Have you ever wished you could look in on a wise, wonderful woman’s walk with God? Recently, FrontGate Media sent me a copy of Isabelle Joye’s devotional/journal, entitled Purify My Heart: A Dialogue With Jesus. Suddenly, I had that opportunity! And it was wonderful and encouraging. Let me tell you about it!
About Purify My Heart
Purify My Heart: A Dialogue with Jesus started as Isabelle Joye’s own prayer journal. In it, she wrote her prayers and poured out her heart, her experiences, and what she felt God was saying to her in return, either in prayer or via the Bible, in both conversations and verses that she lists in each chapter. She wasn’t actually writing for human consumption, either! But she was moved to provide it for publishing (with some editing, and removal of others’ identifying names), after she saw a man say on Christian television that he’d understood from God in a vision that the world needed more Christian books, as many people do not read the Bible (my paraphrase).
Purify My Heart could be used in a number of ways. It has 52 chapters, so the reader could choose to read one per week. There are Scriptures centered around each devotional’s subject, plus written responses to Isabelle’s words/prayers that she felt she received from the Lord. There are questions posted at each chapter’s end to the reader, plus a page of journaling lines as well, so that the reader can answer the questions, write her (or his!) own thoughts, and record prayers.
I think that this could also be a sweet book to use as a family, during family devotionals. (Of course then, parents and children could use their own journals or notebooks to record their answers, as well as taking time to discuss what was just read.) But Purify My Heart is so intimate and dear that personal use of the book by an individual, might be the very best way.
The chapter subjects are many and varied, yet still seem to center on several topics; chiefly growing in relationship with Jesus, as well as in personal holiness and love for God. These topics are reflected in chapter titles. For example:
- You Found Me
- All Things Work Together for Good
- My Creator
- The Word
- and many more!
My impressions–and the effect Purify My Heart had on me
What a lovely, impactful, yet gently challenging book. As I said in my first paragraph, I’ve wondered what a wise and godly woman’s inner life with the Lord might look like. Well, Purify My Heart opened my eyes to show me an intimate look at one woman’s walk with Christ. Although she probably wouldn’t say this, I had this reaction: Wow!
Isabelle very kindly shares her deepest struggles and indeed, some of her closest moments with the Lord with readers. She is open about her sins and what she would call her weaknesses. Again and again, she talks about her own life, holds it up to what she knows the Lord or His Word are asking of her, and confesses where she is wrong. Repeatedly, she expresses her love for the Lord, her desire to serve Him, and asks His help to become what He has planned for her.
I was so blessed to read this, even as I was challenged and convicted about my own life. I don’t spend a lot of time asking God to show my the error of my ways! My prayers are often more like, “Help!” or “Please lead me in this day,” or, as the extrovert that I am, “Please give me your words to say” (or write). Isabelle lays her soul and heart out before the Lord, agrees with Him about the truth, and blesses Him. Expresses her love for Him. Asks for His help to walk in a better way.
It truly astounded me. And it revealed a beautiful closeness that is available for the child of God. I really felt, as I read and after I read, closer to God, more desirous of wanting to be close to Him, and feeling His presence very near and dear to me.
That’s kind of an awesome outcome for a devotional!
About the author, Isabelle Joye
Isabelle Joye came to faith in Jesus Christ in 1973. (In fact, she talks a bit about that in this book!) Very soon after that, she got a concordance to go along with her Bible and noted what it said about the Bereans in Acts 17:11: “…they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” She was able to learn quickly and also discover if people were actually preaching what the Bible said. (I’m always a fan of those who seek to learn as the Bereans did!)
In Purify My Heart, she opens her journal to those who are interested, for the purposes of growth, edification, and understanding of what a walk with the Lord can be. What a blessing.
Visit her website here: Isabelle Joye
Watch the book trailer
Here’s a lovely book trailer for Purify My Heart. Take a look!
Where you can purchase your own copy
You can purchase Purify My Heart from Amazon. Here’s a link!
Thank you for letting me share this beautiful, encouraging, and edifying book with you. I know I’ll return to it again and again. I hope you’ll check it out for yourself!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Amazon. All opinions are my own.