When do you expect to hear from Jesus?
We can always hear Him when we read the Bible. We anticipate hearing Him when we are worshipping in church, listening to sermons, or in our prayer time (at least, I do). But what about the rest of the time? Does Jesus only speak to us when we are doing “religious” things? Jesus not only taught His disciples when they were at the local synagogue and during formal religious activities, but He taught them everywhere and anywhere. More than that, Jesus often used things, events, and circumstances in the disciples’ everyday life to show how the truths of Scripture are lived out, played out, and affirmed in every area of life. Scripture was His textbook, and life was His classroom.
Special Graces in Common Places aims to show that Jesus has not changed His methods. Scripture is still His textbook, and as a follower of Jesus, His classroom is your life—and not just part of it—all of it. God knows no distinction between the sacred and the secular parts of your life. His Spirit is no less active with you and on your behalf when you are resting at home, working at the office, or playing with your kids than He is when you are at church, or praying, or reading your Bible. As Jesus discipled His first disciples throughout in in their everyday life and experiences, His Spirit does the same thing with us. These special graces in common places, are one of the means Jesus uses to help us work out the grace that He is constantly working into us. The question is, are we listening?
This belief has been one of the recurring themes in my blog. The forty-two chapters in Special Graces in Common Places come from posts I have written over the last few years which speak directly to this theme. Why forty-two chapters you ask? Because I’m tired of all the books that do forty just because all the times things happen in forty days or years in the Bible. (There, I said it…I feel better).
Each chapter shares lessons I have been learning from Jesus in the everyday stuff of life. By “everyday stuff,” I mean things like shoveling snow, drinking coffee, and taking care of my house. “Everyday stuff” also includes things that are common but not so pleasant, like parenting a child who has serious struggles with anxiety and depression, helping friends through traumatic events, and dealing with dying boilers, being unemployed, and feeling like things are out of control and falling apart.
My hope in sharing the stories, confessions, frustrations, and insights in this book is to encourage you to listen for God’s voice and to see His special graces in the common places of everyday life, to tune your ears to the Spirit’s voice. The indispensable starting point for learning that is reading and studying Scripture. The things you will be learning in the everyday will not to add to Scripture, rather they are to help you discern that the God who has revealed Himself Scripture is constantly at work in your life, and speaking into your life—in both the big things and the small things.
I hope you like it! Your thoughts, comments, shares, reviews, and re-blogging are all encouraged and appreciated.