a dove descended upon Jesus when baptized www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 3, Day 5: Matthew 3:13-17

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 3:13-17

John the Baptist baptizes Jesus who came from Galilee to the Jordan River. John said that Jesus needed to baptize him, not the other way around. Jesus told him he needed to be baptized to fulfill all righteousness. When Jesus was baptized, heaven opened up and the Spirit of God came down upon him. A voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 3, DAY 5: MATTHEW 3:13-17

12 ) Jesus came to earth as a human partly to show others how to live. He was baptized to show that Christians should be baptized as well.

13a) That the Spirit would come down from heaven as a dove and remain, baptizing with the Holy Spirit.

b) He was praying.

14 ) We are here only because of God. We are here to do His will, not ours. If we were doing our will, we’d all be sinners, doing whatever we pleased in utter chaos. Instead, we work to please our God, our Creator, as a form or worship and honor for what He has given us and done for us.

15) It is important as Jesus showed us how to live and what to do. Baptism is a special day when you accept Christ into your life publically. If Jesus did it, we should, too. Here, Jesus being baptized also legitimizes John’s baptisms of the people since it was outside of Jewish tradition.

CONCLUSIONS BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 3, DAY 5: MATTHEW 3:13-17

map of jesus' baptism www.atozmomm.comI love how God opens up the heavens, showing his pleasure. God gives us many signs of how to live, as well as signs of reassurance that we are walking with Him. God does so much just for us. Try to digest that thought today. Great stuff!

END NOTES BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 3, DAY 5: MATTHEW 3:13-17

John questions Jesus because Jesus had no sin so therefore had nothing to repent of. Yet, Jesus knew this was the right thing to do. This one act allowed Jesus to identify with mankind. This is the official beginning of Jesus’s ministry. It’s an important sign to all that Jesus is here.

God showed all sinners that Jesus was identifying with them, not being cleansed of any sin. It was important that God show everyone this was His Son and that Jesus was different, so he sent the physical sign of the dove for all to see. Jesus now has the power of God (he always did, since he is God, but this is official for humans, like a ceremony). It was also important that John the Baptist, now hugely popular with the people, recognize Jesus as the Savior. John 1:32-33

Note Noah sent a dove that returned with an olive branch from the ark. Doves in the Bible represent peace, love, gentleness, and hope for a better future.

God set his stamp of approval upon Jesus. Here, we see the Holy Trinity together in the Bible: God in heaven, Jesus on earth, the Holy Spirit coming down between the two. Beautiful picture, isn’t it?

Contact me!

picture of desert of judea www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 3, Day 2: Matthew 3:1-4

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 3:1-4

John the Baptist came preaching in the Desert of Judea, saying repent for the kingdom of heaven is near. He quoted Isaiah, saying to prepare the way for the Lord. He wore clothes of camel’s hair, had a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey.

BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 3, DAY 2: MATTHEW 3:1-4

3a) Jesus identifies John the Baptist as the one predicted by Malachi in Matthew 11:14; 17:9-13.

Luke 1:17 repeats almost exactly that verse, saying he will go before the Lord in the spirit of Elijah to turn the hearts of the father to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

2 Kings 1:8 says that he was a man with a garment of hair and a leather belt around his waist.

Mark 1:6 repeats Matthew, saying John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.

Matthew 17:9-13: Jesus says that Elijah has already come but no one recognized him as such.

b) John identified himself as the voice calling in the desert for God’s glorious arrival, preparing the way for repentance from sin and turning to Jesus.

4) Nothing happens without God’s will and way. God uses people and others to carry out His will. It’s all perfection.

5a) God has been extremely good. He has given me this forum and the knowledge to share with you all. He has always provided for me and my family, and I try to do His will and help others, too. It all comes together in God’s perfect plan for your life and mine.

b) Tell others that Jesus is coming. Pray for others. Prepare myself and my family.

