Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Resource Wednesday 05/19/10

You might have noticed I have my own style when it comes to reviewing books. I like to review them and share excerpts from them as I read them and then give a final summary at the end of it. I have finished reading Bookends of the Christian Life by Jerry Bridges and Bob Bevington, so I thought I'd weigh in with my final summary.

I'll explain the premise of the book by quoting a few paragraphs from the introduction:

" Think of your life right now as a long bookshelf. The books on it represent all the things you do--both spiritual and temporal. There's a spiritual book for each activity of your Christian growth and service, perhaps with titles such as Church Attendance, Bible Study, Daily Quiet Time, Sharing the Gospel, or Serving Others. The temporal books might include Job Performance, Educational Pursuits, Recreation and Leisure, Grocery Shopping, Driving the Car, Doing the Laundry, Moving the Grass, and Paying the Bills, to name a few. Our temporal books are intermingled with spiritual books on our bookshelf, since all our activities are to be informed and directed by the spiritual dimension, just as Paul indicated: 'Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31).

When we become united to Christ by faith, God places a set of bookends on the bookshelf of our lives. One bookend is the righteousness of Christ; the other is the power of the Holy Spirit. Though they're provided by God, it's our responsibility to lean our books on them, relying on them to support, stabilize, and secure our books--everything we do.

Why are these two gracious provisions from God the bookends of the Christian life? And how do we lean our books on them? This book will answer those questions and these:

  • How can I overcome persistent guilt?

  • How can I deal with the pressure to measure up?

  • Where can I find the motivation to grow?

  • How can I live the Christian life with my heart and not just my head?

  • How can I be sure God loves and accepts me?

  • Where do I draw the line between God's grace and my works?

  • Where can I find the strength to change in an authentic and lasting way?

Hopefully this glimpse into the introduction of the book and the excerpts I've given along my reading journey will cause you to want to read the book. It is well worth the read. It is a small book and a quick read. I think it would be beneficial for a seasoned Christian and for a new believer. It would lend growth to people of both those categories.

I also think this book would be a great discipleship tool. When the opportunity presents itself again for me to disciple a new believer, Bookends of the Christian Life will be required reading in that process. It does a great job explaining the gospel and explaining the sanctification process.

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