Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Book Review: Adorned

Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together. Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. 2017. Moody. 352 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Adorned is a book for women--older women and younger women. It studies Titus 2 practically verse by verse and theme by theme. It's a study women of all ages can benefit from. Part one is "A Woman Under God." Part two is "A Woman Under Control." Part three is a "A Woman Under Her Roof."

Why should you read Adorned? I'm recommending it because it is NOT a fluffy, feel-good, cozy read. I'm recommending it because it is a challenging, thought-provoking, get-you-right-with-God read. From cover to cover, this one keeps the Bible central. And while there are plenty of personal stories sprinkled throughout the book, they are not a negative distraction. You will meet truth face to face if you read this one.

Favorite quotes:
Doctrine—what we believe—is foundational to how we live. And if you miss it, you’ll never get to where you want to be. It is the ground we stand on as we build our lives. Doctrine, you see, simply means teaching. It’s the content of what we believe, the understanding of reality that shapes our faith. The soil of doctrine in which we’re planted can make us beautiful and help us point others to the beauty of Christ and His gospel. But only if it’s the right doctrine. Even those of us who are long-time Christians can be misled by false or skewed beliefs we’ve picked up somewhere. If we aren’t intentional about where our hearts and minds are planted and watered, we can’t expect to end up with a healthy crop.
Sound doctrine is a means of keeping us healthy. It’s wholesome. It’s lifegiving. It helps make spiritually sick people well in every way that matters for eternity.
Sound doctrine tells us that God is sovereign over all—over time, over nature, over us, over every minute detail in the universe.That means when everything in our world seems to be giving way, spinning out of control, we can trust that “He’s got the whole world in His hands.” Sound doctrine tells us that we exist to bring glory to God and that every circumstance that comes into our lives can contribute to that end. If we could get just that one truth fixed in our hearts, we would never look at our circumstances the same way again. That belief—that doctrine—would certainly change us. Sound doctrine tells us that sin entered our world and infected it all the way down to the dust specks and the groundwater. It tells us that our natural tendency (going all the way back to Adam and Eve) is to try to remedy the situation on our own, apart from God, to hide from Him behind our hand-sewn fig leaves in hopes of avoiding notice and accountability. It also tells us that conflicts at home, at work, in our families, and in our world are evidence of what sin has done to us and to others.
I have come to believe that every failure and flaw in our lives flows out of some sort of doctrinal deficiency. Either we haven’t been taught and really don’t know the truth God has given that enables us to obey and enjoy Him. Or (worse) we know the truth, but we aren’t walking according to what we know.
Soundness of faith is not a mountaintop, a finish line. It is a journey. And we each travel imperfectly.
Wherever you’ve seen God prove Himself faithful, wherever His Word has sustained you in weakness and provided needed direction, and yes, even wherever you have experienced the consequences of failing to walk according to His Word—there’s your story to share. The soundness of your faith is based on the soundness of the One in whom you’ve placed it, not on your perfect record in walking out that faith.
The truth is, you’re always teaching, simply by the way you live. Your conversation in unguarded moments teaches. Your response to gossip teaches. Your reaction to an unexpected problem teaches.
Wherever we are at this moment is a sacred place, and whatever He has given us to do is sacred service.
We know from His Word that our fight against sin will not be completely won until we are at Home with the Lord. And what He wants us to learn through the sometimes grinding battle is that this gospel that saved us can also keep on saving us, delivering us moment by moment, even as the daily war between flesh and spirit wears on. This onslaught can keep us continually turning to Christ, His cross, His power, and His grace. And when we do, we discover that He is actively at work within us “both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). It is actually His love for us, then, that causes God to lead us down this long, hard road, putting to death all our unwholesome substitutes one obedient choice at a time. He enlists us in the battle so we can learn to fight His way.
The woman you will be in ten or twenty or fifty years is being determined by the woman you are this week.
If you’re a believer in Christ, He has already imputed to you His righteousness. You couldn’t possibly be any more pleasing to the Lord, even if you tried—because not an iota of your personal standing with Him is based on your personal effort. His covenant love is based on His performance, not yours. And it is His love and faithfulness that motivate and enable you to walk in a way that honors Him.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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