20
Jun

Slow Reader Friday: Jesus, The One and Only

hammer and nails

Note: Click here to see the July 2014 MIP Book Club Selection!

Warning: You might want to get 2 of your favorite beverages.

I first “encountered” Beth Moore on a video screen. She was doing a Bible Study on Daniel. I had heard rave reviews about her and was preparing to be my usual hyper-critical self simply because I’m a PK (Preacher’s Kids) and have been doing Bible Studies all my life and have often been less than impressed with more than a few.

The opposite was true. I learned unbelievable amounts of stuff that I never understood before. Maybe Beth Moore isn’t a seminary graduate, but the woman does a pretty good job of learning as much as she can for the Bible book she decides to tackle. And it was actually fun to learn from her, because Beth is from Houston, TX and she is a quinessential Texas woman, with a passion for fashion, a definite Texan drawl, and the almost-required accompanying sense of humor. One of the first things she asked us (as her students) to do with the Book of Daniel was to remember that “not everything is about you!” My daughter and I did this study together and we still giggle to this day when we encounter something where we want to be self-centered and remind ourselves of Beth’s words.

As much as I hate to admit it, Beth’s study was about me. Beth has a way of reaching into your very soul, as if she knows you like her best friend, finding your most vulnerable place and then miraculously healing that place by simply teaching you about the Bible. And so, about Week 5, I found myself fighting back tears as she taught. Only one other speaker has done that to me and I have heard him twice (and yes, he reduced me to tears twice) and that is William Paul Young, author of The Shack and Crossroads. If you ever have an opportunity to hear either one of them speak, move Heaven and Earth to do it. You won’t be disappointed.

Enter Jesus, the One and Only. As I looked at the table of contents, I reminded myself that Beth never takes the easy route through a topic. 53 chapters? Are you kidding me? But, thankfully, the chapters were short. So, I started diving into her step-by-step teaching of Jesus’ life from start to finish.

I have to admit I was disappointed at first. It may be because I had just finished reading 2 really great books and one of them had delved into all the circumstances of Jesus’ life very factually and historically. That book, Killing Jesus, was a “can’t put it down” kind of experience of the Gospels, because Martin Dugard and Bill O’Reilly write like unbiased reporters. No wonder Hollywood wants to make movies of all of their books.

Beth Moore, on the other hand, chooses to use the Greek origins of words, Bible commentaries, etc. to help the reader put themselves into the times of Jesus. And she readily admits that sometimes she is just relying upon her impressions of how things might have gone in particular situations and conversations involving Jesus. I felt like she often missed the very point that I thought was obvious and kept wishing she had used Killing Jesus as a resource for her own book. The reality is that they were probably both written around the same time, so it would have been impossible for her to do so.)

And Beth, because she is passionate about her faith, tends to spend a pile of time rejoicing over the various elements of Jesus’ story and asking the reader to do the same. I guess I’m more of a factual kind of gal and preferred the way that Dugard and O’Reilly tried to leave their own belief systems out of Jesus’ story and let the reader decide whether Jesus is the Messiah or not.

But, just about the time I was ready to curse myself for selecting this LOONNGG book for the June Selection, Beth Moore worked her magic and I got the point of what she was trying to say. At least the point I needed to hear. I found myself crying again (There goes my reputation as a stoic Scot again!).

I think I still prefer to watch her on video (It’s just so much fun to see Beth’s facial expression and non-verbals as she teaches!), but I will be forever grateful I took the time to read the book. Plain and simple? It did a real healing in a chronically vulnerable place of mine.

Here are a few quotes from the book that resonated with me or inspired me or at least made me smile:

1. “Sometimes in the contrast of the night, we can best see the glory of God.”

2. “Jesus probably did not walk until He was ten or twelve months old and He certainly didn’t walk on His bathwater.”

3. “When we set apart our lives unto Him, He will do wonders with us the likes of which we cannot imagine.”

4. “I don’t practice ‘Lord forgive me for all of my sins.’ I don’t see true biblical repentance in that. Repentance assumes we are naming the sin to acknowledge it. Then I like to discuss with God why it doesn’t agree with His Word.”

5. “Every hour you do your job as working for the Lord gets punched on a time clock in heaven. You get paid by God Himself for the hours you work as unto the Lord. I’m not being cheesy. Our future inheritance is real, and it far exceeds minimum wage. As you partner with Christ at your job, you will be more efficient.”

6. “He spoke to my heart and said: ‘Beth, My child, you have an authority problem. You think you can do your part, which is repent. You just don’t think I can do MY part, which is forgive.”

Point to Ponder 1: Did you read this book this month? Did you want to read this book this month? If you wanted to read it and didn’t, what happened to prevent it? Were you too focused on the “urgent” to give way to what’s truly important (your relationship with Christ)? Were you a little lazy this month? Are you a guy and think Beth Moore books are for women only? Did I not give you enough reminders to read it this month in my other posts (Guilty as charged!)? I’ll make you a deal: I’ll try to give you more reminders, if you’ll try to read the next book I select. Deal?

Point to Ponder 2: Where is your chronically vulnerable place? Do you have an authority problem and can’t seem to have the faith to allow God to heal that place forever? If so, ask God to help your lack of belief in His power. Then, have confidence that the maker of the universe can do whatever He wants and He most definitely wants to heal YOU! For Pete’s sake (or in this case, Peter’s sake), He let His only Son get killed just so He could be with YOU. That makes you worth a major healing. 🙂

Point to Ponder 3: Are you sometimes so critical of people/things/situations that you fail to notice what God wants to say to you through that person/thing/situation? I’ll give you an example from my own life: I can be sweet to one stranger at a store, but if that same person gets behind the wheel of a car and is in front of me and driving slowly, I immediately start criticizing their “slowpokedness.” Perhaps what I need to remember in that situation is that there is a wreck that’s about to happen ahead of me and God has sent that person to drive slowly to prevent me from being injured in that wreck (or worse–injuring someone else!). Perhaps I need to learn a little patience! Perhaps I need to say a prayer of blessing for that person and some protection from drivers like me who like to get there pronto and sometimes take unnecessary risks on the road! How about you?

Point to Ponder 4: Is this your first Beth Moore book to read? How did it strike you? If you have read other books of hers, what’s your favorite and why? (Yes, –comment away!)

Monday’s Post: It’s WOW time!

You might also like: Slow Reader Friday: Killing Jesus; Slow Reader Friday: And Then There Were Nuns; and Slow Reader Friday: Undaunted

This entry was posted on Friday, June 20th, 2014 at 10:55 am and is filed under Slow Reader Friday. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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