Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Always True

Always True: God's 5 Promises for When Life is HardI tell you the truth, anyone who doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it. Mark 10:15

Jesus spoke those words to his disciples, and countless sermons have been delivered based on those words over the centuries. They are used to encourage a blind and unquestioning faith that is associated with children. But I think that is only associated with children by those who don't have them or have forgotten what kids are truly like! Mia has taught me countless lessons in her short eight years. Watching her grow in faith since her coming to Christ at five, has made me feel proud and humbled all at once. But when we focus on the blind faith of children, I think that we miss a valuable lesson Jesus has for us.

The verse is used to say that we should have the blind trust of children in their parents, but I think that's only half of the story. Yes, children do have an innate profound trust in their parents, but they are also insatiably curious. Children are constantly asking questions and then asking more questions about the answers they've received. God doesn't want us to say, "Okay, yep. I believe in you God." and then never give it another thought or do anything about it. Children go to their parents with all their questions about the world and how it works, and they trust the answers they are given. God wants that same kind of interaction with us. He wants us to take our questions and confusion about how the world works to Him and trust Him to give us the answers.

Children also occasionally test their parents by taking risks and trusting that they will be kept safe. God wants us to develop a deep unshakable trust in Him, based on our relationship with Him, and then step out in faith and trust that He will catch/carry/help us through. By that I don't mean to test God, I mean to trust Him enough to go where our faith leads, even when that seems scary.

The faith of a child isn't stupid or naive. It is seeking, reaching, wondering, asking, and growing, and that is precisely the kind of faith Jesus was telling us we need to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Always True by James MacDonald is a powerful devotional based on one man's battle to trust in God when in the fight for his life. MacDonald faced a terrifying cancer, plus struggles within his church which made him question God and His goodness. He turned to the Bible for answers, and what he came up with is this thoughtful and emotional book. MacDonald discovered five unshakable truths of God during this time: I will not fear, I will not doubt, I will not despair, I will not falter, and I will not fail; and while we may do all of those things, He will not, and that is where we can place our trust. MacDonald uses Scripture and personal reflection to support each promise, and readers will feel both moved and inspired by MacDonald's deep faith. Some quotes from the book: Faith is what moves God's promises from your head to your heart. Stronghold is what God's goodness looks like to the enemy on the outside; refuge is what God's goodness looks like to us on the inside. God wants you to be so familiar with His character and live so confidently in your faith that you can say, "I know what God's going to do. I don't know when or how, but He's made me some promises, and I can walk by faith until I see it. This is truly one of the best theological books of the 21st century and will offer readers hope in times of darkness.

I have a copy of this book for give-away this week! If you are interested in winning, just send me an email before 10 pm on Friday, February 11th. I'll announce the winner here on Saturday, February 12th. Good luck!

Thank you to C. Grant & Company for providing me with a copy of this book for review! 


Linda said...

Definitely an encouraging book for all of us! Please enter me.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com