Rekindling Relationship

Forgetful, we fall away.

We center our faith around the responsibilities that we fulfill or the well-worn habits that frame the seasons, when Christianity, at its core, is not a job description, but, rather, a relationship.  Love for God is foundational to all defining realities of the true believer, and if it has ceased to be, John MacArthur says that it’s time to Remember and Return to that love.

While a devotional book should never supplant the place of time in the Scriptures, this collection of thirty-one reflections begins each day with a Bible passage and then goes on to clarify the teaching with a focus on the deepening of a God-ward relationship.

Deep theological truth can be startling when it is presented as a warning, as it is to the church at Ephesus who, after a great beginning under the ministry of Paul the Apostle, had slid away from a rich, loving relationship with God by the time the Revelation was penned.  Even in the midst of the Christmas season, when we are treated to a steady stream of reminders of the lengths to which God would go to make a connection with humanity, it’s easy to lose sight of the love of God and our love for Him.  When we become “cold, orthodox, and mechanical” in our faith practices, apathy moves in and relationship wanes.

However, when viewed through the lens of God’s love, the process of sanctification becomes the mark of a love relationship, a desire to become like the Beloved.

The rescue of redemption is revealed as a loving sacrifice, made for the sake of reconciliation with a cherished people.

Dipping into a rich reservoir of quotations collected over a lifetime of study, MacArthur shares wisdom from a wide range of thinkers including  D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, J.I. Packer, C.S. Lewis, Benjamin Warfield, and F.B. Meyer.

John Owen’s observation gives me all the motivation I need for pondering the love of God at this point in history:

“If our future blessedness shall consist in living where He is, and beholding of His glory, what better preparation can there be for it than a constant previous contemplation of that glory as revealed in the gospel, that by a view of it we may be gradually transformed into the same glory?”

May our love for God continue to increase — for our joy and for His glory.

//

This book was provided by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group,  in exchange for my review.

captureCounting down the days until the beginning of the book discussion group on C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces. Watch for a reading schedule on January 5!

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Michele Morin

Michele Morin is a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. She has been married to an unreasonably patient husband for over 25 years, and their four children are growing up at an alarming rate. Michele loves hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop her in her tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. She laments biblical illiteracy and advocates for the prudent use of “little minutes.” She blogs at Living Our Days, and you can connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.

21 thoughts on “Rekindling Relationship”

  1. Thanks for the reminder, Michele, that relationships can’t be both routine and rich. The “rescue of redemption ” is only the beginning of a dynamic relationship, not simply a means to an end. Blessings from your neighbor at Kelly’s.

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  2. Your book reviews always leave me with wanting more (in a good way). The quote you left us with speaks to me too in that I desire to be transformed in God’s glory by continually seeking a deeper relationship with Him. Merry Christmas Michele!

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  3. It can be easy for certain ways we practice our faith to become mechanical or habitual at times, but so true that remembering God’s love and viewing things through that lens makes a big difference. This sounds like a great devotional.

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  4. I appreciated your thoughts here, so much! It is so easy to become routine, even in our thoughts about Christmas. This year has been so different for me physically, and has caused me to center in to my relationship with Him more than ever. Yes, it can be startling, to have those shifts in our routines! But He meets us there, when we let Him. I am looking forward to the January study also! Blessings of Christmas to you!

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    1. Adversity is so often the thing God uses to get our attention. Thanks for reminding me that my thoughts should center around the Focus of our celebration. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Till We Have Faces.

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  5. I received this book and have yet to read it. Looks like it will be a good read according to your recommendation. John MacArthur’s teaching has shaped my faith in a strong way, and I look forward to reading it in 2017.

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  6. Christianity is not a job description, but a relationship-LOVE that. Especially during this time of year, how amazing that we can focus on our relationship with Christ instead of responsibility. Great thoughts, Michele-book looks really good!

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  7. Michele,
    I love the line where you say: “When we become “cold, orthodox, and mechanical” in our faith practices, apathy moves in and relationship wanes.” Our relationship with God is like any other relationship. We need to treat it like that. Praying you have a blessed Christmas lost in His love that would come down to earth 🙂
    ~Sherry Stahl
    xoxo

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  8. Continuous contemplation of His glory… hmmm, what a concept. I like the way it makes you consider the importance of what that connotates, and truly, when we contemplate God we are turning our thoughts His way. The more we learn to turn His way, to turn the way of love, we are relating right in the midst of His message to our hearts. He is the way. (john 14:6) The continuous contemplation of glory is realizing the way to God is often always through relationship. 🙂 You are a blessing to have at the #GraceMoments Link Up each week Michele.
    Happy New Year!
    Dawn

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