Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Practice of Godliness Small-Group Curriculum by Jerry Bridges

This Bible study book is for small groups or for personal Bible Study. The format allows for a 12-week schedule if you do one chapter per week.

The process:
1. Read the chapter
2. Look up the Scripture
3. Answer questions about the session topics
4. Dive into personal application = write down what God has revealed to you and prayerfully consider how to allow the Word to change you.

In the "Before You Begin" section, Mr. Bridges reminds the reader that the goal of any Bible Study is this, "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." James 1:22 Wisdom as we can have head knowledge all day long but if the head knowledge does not make it's way to our heart and change us from the inside out - our studies will just be lessons done but not become life changing.

Here is just one example of Mr. Bridges' sharing of godliness from page 13, "It is sad that many Christians do not have this aura of godliness about them. They may be very talented and personable, or very busy in the Lord's work, or even apparently successful in some avenues of Christian service, and still not be godly. Why? Because they are not devoted to God. They may be devoted to a vision or to a ministry, or to their own reputation as a Christian, but not to God.

Godliness is more than Christian character; it is Christian character that springs from a devotion to God. But it is also true that devotion to God always results in godly character. As we study the three essential elements of devotion in the next chapter, we will see that all of them, individually and collectively, must express themselves in a life that is pleasing to God. So the definition of godliness we will use in this book is devotion to God that results in a life that is pleasing to Him."

My favorite chapter was Chapter Twelve. In the section titled "Love Reaches Out" this section particularly caught my attention, "Often in our teaching on love, we stress - and rightly so - that biblical love is not emotions or feelings but attitudes and actions that seek the best interests of the other person, regardless of how we feel toward him. W.E. Vine says, for example, "Christian love....is not an impulse from the feelings, it does not always run with the natural inclinations, nor does it spend itself only upon those for whom some affinity is discovered." The chapter goes on with the biblical explanation of 1 Corinthians 13 with the incorporation of emotions and how emotions come into play with love. Very interesting and helpful in understanding love from God's perspective!

Undoubtedly, this is a book that will be written in, reviewed, dog eared and brought out time and time again to review and receive wisdom and guidance. This study guide must be accompanied by a Bible as the Bible is the foundation upon which this book was written.

I enjoyed reviewing The Practice of Godliness and will refer to it often. For more information or to purchase please visit the NavPress website .

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their book review bloggers 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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