Beholding the Glory of the Lord
Jos Douma-translated by Dick Moes
Summary: Pondering the glory of God is an awesome, weighty exercise that requires eyes that have been enlightened by the Holy Spirit. No one can truly see or experience the mighty God and remain unaffected. Indeed, what splendour! But so often we become dull and unaffected in spiritual matters. We allow a veil to fall over our eyes which often effectively hinders that glory from penetrating into our souls. Is Christ precious to you? Do you see the beauty in a bleeding Savior? Does your heart swell at the thought of Him praying for you and advocating for you in heaven? In order to show us the glorious Savior, Douma pulls glittering, priceless gems out of this rather obscure passage--2 Corinthins 3:18. Anyone, yes I say anyone, can get a glimpse of this glory--from the greatest theologian to the simplest pew sitter. Do you want to experience real lasting change? Then look to the Lord. Recognize His beauty. Delve into the Word and ask the Holy Spirit to lift that veil. If you keep looking at this world you will be conformed. But when you look to Christ be ready to be transformed.
Personal Thoughts: One of the greatest strengths of this book is its use of personal pronouns. Reading words like 'I, me and my' immediately personalizes the content in the book. 'What causes me to lose sight of His glory? ...the more I enjoy the beauty of Jesus, the more I will change.'
Douma has just an excellent analogy using a plant as an example of a Christian's steady growth under the correct conditions. I don't think I will ever forget that word picture that he painted. It's on page 49 for those of you whose interest has just been piqued.
Douma's tone is fatherly. He wants to share something very special with us--something that has affected him deeply. He is in love with the revelation of God's glory, and he wants us to share that same love.
Also of important mention: the book has a very obvious division that can be startling to an unsuspecting reader. The first 3 chapters are theological in nature--essentially the reader is poring over 3 incredibly well articulated sermons. Then comes the second part where the book takes a very sudden and abrupt turn in the writing style with 40 short, practical devotions. Now, there's nothing wrong with the content at all. Not at all, but unfortunately after reading a thorough exposition on the glory of God in the three previous chapters, the devotionals seem a little simplistic. However, I do believe that in order to benefit most from these 40 selections, they should be read and digested slowly with perhaps one or two read in a day. This would be the best way to impress each of the topics in the mind and avoid reading them quickly or carelessly. The longer one can daily pore over a book, the longer its contents will be embedded in the mind.
Quote: "You see, it's possible to hear the gospel and to intellectually accept it, but yet have the feeling that it's not really landing in your life." --pg. 29
Jesus On Every Page
Summary: Jesus is not simply a New Testament character. John 5 says, "You search the Scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me...For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me." With that Murray opens the Scriptures and shows us how Jesus is found on every page in the Bible; in creation, in Old Testament characters, in the law, in the prophets, the covenants, the pictures, the wisdom of Proverbs and of course in the Psalms.
Personal Thoughts: I have never read a book like this one. I confess, it's not a book I would generally pick up, but I'm very fond of the author and so I gave it a try. Ironically, this book has now become my top read of the year. I have learned so much! With every paragraph I read, old things became new in front of my eyes and heart. I'm reading the Old Testament differently now. I'm hunting for Christ in the pages. Dr. Murray has done so much of the heavy work through this book, and has given me all the hints of where I'm going to find my Savior in those Old Testament books. Dr. Murray may be a professor of Old Testament studies in a seminary, but he didn't write in a 'scholarly' way. He wrote this book using regular language for regular people like you and me.
I have over 4 pages of quotes...how will I pick one???
Quote: Remember, Old Testament believers read their Bible to find out about the Savior, just as we do.
A Creator from Genesis
An Emancipator from Exodus
A Priest and a Sacrifice from Leviticus
A Guide from Numbers
A Covenanter from Deuteronomy
A Captain from Joshua
A Judge from Judges
A Redeemer from Ruth
A King from Samuel, Kings and Chronicles
A Rebuilder from Ezra and Nehemiah
An Innocent Sufferer from Job
A Worship Leader from Psalms
The Wise One from Proverbs
--pg 180, 181