There are giants in town! Colorado Springs’ many blessings include opportunities to meet America’s Olympic athletes, military heroes, and some of the godly people serving in local Christian organizations. One of our ‘giants’ was Jerry Bridges, a Navigator who strove to live what he wrote about in The Discipline of Grace. I used to see him often, but earlier this year, Jerry left this world for Heaven.
In this book, Jerry answers some critical questions. No, I can’t save myself; but after God saves me, do I mature in Christ through my own efforts, or do I just ‘let go and let God?’ How can I know what He does and what am I supposed to do? Much of Jerry’s writing addresses this question, and he answers it with scripture and practical, everyday ‘how-to.’ He doesn’t compromise what the Bible says, but he’s also realistic about sin - about living in the real world.
In a world crowded with media that push quick and easy ways to ‘succeed,’ Jerry is refreshingly honest: there is no shortcut (write those words inside the front cover of your Bible). In Scripture, God has given you all that you need to “train yourself to be godly” (1 Timothy 4:7).
So, you want to be an Olympic champion or a fighter pilot? You need training. We have places here in town where that can happen. Obviously, though, it doesn’t just happen because you’re in the right building. Colorado Springs’ athletic and military giants are men and women who endure arduous training with a specific goal in mind.
Godliness won’t just happen simply because we go to church, or because our energy for ‘serious’ sins may decrease as we get older. We must train for godliness. In The Discipline of Grace Jerry reveals the relationship between dependence and discipline in spiritual training.
Each chapter uses verses from the Bible to explain how, in dependence upon the Holy Spirit’s enabling power, God wants us to discipline ourselves to be godly. We do this by frequently reviewing and celebrating how He has rescued us, by saturating or renewing our minds (Romans 12:2) with lots of Scripture, by keeping our commitments to God, by developing biblical convictions that incline us to obey Him, and by submitting to and growing through hardship.
No, we can’t do these all at once, or quickly, or in our own strength. They require willful reliance upon God in prayer (“Father, help me!”) and strong resolution to learn from failure––and to not give up. Psalm 1 indicates that we live on and grow along a continuum between being cursed by the mindset of a sinful world and being richly blessed through staying close to our kind, heavenly Father. Jerry Bridges’ wonderful book will help you grow in your enjoyment of the latter.
“Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace; your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.” (Jerry Bridges)
(The Discipline of Grace has been made available for check-out from the ABEFC library, along with other titles in The Bookshelf.)