If you've been feeling like there should be more in your relationship with God but you don't know where to start, start with your Bible and Sharon Jayne's "A Sudden Glory". Using Acts 17:28 as her base, Sharon relates how living in God will fill the "there should be more" gaps.
Well written, well backed by Scripture. Has a great discussion guide in the back for individual study or small groups. In fact, that's part of what took me so long to finish this book, the study questions in the back. They really bring it full-circle and help you understand the concepts in the chapters better.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
encouragement for the spiritual ache in your heart
January 16, 2013
Oak Harbor, WA
Have you felt like there is something missing in your spiritual life? You know you should be feeling something more in our Christian life.
It is a common cry of the heart, Sharon writes. "You long to feel close to God but sense there's just something lacking, that you've missed the mysterious formula to make it happen." (4)
Acts 17:28 came to Sharon's mind. She meditated on it for a year. "I came to realize that what He wants for us is to sense His presence, experience His love, and delight in intimate relationship as we live and move and have our being in sacred union with Him." (9)
She writes of those moments when God makes Himself known personally - a sudden glory.
Her aim in this book is that we will be reminded of God's passionate pursuit of our heart and that we would let ourselves be caught all over again. She explores what it means to be in union with Christ. She helps us see how to receive the sudden glory moments in Bible reading, prayer, circumstances, creation, and people.
"God has pulled out all the stops," Sharon writes, to reveal glimpses of His glory." (66) We are just not paying attention. She challenges readers to get a notebook or journal and begin chronicling how God makes Himself known. "When your union with God is restored through your relationship with Jesus, when in Him we live and move and have our being becomes a reality in your life, your ears will hear, your eyes will see, and your senses will detect the glory of the Lord turning ordinary days into extraordinary treasures." (69)
This is a very encouraging book. Sharon uses many of her own experiences to illustrate becoming aware of those moments of sudden glory.
She has a very good section on suffering. "Could it be that the puncture wounds in the canvas of your life - the losses, the disappointments, the crushing blows - might actually become the rent places of the soul through which you can see God?" (133)
In addition to the encouraging nature of the book itself, there is a twenty four page study guide at the end of the book that would be great for personal or group study. This book would make an excellent choice for a woman's small group.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
A Sudden Glory is an almost poetic book, the theme of this book being that God pursues us, that God shows us His Glory, that we have a Glory Ache, a longing for God to fill. God pursues us for He has been pursuing the human heart through the centuries, as Sharon reminds us. "The entire Bible from Genesis Three to Revelation 22:21 is a record of God's passionate pursuit of the human heart. Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, a string of kings both good and bad, intermingled with prophets both wooing and warning God's people. We ended the last chapter of the Old Testament with silence. And then four hundred years later God breaks the Holy Hush with the Cry of a Babe in a manger as the story picks back up in Bethlehem."
The greatest Saints have always know they are pursued. Saints have always called us the Beloved, the Bride of Christ the Bridegroom. Spurgeon's best sermons, I think, are on the Song of Songs. A W Tozer knew how to pray that he would be pursued. Francis Thompson wrote The Hound Of Heaven, the poem about our flight from God, the relentless Pursuer.
This is Sharon's prayer, that we would know we are pursued by God and we would respond. Many women have come to Sharon and asked her how to feel closer to God. They all have one thing in common, they have a Glory Ache. They have a hollowness in them that they need filled, and God alone can fill it. They want God to reveal Himself to them. And these are not wrong desires.It is not wrong to desire to know that God is pursuing us, it is not wrong to ask God to overwhelm us with Himself. It is not wrong to ask Christ to bind us on His arm as a seal, as a seal on His Heart. And that is the Promise we have! We have the promise that we can abide in Him. Not just during Church and spiritual activities, but during all of life. Pray without ceasing, Give thanks in everything. Sing to one another with Psalms Hymns and Spiritual Songs. These are things to be done all day as we go about our days. All these commands in the New Testament can be summed up in one verse. In God we Live and Move and Have our Being.
Perhaps one of the reasons we do not feel God with us is that we have divided the Sacred from the Secular, forgetting that all work done to the Glory of God in noble and sacred. I love this Luther quote. "What you do in your House is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God.We should accustom our selves to think of our position and work as Sacred and well pleasing to God, not on account of the position or work, but on account of the Word and Faith from which the obedience and the work flow." When we Live and Move and have our Being in Christ, we have no secular days, for with Christ all is Sacred.
