Thursday, April 27, 2017

Review of Jesus, the One and Only by Beth Moore

So I slacked off a bit with my reading. I didn't have anything from March, and I'm barely squeezing in April's books. Apparently taking care of three kids and working part-time means it's difficult to find time to read. Who knew. Regardless, I read Jesus, the One and Only by Beth Moore for my April non-fiction book.

In Jesus, the One and Only, Beth Moore walks through the life of Jesus, mainly using the gospel of Luke. She walks through scripture, encouraging the reader to dig deep into the story of Jesus so that we almost experience it instead of fictionalizing it as we often tend to do. She also ties in a lot of her personal experiences so that the reader can see how we can apply Jesus's earthy life and teaching to our own lives. I've brought up a few of the points she made which really spoke to me.

When speaking of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness from Luke 3 she summarizes a few main ideas about temptation. One that I highlighted was "Scripture is the most powerful tool in our fight against temptation. Don't fight back with your words, fight back with God's!" We know that we're supposed to memorize scripture, but do we truly understand how powerful it is. Instead of trying to power my way through a struggle I should rely on the power of God. She also talks about the Word as mentioned in Luke 8 with the parable of the sower. She says, "Our obedience to apply the Word of God is so we can live victorious lives that glorify our Father in heaven. Hearing it is simply not enough." Am I living a victorious life, or am I just letting life happen to me?

Another section that really struck me was from when she discussed Luke 12. "All our worry in the name of love can accomplish absolutely nothing. But all our praying in the name of Jesus could entreat God to accomplish anything. When will we learn to turn our worry effort into prayer?" Worry has always been a struggle of mine. God really freed me from much of it in college. However, now that I have kids I feel the temptation to fall back into the pattern of stressing about everything. I probably hide it well most of the time, but inside, my stomach is constantly in knots. I KNOW that it doesn't do any good, and yet I do it anyway. Because it feels like I'm doing something, even though I'm not accomplishing anything at all. Sometimes I'm on top of things and prayer is my first instinct when I start to worry. Other times...not so much. I'm so thankful for a patient God who is actually able to do something about the causes of my worry!

My favorite part of the book was the last several chapters which talked about Christ's death and resurrection. Beth Moore puts so much emotion in her writing that I found myself crying on several occasions. Both with tears of sorrow and tears of joy. She spends quite a bit of time bringing out specific details and emphasizing that this was God's plan, and He did it for us. What an amazing love the Father has for us!

Even though there were several parts of the book that I very much enjoyed reading, and she brought up a lot of things of which I needed reminding, it did drag on a bit for me. That's the reason it took an entire month to finish reading it. I'm slower reading non-fiction anyway, but this was tough to get into sometimes. It was 350+ pages and sometimes I felt so bogged down in details. While I loved her ability to help me visualize the end of Christ's life, I felt like such imaginings weren't as useful in other parts of the book. She spends so much time on conjecture when we don't really know if it's true or not. I'm sure that helps some people, but it frustrated me. Overall, I did enjoy the book. It was the first non Bible Study of Moore's that I have read. I know there is a Bible study for this, and maybe I would have been able to get through that easier. It's also probably spread out for longer than a month which would have helped. It did give me some great insight, but it may not be for everyone.

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