Justin Bieber is encouraging his fans to start reading the Christian devotional Jesus Calling, which has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide.
In an Instagram post on Saturday, Bieber shared a quote from Jesus Calling, written by missionary Sarah Young, that includes two Bible verses from Psalms and 1 Corinthians, in which Christians are advised to trust in the Lord.
More than 1.1. million people have liked Bieber’s Instagram post and over 23,000 people have shared comments about the daily devotional’s message:
Worship Me only. Whatever occupies your mind the most becomes your god. Worries, if indulged, develop into idols. Anxiety gains a life of it’s own, parasitically infesting your mind. Break free from this bondage by affirming your trust in Me and refreshing yourself in My presence. What goes on in your mind is invisible, undetectable to other people. But I read your thoughts continually, searching for evidence of trust in Me, I rejoice when your mind turns towards Me. Guard your thoughts diligently; good thought-choices will keep you close to Me. Psalm 112:7; 1 Corinthians 13:11.
Leading up to and since the release of his new album Purpose, the pop star has said he’s striving to be more like Jesus Christ.
During an interview with Complex magazine last year, the 21-year-old said: “I just wanna honestly live like Jesus. Not be Jesus. … I don’t want that to come across weird. He created a pretty awesome template of how to love people and how to be gracious and kind.”
Bieber admitted in the same interview, however, that he has often rejected his faith and communion with other Christians.
“Christians leave such a bad taste in people’s mouths. I was like, ‘I’m not gonna go to church.’ I had these church friends and I was like, ‘You guys are cool, I like you guys, but I’m not going to church,’” Bieber said.
Bieber rose to fame as a teen idol at 13, but by 2011 he was equally well known for his bad boy antics —smoking marijuana, vandalizing his neighbor’s property, using racial slurs and drag racing. But since that time he’s been work hard to transform his life.
Back in November, a Los Angeles Times reviewer described his experience at Bieber’s world tour as part pop concert, movie premiere, skateboarding demonstration and a church service.
“He talked about the importance of maintaining a positive spirit and surrounding himself with encouraging people. He credited his connection with God for helping him to get back on his feet after a string of widely publicised tabloid troubles. And when a fan in the audience — one of a dozen or so selected by the singer’s team for a question-and-answer session — asked if he had any advice on how to get through a romantic breakup, he demurred, flashing a bit of the humility that every religious leader knows is crucial in establishing a bond with one’s flock.