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Monday, June 28, 2010

The Practice of Godliness

What does it mean to "practice" godliness?

"Enoch walked with God, he enjoyed a relationship with God and he pleased God.  We could accurately say he was devoted to God.  This is the meaning of godliness.  The New Testament word for godliness, in its original meaning, conveys the idea of a personal attitude toward God that results in actions that are pleasing to God."
That quote comes from chapter one of Jerry Bridges' book The Practice of Godliness.  Mr. Bridges spends 18 chapters helping the reader understand what it is to practice godliness.  As stated in 1 Timothy 4:8 "godliness has value for all things".

I have read several of Mr. Bridges books and this one does not disappoint!  I appreciate how he writes in such a way that you have the weightiness of the subject to ponder, but you are not left overwhelmed and wondering what you just read.  This particular book is really more of a bible study than just another book to read through.  Reading through the book alone of course would be of great benefit; however, using the companion discussion guide, also written by Mr. Bridges, provides opportunity for personal study of the great truths he shares in the book.  The discussion guide is divided into 12 lessons.  Mr. Bridges shares this from the introduction of the study guide:
"This study is designed to direct you first into the Scriptures and then into the author's text.  Seeing and understanding what the Scriptures say on a subject is much more important than demonstrating that you know what the book says."
Mr. Bridges shares in his book that "devotion is not an activity" but "an attitude toward God".  He says that "this attitude is composed of three essential elements:  the fear of God, the love of God, the desire for God".  He spends the first four chapters looking at these essential elements.  The remainder of the book is spent looking at taking on God's character.  Mr. Bridges takes a whole chapter on how to develop each of these character traits:  humility, contentment, thankfulness, joy, holiness, self-control, faithfulness, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness and goodness, and love.

Mr. Bridges ends the book by stressing that "the practice of godliness is a discipline.  It requires serious commitment and persevering effort to reach the goal."

The book along with the discussion guide would make for an excellent Sunday School resource or small group bible study.  I highly recommend this resource!  Thank you NavPress for sending both the book and discussion guide for my review.

The Practice of Godliness and the discussion guide can be purchased at Amazon.

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."


Mariel said...

great post! those verses are near and dear to one who calls her blog "growing in godliness"..heehee! I will have to check out that book. I've heard of it but never read it.

Sara said...

Pursuing godliness along with you.

Delighted to meet you today. I hope you don't mind if I splash around a bit to get to know you. This looks like a delightful spot to slip off my shoes and drench myself in God's goodness.


NavPress said...

Jerry Bridges' popularity and the importance of the subjects he writes on seems to grow each year. He has a message the needs to be heard. Thank you!