Friday, March 5, 2021

Book Review: Ten Words to Live By: Delighting in and Doing What God Commands by Jen Wilkin

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BOOK review
Started on: 20 February 2021
Finished on: 25 February 2021


Title: Ten Words to Live By: Delighting in and Doing What God Commands
Author: Jen Wilkin
Publisher: Crossway Books
Pages: 176 pages
Year of Publication: 2021
Price: Rp 188,085 (https://www.bookdepository.com/)

Rating: 5/5 
*This e-book was received as a review copy from Crossway
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"Christianity is about relationship with God and others, and because this statement is true, Christianity is also unapologetically about rules, for rules show us how to live in those relationships."
In Ten Words to Live By, Jen Wilkin reminds us that the Ten Commandments are words about obedience and holiness spoken by God, timeless in their importance and wisdom. However, these same words are often misunderstood, forgotten, or simply ignored. The writer teaches us how the Ten Commandments are important for our lives today, helping us to love God and others, live in joyful freedom, and long for that future when God will be rightly worshiped for eternity. The Ten Words cannot be overlooked because they serve as the rightful delight and daily meditation of believers.
"Lawfulness is Christlikeness. To obey the law is to look like Jesus Christ. While legalism builds self-righteousness, lawfulness builds righteousness. Obedience to the law is the means of sanctification for the believer."
"Rules enable relationship. The Ten Words graciously position us to live at peace with God and others."
I've been a huge fan of Jen Wilkin's writing since 2018 when I first read her book titled In His Image. Her books always managed to widen my perspective about God's Words, deepening my understanding and shifted my way of thinking about certain things. And so when I saw that Jen Wilkin is releasing a new book, I don't hesitate to pick it up immediately. In the past, I've heard so many teachings and read a few books regarding The Ten Commandments. I thought I've known enough about it, but this book proved me wrong; because I learned so much more about The Ten Commandments that I've never think about before.

Ever since I was a Christian, I always thought that following The Ten Commandments isn't that difficult. I don't worship other gods, I honor my parents, I don't steal, and I most definitely do not kill. But now I realize that my thoughts are similar to the young rich man in the Bible who boasted to Jesus that he have performed the law. Without realizing, this way of thinking lean towards legalism and self-righteousness. However, as Jen Wilkin elaborated The Ten Words one by one, I soon realize that we are all sinful being and we continually need God's help to obey the Law and be sanctified.
"The Ten Words are encouraging words, meant to give us hope—hope that we will live rightly oriented to God and others, hope that we will grow in holiness. They are not given to discourage but to delight. They are no less than words of life."
I had a ton of highlights from this book, but I think I will just share two in this review so that it won't be too lengthy. The first one that I'm going to share comes from Chapter 6: The Sixth Word - Honor Life, which in the BIble it says 'You shall not murder' (Exodus 20:13). As I said earlier, I was confident about performing some the Ten Commandments—this one, especially; because I can never imagine a day when I would take someone's life with my own hands. Jen Wilkin acknowledged that a lot of people think 'at least I haven't done that', but she took the earliest episode of murder in the Bible: Cain who murdered his brother, Abel. The root of his action began with being angry. Anger itself is not a sin; but the problem is anger nursed, anger indulged, and anger gratified. And so it is important to examine our hearts when we are angry and not indulge in it until it becomes a sin. We should be slow to become angry and quick to forgive; and deem other people's lives as worthy in our hearts.
 
The eighth commandment, 'You shall not steal' is another one that I was pretty confident of. But just like the sixth Word, stealing is also an expression of contempt; and Jen Wilkin addressed that there is no such thing as petty theft. When we took something that may seem harmless to other people, God sees it all. And if we think that no one witnessed it, then we have mistakenly believe that God is unseeing. If we want to truly obey His Word, we should be faithful in the little things—things that may be unseen. In the end, we are just stewards of God's resources rather than owners. When we realize that, we learn to think differently about earthly treasures. Instead of having a mindset of acquisitiveness, we learn how to become generous.
"No more external obedience. Obedience that pleases God begins in the heart."
Overall, I highly recommend this book whether you're a new believer or has been a long time believer of God. I believe that we can all learn a thing or two from what Jen Wilkin wrote because I certainly learned a lot. Each chapter ends with a few verses that we can read and meditate on, along with some questions for reflection. These questions helped me to review my life and how this book expanded my understanding of the Ten Commandments. If in the past I thought I was doing pretty well in obeying the law, I am completely humbled after reading this book—knowing that human's sinful nature makes us weak and our hearts are deceitful. True obedience that pleases God begins in the heart; and when our heart is right, we will delight in doing what God tells us to do.
"Ten Words to put to death our sin. Ten Words to herald abundant life. Ten Words to steady and strengthen us on the narrow path that leads us home... May it be said of us on that day that our meditative delight was in the law of the Lord. May it be said of us that in thought, word, and deed, we remembered to delight."
by.stefaniesugia♥ .
 

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