Remember and Return: Rekindling Your Love for the Savior – A Devotional by John MacArthur starts with a question of whether we’ve found ourselves in the state of the Ephesians in Revelation (good theology and practices but having left our first love) and then takes the reader on a 31 day journey into the awe and wonder the Person and work of Jesus Christ culminating in a call for perseverance unto the end of our personal race in this world.
The book is laid out as a devotional but is set up more like short teaching sermons. There are Daily Challenges at the end of each chapter, but even these challenges are more calls to the head of the Christian instead of a call to the head and heart of the Christian.
Despite the book falling short in truly fitting into the genre of a devotional, the overall content of the book is well written and has excellent teaching elements throughout each chapter.
Here are a few of those nuggets:
There are no missing ingredients in God’s blessing. It is not that God will give but that He has already given us “everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3). He has blessed us already with every spiritual blessing…God cannot give us more than He has already given us in Christ – we are complete in Him (see Col. 2:10). The believer’s need, therefore, is not to receive something more but to do something more with what he or she has (pp 42-43).
Notice that the Lord, the one who had been offended by Peter and the other disciples, initiated their restoration [John 21:7-12]. Many Christians, having failed to love the Lord as they ought, drift away from Him in shame over their sin. But all believers need to realize that their Savior is eager for them to return to Him and be restored to fellowship…We can be thankful for His love, which is unending and will reach out to recover us.
Those who become complacent about their failure, however, and don’t desire to restore their relationship to Christ become comfortable with a superficial brand of Christianity that avoids the priorities of God’s kingdom. If that becomes true of you, joy and peace are gone and God won’t bless you, but He may bring you under His chastening hand (p 178).
Regaining our first love and focusing on Christ calls for two attitudes. First, we must forget the past. We must run the spiritual race in pursuit of Christ, the past is completely irrelevant. Our successes and failures in the past are insignificant to the present, let alone the future. We can’t evaluate our usefulness by our former virtuous deeds and achievements in ministry; neither should we be debilitated by past sins and failures. And second, we must reach for the goal (p 186).
Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers http://www.bakerbooks.com/bakerbooksbloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.