Sunday, January 24, 2016

Count It All Joy by David Jeremiah

Jeremiah has given us an excellent study of Philippians. While this book is a reprint of a 2006 release, it is as relevant as ever.

We are given the background to this letter from Paul. Jeremiah suggests that the theme of Philippians is joy and “The secret of [Paul's] joy was his relationship with Jesus Christ.” Paul's experience in prison, says, Jeremiah, was the crucible that tested his joy. If Paul's relationship to Jesus could bring joy in his situation, certainly we can learn to rejoice in difficult circumstances.

Jeremiah highlights the personal nature of the letter and the lessons learned through adversity. He explores the purpose and function of suffering and the importance of developing Christ likeness. He emphasizes the necessity of right thinking and provides great guidelines toward having the right attitude.

Even though I've read a number of commentaries on Philippians, I still earned something new in reading this one. I really liked Jeremiah's explanation of “work out your own salvation,” making reference to that expression being used in mining. I had forgotten or perhaps never realized that the Philippian church had been started by women! Other topics I really appreciated included his discussion on what it meant that Jesus “emptied Himself,” the dangers of legalism, and the essential elements of continuing to grow in faith. Jeremiah highlights relevant Greek words from time to time but in a way that a layman can easily understand.

An excellent Reader's Guide has been included with suggestions for personal and group use. It includes ice breakers, discovery questions, personal application questions, prayer focus, optional activities, and homework in preparation for the next session. It would make a great twelve week study and I highly recommend it.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

David Jeremiah is the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California. He is a bestselling author of many books and a frequent conference speaker. He and his wife have four children and twelve grandchildren. You can find out more at www.davidjeremiah.org.

David C Cook, 320 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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