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I just received an email update from a former teacher of mine named SJ Hill. If you don’t know SJ you should get to know him! He has a passion to help people understand the love of our Heavenly Father and absolutely despises dead religion that keeps men and women from the intimacy that our God desires with His people. The excerpt below is from his most recent email.

“A couple of months ago, I had someone send me a quote from Brennan Manning that deeply touched me. In his book, The Ragamuffin Gospel, Manning writes, “The Word we study has to be the Word we pray. My personal experience with the relentless tenderness of God came not from exegetes, theologians, and spiritual writers, but from sitting still in the presence of the living Word and beseeching Him to help me understand with my head and heart His written word. Sheer scholarship alone cannot reveal to us the gospel of grace. We must never allow the authority of books, institutions, or leaders to replace the authority of knowing Jesus Christ personally and directly. When the religious views of others interpose between us and the primary experience of Jesus as the Christ, we become unconvicted and unpersuasive travel agents handing out brochures to places we have never visited.”

I don’t want to be an unpersuasive travel agent handing out brochures to places I have never visited. I want to be able to impart the presence of God to the lives of others. But that can only happen as I love to experience His presence in my own life. One thing that has helped me greatly in my journey into the heart of God is understanding that there is a longing in His heart that can only be satisfied by me. According to Psalm 42:7, there is a “deep” (longing) in God that is continually calling out to the “deep” (longing) He has placed in me. Just to know that He yearns for me more than I can comprehend creates a desire in me to know and experience Him all the more. SJ Hill

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to just hand out brochures to places I’ve never been either! I want to be so captivated by his love that everything else absolutely pales in comparison. One of the messages that has impacted me from SJ has been about “lesser lovers”. Sj says that when are hearts have been fully captivated by God then we will not desire the things we once desired. We will desire Him. I have found that to be true in my own life from experience and it has made me all the more convicted and persuaded.

For more about SJ Hill visit his web site at


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