May 14, 2019

40 Verses to Ignite Your Faith


Published by Bethany House, who kindly sent me a copy to review, these 40 Verses to Ignite Your Faith spotlight “in-between” verses and bring faith-building insights from speaker-author Laurie Polich Short. As she explains in the Introduction, “The lesser-known Scriptures that we pass over help us discover new angles that can breathe life into our faith.”


In the first chapter, for example, the author considers how, “In the garden, we see God setting the stage to woo rather than control humanity.”  The chapter ends with “Reflection,” followed by three questions that cause us to think about how the text affects us personally. For instance, we're asked, “How does Genesis 3:3 speak to the way you perceive God’s boundaries?”


The chapter, “For Our Own Good,” points out that, “At first glance, the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy 5 might be viewed as restrictive and limiting. But Deuteronomy 10:13 gives us a perspective into God’s commandments that helps us see them in a different way. Moses tells the Israelites that observing the commandments is not primarily for God’s approval, but for their own good. The freedom we think we’ll find by escaping these boundaries is actually found by living within them.”

The aptly named chapter, “Too Much of You Is Not Enough of God,” begins with a quote from Judges 7:2 when “The Lord said to Gideon, ‘You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands’.”  By asking Gideon to decrease his armed forces, “The Lord works with Gideon to increase his faith….” 

The prospect of a small army caused concern, of course – as does having what we perceive as too little of anything – but as the author says, “The more fear or insecurity we have, the greater our opportunity to let God shine. Sometimes the very center of your fear will be the place God wants you to go.”

A variation of that theme appears in the chapter, “Trusting the Greater Plan,” which begins with Paul’s words in Philippians 1:12, “I want you to know, brother and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.

As the author explains, “We can pray for our circumstances to change, but Paul encourages us to spend our energy and time on what God may want us to do while we are here. This perspective allowed Paul not only to witness to the prisoners and guards assigned to him, but to write letters to encourage the churches he could no longer visit. Had Paul not gone to prison, the New testament might look different – because he would have been visiting the churches instead of being limited to writing to them.”

This reminder of God’s far-reaching plan helps us to realize how much God cares – how much God loves us. Then, as the last chapter suggests, we’re better prepared to focus on “Making the Invisible God Visible.”  How? As 1 John 4:12 says in the opening verse, “No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

By placing our faith in The Word as given in 1 John 4:12, we can see how “The power to show the invisible God to the world is laid out in this verse. The way we love shows people whether the power of God within us is genuine. No amount of theology can prove the existence of God more than this simple act.

Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019, poet-writer, reviewer


To order your copy of this highly recommended book, click here: 40 Verses toIgnite Your Faith.




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