I was deeply touched by 'My Beloved'. I was struck by the sincerity of the author as he described his youth and his grappling to deal with with what Jesus taught in contrast to what the world valued. This was writing that was doctrinally profound and also real practically, unashamed to proclaim its love of Jesus, and giving proof of sincerity through the author's struggles to honor our Lord which was reciprocated by our Lord in being given ever increasing light . We have nothing to be afraid of by being honest, "for perfect love casts out fear", "grace does much more abound" and "the path of the righteous is as the dawning light,
That shineth more and more unto the perfect day." Proverbs 4:18 (ASV)
For the reader who looks at this blurb and thinks, "But I've heard it before, struggling with sin and coming into light. What makes this particular book special?" Good question. What makes it special is the context. What do you do when you realize beautiful truth is rejected, even hated by those around you - yet those people seemingly have the truth? That they think they already know Jesus, and don't want to know him any better? It is one thing to give up alcohol and drugs for Jesus, but to give up your job? A job that is seemingly the perfect "Christian" job? For a doctrine that no other "Christian" seems to understand? Now we are getting into more serious territory. How do you not get bitter, remain humble, respect authority, and do everything out of love? Only by truly knowing Jesus, who is "our Beloved". The experiences the author had as a youth struggling for comprehension lead beautifully into his experience as an adult. Not until I read this book did this verse in Song of Solomon (5:9) strike me with such power: "What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?"
We all reach a point in our walk where things get tough, and we need somebody who has been through it and tells us that yes, it was worth it, God's love is greater than we ever imagined and we only need to walk out in faith. But that hard road is a path that needs a trailblazer, not only one who roots out and destroys, but after that, builds up; one who is not focused solely on the failings of man, but also on the glory of God. When I realized the truly pitiful state of man, and then that the agency that was to uplift man, the church, was also in a similar distressing condition, my courage was nearly broken. I desperately needed hope, I needed faith, I needed to know Jesus better. This book was there for me at a most trying time in my Christian walk. It truly grasps Paul's exhortation in 2 Cor 4:16-18:
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Cor 4:16-18:
Drink from this fountain, ye who are curious; be blessed through one who has so faithfully put his experience out in the open for us to draw from. Let us not stick up our noses at what the devil tells us is sentimentality - look again at Song of Solomon, think of the beloved disciple John and how closely he loved Jesus - is this not the love that God wants us to understand, to have, that we may finally come to understand Him? For where does our grace and peace come from? "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord" 2 Peter 1:2. He who has seen Jesus has seen the Father, and thereby a true knowledge of Jesus out of love is crucial.
One passage in the book on how the devil entices us to glory in worldly success evoked my own experience so perfectly that I was hit with waves of memories and deep feelings of repentance of how wicked and lost I was. It was then replaced by grace and gratefulness of how God had reached me and pulled me out of such darkness. It is like this verse: “Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, strangers to the covenants of promise. You had no hope and were without God in the world.” Ephesians 2:12. I didn't want to forget the moment, so I made a slide show of images that showed my teenage foolishness and quoted the text and put it on Instagram. I would quote it here, but it is long, and this review is long enough. Anyways I think that many out there, especially non-Christians who have tasted of what the world offers and have an ambivalent relationship to it, knowing it is wrong but not quite sure knowing exactly why, will find relief in this book that so articulates the problem with what the world offers and even more importantly points the way to Jesus and how he overcomes the world.
Here is the video on my instagram if you would like to see it.
Would that we had more creative experiential writing of this sort. But praise God we have this book at least. May the reader be abundantly blessed.
Danny Brown - Bangkok, Thailand