April 22, 2009

A Great Devotional Book

For my birthday my friend Karene gave me a WONDERFUL book. I am including it as part of my daily devotion. I am reading a chapter from James in my NIV/Message bible. I love to read both translations side by side as it helps me to really take in what is being said in two different sets of words, but the same focus.

Each day I read a section from "Renovation of the Heart In Daily Practice", by Dallas Willard and Jan Johnson. If I remember correctly Renovation of the Heart was one of the required reading books in the Spiritual Formation Class I took at ACU. I haven't read it yet, but will for sure get to it soon.

Karene's small group on Wednesday night went through this book together and she knew I would love it and I do. Because it is a Daily Practice book the amount you read each day is minimal, about two pages, but it gives you a direction for your day a heightened awareness of where God is transforming your heart, or where I need to be open to allow it to happen. Here is an exert from page 16.

"If our insides are renovated, what comes out of us will bring about peace and righteousness. We won't have to try to love. Unloving thoughts and actions simply won't occur to us, just as loving ones will begin to spring up without our awareness. We'll smile at an enemy automatically. It won't occur to us to argue. Instead, we'll pray inwardly for the disagreeable person in front of us. To cooperate with public greed or dishonesty will offend us to the core, and we'll find ourselves unable to do it."

Then during the wrap up at the end it says if this scares you, then admit that to God. Will I get my needs met? Will I be walked on? If you have these fears, admit them to God and ask him for courage. Plead with God to change you on the inside. Picture yourself as one through whom "justice {can} roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream." Amos 5:24

O Father, transform me to humble myself in all occasions and be your instrument of peace and love.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tammy-- I read this blog tonight for the first time, and wanted to thank you for your openness. I have a terrible track record when it comes to reading blogs, facebook messages, and even my own e-mails, but this was great. Oreo's shenanigans made me laugh out loud (I needed it!). Thanks!
Ann Hurst

Journeying said...

I'm thinking I've got to try this book. I followed your recommendations with The Shack, so I guess I'll try this one, too. I'm trying to be more structured and regular with devotional and study time, being-with-and-listening-to-God time.