I have a confession to make.
I know that the Bible is full of truth and wisdom, but it is not always that exciting to read (gasp!). Sometimes it seems dry or over my head. Do you know what I mean?
Some Bible stories have become so familiar to me that, honestly, I no longer find them very captivating.
Sometimes I try to read a passage ”as if I were reading it for the first time”, but that’s hard to do.
Sometimes I am no longer moved by the depth and truth of what Jesus taught when He was on earth as a man, or the vast love that He demonstrated to every. single. person. that He met.
But sometimes…sometimes a person is able to re-tell a story in such a way that it is put in a new light. Some people have a gift of creatively bringing old truths to life.
And I’d like to tell you about someone like that today.
One ”blogging comrade” of mine, Ben Nelson (who blogs at www.anotherredletterday.com), has recently relased a book called Encounters With Jesus. I was honored to receive a pre-launch copy, and friends, this is refreshing stuff!
40 familiar stories, creatively re-written (with a little imagination included), that will astound you and cause you to love and worship Christ all over again. We know that Jesus is Healer. We know that He taught with authority. We know that He freed people from their demons and that He loved the outcasts.
But Ben writes these stories from the perspective of those who encountered Jesus, helping us see Jesus and experience His power in a new way. It puts us in the shoes of those who met Him personally, helping us identify with them in their desperation. Included in this 40-day devotional are the stories of individuals like Elizabeth, Simon, Mary, and Peter. But my favorites are the lesser-told accounts, and the stories of people who encountered Jesus yet maybe didn’t fall on their knees in worship. For example, the story of the Samaritan Woman, the Rich Young Ruler who walked away sad, the Woman with the issue of blood, and the Servant whose ear Peter cut off.
One of the most powerful retellings, in my opinion, is the story of the man freed of demons. Here is a short excerpt:
”Out! Get out of the man!” The voice rumbles from across the lake like distant thunder. It has been years since I heard anything so clearly….Fear has been my companion for days without number. Everyone is afraid of me. My children, my wife, even my own mother fills with terror when I’m around. They sent me out to this valley of death. This army inside me loves it out here. They thrive on the sadness and hopelessness of this graveyard…I hate my life!
There’s the voice again. ”Get out of the man, you unclean spirit.” His voice is fresh water lapping at the edges of my consciousness. Jesus tells them to go. The sudden silence in my head is deafening…
If you are needing to encounter Jesus in a fresh way, this is a great resource that you can use for personal devotions. Meet Christ as your Friend, Lord, Teacher, Master, Healer, Comforter, and Guide all over again.
Encounters With Jesus is now available for purchase:
Kindle edition at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00V0I2OCS
Paperback here: https://www.createspace.com/5307731
Thanks, Ben, for sharing your gift with us!
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