Uncovering the Love of Jesus – A Book Review
Steph Nickel reviews Uncovering the Love of Jesus by Asheritah Ciuciu. She discovered that it is an excellent resource for Lent.
As I’ve mentioned, I typically don’t observe Lent. However, this year, I am doing several studies and seeking to truly focus on what the Lord has done for me.
One of the books I’m using is Asheritah C’s Uncovering the Love of Jesus. (I’m afraid I can’t pronounce Asheritah’s last name, but it’s spelled “Ciuciu.”)
It’s evident that Asheritah loves the Lord and wants to help her readers and her podcast listeners mature in Christ.
Below is the Amazon blurb for Uncovering the Love of Jesus.
Experience New Growth this Easter
Do you feel like Easter sneaks up on you, as if you’re spiritually and emotionally unprepared to celebrate Jesus’ death and resurrection as victorious King?
Reclaim the Lenten Season
In Uncovering the Love of Jesus, Asheritah Ciuciu invites you to reclaim the Lenten season with 40 devotionals that reveal the deep love of Jesus that’s exhibited at the cross and tomb. Each daily reflection looks at Jesus’ personal interactions in Scripture and leads you in meditation on a new aspect of His love. Don’t let Easter pass by this year. Reflect, engage, and be transformed as you uncover the love of Jesus and learn to love your neighbor as He would.
Because Asheritah is a young mom, she writes devotionals with individuals and families in mind. The book includes optional family activities to help you celebrate Jesus together.
Each devotional, five per week, includes a theme verse, a scripture passage, a brief devotional, a challenge, a prayer, and additional scripture passages for further study.
What Should I Sacrifice For Lent?
I highlighted much of the section titled “What Should I Sacrifice for Lent?”
“As we follow Jesus’ footsteps in sacrificing our own comforts, our own desire to be seen and known and appreciated, we will more fully identify with Him and His sacrifice.”
“We need to experience God’s love in a whole new way, not just so that we can uncover His deep love for us personally, but so that His love would fill us up and overflow into love for everyone, including those hard-to-love people closest to us.”
She quotes John 13:34-35, Jesus’ command to love one another so onlookers will know that we are His disciples.
Asheritah goes on to say,
“We cannot claim to have experienced Jesus’ love and remain indifferent to those suffering around us … Jesus’ love compels us to a radical outpouring of love, even to the most unlovable person in our lives.”
Washing the Disciples Feet
She also quotes John 13:14-17, the incredible humbling and challenging story of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet. Many of you realize this but washing the filthy feet of visitors to a household was a job reserved for the lowest of the low. And here was the King of kings setting an example for His followers.
Do I think there are tasks that are “beneath me”? Do you? In my heart, I wish this wasn’t the case, but I’m not sure I fully grasp the far-reaching effects this principle is to have in my life.
The author also says,
“As we die to ourselves and allow Jesus’ love to flow through us, we will experience the fellowship of His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death in relationship to these hard-to-love people around us. … We will uncover Jesus’ love toward us and uncover His love in us toward others. And as we die to ourselves, we will experience the power of His resurrection like never before.” (Truths from Philippians 3:10-11.)
Celebrating Jesus’ Victory
As she brings this section of the book to a close, Asheritah declares, “Easter Sunday will gain layers of new meaning as we celebrate Jesus’ victory over death, sin, and evil, not just one time two thousand years ago, but today and every day for all eternity, radiating outward through all time and all relationships, as His love spills out and into every life we touch.”
She ends “What Should I Sacrifice for Lent?” with John 15:10-11,
“If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
And that is just one small portion of the book!
The Daily Challenge
Likely my favourite section is the daily challenge.
Take, for instance, the challenge for Day 3 of Week 2, which I thought was particularly relevant, considering the widespread effects the coronavirus threat is causing. While this challenge focuses on fear at the immensity of our sin, it is relevant to fear brought upon by any reason.
Dear Jesus, I confess that sometimes I feel fear when I come to You. I know You love me, but my own heinous sins seem too much, too dark, too evil to bring before You. But You welcome me with open arms and offer forgiveness of all my sins through Your precious blood shed on the cross. Thank You, Jesus, for never rejecting me. replace my fear with faith, and help me be the kind of friend who helps others encounter You too. Amen.
Let me end by encouraging you to go to the Lord with all your fears and uncertainties. It may sound cliché, but it’s true nonetheless: God’s got this!
Steph Beth Nickel is eclectically interested and eclectically involved. In all she does, Steph seeks to nurture and inspire. She is currently working on the first book in a nonfiction series. Nurture and Inspire LOVE is a compilation of the first devotionals she wrote for HopeStreamRadio.
Steph is a freelance writer and editor. She is the coauthor of Paralympian Deb Willows’ award-winning memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, published by Castle Quay Books. Deb and Steph are working on a follow-up book.
You can visit her website, stephbethnickel.com, to learn more about her.
Visit Steph’s contributor’s page or at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests.