Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Book Review - Riven

I recently read the book "Riven" by Jerry B. Jenkins, who just happens to be one of my favorite authors.  I found it to be a very well-written novel.  The story was intriguing and gave me some food-for-thought, as the great stories do.  I will not spoil the story for anyone, I promise!

Riven  -     
        By: Jerry B. Jenkins

The title is interesting, using a word that I rarely, if ever, use.  Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines "rive" (or one of it's derivations "riven") as a verb meaning:
  1. a: to wrench open or tear apart or to pieces : rendb: to split with force or violence
  2. a: to divide into pieces <nations riven by civil war>b: fracture
  3. to become split : crack
The story challenged me in three areas.

First, it reminded me that because of my great sin, I deserve eternal punishment in hell.  While I may not have killed anyone, the sum total of my sin is great enough to sentence me to eternal death.  The Bible says that if I break God's law in just one area, I am guilty of breaking all of it.  There is nothing that I can do, in my own strength, to rectify the situation.  I am thankful for God's grace.  He provided a way through His Son Jesus Christ, so that I can be forgiven of my sin and found righteous in God's sight.  I deserved death, but His grace and mercy give me life.

Second, it provided a great example of being committed to be faithful to do what God calls you to do, whether you are seeing huge results in your ministry.  If God has called you to do what you are doing, then He has you there for a reason.  It may take a long time (even more than your lifetime), but God always knows what He is doing.  Do not lose heart.  Do not give up.  Put on the armor of God, so that when the battle is over, you are still standing firm.  Remember Hebrews 11?  Many of the great "heroes of faith" died before ever seeing God's promise fulfilled, yet they still believed God.

Third, it showed how hard life can be for a person who has chosen not to follow Christ, as well as how hard life can be for a person who has chosen to follow.  I meant to say it that way.  Life can be hard whether you follow Christ or not.  The difference, as the story demonstrated, is that life's hardships are shared when we are following Christ.  He is bearing our burden with us.  We are part of a large family, the family of God, and our brothers and sisters help us during the hard times, physically and spiritually.  Sometimes it is hard, but we need to share our needs with our family if they are going to help us.

How challenging, and yet how encouraging!!

Why the title?  I promised I would not spoil it for you.  Read the book and find out.

What about you?  Have you accepted God's offer of grace?  Are you being faithful to what God has called you to do?  Are you letting God's family help you in your time of need?

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