a transformed heart

“Be a good friend.

Be present.  Listen well.

But also remember . . .

the best gift you can give to anyone close to you

is to make sure your heart is in line with the LORD’s.”

It was a rare conversation with my son.  He was curious to hear my observations and insights about some of his friendships.  In his mid-teens, it is reassuring to know that he is asking for wisdom as he navigates an ever-broadening world of relationships.

As a mom, let’s be honest.  I gulped hard, with a silent prayer for the right response.  When I need wisdom, I ask too!  “LORD, help me.  Give me the words.  Help me point him to You.”

I thank the LORD that my son was receptive to our conversation that day.  That, at such a young age, he might value a lesson that has taken me decades to fully grasp:  the stand-alone, best choice I can ever make is to align my heart with the LORD’s.  Hands down.  If I know His heart, I can follow His steps.  When I join the work the Father is already doing, I know that path will lead to victory, and everything that is right and good!

My son asked a good follow-up question: “How, exactly, do I do that?”  And my reply was something I am also still learning:

“Invest in that relationship FIRST. 

Make time with the LORD your top priority. 

Find moments every day to talk to Him in prayer and sit still long enough to listen for His answers. 

Spend time every day reading His Word, asking Him to reveal His heart to you. 

He will be faithful to meet you in those moments.  Your Creator knows exactly how to make Himself real to you, personally!  I can’t wait to hear what you discover!”

I also assured my son that I would be praying for him.  I was concerned that he might struggle to get started with these new habits.  He might look at the full volume of Scripture and not know where to begin.  So, I started praying for the right tool to help him begin a new journey of growing his relationship with the LORD.

A few days later, the perfect answer came – Daily Wisdom for Men: The Power of Godly Transformation.  This new book from Barbour Publishing’s 2020 Devotional Collection is arranged by calendar dates for the new year.  It is a wonderful collaboration of six contributors, Godly men who are writers, but also range in specialty (speaker, teacher, worship leader, family pastor, voice actor, prayer warrior, outdoorsman). 

This devotional is the perfect size to keep with a small Bible on the shelf behind my son’s bed.  The cover is made from a woven-textured material in earth tones, with the appearance of a very nice field journal, and features embossed lettering and a raised sketch of a mountain scene.

Following a one-year reading plan for the Bible listed in the back of the book, each day includes a Bible verse from the day’s reading, contextual insights, devotional thoughts, or reflection questions from one of the contributors, and a short prayer inspired by the Bible passage of the day.  

The entry for each day covers only one page.  It is simple, but profound.  I cannot help but think that the format in Daily Wisdom for Men will teach my son how to open GOD’s word, receive it a little bit at a time, and respond.  It is straightforward and easy to follow . . . and presents a perfect pattern for establishing a sustainable habit of staying in touch with the LORD every day.

Entries throughout the book refer to relatable Bible or personal stories and touch on the titled theme of transformation!  This is exactly the wisdom my son has been looking for: to understand how the Holy Spirit will change his heart to be more like JESUS, growing things like humility, integrity, confidence, and grace.

Other themes include dependence on GOD, focus on what “really matters,” the need for rest, the reality of GOD’s love, and the importance of trusting GOD’s timing.  Throughout the book, the reader is encouraged to recognize the awesomeness of GOD and to respond in genuine worship, a growing practice of prayer, and eager anticipation of the full realization of GOD’s eternal plans.

These teenage years are a pivotal juncture for my son.  He is becoming a man.  A young man, but a man.  My prayer is that he will become a strong man of GOD, passionately running after His heart!  I am so thankful for tools like Daily Wisdom for Men.  Through the pages of this devotional, Godly men can disciple my son, fostering his new interest in a deeper relationship with the LORD, his curiosity about Biblical truth, and his need to hear GOD’s voice more clearly than any other.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.  But with Christmas just a few short weeks away, I may order a second copy and gift one to my son and one to my husband!  What better father/son journey could they begin in the new year?  Great anticipation is building in me as I watch and see, LORD willing, what transforming power will be at work in both of their hearts in 2020!

My heart has heard You say, “Come and talk with Me.” 

Psalm 27:8 (NLT)

#mensdevotional  #dailywisdomformen  #GODstransformingpower #inGODsWordeveryday #walkwiththeLORD  #trustingJESUS  #knowHisheart  #relationships  #beagoodfriend  #lovelikeHedoes  #bookreviewblogger  #BarbourPublishing

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