Friday, January 16, 2015

Gospel Formed - by J. A. Medders

This was an interesting devotional that had a lot of good points about one main topic: keeping Jesus and the gospel the focal point of your life.  Medders starts out by pointing out why this is important and how this will affect your life.  The second and largest section talks about worship and just some of the topics are that Jesus is worthy of worship, the importance of singing in corporate worship as spiritual warfare and loving the whole Bible because it all points to Jesus.  One of the more interesting chapters in this section was about doing everything for the glory of God, including what we eat and drink.  He points out that many Christians overeat and don't think about that being a sin and that they don't have Jesus as Lord of what they put in their mouths.  This applies to all of life, from how much we eat to how we spend our money.  We all fail, but he's quick to point out that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!  Jesus himself will help us if we ask and extend more and more grace no matter how many times we fail.

The next section talks about gospel identity and how important it is to not to define yourself by your sin.  If you're saved, you've been forgiven and redeemed and you just need to confess and repent when you sin again.  Jesus loves us so much, comforts us during hard times and doesn't condemn us when we mess up.  He will discipline us, though, for our own good.  The next section focuses on gospel community and the importance of having a church family and true Christian friends who will really be there for you and anchor you in reality.  The last section about gospel mission points out that the Holy Spirit will give us courage, mobilize us and fill us with power to spread the gospel. If we aren't enjoying God and the gospel, we'll have a hard time spreading it.  Focus on the gospel and meditate on it until you are thrilled by it again.

I had a hard time getting into this book, but ended up enjoying it.  The long introduction and the first section seemed a bit tedious.  I really enjoyed the sections on worship and identity and I was pretty challenged in the community and mission sections.  He had some interesting stories to draw you into each chapter and some good points.  These were things I've heard before, but were good reminders.  He got a little repetitive within the same chapter and sometimes the same thought would crop up in different chapters, but it did really drive his point home.  He suggested reading a chapter a day, but I read the book much quicker than that and I think it would have been better to follow his suggestion.  I liked that he used so much Scripture to back up his points.  It was a little humorous and kept my attention once I got into the first section.  I think this is a book a lot of Christians need to read!

I received this book free from Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review.

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