The Joy of Devotion: Read the Foreword by Cary SchmidtOctober 15, 2014
What an honor it was for me to have Cary Schmidt write the foreword to our latest book, The Joy of Devotion. Pastor Schmidt is a gifted writer, a dynamic speaker, and a great church builder. God’s hand is on his life in evident fashion. I was thrilled when he agreed to invest into our book. I wanted to share the foreword to give a basic understanding of the book’s intention. Thanks Cary for your influence, passion, and gracious spirit!
Foreword by Cary Schmidt
When the Christian life is, in any way, drained or sanitized of devotion and love, it becomes utterly burdensome. It morphs into a lifeless, heartless pursuit of self-improvement and self-discipline. It becomes a monotonous routine, fraught with either failure and self-loathing, or self-created success and religious arrogance. It becomes a “machine that runs you” rather than a relationship to which you run! Ultimately, this kind of “Christianity” kills your heart.
A relationship with Jesus Christ is something completely different! Christianity is supposed to be a life-giving, grace-enjoying, joy-producing, strength-renewing journey that draws you into close fellowship with Jesus and undergirds you through every hardship of life. This journey is supposed to be delightful beyond comprehension. It should be stabilizing through every life-circumstance, and transforming in a way that no self-effort can produce. Knowing Jesus gives you an identity that cannot be damaged, a love that cannot be taken away, and a a grace that will carry you until you seen Him.
He is the pursuit. He is the prize. He is attractive, lovable, and altogether wonderful!
Yet, how often, along the journey, do we lose our devotion. We lose our first-love. We wander off the path of passionate relationship only to find ourselves seemingly lost in a fog of performance-based acceptance and self-effort. From this place, the Christian life seems like a ladder taller than I could ever climb! It feels, eventually hopeless.
In these pages, Pastor Kenny Kuykendall has wonderfully invited every believer back to the foundation of devotion to Jesus. He compels you to personally and intimately pursue Jesus Christ in an ongoing relationship. In so doing, he gives you the key to enjoying your Christian life faithfully for the duration. He gives you the path to experiencing the true personal transformation and spiritual growth for which you long. It all flows from loving Jesus and walking with Him personally. The abundant Christian life is hiding in your personal, private walk with Jesus as Saviour and Friend.
As I read these pages, I was challenged to deepen my devotion to the Saviour I love. I was reminded about what attracted me to Christianity in the first place—the loving companionship of Christ. Thank you, Kenny for writing a needed book that will strengthen every believer at the nucleus of the Christian life.
Christian friend, nothing will transform or impact your life in a greater way than your personal time with Jesus. Nothing will impact your personal joy more than privately worshipping Jesus. Nothing will resolve your anxiety, change your demeanor, or magnify your Saviour better than the fruit that flows from personal devotion! Enjoy these pages, but most of all, rediscover the joy of knowing Jesus!