40 Days of Grace: Discovering God’s Liberating Love by Rich Miller
This new book entitled 40 Days of Grace is author Rich Miller’s attempt to help his readers see that living by grace is much more fulfilling than any other path. Each day of the journey has a short devotional, a Scripture passage, thought to chew on, question and a prayer. Some days focus particular things in our culture that gnaw at people like the father wound, fear, or death. Other days focus on dignity, victory or community. The encouragement in this book is unmistakable.
Rich says something simple yet profound on Day One. He writes, “Living by grace doesn’t end when you come to Christ; that’s just the beginning” (18)! Living by grace through faith is fundamental for the Christian. We are not saved by grace and then go on to live a life of self-assured works without reference to grace, but grace is at the center of everything you do. Rich is right to point out that at a certain point in the Christian life many people feel a need to go the road alone, leaving apart the tie of grace that binds them to Christ. Further along, Rich indicates that the Christian life is one based upon life, not primarily about what we are against. Rich writes that we need the truth but without love our truth rants will be boisterous soundings without compassion. Rich writes, “love doesn’t act like a jerk either, “ commenting on the way Christians should understand 1 Corinthians 13 (49).
I particularly found Rich’s prayers in the book to be very edifying and encouraging for believers. From the prayer on the Father wound to prayers about those who have endured under great abuse, physical and sexual, Rich gives his readers solid wisdom that their identity is not found in their past brokenness but in the God who rescued them. Yet, Rich is careful also to help his readers take captive thoughts and fears that keep them from experiencing freedom in Christ. There are times when we seek the approval of other people more than the approval we have in Christ, and in those times we need to be reminded of the truth. If we seek to the approval of men we will eventually be crushed because we can’t possibly live up to their expectations. Rather, knowing that our self-worth is not tied to other people means that we look to Christ for our hope, image, and life. Lastly, I thought the way Rich pointed his readers time and time again to Jesus as the one who is to be worshipped, followed, and praised is right on.
I hope this book is a great encouragement to all believers walking the road of life, through suffering and joy, hope and devastation. The only downside of the book is that these topics could certainly be expounded upon in a more comprehensive way, but I realize that this is not the aim of this particular book.
Thanks to Monarch Books/Kregel for the copy of this book in exchange for review.