CONCLUSIONS BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 3, DAY 2: MATTHEW 3:1-4

Matthew skips over all of Jesus’s youth. We go from the baby Jesus to Jesus’s baptism. It jarred me a bit, but then I love a good story. I also love how Jesus is not alone in his task to save humanity. God has given him help, guidance, and companions. Great stuff!

From Jordan to Wilderness. Wilderness Wilderness of Judea: The desolate region between Judah and the Dead Sea. John the Baptist preached here. (Matt 3:1-3)

END NOTES BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 3, DAY 2: MATTHEW 3:1-4

John the Baptist is son to Zacharias and Elizabeth, whom we met in Luke and how the couple had John by God’s miracle, too. John’s purpose is to prepare the hearts of God’s people for Jesus by telling them to turn to God.

Note the importance of the word “repent.”

John wanted everyone to know that the Messiah was coming so be ready!

Note that kingdom of heaven and kingdom of God is used interchangeably in the Bible. Both refer to God’s kingdome. Scholars believe that kingdom of heaven was used by Matthew since he was writing to Jews who did not like direct references to God. You’ll see kingdom of God used more in Mark and Luke.

It is super important to prepare for Jesus, which is why you all are here in Bible Study Fellowship’s study of Matthew! We must learn about Jesus, draw closer to him, and prepare for his Second Coming. Thus, John’s work is huge for believers.

A straight path to Jesus makes sense. Truthfully, is there any other way?

WHAT’S UP WITH THE CAMEL HAIR AND LEATHER BELT?

It doesn’t matter what John the Baptist wears; the point of this is that it was predicted that someone looking like John the Baptist would arise and point the way to the Messiah. Secondary is the fact that John the Baptist led a very simple life, and he made a powerful impact. We can do the same, too. We don’t need a lot to shine God’s light to the world. Contact me with questions!

jacob worshipped god at bethel www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 18, Day 5: Genesis 28:16-22

Summary of Genesis 28:16-22:

Jacob awakes the next day, declaring that this place is the house of God. He poured oil on top of the stone he was sleeping on and called the place Bethel, which means House of God. Jacob vows the Lord will be his God if God is with him and watches over him and gives him food and clothes so that he can return safely home. He declares he will give God a tenth as well.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 18, Day 5: Genesis 28:16-22

12) It’s as if Jacob finally realized that God is with him here. I don’t like how it seems like God will be God to Jacob only if God is with him and watches over him and gives him food and clothes so that he can return safely home. It seems like Jacob’s promise is conditional; whereas, God’s promises are not.

13) Every day.

14) Just to trust that I am where I need to be at this time in my life and doing what He wants me to do even though I’d like to be doing something else.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 18, Day 5: Genesis 28:16-22

I like how Jacob has completely changed after this encounter with God. So it is for Christians, but we need to hold onto that when life does get us down.

map of jacob fleeing to haran www.atozmomm.com genesis 28

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 18, Day 5: Genesis 28:16-22

Fun Fact: Bethel is mentioned more times in the Old Testament than any other place except Jerusalem.

God grasps its significance to Jacob by calling himself the God of Bethel. (Genesis 31:13).

Other places we see Bethel in the Bible: (1 Kings 13:32Hosea 10:15Amos 4:4).

God is everywhere, not just one place.

You can translate this as “Since God is will be with me.” However, most Bible scholars believe if is accurate. Jacob is still not confident God will be with him, which is why he puts condition on God being His God. He had to see God do what he said he would before he would believe. Sadly, many are like this instead of just believing God. (Philippians 4:19) (Nahum 1:7).

Laban will help teach Jacob submission.

God did not back down from His promises despite Jacob’s response. He still is the God of Jacob (Exodus 3:6).

