Jesus Today... and Sarah Young... - Reading List

Jesus Today... and Sarah Young...

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Let's have a discussion...

Jesus Today a book review & discussion on Reading List

Have you seen some of the online articles about Jesus Calling and Sarah Young? Are you a fan? Or a skeptic?

I'm not sure I am a fan, but I enjoyed Jesus Calling when I went through it almost three years back, now. It was encouraging to see one woman's relationship with Jesus. I used it as an extra encouraging devotional for a period of my life when life was chaotic and I did not know how to calm it. It was not my only source of God's word. It was a devotional.

Then, after I had decided I enjoyed it, I came across many others saying how blasphemous Jesus Calling was, that all Christians needed to be wary of this new profit-seeking book. I started to pray, and question...

About the Book

So, this particular book, Jesus Today; Experience Hope in His Presence, is very similar to Jesus Calling. It is a daily devotional, with 150 different devotions to read. Each devotion is exactly as one would expect from a Sarah Young book - a couple of paragraphs of dialogue spoken through the concept of God's voice, followed by a few bible verses. And that is all there is to it. No questions, no further thinking points. 

There is a very sweet introduction to the book from Sarah where she shares her heart condition and mental state during which these particular devotions were written. It shares her process for writing this style. And how she does not claim to be God, but does remain that these are the points she hears from God while she prays. 

Why I Like It

Now, give me a moment to explain what I do like about these devotions. For so many new believers or young believers, the concept of conversational prayer is hard to grasp. The idea of a conversation, where one person talks and then listens as the other person talks, is familiar, but the idea of God having such a similar take on conversation is not quite understandable. And I get that because I struggle sometimes to sit and listen when there is no physical person sitting with me during my prayer times. So, as an example of how God speaks to one woman (Sarah Young, in this case) this is an excellent devotional. Readers can start to see how, while reading the Bible, God can weave more personal points to her.

Jesus Today a Book Review & Discussion Reading List

Why I am Cautious

So, if you are picking this book up as a devotional to help you dig deeper into your own prayer life, this is an excellent tool. If you are looking at this devotional as a way of replacing your prayer time, or bible time, think again. 

Yes, each person will have a personal relationship with God where He speaks to them and guides them... but do not allow someone else's connection to God be your ticket to understanding God. Just as when we have friends, each of us has a different relationship with that friend, so will God be different with each of us. He meets us where we are, and then journeys with us, which makes His conversations with us different and unique. 

I was reminded while preparing this review, and discussion, of when the disciples asked Jesus how to pray. And Jesus was very specific in how to pray. Yet, we know that is the starting point for prayer. It's our guideline to build from so that we can truly connect with God. We do not stay in the first step as believers, we grow and expand. If we can allow these books, this style of devotional prayer, to just be one example of how we can listen for God's voice through His Word, then this is a wonderful tool! 

The other thing I know, for sure, is that when God's word is pushed into this broken and hurting world, it heals. Even if false prophets and the like are speaking it, it is still God's word, and God's Word will never not produce fruit. Use this example to remember, only God is God, and God is still speaking, and He wants to speak to you! 

Places This Style of Prayer is Used and Not Questioned

While I was preparing I was reminded of the power of prayer in song. And there are so many contemporary and popular songs out there right now that also speak as though God is speaking to us. For many, these songs are powerful and helpful in leaning into God again. So, if you are looking for more reassurance of the truth of God's message, and can glean the different between people's interpretation versus the True Voice of God, check out these links. If you would rather not, then don't. But maybe, just maybe, we can be more compassionate, and allow this style to lead those who need to be led to God, and for those who only see these as a heretics warping of the Word, let it go.

Title: Jesus Today: Experience Hope in His Presence
Author: Sarah Young
Publisher: Thomas Nelson 
Publication Date: Oct 2012
Type: Non Fiction, Christianity, Devotional

What are your honest thoughts on Sarah Young's Prayer style? #JesusToday @Reading_List1

I know this is a touchy subject - and I know you have thoughts... please leave them, and let's have a conversation on this because it's important. How do you feel about this book? About God speaking?

Marissa on Reading List

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***If you're interested in writing a book review on Reading List, please message me on the Facebook page! If you're curious about a book, ask me...  I love to hear from you!

**** Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, Thomas Nelson. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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