Devotional Book Review: Encountering God's Heart for You
About the Book
Title: Encountering God’s Heart For You
Author: Diane Stortz
Genre: Christian non-fiction, Devotional
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
"God put the Bible together for you, and he wants you to understand and know him better. But sometimes you can get lost in the details and miss the big picture. The Bible is more than just a collection of wisdom, instructions, and history. It’s one unified story of the incredible love of God! Encountering God’s Heart for You takes you on a daily journey through the full narrative of Scripture in a year. And in the process, it will draw you nearer to God as you discover his love and compassion. It won’t cover every verse, or even every chapter, in the Bible, but by the time you’re through, you’ll have a strong grasp of what the Bible is all about.
Reading Scripture isn’t just a way to collect information or check something off a to-do list. Let this book bring you into God’s presence to better understand the Bible’s story of love, sacrifice, and redemption as he draws you to himself."
Encountering God's Heart for You, by Diane Stortz features 365 brief devotions that chronologically explore important people, events, and themes in scripture beginning in Genesis and continuing all the way through to Revelation. Having personally read through an entire chronological Bible just last year, I am finding Encountering God's Heart for You to be one of the most inspiring devotionals I have read in quite a while. Ms. Stortz writes authentically with genuine heart, humility, and knowledge. Her deep love of God is certainly evident as she thoughtfully focuses on God's great love as revealed throughout all the books of the Bible.
Well-researched, well-organized, and well-written, this devotional offers relevant and applicable insights from a wide variety of Old and New Testament people, events, and themes, while also including refreshingly honest details that are enriched by historical context and cultural insights. Page after page, this book presents a vivid glimpse into the lives of real, flawed human beings who were integral in God’s plan for the redemption of humanity. Though they lived thousands of years ago, these men and women made choices that we can still learn from today.
As I continue to read and reflect on each of the daily readings, I connect wholeheartedly with Ms. Stortz's sincere faith and her desire to share it with others. In addition to the Biblical accounts, she also includes her own thoughts and stories, various scripture verses, and daily prayers. These serve to add to the depth of truth found throughout the book. I am finding these readings to be practical, encouraging, thought-provoking, and utterly meaningful.
Encountering God's Heart for You will resonate with those who long for a deeper understanding of God's love and grace, as well as how he has established a pattern of using ordinary people and events to accomplish extraordinary things according to his will. Gentle in its tone, yet powerful in its message, this devotional is worthy of being read on a daily basis. I recommend it wholeheartedly.
*I was given a copy of this book from the author/publisher and CelebrateLit. A review was not required. The review I have written is voluntary and contains opinions that are entirely my own.
Of the 365 devotions in this book, the ones I have found especially meaningful are those that feature the story of Saul. Saul’s story is a cautionary tale offering insight into what not to do when responding to God’s leading and His calling. Saul’s insecurities, pride, and disobedience hasten his downfall and lead to much pain and despair. Because he consistently relies on his own will and his own strength, he loses the blessings and guidance of God. Saul’s story is utterly heartbreaking as it exposes a human brokenness that lead to missed opportunities for grace and redemption. Saul’s repeated failures reveal to us our own personal need to pursue a heart of humility, faithfulness, and obedience to God’s word and to his will in our lives.
About the Author: Diane Stortz
Diane Stortz is a multipublished author who writes to make God’s wonders known to the next generation. Diane’s books for women, A Woman’s Guide to Reading the Bible in a Year and Encountering God’s Heart for You, both from Bethany House, encourage women to get to know God through His Word, the Bible. Her children’s releases include the best-selling Say & Pray Bible and I AM: 40 Reasons to Trust God, both from Tommy Nelson. Diane and her husband have two married daughters and five grandchildren—all boys!
More from Diane
"Twenty years ago, I was invited to join a women’s Bible study group planning to read through the Bible in a year to get to know God.
Although I’d been a Christian for many years and had read many parts of the Bible and used the Bible in my work as an editor, I had never actually read the entire Bible.
I joined the group. We read about three chapters a day and met weekly on Monday nights to discuss what we’d read.
I’ve repeated that experience in various forms most years since then, and it has changed my life in so many ways. (Getting to know God does that, right?)
I’m convinced that one of the most loving things we can do for someone else is to invite and encourage her to become a lifelong reader of the Word, and to read it together.
That’s how I view my new devotional, Encountering God’s Heart for You. It’s an invitation to every woman to pick up her Bible, read along with me, and look together for all the ways God teaches us about himself on every page."
To celebrate her tour, Diane is giving away the grand prize package of a journal, a set of Scripture cards, and a set of gel pens!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!
For the Love of Literature, March 21
Through the Lens of Scripture, March 22
Holly Jo Morris, March 22
Inklings and notions, March 23
amandainpa, March 24
deb’s Book Review, March 24
Genesis 5020, March 25
For Him and My Family, March 26
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 27
Spoken from the Heart, March 28
Lights in a Dark World, March 29
SPLASHES of Joy, March 29
Texas Book-aholic, March 30
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 30
She Lives To Read, March 31
Remembrancy, April 1
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 2
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 2
Lis Loves Reading, April 3