You all know I love my devotionals, so when I find one that stands out I gotta share it. Friends, this devotional is absolutely beautiful! I received this devotional last week and just couldn't put it down. I have the hardback form and the coloring is just exquisite. The inside detailing and coloring is just as gorgeous. Its inviting and once you open it you want to remain there. I think it would be difficult just to stop at reading day one. Yes, it's that good.
Why am I in love with this devotional? Well, the devotions are dated. This is just a little something I enjoy because on many occasions that devotion for that day is just what I need. Each month begins with a hand written song lyric from Darlene.
For instance, in April, it begins with this song:
Only thou art holy,
There is none beside thee,
Perfect in power, in love, and purity.
Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God almighty!
All thy works shall prise they name,
In earth and sky and sea;
Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed trinity.
Holy One, be lifted high!
I spent much time reading through April yesterday as it leads us through the death and resurrection of Christ. I can tell you that I was blessed to tears as I read Darlene's words.
Each devotion begins with scripture. Darlene that shares from her heart and ends the devotion with a prayer. Here is an example from August 9:
Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. Matthew 7:1-2 NLT
I know there is a right and wrong. In the spiritual realm, there is good fruit and bad fruit. There are true teachers and false teachers. Jesus himself tells us, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord', shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven" (v21, NKJV)
What are we to make of Jesus' command not to judge? It would seem that sure and active judgment is needed every step of the way in life. But just as not forgiving others blocks forgiveness in our lives, so judging others brings forth greater judgment in our lives. Could it be that when we take on the task of judging, we are trying to assume what God reserves for himself?
When we become judgemental, we make the easy step to feeling self-righteous and forget how much we ourselves have been forgiven. We also make mistakes when we judge. We don't always get the facts straight, and we certainly can't see into some one's heart. We add anger and worry to our lives and lost focus on what matters. We even lose sight of our own shortcomings. Jesus says, "And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, 'Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye', when you can't see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye." (vv.3-5)
Father, you alone can judge the hearts of men and women. I know you want me to live wisely and righteously, but help my focus to be on sharing the good news of your kingdom and trusting you to bring conviction to the hearts of others.
The entire devotional is based on scripture. Darlene keeps the focus on scripture and how we can apply it to our heart today. I am currently reading through this devotional now with my Bible to begin each morning. This is fabulous tool for the journey to finding a deep and passionate faith.
This devotional was a gift from Bethany House for my review.
To find out more about Darlene Zschech just click on her name or visit her website: http://www.darlenezschech.com