Fixated (Book Review)
Tim Chester’s Advent devotional book encourages us to look away from Christmas distractions and become fixated on Jesus.
I am a recent convert to Advent devotionals. Taking time to reflect upon why we celebrate Christmas has been a blessing in recent years.
Tim Chester’s new devotional Fixated invites us to do just that: slow down and make time to reflect upon Jesus in our Christmas preparations. However, instead of focusing on the traditional nativity narrative or the Old Testament prophecies pointing to Jesus’ birth, he takes us through the first five chapters of the book of Hebrews. As Tim unpacks these passages, he encourages us to look away from distractions of this festive time of year and become fixated on Jesus.
Fixated in 2020
Spending time in Hebrews and fixing our eyes on Jesus seems particularly relevant for this year. For most of us, 2020 has seemed like a long slog and we are struggling to keep going.
In a timely insight, Tim Chester describes the Christian life as sometimes feeling like a marathon. He explains that at times we can feel like we’ve hit the notorious “wall” experienced in a marathon and goes on to say “It might have been brought on by disappointment – unanswered prayers, unrequited love, unfulfilled dreams, missed opportunities…Your soul feels heavy and every step is an effort. You’ve grown weary and begun to lose heart”.
Isn’t that 2020 in a nutshell?
This devotional is a wonderful antidote to that feeling. Each page encourages us to keep looking to Jesus so we can run with perseverance and keep holding on in faith into 2021 and beyond.
One of the most helpful aspects of this devotional was the pace Tim takes us through Hebrews. Reflecting upon only one or two verses each day causes us to meditate more deeply upon the truths we are reading.
In our fast-paced world, there is a real benefit in being made to slow down in scripture. I particularly benefitted from the fresh insights in what can be at times a challenging book of the Bible. Tim brought out aspects of these verses I hadn’t seen before.
At the end of each devotion, there is a thought-provoking reflection which gets us to see how each aspect of Jesus’ character applies in our circumstances.
Share with your church
This devotional would be an excellent one to use within our churches this year. Maybe you could encourage your whole church to read it together during Advent in their own devotional time? Use the time to pray that as a church you’ll grow in your fixation on Jesus.
Or challenge your members to read it in prayer triplets and 1-to-1s. They could share each day on a WhatsApp chat what they’ve learnt and how they are going to apply those truths to their lives.
10ofThose are offering to partner with churches to send a copy of Fixated to every person or household in the church for just £3.50 each (RRP £3.99), including postage directly from their warehouse. Get in touch with Tim Foster from 10ofThose to find out more.
A promise in a person
Tim Chester finishes the devotion on Christmas Eve with these words: “We have in these verses a promise that God will keep us. It’s a promise not just in words but in a person – a gentle Saviour and faithful High Priest who descended to earth so he could empathise with us and ascended into heaven so he could represent us before God.”
In the midst of all that has happened this year and with the uncertainty of the future, this is the reminder I needed. I am looking forward to spending time again this Advent period in these words from Hebrews. My weary soul needs the encouragement to lift my eyes from the circumstances of 2020 back up onto my Saviour. As I do, I will be able to run the race before me with perseverance, becoming more like the one I look to.