of different topics and questions you may have. It is really enlightening and I found that If I started the day of with it , and followed up with the bible its self that I could really feel Jesus with me , and find comfort in him throughout the day. I truly enjoyed this devotional and would willingly give one to my mother , baby sisters and anyone old enough to read. It truly is uplifting.
Jesus Calling & Jesus Lives are the foundation of my daily readings. I am always growing, learning and living the word when I read her teachings.
This book has given me peace and comfort many times over the years. It is a blessing for sure.
I enjoy reading this every day.
The world specializes in separation and losses. How comforting it is to know that nothing can separate us from Jesus' love. Jesus Lives is Sarah Young's follow up book to Jesus Calling. It is a devotional guide unlike most others. The devotions are short two-page readings. The first page contains a two or three paragraph reminder or promise from the Bible. It is written as though Jesus were speaking. The second page presents the Bible verses used to compose the reading. There are 180 readings in the book, and they are divided into sections based on the themes from Jesus' life and teachings: Adversity, Brokenness; Faith, Forgiveness, Grace, Hope, Joy, Love, Peace, Prayer -- and more. This is not a devotional to read only page-by-page, although surely that is recommended. It is also a devotional to keep and revisit, just as issues from these themes keep revisiting our lives. As we all know, the Bible is a living document and God helps us in our understandings in the light of our current needs. A scripture I read last week may seem much more relevant to me today then it did then. Jesus Lives will help connect scripture to the current needs in your life. Having said that, the fact that this book is written as though Jesus is speaking to me made me just a little uncomfortable. These aren't Jesus' words. Sarah Young wrote them. Also, I have been taught to be very careful of studying scripture out of the context in which it was written. Despite all of that, having looked this book over and carefully considered the writings and the scriptures associated with them, I believe that Sarah Young did an excellent job capturing the meanings and messages behind these scriptures. I would not suggest this book for the totality of one's daily Bible Study. It does, however make an excellent starting point for study. Especially if one is interested in or perusing the 46 themes from Jesus' life and teachings.
Each day greets you with a glorious challenge: Will you trust in Jesus' unfailing love? Though the world specializes in separations and losses, the Bible says that nothing in all creation can separate you from Jesus' love. Have you experienced His presence in your hardest times? Do you enjoy Jesus' love for you in this very moment? He is closer than the air you breathe. Jesus Lives is a devotional book filled with topics ranging from adversity to emptiness all the way through worry and worship. The book is laid out with a simple topic at the top of the page and then a message from God as though He himself was speaking directly to you regarding this particular situation. On the adjoining pages lie scripture references from the Bible. This book is a highly recommended one because so often people come to us with a variety of issues impacting their lives both in positive and negative ways. We are asked for advice and sometimes we can't always find just the right thing to say. This book does just that. In the Table of Contents are listed various situations you may find yourself or a friend in and offers just the perfect advice to uplift, encourage, and motivate people to find hope and faith in their circumstances. I received this book from Thomas Nelson publishers to review and once again would highly recommend it to anyone seeking a quick and easy reference book to life's problems.
Jesus Lives is an inspirational devotional that focuses on God's compassionate presence. Written as if Jesus wrote the words and supported by bible verses, each entry dares you to draw closer and closer to the Savior. The book includes a guide to the various themes of each entry, making the book a great reference tool. Themes include attitude, depending on Him, forgiveness, prayer, thankfulness, trials and many others. Although some may feel uncomfortable reading words written as if the author is Jesus when it is not the bible, Young admits that the Bible is the only "infallible Word of God." When I received this book from Thomas Nelson as part of their book review program, I wanted to sit down and read this book in one sitting. However, many of the devotions were so influential that I read more slowly, allowing the bible verses to make their impact. I highly recommend this book - especially as a gift. The beautiful padded hardcover and compact size make it an attractive addition to any nightstand, purse or car - wherever you may need an encouraging reminder of God's love and grace.
As a member of the Thomas Nelson Review Blogger program http://brb.thomasnelson.com/ , I had the opportunity to review Sara Young's devotional book, Jesus Lives. I was pleasantly surprised at the extent of this book's reliance on scripture. Each topic/ page is supplemented by two or three complimentary biblical verses. The topics such as : brokenness, trials, trust, worry, heaven and idolatry are relevant in today's society. What makes this book even more practical is the fact that each verse is explicitly written out. Additionally, the theme of each verse is interwoven within the text of the devotional passage. This book is truly a great resource. It brings to life biblical passages. Theologically and doctrinally this devotional is consistent with the message of the bible. This book will stand the test of scrutiny of any theologian. Yet, it is simple enough to be appreciated and understood by new Christians, and the secular reader as well. Biblical truth is not watered down- this is not just another "feel- good" type of motivational book. While, motivating and encouraging to the reader, this book does not water down the message of salvation, nor does this book dismiss the reality or the purpose of pain and suffering which is indeed, a fact of life in this imperfect and sinful world.
