God's Gifts by Diane Herbert Brownell

God's Gifts

Love, Joy, Peace, Galatians 5:22–23
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A brief examination of Bible verses pertaining to love, joy, and peace.

Brownell begins each section of her debut Bible study with a dictionary definition of the subject at hand and then positions each concept within secular culture. She discusses love, for example, in terms of the free love of the 1960s, joy as it relates to temporary pleasures, and peace as the opposite of war. However, she soon discusses how readers can more deeply understand these concepts through studying Scripture. “The Bible shows love in a stronger context,” she writes, and she uses numerous Bible verses to help readers understand that context. Drawing primarily from Proverbs and the Gospels, for example, she uses descriptions of God’s love to show how people should be loving in their own relationships. Using examples from the Old Testament and the Psalms, she discusses the importance of finding joy through worship, even during hard times. Her treatment of the subject of peace is the shortest, citing multiple verses while urging readers to ask themselves several questions: “Do you have peace with God, with Jesus as your Savior? Do you have peace with God, knowing he is in control of your life? Do you have peace in your home and with those you fellowship with?” Brownell provides sections for note taking as well as lists of verses for further study. Readers who have recently started working through the Bible, perhaps even for the first time, will appreciate Brownell’s smooth, straightforward prose and concise conclusions. Her work provides an excellent springboard for further study, especially for those grappling with important biblical concepts and verses for the first time. That said, the book is extremely short given the broad topics it undertakes, and its analysis may not be deep enough for longtime students of the Bible.

An affirming, concise religious introduction best suited for those new to Bible study.

Pub Date: Oct. 12th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-5127-1518-7
Page count: 52pp
Publisher: Westbow Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
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