It has been a couple weeks now and I've realized this is a very powerful book. I've been reading it quite a bit but have not gotten past the first chapter yet. It has so much in it that I am trying to absorb and really pray and think on, that I've read this first chapter about five times now.
I'll definitely be doing a review on my Ang4him Reviews page when I'm done, but in the meantime I wanted to share a few excerpts from the first chapter.
"The Bible is a most precious and wonderful gift from the Lord to His people, but it was not meant to take the place of the Lord Himself or the Spirit whom He sent. The Bible is a means, not an end. Knowing the Book of the Lord is not our primary goal, but rather to know the Lord of the Book. As wonderful a gift as the Bible is, it is not God. If it supplants the place of the Lord in our lives, it has actually become an idol."
This really got me to thinking. It is good to pursue knowledge of God, especially through His Word, but it is very easy lose sight of the real reason why we do this. We should be doing it not to gain more knowledge for the sake of knowledge or to build ourselves up, but to deepen our relationship with the Lord.
This chapter goes into what the two trees in the garden were and what they represented. It warns of us losing sight of God and getting too hung up in the Law. We look at how the Pharisees acted during Jesus' time and will condem them for legalism, however we've done the same thing in many ways. We are just as guilty of taking God's Word and losing sight of Him. We start to give more focus to the rules and traditions than to the relationship we were made for.
There is a ditch on either side of the path of life. On one side there is legalism. On the other side is lawlessness. Both lead to death. If we tend to be reactionary, we will usually react to one of these ditches too much so that we end up in the one on the other side. God's answer to lawlessness is not legalism, but rather the cross. If we seek to be justified by the works of the Law, we are turning our backs on God's provision - the cross. If we turn from legalism without going to the cross, we will end up in lawlessness, one of the greatest evils to come upon the world in the last days.
Maybe these excerpts will give you some food for thought and for prayer. I'll be starting chapter two soon and will probably be sharing more, if the rest of the books is anything like the first chapter.