If you're going to build a shed, you'll need a hammer. No shed gets built without a tool to put the nails in, keeping the wood together.
The goal of our Christian lives is to live each day dying more to sin and living more to righteousness. Building a shed, like growing in Christ, can't happen in a vacuum.
Now, there's a tension here about how we really believe our spiritual growth happens, between the work of God and our own effort. In Deeper, Dane Ortlund talks about 4 different ways Christians understand it:
God, then me (He saves me and then it's all up to me)
God, not me (God saves me and everything after that is still all Him and I don't have to do anything)
God plus me (God does some, I do some; a partnership where we're each doing half)
God in me (God saves me and sanctifies me by His grace alone and because I am safe and secure in Him, where He leads, I follow)
To trust God with our spiritual growth and depend on His grace at work in us each day isn't easy. We constantly wrestle with our own ambitions and desires, even godly ones, that would have us believe we are achieving something - even spiritual maturity - on the basis of our efforts.
"For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast" (Eph 2:8-9).
So we follow our Lord Jesus, as our builder. Instead of us building our own shed, we're more like the child standing beside their father while he works. He does all the planning actual constructing, while we stand alongside, and hold the nails, fetch the hammer, and help hold the plywood in place.
And, sometimes, we may not be sure how to follow and need an outline to instruct us.
In Life With Jesus you have a 12 week discipleship resource you can use with your spouse, your adult/teenage Sunday school class, your small group, or your neighbours. Every chapter focuses on one aspect of the Christian life and begins with a short scenario, a question or scenario you likely encounter during your week. Next there's a passage of Scripture to study with a handful of questions for reflection, then a section or two with teaching and a couple more questions. The chapter ends with action points to consider for our head, our heart, and our hands.
It's pretty simple. Gather some people together and work through topics of spiritual growth in the Christian life, digging a little deeper, reflecting a little more. It's an opportunity to follow Christ by fellowshipping with others, digging into the Word and seeking His grace in prayer as He builds more of Himself into us each day.
# of pages: 106
Level of Difficulty: Easy
My Rating: 5 stars
*A big thanks to the The Good Book Company for the complimentary copy of this book and for the opportunity to post an honest review