God’s promises were not good enough for Jacob. Are His promises good enough for you?

jacob dreams of a stairway to heaven genesis 28 www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 18, Day 4: Genesis 28:12-15

Summary of Genesis 28:12-15:

When Jacob stopped to sleep, he had a dream of a stairway to heaven that angels traversed. God appeared and told Jacob He would give him the land on which he was lying. His descendents will be numerous and fill the earth. All people will be blessed through him. God is with him and will watch over him no matter where he goes. God will bring him back and not leave until He has done what He has promised He will do.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 18, Day 4: Genesis 28:12-15

9) When Jacob stopped to sleep, he had a dream of a stairway to heaven that angels traversed. God appeared and told Jacob He would give him the land on which he was lying. His descendents will be numerous and fill the earth. All people will be blessed through him. God is with him and will watch over him no matter where he goes. God will bring him back and not leave until He has done what He has promised He will do. John 14:6 is where Jesus says he is the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to God except through him. Hebrews 10:19-20 tells us that we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus. The stairwell is the way to heaven, namely Jesus, a descendent of Jacob’s. Jesus is the stairway.

10a) God would give him the land on which he was lying

b) His descendents will be numerous and fill the earth.

c) All people will be blessed through him

d) God is with him and will watch over him no matter where he goes. God will bring him back and not leave until He has done what He has promised He will do.

11) I love how God tells Jacob He is with him and will watch over him no matter where he goes. God will not leave him until His work has been completed. This is very comforting to know God is with you always as I still struggle to follow His will for me.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 18, Day 4: Genesis 28:12-15

Love how God appears here and promises never to leave. I think He does this for us in subtle ways every day that we need to capture and hold on to when life does not go our way.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 18, Day 4: Genesis 28:12-15

(John 1:51) is where we see Jesus speak of the angels going back and forth on the Son of Man. Jesus is the only way to heaven. Jacob sees access to Heaven but not yet that it is Jesus.

God is repeating the covenant to Jacob that He gave to Abraham and Isaac before him.  (Genesis 12:1-3) (Genesis 26:2-5). See the promise here: Philippians 1:6:  God completes His work in us.

God is with Jacob, He will be with Jacob, He is faithful, and He will continue His work after you are gone.(Genesis 31:3)  (Genesis 31:5)  (Genesis 48:21)

map of jacob fleeing to haran www.atozmomm.com genesis 28

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 18, Day 3: Genesis 28:10-11

Summary of Genesis 28:10-11:

Jacob left Beersheba on his way to Haran.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 18, Day 3: Genesis 28:10-11

7) He was leaving his family for the first time. I’m sure he was scared. After all, travel was hard and scary in a time when no one traveled. He was leaving all he knew.

8a) Every time we’ve had to move.

b) James tells us to consider trials as joy because they produce perseverence, which then grows our faith. 1 Peter tells us to submit to rulers and masters for God’s sake. We must endure suffering as Christ suffered for us. You are blessed for suffering and doing what is right. Jesus cleansed us with his suffering and death. Pain allows us to grow in our walk with God. God can and will use our pain and suffering for His glory and for good.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 18, Day 3: Genesis 28:10-11

Very short passage where we see how even when we move, God moves with us.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 18, Day 3: Genesis 28:10-11

Jacob is returning to the land of Abraham and of Rebekah. (Genesis 11:31-32) (Genesis 24:3-4)

jacob travels to paddan aram for a wife www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 18, Day 2: Genesis 28:1-9

Summary of Genesis 18:1-9:

Isaac blesses Jacob and tells him to find a wife amongst the house of his mother in Paddan Aram (Northern Mesopotamia) among the daughters of Laban, Abraham’s brother. He blesses Jacob, giving him the blessing of Abraham to inhabit the land and increase in number. Esau learned that Isaac had been sent to find a wife that was not a Canaanite. So he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath in addition to his current wives.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 18, Day 2: Genesis 28:1-9

3) This blessing was to become fruitful and multiply so that they could inherit the Promised land. Previously, the blessing had consisted of blessing the land with richness, having nations serve him, and being lord over his brothers. He also cursed those who cursed him and blessed those who blessed him. (Genesis 27:27:29)

4) Isaac encouraged him to find a wife that was not a Canaanite.

5) Haven’t recently.

