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Book Review: Pure: A 90-Day Devotional for the Mind, the Body & the Spirit by Rebecca St. James

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Best known for her inspirational praise and worship music, Australia-born songstress Rebecca St. James is busily carving a ministry niche for herself supporting young women who are waiting on God. As a Christian woman committed to maintaining purity in her own life while single, St. James is right there in the trenches and knows the struggles of a woman’s heart. Drawing upon her personal struggles, weaknesses, growth, and victories, she has written Pure: A 90-Day Devotional to help others keep their eyes on Jesus and drawn near to Him during this time of waiting.

As a married woman, I found large tracts of Pure as equally applicable to my own life as to that of a single woman. St. James addresses purity from three angles: “Purity of Mind”, “Purity of Body”, and “Purity of Spirit”. Providing a multi-pronged approach that goes far beyond physical abstinence (though it is addressed), the insights and conclusions that are drawn from both St. James’ personal experience and scripture are equally relevant to any believer as they are to unmarried young women.

Each day opens with a topical heading and a section of scripture to focus in on. The Bible readings are taken from the NIV, NLT and modern Bible paraphrase The Message. St. James then shares from her own experiences during “Reflection”, digs into the scripture text in “Looking Further”, and supplies practical actions and prayer points in “Living It Out”. With each daily reading measuring approximately three pages in length, the result is accessible yet thought provoking, providing enough meat to avoid a ‘devotion-lite’ aroma.

While we’ve all been warned about judging books by their covers, I have to mention this title’s design. It’s so adorable, trendy, and fun it’s hard to resist in person. It features a fashionable pink and brown colour scheme, butterflies, flames, cream coloured pages, and deckle edges. Take note moms – your teenage girls would be thrilled to receive such an eye-catching devotional as a gift. I’m 30-years-old and found the whole package adorable and a cut above the masses of books printed each year.

In a culture that champions promiscuity, taking a stand for purity is radically countercultural, and can lead to feelings of isolation. St. James’ sharing of the heart from her daily life and relationship with the Lord provides a sense of sisterhood and camaraderie. There are others who struggle with determining appropriate behaviour and boundaries, controlling their thought life, waiting patiently, and surrendering all to God – despite the outcome. Whether you or a loved one struggles with commitment to purity or are simply seeking to grow in the faith, St. James comes alongside like an old friend: sharing, encouraging, and ultimately pointing to Jesus as the satisfier of all souls.

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