I will be adding a review in a couple of weeks.
Abundant Life Daybook
God has come to you, to bless you.
In the first chapter of the Bible, we read that God created Adam and Eve and “blessed them.” And the rest of Bible is the story of God blessing his people through Christ. Over 365 days these gospel-rich daily readings will take you through the Bible, inviting you to savor the abundant goodness God intends for you to experience and enjoy. Each day you’ll be reminded of yet another way God has loved you and will still be loving you into eternity.
Introduction to Nancy Gutherie's Abundant Life Day Book: 365 Blessings to Begin Your Day
Have you ever wondered why we say “God bless you” to people
when they sneeze? There was a time when sneezing was a symptom of the deathly plague. And because getting the plague was considered a sign of God’s displeasure, saying, “God bless you” when someone sneezed was offering a prayer that the person would receive the blessing of God—ongoing life—rather than dying from
the plague. To be blessed is to have life—abundant, overflowing life.
In the best-known blessing from the Bible , we read that the Lord
instructed Moses to tell Aaron and his sons to bless the people of
Israel with this special blessing:
May the LORD bless youand protect you. May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you. May the LORD show you his favor and give you his peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)
God wanted his people to enjoy the assurance of his intention
to bless them. From this special blessing we learn that to be blessed
is to see the smile of God over our lives rather than to live under
his frown. It is to experience his ongoing grace rather than expect
his condemnation. It is to enjoy God’s favor rather than endure his
rejection. It is to be at peace with him rather than being his enemy.
Experiencing God’s blessing is not merely getting good things
from God. The essence of blessing is God himself. When we begin
to see how much God has given to us in Christ, and how much
he is worth, we realize that all of the things we were hoping to get
from God—good health, loving relationships, protection from
harm, material provision—are only temporary, tangible reminders
of all we have in Christ. As blessed people we can say along with
I desire you more than anything on earth.My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. (Psalm 73:25-26)
As we begin this journey together over the next year, there are
two important things you must know. First, while I’ve taken great
liberty in writing these blessings as if they are God speaking to you,
the only aspect of each day’s blessing that has the authority of God
is the Word of God quoted at the top of each page. Writing as if it
is God who is speaking is only a device employed for the purpose of
helping you hear him speak his blessing personally to you. My hope
is that it will serve to make the Scripture come alive and become
even more precious to you. I have sought to be faithful to God’s
Word in expounding on it and applying it using this literary device,
and have done so with a sense of holy fear, prayerfully seeking to be
one “who correctly explains the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
Second, you need to know that the Bible makes it clear that while
God offers his goodness to all who will embrace Christ by faith, he
does not force his blessing on those who do not desire him. But if
you want him, he will freely give himself to you. You do not have
to earn God’s blessing (in fact, you can’t earn it!). You do not have
to deserve God’s blessing (in fact, no one deserves it!). You cannot
twist God’s arm or wrestle his blessing from his reluctant grasp using the right technique or the right prayer. This life with God is not
about what he wants you to do for him, but what he has done for
you through Christ.
If you have lingered away from God, fearing what he will demand of you, unsure of all it will mean for you, you need not stay
away any longer. If you have settled for trying to be a good person
or a spiritual person, you can become a completely new person.
You can turn to Christ and take hold of him by faith. Tell him that
you want to belong to him, to know him and be known by him,
to be changed by him. He “is being patient for your sake. He does
not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent” (2
Peter 3:9) Then you’ll be able to celebrate that “he has enabled you
to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the
light ” (Colossians 1:12).
That is what this book is about—the blessing and inheritance
that belong to God’s people. I invite you to celebrate that blessing
and revel in that inheritance. I invite you to drench your soul in
this steady stream of God’s blessing given to you freely and fully in
Christ. I hope that you’ll open this book day after day along with
God’s Word, and that you’ll open your life to all that God has given
to us in Christ, confident that because “he did not spare even his
own Son but gave him up for us all, [he will] also give us everything
else” (Romans 8:32).