Perhaps part of the reason we feel far from God is that we are not looking for Him? God is pursuing His children, all day and every day. We are not seeing God's love and gifts in the beauty of sunlight shining over the wood kitchen floor. Of making soup. Of seeing bulbs sprout. Of the glow of Christmas lights. This is all part of Living and Moving and having our Being in God. When we live in Christ, we find God lavishing His glory on our life. We find God with us in suffering and trial as well as times of peace. That is when the Sudden Glory comes.
It is also worth thinking about how God speaks to us today. I do not believe that Christians are getting revelations from God, but I most certainly believe that God does reveal things to us through Scripture His perfect Word to His children, through circumstances- such as a loved one calling to give us a Scripture verse He had laid on their heart that very day, or a sparrow at our bird feeder that reminds us that a little sparrow cannot fall, unnoticed Lord by Thee, that is Sharon's perspective on this, when she says God speaks to us.
I am glad I read this book, there is much meat in it
"A Sudden Glory: God's Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More" by Sharon Jaynes is a fantastic book. It is centered on the words of Acts 17:28: "In Him we live and move and have our being." Jaynes digs into this verse and what it should mean in our daily lives as Christians.
This book is a great resource for how to delve deeper into a relationship with Christ. She writes about experiencing the glories of Christ in everyday life through continual prayer, trusting God, having an attitude of gratitude, and seeking relationship instead of religion. As I read this book, I found it to be a great reminder of how to have an intimate relationship with Jesus. Jaynes writes from the heart, with personal experiences and the experiences of women who she ministers to. Her genuine passion for Christ and others shines through.
"A Sudden Glory" is jam-packed with wisdom and great writing. I believe it will speak to both a new or "mature" Christian, as Jaynes uses both Scripture and experience to guide us in filling the "ache" we have to have a deeper relationship with our Savior and Lord. I recommend this book to anyone who truly seeks that.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Sharon Jaynes in her new book, "A Sudden Glory" published by Waterbrook Press shows us God's Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More.
From the inside jacket flap: Do you long for something more in your relationship with God?
The good news is that "something more" does not mean "doing more." God is not waiting for you to get your spiritual life "right." He wants to be with you right where you are.
The real question is not "What does God want from you?" but "What does God want for you?"
Sharon Jaynes understands what it's like to have a "glory ache"Ã¢â¬âa longing to experience God's presence on a daily basis. She also knows how easily working for God can get in the way of intimacy with God. And she's discovered that we tend to make our faith journey much too hard.
In A Sudden Glory, Sharon uses Scripture and story to help you erase the line between your "spiritual life" and your "daily life" as you enter the sanctuary of God's presence even in the middle of your busy, messy day. Here you will find your eyes opened to moments of sudden glory in which the Creator assures you of His love as you live and move and have your being in Him. Here you will discover true freedomÃ¢â¬âthe freedom of experiencing God in a deeper and more intimate way than ever before.
Includes Bible study and discussion guide.
There came a point where Moses couldn't stand it anymore and he cried out to God, "Show me your glory." Sharon Jaynes feels that we all have that deep need in us to see God's glory and she calls it the "glory ache", a persistent longing to experience God's presence on a daily basis. We sometimes try to find His glory by being busy, figuring that maybe God will be so happy with what we have done for Him that He will manifest Himself with His glory. However that is not the way God operates. Ms. Jaynes tells the story of the tightrope walker over Niagara Falls who wanted to really cement his reputation by walking with another person on his back across the rope. He told his partner, who was scared silly, that they must become one. When the tightrope walked swayed the other must sway, if they didn't move as one, if the other adjusted himself both were going into the Falls to their death. The disciples were in a boat in a terrible storm and went to Jesus fearing for their lives because He was asleep in the boat. What they forgot entirely was that He was in the boat with them and He was in charge. Ms. Jaynes gives us the ability to refocus on thinking so that we zero in more on Jesus and less on our circumstances. When we do that we find ourselves more alert to the presence of God and then we get to fill our "glory ache". Ms. Jaynes does a much better job in her book, "A Sudden Glory" then I ever will. I recommend reading this book and experiencing how to see the glory of God for yourself. You will be blessed. This is not a book that you will read once and then forget about it. It is a book that you will come back to again and again because we let ourselves get busy and we forget. Your family and friends would also benefit from receiving this book as a gift. They will read, be blessed, and thank you for thinking of them. I recommend this book highly!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."