6) Esau learned that Isaac had been sent to find a wife that was not a Canaanite. So he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath in addition to his current wives. This doesn’t make sense. It’s an act that is too little, too late. Esau should have sought God to avoid all these mistakes in the first place.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 18, Day 2: Genesis 28:1-9

We see how little amount of godly people actually exist since Jacob has to go to the same place Isaac did to find a wife.

map of jacob fleeing to haran www.atozmomm.com genesis 28

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 18, Day 2: Genesis 28:1-9

Since Jacob was the one who would inherit the birthright, he had to have a godly wife.

God Almighty here is El Shaddai, first used in  Genesis 17:1 where God was talking to Abraham. This shows the blessing of God and the covenant being passed.

We see this blessing being passed to Jacob (Genesis 12:715:817:7-8). Jacob was promised a land, a nation, and a blessing like Abraham was. (Genesis 12:1-3)

Here we see God’s sovereignty play out with the choice of Jacob who was chosen by God’s grace alone. He would not see Isaac again for 20 years.

Esau went to marry women that weren’t Canaanite, too. I say this is too little, too late.

isaac builds wells genesis 26 www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 5: Genesis 26

Summary of Genesis 26:

A famine came into the land, and Isaac went to Abimelech, king of the Philistines in Gerar (different guy than Abraham’s Abimelech.  Remember, Abimelech is the name they give to rulers).  The Lord appeared to Isaac and told him to not go to Egypt but to stay here. He will bless him and give all this land to his descendants. He repeats the oath He gave to Abraham. He will bless all nations because Abraham was faithful and his descendants will be as numerous as the stars.

Isaac, however, lied who Rebekah was, saying she was his sister just like Abraham had done in Egypt out of fear of being killed.  But Isaac got caught in his lie and was chastised by Abimelech who orders no one to touch or molest Isaac or Rebekah.

Isaac planted crops in the land of the Philistines, and the Lord blessed him. He became rich and had so many flocks that the Philistines became jealous so they filled all his wells with dirt. Finally, Abimelech told Isaac to move away because he had become too powerful.

So Isaac moved to the Valley of Gerar and re-opened the wells. Isaac’s servants dug two new wells, but the locals quarreled over them.  He dug another well that was undisputed, which showed Isaac the Lord would provide.

At Beersheba, the Lord appeared to Isaac and told him He would bless him and increase his descendants. Isaac built an altar there and called on the Lord.  He also dug a well there.

Abimelech saw how Isaac continued to prosper because the Lord was with him and became afraid.  So he along with his  adviser and commander approached Isaac to make a treaty not to harm them. This was done. Another well was dug.

Esau married Judith and Basemath, both of whom were Hittites, and they were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 5: Genesis 26

12) The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.” God was protecting Isaac and his family, as well as strengthening their faith.

13) Almost exactly the same. There was a famine in the land, and instead of praying for God’s guidance, they go to local kings for help instead of the One, True King. He told the men his wife was his sister like Abraham did. Yet God blesses Isaac as well with wealth despite his lie. He got into a water dispute with the locals after Abimelech kicked him out of Philistine. He built an altar for God there. Abimelech makes a treaty with Abraham, afraid of God’s power.

14) Personal Questions. My answer: Tell them to seek God instead. That’s all you can do. Some people have to learn by experience.

15) He made a treaty with them, and he left when he was told to leave. He tried not to quarrel over wells and left them until he dug one that had no quarrel over it. Always try to compromise and avoid conflict with your neighbors.

