Hidden in Christ by James Bryan Smith
Words are powerful. They contain ideas and shape the way we see God, ourselves and all of reality. We're transformed, in particular, by God's Word, and by "the Word,” the Logos—Jesus himself—as described by John in the first chapter of his Gospel. Memorizing and studying a passage in depth can offer a deeper sense of the meaning of each word. In this unique introduction to the hidden life in Christ, James Bryan Smith walks readers through a thirty-day immersion in Colossians 3:1-17. Each of the thirty short chapters of this book bring out the main truth of just one word or phrase of this rich passage. You'll also find a very simple daily practice to take up, reflection questions and a guide for five weeks of group discussion. The only way to tell a story is to use words. May the words of Colossians 3 become a companion to you as God continues to write your story.
Each chapter in this book is short in length, making it ideal to use as a daily devotional. Since there are thirty chapters, it could be used for a one-month introduction to the hidden life in Christ. Though brief in terms of length, each chapter tries to unearth some very deep truths. For this reason, the book could also be beneficial to more mature Christians who need to be reminded of the basic truths that guide our life with God. Put another way, the reader who is unfamiliar with the Apprentice series should find this book an easy access point into a deeper life with Christ. And for those who have read and practiced the exercises in the Apprentice series, this book will be a helpful refresher as you continue your sacred journey. Each chapter contains an exercise or practice ("Living into the Truth"), as well as an affirmation that summarizes the main point of the chapter and a written prayer designed to move you deeper into the truths of the Word. In addition, each chapter concludes with a few reflection questions that can be used either by individuals or in a group discussion. Thus, this book can be used privately, or as a part of a small group. The best way to get the most out of this book is to read the chapter, engage in the daily/weekly exercise, repeat the summative affirmation throughout the day or week, answer the questions using a journal, and then meet with a fellow Christ-follower to discuss it together.