Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Book Review: Content to Be Good, Called to Be Godly

Content to Be Good, Called to Be Godly cover

Content to Be Good, Called to Be Godly
by Janet Denison

Trade Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House
First Released: 2008

Author's Website

Source: Bought from Half.com

Back Cover Description:
Are you feeling empty and spiritually exhausted?

The solution may surprise you.

Do you sometimes feel like a "professional Christian?" Do you live a life that looks perfect from the outside...but is missing the joy Jesus promised? You're on the "spiritual treadmill"--a one-person faith walk that feels more like a trudge crammed into your overbusy schedule. Your worn-out spirit tells the real story: This self-designated program isn't working and it's time to try something different.

Join Janet Denison--Bible teacher, mom, and busy pastor's wife--on an invigorating journey through Scripture that will renew your soul. Drawing from lessons she needed to learn herself, Janet becomes your spiritual trainer as together you listen for God's voice and discern how he wants you to use your gifts. In Content to Be Good, Called to Be Godly, you'll find caring guidance, wise insights, and Bible study questions for individual or group use...leading you from a ho-hum faith to the freedom and joy of a God-driven, God-filled life.

Content to Be Good, Called to Be Godly was Scripture-focused and looked to Christ as our example. The book was easy to read and understand. It included personal examples from the author's life.

The chapters were broken into sections that built on each other, and each section was generally about two pages long. Each of these sections ended with a few verses to read and some questions to ponder about what the verses taught on the topic being discussed.

I felt that chapters 1-4 often got stuck on "do this; don't do that." Though her suggestions were good and helpful ones, they didn't really get at the root of the problem. I was pleased when the rest of the book (chapters 5-10) dug into Scripture to find the deeper problems and solutions.

I'd recommend this book to those who feel worn out from doing good and who wonder "where is the joy and abundant life God promised?"

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter Seven (page 116-117)
I will always be grateful to the friend who showed me the truth of 2 Corinthians 10:5. I had often been taught that my outward behavior was crucial to my Christian witness. I had never been taught that how I acted was actually the "second stage" of my witness. Paul says that we need to take our thoughts captive and cause them to be obedient to Christ. If our thoughts are obedient to Christ, then our behavior will likely follow. We have learned to consider our behavior and then act as a Christian should. In Romans 12:2, Paul teaches us to focus on our thoughts so we can think like a Christian should and then act accordingly.

God will transform you and your behavior if you allow him to change the way you think. How do you do that? Consider the first part of the verse: "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world." If your thoughts are more strongly influenced by the world than the inspired voice of God, you will have difficulty being obedient to Christ. How many of your two or three thousand thoughts each day could qualify as a "God thought"? Consider this truth:

"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything yo could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9

What is the difference between a human thought and a God thought?

Read the first chapter.

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