Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Book Review: God Wants Your Heart

I recently received a complimentary copy of Frank Viola's God's Favorite Place on Earth in exchange for an honest review.
      As author, Frank Viola, journeys back to Bethany during the days of Jesus he delves into the heart Bethany and its three well renowned inhabitants. Why did Jesus return to Bethany time and time again? What can today's believer gain from the biblical narrative of Mary, Martha and Lazarus? Once we proclaim the name of Christ, we will have to battle against fear, rejection, materialism and complacency to name a few arenas. These struggles are expected for all Christians everywhere. We are called to lead others to Christ and His love, but first we must allow that love to be enough to stand strong in His glory and power.
      Bethany was a place where Jesus found acceptance, while the rest of the world persecuted Him. Lazarus was resurrected by Christ, as we all are when we come to Him. Mary anointed Jesus because she saw his inherent worth and value. She loved Him extravagantly and threw caution to the wind. Her reputation wasn't worth anything to her enabling her to freely love the Lord. Our hearts are Jesus' Bethany, a place for Him to dwell. His ascension has allowed us to spiritually ascend with Him and one day will lead to our physical ascension. Martha learned worship can look differently for different believers, and yet be as fully heart-felt. As believers we must expect Him to come in to our lives and move magnificently within it. It is only when we die to ourselves then Christ can live through us.
      Viola serves his craft well retelling and elaborating on the biblical text of Bethany. Each chapter opens with Lazarus recounting his experience with Jesus. The author pens the voice of Lazarus with ease and clarity. The additional narrative seems in line with Scripture and lends a bit of depth to the characters' hearts that are not explicitly explained in the Bible. Subsequently after the story in each chapter, the Bible verses that were drawn from are shared, as well as teaching and practical, daily application.
     God's Favorite Place on Earth captured my heart quickly. These pages paint a beautiful, captivating portrait of what life in Christ can be. The narrative wove a more complete  picture of Bethany and its happenings. I can only hope that this book will capture the hearts of many more readers and believers, helping them to find their life in Christ in His abundance. May your heart become another Bethany for Christ to rest.


No comments:

Post a Comment