16) To teach them lessons, to grow their faith in Him, to appreciate the good times, to grow them as humans.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 5: Genesis 26

I had not seen the close parallels of this story before. So eerily similar. It just goes to show that no matter how good of a parent you are or try to be, your kids wil do what they want to do.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 5: Genesis 26

We see here Isaac facing almost the exact same challenges that Abraham faced, and we see that Isaac responds in almost the exact same way. We’ve saw Gerar in Genesis 20:1-18). where Abraham met a different Abimelech. Isaac begins to travel to Egypt to escape the famine, but this time God stops him before he gets there. God does not want Isaac to leave the Promised Land. He promised Isaac the same things he promised Abraham:

  • The Promised Land
  • A nation to come forth
  • Blessings

Isaac stops in Gerar but tells the same lie his father did, saying Rebekah was his sister. Isaac is caught in this lie, and chastized, just like his father was for his behavior (Genesis 12:18-19) (Genesis 20:10)

map of gerar and beersheba www.atozmomm.com

God protects Isaac and Rebekah anyways.

Isaac prospered, worrying his neighbors who then stopped up all the wells and told Isaac to leave.

Isaac digs new wells, confident God will bless him. Water is life in the desert, as Jesus is our living waters

Remember names in the Bible have meaning. Esek means dispute. Sitnah means opposition. Rehoboth means room. Now Isaac has room to not have disputes.

Isaac returns to Beersheba, right where God wants him.

Fun fact: This is the first time God appears to Isaac in the Bible.

We see another past play when Isaac’s neighbors approach him for peace out of the fear of God, who is with Isaac, just like we saw with Abraham. Isaac forgives Abimelech for being kicked out of his lands and makes a treaty.

Shibah means oath of seven and Beersheba means well of the oath or well of seven.

Here, Esau is briefly mentioned as he marries two women who are Canaanites which is against God’s wishes and commands. (Genesis 24:3-4).

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 5: Genesis 18:1-15

Summary of Genesis 18:1-15:

The Lord appeared to Abraham among three visitors one day while Abraham was resting in the heat of the day.  When Abraham saw these men, he hurried to greet them and bowed low, knowing one was God for he says, “my lord” while addressing them. Abraham entreats them to stay, and he washes their feet and brings food and drink for their comfort. They agree to stay.

Abraham bustles about, hurrying the preparations of bread, meat, and milk (it is God). The men ask Abraham where is Sarah. God Himself tells Abraham (again) that Sarah will have a child this time next year.

Sarah who was eavesdropping laughs, believing she is worn out. God, of course, hears Sarah and asks Abraham directly, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Then God says He will return this time next year and Sarah will have a son.

Then Sarah denies she laughed out of fear.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 5: Genesis 18:1-15

14a) They may not have invited the men to stay, nor feed them a meal. He selected the best calf to slaughter and brought curds and milk and baked bread. They both did the work themselves instead of servants, and we sense urgency in Abraham’s doings, indicating he knew his guests were special.

b) Personal Question. My answer: Attitude and joy, mainly. I either begrudge every moment and have a miserable time, or I have a good time and feel joy.

15) The first thing they ask is where is Sarah, so their visit was to confirm to Sarah that she would have a son. God says that when He returns, Sarah will have a son.

16) Because God heard Sarah laugh and knew she had.

17) Sarah had to believe God. We must believe God. God blesses (Luke 1:45) and rewards those who have faith (Hebrews 11:6; 11) Without faith you can’t please God.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 5: Genesis 18:1-15

I love how God includes Sarah and makes sure she understands and has faith in this culture where women did not matter. This shows God loves all equally.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 5: Genesis 18:1-15

It is possible that Sarah never conceived earlier because she never had faith in God’s promise.

Bible scholars believe this was only 3 months since the last time God appeared because Sarah is not pregnant yet.

Here we literally see the Triune God, appearing as 3 men. So cool!

map of mamre bible

We’ve seen Mamre a lot so far in the Bible

Abraham knew it was God. At what point, we are unsure. Did God appear the same? No one knows. He could have changed his appearance at will.

Note God called Sarah by her new name. (Genesis 17:15-16).

God says His promise over and over again because dumb humans need to hear it over and over again, albeit this appearance was for Sarah, not Abraham.  Genesis 17:17-22

Romans 10:17:  “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ”

Both knew they’d have a son only be God’s miraculous hand, which may have been why they had to wait so long because God wanted to make it clear it was a miracle.

