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The GARDEN of GOD'S WORD: The Purpose and Delight of BIBLE STUDY (Little Books About the Magnitude of God) (Volume 2) Paperback – August 2, 2016
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About the Author
Fran Rogers is a 77 year-old wife/caregiver to Jerry, her husband of 55 years; mother of two, grandmother of six, a great grandmother; musician and gardener; a writer for twenty-five years, now publishing; in her second childhood, and loving it!
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This book has seven chapters. The first five chapters are beautifully rhymed: Chapter one is titled “To Inform: Revelation,” chapter two is on “To Reform: Regeneration,” chapter three is on “To Transform: Sanctification,” chapter four is on “To Conform: Glorification,” and chapter five is on “To Perform: Proclamation.”
Chapter one looks at the source, substance structure, stability and sufficiency of God’s Word. By stability of the written word of God the author meant that the written word is based on God’s power and will. Here in chapter one Rodgers also looks at the sufficiency of Scripture. Chapter two is a great reminder of the Gospel as taught from the Scriptures with chapter three on sanctification.
I thought chapter four could have work out more the doctrine of glorification. However here in this chapter is probably the part of the book I enjoyed the most with Fran’s discussion about meditation. Fran makes it clear that Christian meditation is different than meditations found in other religion and isms, which often involved emptying the mind. Instead Christian meditation is filling the Scripture in our minds; it is “the art of hiding God’s Word in our hearts…” (50).
I appreciated the book reminding us the corporate church dimension with our spiritual reading of Scripture that is mentioned in both chapter six and chapter seven. We must never forget that our use of Scripture, while it is important we have our meditations and meditations for our own edification, is also meant to be a blessing to others as well.
Sprinkled throughout the book are also quotes from preachers with the most prominent one that is quoted in the book coming from the Prince of Preacher Charles Spurgeon. I enjoyed these quotations.
I read this book for my own spiritual edification and I was edified.
As I sat down to read this book (the first time around) I was immediately struck by the chapter titles. The table of contents lays out a very clear trajectory for what lies ahead. The chapters outline the course which you will read for the next hour or so. It is there that we discover that Rogers will be leading us to discover that scripture Informs, Reforms, Transforms, Conforms, and allows God to Perform His work through us. In other words, to quote the author,
"God, through His Word and His Holy Spirit, has done all the previous work ~ informing, reforming, transforming, and conforming us, so that He may perform His own work through us."
This is the message of The Garden of God’s Word — That the Word of God is sufficient to not only inform us of what we out to believe and how we ought to behave, but it is also sufficient to equip us for this life as we are changed by its words into that which God has promised to complete in us. Mrs. Rogers doesn’t leave room for the ruggedly individualistic Christian who believes that he can reap the blessings of God’s word by sitting alone however, and she gives a wonderful explanation of how the unity of the body is achieved by participating in the life of the Word together:
"This is the means of unity in the whole body; as each member studies, learns the truths, and joins in like mind and spirit to portray the image of Christ that is seen there"
As with Two Full Plates, The Garden of God’s Word is written in the wonderfully affectionate manner which you would expect to read from a dear friend. I would encourage everyone to pick up a copy of this extraordinary short book, grab the warm beverage of your choice and take the time to pour over this book as if you were reading it from a longtime friend.Take the words in this book seriously- there is a lot that we have to learn from Fran Rogers as she magnifies the glory of God by unfolding the wonderful garden that is the Word of God.