I am delighted to hear the Word for Today arrived safely and that you have been reading it. I thought you would appreciate the quotes, gems of information, Bible and book references that are woven into the readings.
Today I want to tell you about a book called Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. The subtitle is Enjoying Peace in His Presence. I have a vague recollection of mentioning it to you in the past, if so forgive the repetition, but it is a good book and worth mentioning twice rather than not at all!
I was given this book one summer by a friend as we left a Pilates class together. She herself had been reading it, and felt that I should have a copy too. It wasn’t my birthday or any other anniversary and I am so glad she did!
In the introduction, Sarah Young shares some of her experiences from her journey of faith and while her journey has been different to mine, I did resonate with some aspects of it. She mentions a book called ‘God Calling.’ This was written by two anonymous women, who over a period of time sat down each day and listened for what God wanted to share with them. They wrote these words down and collated them into the book ‘God Calling.’ This was first published in 1935 and is now available on line.
I remember being given this book one Easter and read it daily for a couple of years. I was struck by the way the daily themes and verses, often spoke into the situations and circumstances that I was experiencing.
Sarah decided to follow their lead and example and began listening to God and recording what she believed He was saying. She discovered that, “This practice of listening to God has increased my intimacy with Him more than any other spiritual discipline, so I want to share some of the messages I have received.” (Jesus Calling: P. XIII)
The format is simple – there is a short reading and below it are the relevant Bible verses. I do not know how others have approached these readings, but rather than just reading them and moving on, I used them in the following way. I read the reading, looked up the Bible verses and read them, spent time pondering on what I had read and then prayed through the verses and the reading. Often taking a verse, or phrase/sentence from the reading, to ponder on in the silence and then to take it with me, into the day ahead.
While I appreciated God Calling at the time I read it (over twenty years ago now!!), I have found Jesus Calling especially moving, encouraging and powerful. It never ceases to amaze me how relevant the readings are each day and how they speak into my circumstances and resonate with how I am thinking and feeling.
For example, today I have been pondering on the road ahead and the need for balance between stillness and action. I open Jesus Calling and the first sentence reads: “I am preparing you for what is on the road ahead, just round the bend. Take time to be still in My Presence so that I can strengthen you. The busier you become, the more you need this time apart with me.” (Jesus Calling P. 378). AMEN!!
This book is available in a variety of formats.
In the next letter we will look at Premier’s Daily Readings!