Jesus Lives by Sarah Young is hands down the most life-altering carry-along book I've ever seen or owned! A truly splendid addition to a gift for any woman or even as a stocking stuffer. Anyone who needs or just wants to hear of our Lords infinite love for them will be blessed by Jesus Lives. It's love talk will bring you to tears of joy! Jesus Lives is written in themes that are sprinkled throughout the book rather than each topic grouped together. Some of those themes are abiding in Him, brokenness, condemnation, grace, freedom in Him, Resting in Him, hope, peace, thankfulness, trust, victorious living, worry, and worship. For each two pages there is a theme, then one page is a love talk from our Lord to you and the next page is 2-5 scriptures (in varying translations) opening your eyes to those things in His Word. If your anything like me, I opened this book up couldn't stop reading it! It's beyond refreshing to hear of the Lords love for us in a personal way. Each time it brings me to my knees in humble worship. This book will be in my purse for years to come! I'll be armed with the word for encouragement to myself or others at a moments notice. Now a treat for you! A sample of what's inside Jesus Lives..... Theme: Attitude In My Presence you have infinite approval. You often judge yourself on the basis of what you see in the mirror, even though you know how fickle and shallow that ever-changing image is. You tend to be equally enslaved to viewing yourself through the eyes of other people, rigorously evaluating your personal performance and almost always feeling displeased with something you've said or done. "Enslaved" is an appropriate word. You are indeed a slave when you try to measure yourself through any perspective but Mine. Evaluating your worth based on how you look, to yourself or to others, is always a trap. It's as if you are sifting sand in a search for gold- looking only at the grains of sand filtering through the sieve, while ignoring the priceless nuggets that remain. The gold represents the eternal part of you: your soul. It is invisible to everyone but Me, the One who plans to spend eternity with you. Though invisible, a well-nurtured soul can actually improve your appearance: As you rest in the certainty of My unfailing Love, your face glows with the Joy of My Presence. My approval of you is infinite because it will continue forever. It is based entirely on My righteousness, which is yours for all eternity. When you look in a mirror, try to see yourself as you truly are- arrayed in perfect righteousness, adorned in glowing approval. Now on the right hand page are the following verses written out: Psalm 90:14 Psalm 21:6 Isaiah 61:10 .... What did I tell you?! It's a life-altering, heart-changing, soul restoring compilation of love talk because Jesus Lives! Three Hundrend Fifty-Nine pages of pure Truth for the changed life. Better hurry up and get yours!
"Jesus Lives: Seeing His Love in Your Life" by Sarah Young is a tranquil gift book. There are close to 200 mini-devotionals that can either be read on a day-to-day basis or just in one sitting. Each one has a description on the left page akin to God speaking to the reader. This is comforting and not at all blasphemous to the reader; it is understood that Young's prose is more inspirational and not intended to substitute for the Bible. On the right page, there are three to four Bible quotations that directly correlate to the said topic. The verses sometimes repeat, and it is odd how they are not all taken from one translation. Nevertheless, readers will enjoy this little soft / hard covered book that will leave a smile imprinted on their face. http://brb.thomasnelson.com/reviews/blogger/2503
Jesus Lives by Sarah Young I eagerly anticipated reading this book, for I've had a lifetime fondness for devotionals. Though I wanted to like it, I found myself disturbed right off the bat by the fact that it was written as if by the Lord Himself, which proved a constant distraction. The thing is, I just couldn't imagine Jesus actually speaking words such as in this passage taken from page 44: You are feeling brokenhearted and bound: entangled in webs of discouragement. Pick up the pieces of your broken heart---scattered all around you---and bring them to Me. Place them on the white linen cloth I provide, and wait in My healing Presence. Sit still in My holy Light while I cleanse you from binding webs of discouragement . . . I don't know what is meant by the "white linen cloth." Though it has a lovely sound to it there is nothing Scriptural to warrant its inclusion in this paragraph. (Also, I couldn't help thinking that this paragraph sounds a bit New Age-y.) While it is true that the Lord is near to the brokenhearted, He does not coddle us. To those with whom He interacted during His earth life, His words had about them a holy directive bordering on sternness. He assured the woman taken in adultery that He didn't condemn her, and then went on to caution her to "Go and sin no more." To Peter, who had miserably denied Him three times, His words were, "Feed my sheep." There was no commiserating with his human weakness or sympathizing with his cowardice but rather, the command to move forward by engaging in what was to be his life's work. God is not so much concerned with our comfort or happiness as He is with the molding of our characters into the likeness of His Son. Jesus walked amongst the common people of His day, healing the sick and imparting words of truth. What He didn't do was to encourage self-focus by lingering to give attention to the minute details of an individual's life. This is not to say that He had no care for one's burdens and the reasons behind them, but simply that life lay not in the scrutinizing of one's failures or wounds but in following Him. Here is a passage from page 142: The best strategy for accepting yourself, even when you make mistakes, is living close to Me . . . There is a new movement today in Christianity, and it is that of substituting the word mistake for sin. While the Bible abounds with verses regarding sin, it is never called by any other name. A mistake is mispronouncing a word, or perhaps forgetting someone's name. A sin goes much deeper for it is a deliberate act of the will. Jesus did not suffer and die for our mistakes, but for our sins. I find myself uncomfortable with the presumption required in putting words in the mouth of our Lord. Rather than imagining what He might say to those in need of encouragement, surely such individuals would be better served by reading for themselves the words of Christ found in Scripture. Anything less than this is second-hand at best, and bordering on sacrilege. (Fortunately, the author (or publisher) of this devotional did provide Scripture with each day's reading.) This book lacks the substance of spiritual food, except for the Scriptures included with each passage, and which I found to be its only saving grace.