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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"Revealing Jesus" (Darlene Zschech)

TITLE: Revealing Jesus: A 365-Day Devotional
AUTHOR: Darlene Zschech
PUBLISHER: Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2013, (400 pages).

[*Note: This is a review of the book, not the music album.]

The most critical part about being a worship leader is not simply being musically talented, or having a stage presence. Neither is it being a professional musician or a perfect choreographer. It is worship. A worship leader is first and foremost a worshiper. A worshiper is one who is close or desires greatly to draw close to God, as often as possible. Daily devotions is a great way to cultivate that sense of God's presence. Darlene Zschech, a world famous worship leader, who has written powerful hits like "Shout the the Lord," "Power of Your Love," "The Potter's Hand," and many others, has shared the inner source of her strength: Devotion to Jesus. She longs for this book to encourage readers to worship Jesus "with every fiber of your being."  In this book, Zschech demonstrates that worship is a 365 days commitment, every day of the year, to reveal Jesus. Twelve themes are broadly explored. Through her personal journey, she reflects upon God's faithfulness, holiness, power and might, Savior and Lord. The careful reader will note that there is a thematic movement of the works of Christ toward the Person of Christ. Revealing Jesus is a gradual awareness that God is not distant but near. God is working in the lives of others as well as ours. God has spoken in history and is speaking now.

Each day begins with a Scripture verse followed by a short personal devotion, a classic hymn, lyrics of a song, and ends with a brief personal prayer. It honours special days in the Christian Church calendar like Resurrection Day, Christmas, and Lent. The devotional allows readers to observe significant seasons like Lent and Christmastide. There are periods of contemplation and encouragement. There are also many acknowledgements of our own weaknesses and doubts. One particular area I appreciate is how Zschech dedicates the second part of the month of August toward meditation on the names of God. She leads readers to worship and to lift up the attributes of God through the different Hebrew renditions. The author weaves through the whole devotional other themes like God as the Shield and Rock, God as the Gate, the Savior, the Redeemer, the Risen One, the Bread of Life, God of Peace, Friend of Sinner, and many more.

Zschech is also a worship pastor, and this book in a way can be used by worship leaders in their churches to allow the music and songs be complemented by a meditative Bible reading and a brief devotional. Read a snippet or a page. Pray a sentence or pause for a moment of silence. The words allow leaders to invite their people toward a gentle reflection of God himself, through the use of Scripture and the devotional. Zschech has written a simple guide that is gentle to the heart, to bring hope to the down and out, and to direct attention more toward Jesus. If this book can help anyone see Jesus more clearly or more personally, to me, that will be worth every penny you spend. Indeed, worship need not be restricted only to lyrics and song. Worship can be channeled through words, through devotional, through prayer, and any movement of the heart that desires to see Jesus revealed and glorified more and more.

Rating: 4.5 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me free by Bethany House Publishers without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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