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“Faithful Reading: Diligently Seeking God”Categories: Bible, Christian character, discipleship, Sunday Family Report articles, theology
One thing that Christians often do not include in their efforts toward spiritual growth is the reading of faithful books. Obviously, the works of uninspired men are not of the same caliber as the inspired word of God when it comes to guiding our spiritual growth. But, just as we sit weekly and listen to godly teachers offer their insights into the word of God, there have been many authors down through the centuries who have opened the scriptures and faithfully expounded their meaning in some really helpful ways. So, for the Sundays in January, these articles will be making recommendations for some spiritual books that can help us to see God’s plan and our place within that plan more clearly. Read them with a discerning mind that is informed by God’s word, and be grateful for the guidance that he offers through his servants.
Diligently Seeking God is a daily devotional book. That is, it offers a short reading from Scripture and a one-page reflection on a spiritual topic that helps believers to turn our hearts more wholly toward the things of God. The author’s stated purpose is found right in the title of the book: It is to teach and motivate his readers to be diligent in our pursuits of knowing God himself. The top of each page is dated so that there is one reading for each calendar entry of the year, including February 29 if you want a bonus reading or during leap years.
Published just back in 2006, this book was written by Gary Henry, who is known by many among the Churches of Christ for his preaching and especially for his writing. In this book, he offers a very focused guide to how Christians can truly seek God. In contrast with many daily devotionals that cover 365 topics of general Christian interest, brother Henry’s book stays on track with just this one topic. January first’s reading shows how our God himself is “Our Deepest Need, Our Greatest Reward.” From there, each day’s reading sheds light on a different facet of the grand concept of knowing God as he should truly be known, such as: “Capacity for Joy,” “Longing for God,” “Our Verbiage When We Talk About God,” and “If We’re Hungry for Good.” They remind us over and over again that our need to know and love God is a greater pursuit even than our pursuit of good Christian behavior or right religious practices. Brother Henry’s daily writings remind us of the personal importance of the greatest command: “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Mt. 22:36-38)
This book has been a go-to resource for me for writing blogs and articles and for teaching in Bible classes, teen studies, and sermons. And more than that, it has helped to raise my view to the grander realities of knowing God and being known by God. It’s helped me to see that important Bible teachings like the 5 steps of salvation are fundamentally based upon our love for and respect of God through Christ. And it—like the other books mentioned in the past two weeks’ articles—has helped me to see areas of my life where I’ve justified my actions instead of repenting of them, where I’ve been selfish, or deceived myself into calling sin virtue, or where I’ve been lukewarm about faith instead of being diligent in pursuit of God’s things.
I recommend this book for Christians from freshman year of college to the twilight years of life. It requires some maturity to think as the author would have us, and his guidance into the Scriptures will lead us to still greater maturity if we will allow it. You can buy the book by clicking here or access these daily devotionals online by clicking here, and I pray that it blesses you as it has blessed me.
- Dan Lankford, minister