Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Review: The Jesus Storybook Bible

I recently received a copy of The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. I had heard some good things about it so decided to see what all the hype was about.

On immediate perception it is a very worthy entry into the genre of children’s Bible storybooks. As I looked through it I was more and more impressed. The author does a wonderful job of drawing the lines of redemptive history all the way through the entire Bible. The subtitle, “Every Story Whispers His Name,” is apt. The various stories are all connected as part of the larger story of Jesus coming to redeem man.

The book is valuable well beyond its nominal audience of children. As a pastor I am intrigued and instructed by her story telling and the wonderful way that she draws us into God’s plan for a redeemer to come. I believe that this book is a good addition to anyone’s library as it is very instructive and compelling in the storyline.

In October they will be releasing the deluxe edition that includes the complete book on audio CD read by award-winning British actor, David Suchet. I commend this to anyone in order to better understand how the story of redemption is told in all the stories of Scripture.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Delight in the Lord

Trust in the Lord and do good;

dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

Delight yourself in the Lord

and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;

trust in him and he will do this:

He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,

the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

(Psalm 37:3-6)

I have been meditating on what it means to delight in the Lord. The call that the Psalmist gives here is key to living the way God desires.

To delight in the Lord means to love the things he loves, to desire the things he desires, to be enamored with knowing him more. It means we look at the Savior and see him as glorious, as someone that we desire to be close to. It means that we seek any means possible to get to know him better. It means that when we realize that other priorities in our lives are crowding him out, we repent of them and turn to him.

To delight in the Lord means to trust him, to take him at his word. When he says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” he means just that. He doesn’t qualify that statement with saying “I will be with you as long as you follow me.” There is tremendous delight in having the confidence that his love for us is not dependent upon us.

When we delight in him we will act the way he wants us to. That is the natural response to his goodness, his love for us.

The basis for our delight is the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins. Throughout the Old Testament we read much about fearing God. When we consider our sin, to approach God is a fearful thing. I think of the response of Isaiah when he saw the holiness of God. He responded in abject fear, saying, “Woe is me.” It is truly only through the death of Christ on our behalf that we can have any other response to the holy God than Isaiah’s. We have had our sins paid for, our destinies changed, our inner man transformed by the the work on Calvary. This is greater delight than we can ever hope for.

When we consider the cross, the sacrifice of Jesus, then we can begin to delight in God. Meditate on him, delight yourself in his word, enjoy his presence.

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