November 26, 2018

Respectable Sins

"Now after John (the baptist) was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”  Mark 1:14-15

Sin is something we don't like to think about.

And often Christians refuse to even talk about it, worried they may offend. But it's something we all do and something we all can find forgiveness for.

Sin is basically rebellion against God and His character. For example when we hate, we are going against God who is - love, when we are impatient or prideful or selfish or unfaithful we are in conflict with God, who is patient, humble, selfless and faithful. In other words everything that is good is of God and anything that rebels against His goodness is sin.

And all sin grieves God.

This book deals with those sins we all commit but often sweep under the carpet and try to justify by saying, 'everyone does them.'

But the truth is they still need to be dealt with, within our own hearts.

Jerry Bridges says here:

"This book, as the title announces, is about sin - not the obvious sins of our culture but the subtle sins of believers, the target audience of this book. So let me say up front that I am not without the sins addressed in this book. In fact, you will find that I sometimes use my own sad experiences as examples of some of these sins.

The motivation for this book stems from a growing conviction that those of us whom I call conservative evangelicals may have become so preoccupied with some of the major sins of society around us that we have lost sight of the need to deal with our own more 'refined' or subtle sins."

The good news is the gospel. God sent a way for our sins to be forgiven and forgotten. To be wiped away as far as the east is from the west through His son Jesus Christ.

He continues here:

"While seeking to address these 'respectable' sins, however, I also want this to be a book of hope. We are never to wallow hopelessly in our sins. Rather, we are to believe the gospel through which God has dealt with both the guilt of our sin and its dominion over us...

...Many Christians think of the gospel as only for unbelievers. Once we trust in Christ, so the thinking goes, we no longer need the gospel. But as I seek to bring out in this book, the gospel is a vital gift from God not only for our salvation but also to enable us to deal with the ongoing activity of sin in our lives. So we still need the gospel every day."

Here are the chapter headings:

 1. Ordinary Saints
 2. The Disappearance of Sin
 3. The Malignancy of Sin
 4. The Remedy for Sin
 5. The Power of the Holy Spirit
 6. Directions for Dealing with Sins
 7. Ungodliness
 8. Anxiety and Frustration 
 9. Discontentment 
10. Unthankfulness
11. Pride
12. Selfishness
13. Lack of Self-Control
14. Impatience and Irritability
15. Anger
16. The Weeds of Anger
17. Judgmentalism
18. Envy, Jealousy, and Related Sins
19. Sins of the Tongue
20. Worldliness
21. Where Do We Go from Here?

There were chapters in this book which were hard to read. I think everyone will find at least a few they don't like! But it's because they deal with the sins we struggle with the most.

Reading through this book made me appreciate the grace of God and how wonderful and amazing it really is. He truly is good!

This is the first book I've read by Jerry Bridges and I'm looking forward to reading more by him. His writing style was easy to get through and his humility was apparent throughout the book. I really appreciated that. Instead of pointing the finger, he included himself with us, as a sinner who needed the grace of God daily.

He understood the power of God and how He can change a heart through repentance, and he gave the glory to Him.

I'll leave you with this quote from Charles Spurgeon on repentance and grace. It's a reminder that we need God's grace on a daily basis...

“Repentance grows as faith grows. Do not make any mistake about it; repentance is not a thing of days and weeks, a temporary penance to be got over as fast as possible! No; it is the grace of a lifetime, like faith itself. God's little children repent, and so do the young men *(and women) and the fathers *(and mothers). Repentance is the inseparable companion of faith.” 

NOTE: *italics added by me.

November 1, 2018

What I'm Currently Reading

Here on my blog, I've enjoyed sharing about books I've read, as well as ones on my future reading list. Today is the beginning of a new set of posts consisting of the books I'm currently reading. I've always enjoy hearing about what others are in the middle of, so hopefully you'll find this enjoyable too.

I'm a multiple-book reader. Meaning I love to read more than one book at a time, and usually have four or five going at once. It helps me keep my interest as I switch from something heavy like theology or a biography to something lighter, such as fiction.
Here are the books I'm currently reading right now:

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

I'm nearing the end of this book and enjoying it immensely. The character development in these old classics are so wonderful. You really get attached to each of the personalities. This novel has a bit of a Cinderella feel to it, with a young teenage girl named Molly. She is living with her widowed father, who then marries again to a not so pleasant woman, with a daughter close to Molly's age.

Elizabeth Gaskell died before she was able to finish this book but I've been told it really only needed a few more pages and can easily be put together in the readers imagination. I'm looking forward to watching the miniseries from the library as soon as I finish this one!

Church History in Plain Language by Bruce L. Shelley

I'm not to far into this one but finding it really interesting and written in an 'easy to understand' way. I have been reading it on my kindle, but like reading most non-fiction on my kindle, I've found it hard to fully enjoy the reading experience. Mainly because I love to underline, write notes and flip back and forth through the pages. So I was super excited when I found a used copy in excellent condition at a thrift store for $6!

I've just finished chapter 6 of 48 which was about the Gnostics. It's interesting to see how false teachings, such as the Gnostics taught, actually strengthened the church by making them dig deeper into God's Word.

I'm going to take my time reading through this one and try to absorb as much as I can.

Anne of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery

I'm going into the last few chapters of this one and have enjoyed it. This is book six of eight in the Anne of  Green Gables series. Anne is now married with six children and this book is filled with their escapades. It's not my favorite in the series but like all the Anne books there is beauty to be found. As a gardener myself, I especially loved this autumnal quote:

"Anne was busy in her garden every warm day, drinking in colour like wine, where the late sunshine fell on crimson maples, revelling in the exquisite sadness of fleeting beauty. One gold-grey smoky afternoon she and Jem planted all the tulip bulbs, that would have a resurrection of rose and scarlet and purple and gold in June. 

'Isn't it nice to be preparing for spring when you know you've got to face winter, Jem?' 

'And it's nice to be making the garden beautiful,' said Jem. 'Susan says it is God who makes everything beautiful but we can help Him out a bit, can't we, Mums?'

'Always...always, Jem. He shares that privilege with us.'"

Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges 

I'm nearly done this book and it's given me a lot to think about. I love the way Jerry Bridges communicates. He writes in a very loving and encouraging way, which isn't always easy when you are writing about sin! I definitely would like to read more books by him. I'm hoping to share more from this book soon. For now I'll share this one quote:

"Many Christians think of the gospel as only for the unbelievers. Once we trust in Christ, so the thinking goes, we no longer need the gospel. But as I seek to bring out in this book, the gospel is a vital gift from God not only for our salvation but also to enable us to deal with the ongoing activity of sin in our lives. so we still need the gospel every day."

Mrs. Oswald Chambers by Michelle Ule

I've been reading this one for awhile now and finding it hard to get through. I think it's just me, not getting along with the writing style. I really do want to get through it though as I'm interested in Oswald and Biddy's lives. I'm on chapter 6 of 18.

Have you read any of these books? What are you currently reading? Feel free to share!