Introduction to This Is My Beloved Son: Hear Him
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Since I’m not one who generally reads introductions I tend to believe a lot of other people don’t read them either. So I’m only going to say two things.

First, hopefully I’m not a pessimist, or a doom & gloom type person, but the world, including America, is in bad shape; and quickly getting worse. And I have to tell you, according to the Bible, it’s going to continue to get worse: “Mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.” (2 Timothy 3:1 NIV) But there’s hope, and there’s answers, and there’s certainty—but only in one place: in God and in Christ. And while it’s true that God and Jesus aren’t limited to only one place, it’s also true that there’s only one place we can be certain we’ve truly found them, and it’s in the Bible.

Having said that, as important as I believe my book is, I believe the Bible passages you’re going to find in it are infinitely more important. (As has been so wonderfully said, “Other books were given for our information, the Bible was given for our transformation.”) And it’s as the Bible becomes a part of us that it transforms us. So when you come across passages that especially speak to your heart, please, don’t just read them and pass on. Determine to make them your own. Determine to follow in the footsteps of one of the greatest men that ever lived:

“Thy word have I hid in my heart… I think about it all day long.”  {Psalms 119:11, 97 Webster’s, NLT}

And to help you do that I have a suggestion to make: for as little as $25 you can buy yourself a little laminator and a box of plastic pouches that you can use to laminate Bible passages you come across that are especially meaningful to you. (Unless you lose those little cards, or run them through the washing machine, they’ll last practically forever.) Then keep a few in your pocket and pull one out whenever you get a spare minute. Keep one on your desk, keep one on your bedroom or bathroom mirror, keep them in any place you tend to have a few seconds to read them; and then read them—over, and over, and over. And as you read them pray that God will not only write them in your mind, but on your heart. I promise you, if you truly put your heart into doing that you’ll soon be convinced that that was the best $25 investment you ever made; and no matter what else you get out of my book it will have been an inestimable blessing to you.

“He was wearing a robe soaked in blood,
and the name by which he is called is,
{Revelation 19:13 CJB}


Bible translations and their abbreviations:
King James Version: KJV
New Living Translation: NLT (1996 edition)
New International Version: NIV
New International Readers Version: NIrV
New Century Version: NCV
Holman Christian Standard Bible: HCSB
English Standard Version: ESV
Complete Jewish Bible: CJB
New American Standard Bible: NASB
New Revised Standard Version: NRSV
Revised Version: RV
American King James Version: AKJV
Webster’s: Webster’s
The Message Bible: MSG (a very loose paraphrase, used only once)