Jesus Lives by Sarah Young

December 10, 2009 | By | Add a Comment

Come near to God and he will come near to you.James 4:8

Jesus Lives is a 359 page devotional book.  Each devotion is two pages.  The first page is the author’s writing and on the second page are 3 or 4 scriptures.  The book is very similar in size and texture to the Grace for the Moment devotional books by Max Lucado.  What is unique about this book is that the author writes from the perspective that Jesus is actually speaking to the reader.  This is the same style as Jesus Calling, also by Sarah Young.

While unique, I never got comfortable with this style and eventually came to the point where I looked forward to being finished with this book.  The writing is good, but I was uncomfortable having the author’s words attributed to Jesus.  I did think that most of what she had to say matches the scriptures, but along with making blanket statements,1 Jesus spoke uniquely to churches 2 and individuals.3  This book is basically all blanket statements.

Here is an example of how I feel Jesus Lives falls short:

To receive My peace, you must change your grasping, controlling stance to one of openness and trust. Grasping and controlling are your means of trying to feel safe.  However, such an approach actually hurts you and works against you.  The more you manipulate and maneuver for control, the more anxious you become.  In effect, since you are the one who made things happen, you have to patrol the situation vigilantly or risk losing the ground you’ve gained. – p. 156

Maybe she is right, but maybe she is wrong.  She mentions in the introduction that she wrote down what she “heard” when listening to God.  I have no doubt that this is the case.  But maybe she is writing more about what she is struggling with as opposed to what I need to hear.  Perhaps God’s words to me right now would be different than His words to her.  Personally, I would not want to be the mouthpiece of Jesus in this regard. Every book has errors and I would rather have the errors be attributed to myself rather than Christ.

The scriptures are excellent, though some were repeated within a few pages of each other and I didn’t think they were always the best match for the topic being discussed. Still, for the most part they were appropriate selections and it was great to look at things from the source as opposed to the author’s interpretation of the source.

The book is very nurturing and has a lot to say on topics such as prayer, thankfulness, anxiety, suffering and intimacy with Christ.  As a member of the male persuasion, I didn’t connect with this book as much as a lady might.  At times, she said exactly what I needed to hear.  At other times, reading the book seemed like soaking in a lavender bubble bath and I felt the need to instantly engage in a masculine activity such as playing football or shoveling snow.  And, apart from being meek and mild, the Lord is a Warrior.4  That side of Christ wasn’t covered as much in this book.5

Overall, I’m going to give this 3 out of 5 stars.  For the most part, reading this material dumps a lot of pure and positive stuff into your mind. However, as much as I love fresh takes on things, I really hated the style of this book and feel that it borders on being dangerous.

Rating: 3/5

This book was provided for review by the Thomas Nelson Publishing Group.  To purchase this book on Amazon, click here.

  1. The beatitudes are an example
  2. Revelation 3
  3. Luke 9:57-62 is an excellent example of this.
  4. Exodus 15:3
  5. I’m going to try to get some manlier books to review so you all don’t think I’m some kind of wimp.  I need a break from the books for women and children.  In my defense, most of the available books are for women or children.  So, yeah.
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