I had the most wonderful opportunity to spend my mornings with seven of the most delightful and beautiful women along with my coffee and get to know Jesus more this year. I received an opportunity to review a devotional entitled, Mornings With Jesus 2012: Daily Encouragement for Your Soul, co-authored by Judy Baer, Gwen Ford Faulkenberry, Tricia Goyer, Sharon Hinck, Keri Wyatt Kent, Erin Keeley Marshall and Camy Tang. What I discovered along with friendship and morning fellowship was a common ground as a wife and mother through this ladies.
Each day is broken down like your standard devotional with a scripture reference along with a cute story written by one of the seven ladies mentioned above, along with a closing faith step, designed to encourage you through your day with a challenge. Here's an example of what you will find inside:
Tuesday, January 24
"Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ." ~ Colossians 3:23-24 (NLT)
When I was in elementary school, star charts and contests motivated me. One summer I read more books than any other kid in our town and my picture made it in the newspaper. In Girl Scouts, I got a certificate and a stuffed animal for the boxes of cookies I sold. During Vacation Bible School, I won a board game for learning the books of the Bible.
It has been hard not to focus on rewards in my ministry. My attitude can change like the tide if I get a good review or a bad one. Sometimes I'm bummed if I've poured work into a project and others don't notice as I think they should.
I don't get a certificate or another trinket as I serve Jesus. An eternal inheritance is my reward. And Jesus, of course, doesn't put a star on a chart for the things we do right. Instead, He is the one who will shine bright in our lives now and for eternity. I need to remember that. I need to remember that He is the one I work for, and pleasing Him is enough.
Faith Step ~ When is the last time you worked hard and didn't get the reward you deserved? Think about the time and consider Jesus looking down on you with approval. "Well done, good and faithful servant." Write a prayer committing to Him your work and your desire to serve others for His approval. ~ Tricia Goyer
I received Mornings with Jesus 2012: Daily Encouragement for Your Soul compliments of Litfuse Publicity for my honest review and was more than blessed by the words and stories that are shared by these beautiful women. I was so encouraged because the words come out like conversations between close friends, even though I was reading a devotional. This is by far one of the best I've read and for that reason rate it a perfect 5 out of 5 stars.
Included in Mornings with Jesus are Daily encouragements for your soul. Each day is a refreshing visit with God, and his Word. Then we are treated to insightful reflections by some great authors. At the end of the reading there are Faith Steps!
If you need some encouraging reading, besides your Bible of course, I recommend this being placed close by.
I received this book from the Publisher Guideposts, and was not required to give a positive review.
One thing that will transform your spiritual walk is spending mornings with Jesus. Â To create this book, several women poured out their hearts and shared their lives in an effort to highlight how you can deepen your relationship with Jesus.
The devotional format of this book is traditional. Â there is a one page reading for every day of the year. It begins with a Bible verse, followed by a devotional written by one of seven writers. Â They show you how the Scripture made an impact on them in a moment in their lives. Â A "faith step" ends the daily reading, suggesting a practical way to apply what you have read to your own life.
Here are a few examples.
In Mark 15 we read where Jesus was wrongly accused before Pilate. Tricia Goyer shares an experience when she was wrongly accused by some people of using their words in a book she wrote. "It's hard when others accuse you. Our first reaction is to deny people's claims and try to explain what really happened. We want others to know we are right." (16) Tricia uses Jesus' example to encourage us. "The next time some one doesn't believe you, don't allow an argument to erupt. Instead follow Jesus' example - be silent and allow your actions to speak louder than your words." (16)
In Luke 8 we read of Jesus raising Jairus' daughter back to life. Sharon Hinck shares her thoughts on this passage as her father was dying. She was just out of college and struggled with knowing God had the power to heal her father. She brought her confusion to Jesus and received a comforting response.
Since the devotions are written by seven different women, the style and content differs from day to day. Â I found I had a couple of favorites while some others did not connect with me. Â Also, I guess I expected this devotional to be more on the life of Jesus. Â It is not. Â However, each day's reading, whether the Scripture is from the Old Testament or the New, has something about Jesus in the application of the passage.
Indices in the back are valuable in that they allow you to find a devotion on a particular Scripture or topic. Â Even though we are well into the year, this book would make a valuable resource for anyone needing to give a devotional at a gathering.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
This devotional is a great addition to my morning quiet time with Him. I find the Faith Step lesson at the end of each day's reading makes the devotional interactive rather than passive and reinforces the lesson I hope to learn.
Litfuse Publicity sent me a reviewers copy of Mornings with Jesus 2012 and it has totally blessed my life.