Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Discipline of Grace

The Discipline of Grace: God's Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness

In The Discipline of Grace by Navpress Jerry Bridges says that our "worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God's grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God's grace." Bridges is a prolific author and Bible teacher who resides in Colorado Springs, CO. He has also written books such as The Pursuit of Holiness, The Practice of Godliness, Is God Really in Control? and many others. He is a staff member with The Navigators collegiate ministry.

Often we struggle with the relationship of Grace and our pursuits of Holiness. If it weren't for God's grace we would never be saved or even able to come to Christ. However, our Christian walk includes much more than salvation or acknowledging grace it also includes growing and being made into the image of Christ--to be more like Jesus. Not only coming to Christ but becoming like Him as well. This is how we pursue holiness.

Bridges notes that "the pursuit of holiness must be motivated by an ever-increasing understanding of the grace of God; else it can become oppressive and joyless." (Bridges, pg. 7) This must be what spurs us on, so to speak. In our pursuits of holiness we must always be wiling to increase our understanding. That is, to constantly grow in Christ.

Bridges also noted one of the difficult aspects of writing a book about "grace and holiness is the continual need for self-examination..." (Bridges, pg. 8) Regardless if we are author's or housewives we should continually be examining ourselves. There should never be an impasse between the believer and Christ, rather the intellectual and spiritual growth should flow freely as the Holy Spirit helps us.

In the first chapter Bridges challenges us to consider a bad day and a good day. We all have them but what do we allow them to mean for us? On the good days everything goes well. We start our day with prayer and we take the opportunity to witness. The bad day however is much different. This day we miss the morning alarm, do not get coffee, and might be late to work and have a chance to witness. Again, we all have these type of days but how do they effect our thoughts? Do we think that God blesses us more on the good day and less on the bad day? As Bridges noted about a friend who once thought, "If I do certain things then I can get God to come through for me." (Bridges, pg. 14)

On our bad days we tend to think like this but what was different the good day? Was God's power any less effectual? No! Bridges goes on to note that "the point of this good-day-bad-day comparison is this: Regardless of our performance, we are always dependent on God's grace." (Bridges, pg. 17) If you are struggling with this issue or wondering what role God takes in our growth as a Christian this book is a great start. If you are a pastor or teacher there is lots of fodder here. I recommend this book for any bookshelf.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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