This book is a reissue of the devotional originally published in 1998. Gire looks at 66 moments in the earthly life of Christ. The Scripture is given and then his comments are added. Each reaching ends with a prayer. Gire desires that readers see the beauty of Christ and fall in love with Him all over again.
Gire sometimes adds historical information in his meditation and at other times cultural details. Sometimes he seems to merely retell the Scripture story with an additional emotional perspective. The devotionals vary in length, some as long as ten pages while others are as short as five pages.
I must add a word of caution to potential readers of this book. Gire sometimes uses his imagination and adds fictional emotions or details to an event that are not given in the Scripture. An example is his meditation on Jesus' temptation in the desert. Gire writes of Jesus, “He remembers the smoke from the altar, wisping toward heaven like a prayer. … Jesus settles in a shallow cave scalloped out of the hillside. … His angular features look as if they have been chiseled from a slab of rock.” (63-65) It makes for a captivating devotional but it is fiction and that disturbs me. Readers should be aware that Gire sometimes adds to the Scripture scenes fictional details that are not part of the original event as recorded.
That being said, there are some good lessons in the meditations Gire provides. One example is the lesson from the genealogy of Christ. “That God's purposes are not thwarted by our humanity, however weak and wayward it may be.” (17)
The strength of this book is the prayers at the end of each reading. They are great for applying the truth of the scene from Jesus' life. Gire has written them to help readers discern what the Spirit might be saying to them. He hopes they are a stepping off point for further heartfelt prayers to God.
This book might be a good choice for a two month study on the life of Christ. Readers must be aware that Gire has added fictional embellishments to the Scripture stories, something that I do not like.
My rating: 3/5 stars.
Ken Gire is the author of more than twenty books, including several bestsellers. He is a graduate of Texas Christian University and Dallas Theological Seminary. He lives in Texas.
Zondervan, 448 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an honest and independent review.