Doubt Versus Faith

As time passes and things don’t happen in our lives as we believe they should, we doubt as we see here with Sarah and Abraham. During their childbearing years, they believed. Now, it’s hard for them to do so.

Great commentary on the tree and this passage HERE

Some scholars think Abraham and Sarah were not having sex for whatever reason so God needed to reinforce His will personally, which is why He appears here.  In other words, they did not believe God (they were doubting His word) and were doing nothing to fulfill God’s will for their lives.

God heard Sarah’s laugh. We should remember God hears everything. God does not punish them for their unbelief. God is faithful to His promises despite our doubt (2 Timothy 2:13). He never abandons us like we do Him.

Hard is the same Hebrew word for wonderful in Isaiah 9:6 referring to Christ.

God talks to Abraham about Sarah’s doubt since he is the head of the household. He is responsible for her faith, or, in this case, her unbelief.

What Does Righteousness Mean?

Our BSF lecture focused on righteousness and our third principle stated, “God’s way of salvation is the only way to turn from sin and turn to righteousness.”

Well, I was stumped.  I had always thought of righteousness as being right.  But this obviously isn’t the case in this sense so I decided to find out what I was missing.

Webster’s says righteousness is “acting in accord with divine or moral law: free from guilt or sin; morally right or justifiable; or arising from an outraged sense of justice or morality”

The synonym listed is moral.

So in my upbringing I had missed the “God” in the sense of the word.

In the statement above, God’s salvation allows us to be righteous (or free from guilt).  Jesus erased our sins. And being righteous means to act in accordance with God’s law–to continually strive to be like Jesus.

God is righteous because He is free from sin.  Isaiah 46:12-13: God says “…you who are far from righteousness, I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed.”

I made the mistake of going to Sam’s Club again (I really need to stay away from that place.  I think I would be a fiend if I went to the Bible BookStore as regularly) and I bought Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary by J.D. Douglas and Merrill C. Tenney.  I had seen it before but decided to wait–until I looked up righteousness and it had the definition I had been seeking!  So, I bought it!

This Dictionary says righteousness is “any conformity to a standard, whether that standard has to do with inner character of a person or the objective standard of accepted law….Lord God always acts in righteousness because He always has a right relationship with people.”

This also explains righteousness in terms of Jesus.  Fascinating stuff and I’d highly recommend it.  I can’t wait to dive more into it.

In essence, being righteous is being like Jesus or being like God.

What’s Wrong with Self-Help Books?

Our BSF lecture last week insinuated there was something wrong with self-help books.  I immediately bristled.

As some of you know, I’m working on myself, trying to grow and fix some of “me”, smooth out the rough edges and I have chosen to do this through God’s word, prayer, and books.  Most of these books are self-help books.

The argument was made, “People look to themselves rather than God when they read these books.”  I think this is a valid argument if you do indeed rely on self-help books only instead of God.

But self-help books combined with God is a powerful tool.  I read books and I get ah-ha moments.

God speaks through people.  People write books (like myself).  And I believe God helps me write and He uses me to convey His message.  So why wouldn’t He help others?  Why wouldn’t God give us the gift of books through others to know Him better?  It sounds a lot like what the Bible is, doesn’t it?  Others words inspired by God and a chronicle of Jesus’s life–words written down so we can know Him.

Most of the books I read have God as a critical component in it.  It’s psychological advice accompanied by a strong message of faith and prayer.  It’s powerful.  It gives you ideas you normally wouldn’t see (I haven’t studied psychology) so you can become more like Jesus.

I believe God knows just what to put in my hands at just the right time.  Besides His word, books that teach life lessons that you can apply are powerful.  They challenge me to think, to analyze, to delve into my past, to see things through others’ eyes, to see me through others’ eyes.  They tell me things people would never tell me.

I agree self-reliance can lead to a powerful fall.  But I see nothing wrong with the desire to improve yourself and looking at other places in addition to the Bible and prayer.

Your thoughts?