Danny Wahlquist Wordpress Blog

September 5, 2015

The Bookends of the Christian Life by Jerry Bridges, Bob Bevington

Filed under: Uncategorized — dannywahlquist @ 6:57 am

The Bookends of the Christian Life by Jerry Bridges, Bob Bevington

we need the gospel not only as a door into an initial saving relationship with Christ, but also as the first bookend to keep our daily lives from becoming a performance treadmill.

We must continually battle these two gospel enemies, self-righteousness and persistent guilt.

faith involves both renunciation and reliance. We have to first renounce all confidence in our own power and then rely entirely on the power of the Holy Spirit. We must be enabled, not merely helped.

DEPENDENT RESPONSIBILITY

We’re to watch and pray that we enter not into temptation (Matthew 26:41). We’re to cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit (2 Corinthians 7:1). We’re to discipline our body and keep it under control (1 Corinthians 9:27). We’re to be steadfast, immovable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58). We’re to train ourselves to be godly (1 Timothy 4:7). We’re to strive for holiness (Hebrews 12:14). We’re to make every effort to grow in Christian character (2 Peter 1:5–7). And we’re to be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish (2 Peter 3:14).

Isn’t it ironic that the more God-given natural abilities we have, the more prone we are to rely on them rather than on God?

Daily Declaration of Dependence: I recognize my absolute lack of power and ability. I redirect my dependence to the supremely reliable power of the Holy Spirit. I reject my tendency to self-reliance: “You are God, and I am not.”

we’re 100 percent dependent on a source of righteousness and strength that resides outside ourselves, yet we remain 100 percent responsible for the placement of each of our books on the bookshelf of our lives.

Instead of page after page and chapter after chapter of a storyline filled with self-righteousness, persistent guilt, and self-reliance, the pages and chapters of books that are stabilized by the bookends should tell an action-packed story of selfless serving, radical giving, and sacrificial living.

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