Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Heart of the Matter

Heart of the Matter, CCEF Faculty

I have a lot of respect for the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation (CCEF).  Through biblical counselling they teach people how to “explore the wisdom and depth of the Bible and apply its grace-centered message to the problems of daily living” (from CCEF website).  I live in hope that one day they will come to Adelaide and I can attend a course!

The faculty are made up of some well-known and respected Christian authors: Paul David Tripp, Ed Welch and David Powlinson to name a few. The faculty have combined forces and made a one-year daily devotion, Heart of the Matter.  In 366 daily readings they bring the truths of scripture, God and Jesus Christ home to the reader. The readings keep your eyes focussed on God and his life-saving work through Christ and then encourage you to consider how this affects your own life.

I must admit I was hesitant at first. It looked like bite-sized chunks of counselling, with a few bible verses thrown in.  But the more I read it (I read through the first 3 months of material), I was encouraged how it pointed the reader to God in every case and how the gospel should shape our lives. Each reflection they have provided has a bible passage to match it, to further encourage thought and reflection.

I will say from the outset I would consider this a resource to be used in addition to daily ordered bible reading.  I think the benefit of systematic bible reading is so rich I would hesitate to suggest not doing it almost continuously.  However, this devotion has real benefit.  It will ground you each day in the word of God and challenge you to think about your response to it.  If you are willing to stop and think about each day’s reflection, I suspect you would grow greatly throughout the year, in both your understanding of God and his work in the world, but also how to live your own life in response to the gospel.

Again, as this is a New Growth Press publication, I have 2 copies to give away (paper in USA/Canada, ebook for the rest of the world).  Email me if you would like to win a copy. To buy a copy or read some sample pages, go via this linkUpdate: both copies given away!

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