Thursday, July 16, 2015

Believe and Know by Cathy Bryant

Genre: Christian Devotional
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Whether you are looking for a Bible study to help you guide others, or a Bible study to help you seek answers you may have, Cathy Bryant has provided that in this Bible study guide. She states that this book is for Truth-seekers and so it is.  She also speaks to the two types of people who will read this book. The first is the type who believes first and just wants confirmation and the second is those who feel a need to understand before they can believe.  Both will get out of this book what they put into it. It is my prayer that you spend time with this book and the scriptures. You may not yet know what you want out of this book. Read and pray and be assured God will open your eyes and show you what you need.

Cathy has stated as has the scriptures that unbelief keeps us from a right relationship with God.  In Mark chapter 9 verses 14-29 we read about Jesus’ disciples trying to cast the demon out of a young boy. When they could not the father was very frustrated.  He came to Jesus who witnessed the demon possession of the boy and removed the demon. The father was confused by why his disciples could not deliver his son.  It was because of their unbelief.  When Jesus told him that belief was needed the father responded that he believed and then asked the most important thing ever, “help my unbelief.”  We who are Christians are quick to say we believe, until hardships arise.  Then we are quick to criticize and accuse God of ignoring us.  Maybe the real issue is we are having difficulty believing and need to ask God to help us with our unbelief.  After all we are human.

Another thing that came out was in this quote found in the Kindle version section 15.3/82: “It is the same for our non-believing friends and loved ones. We must lay aside the holier-than-thou attitude that demands they believe like we do Instead we must love them unconditionally, pray for them persistently, and treat them with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15)”.  How often do we act or talk down to non-Christians or those who have fallen away as if we are so much better and holier than they are? If you say, ‘I never have’ then you are lying to yourself.  We’ve all done this.  It is a big turn off and will push people away instead of bring them in.

I recognize this in myself when recently I learned a very good friend of mine, with whom I’d shared a strong Christian friendship, had married.  The problem for me with this was that she married another woman. I wanted to pray for her because I knew that this relationship was wrong.  I could not simply because at that point I had the attitude that I didn’t understand (and I don’t) how this could have happened to a Christian.  That wasn’t where my problem with prayer was.  What came next was an issue with pride. I assumed it happened because I was a better Christian.  Oh how God will slap us down when we become so holier-than-thou. 

Cathy also asks us to look for evidence of God’s supreme existence and more.  Cathy talked about those who don’t believe in God. She made a valid point that if she is wrong then she’s no worse off for believing is something that didn’t exist whereas, the other way around, the non-believer proven wrong is doomed to spiritual death.
I asked a very good Mormon friend who was raised Southern Baptist a question one day. She was talking with me about not believing in the rapture. She told me her parents prayed for her constantly because they felt she was wrong.  I asked her what would happen if the rapture I believe in happened and she was left behind. Her response was that she would pray that she would live long enough to repent.  I’ve heard the same thing from a Jewish friend whose daughter became a Christian. She believes we Christians have set up a very nice religion.  I asked her the same question I’d asked my Mormon friend and her response was the same.

I would encourage you to get and read this book.  Study it.  Use it to help you reach out to those who don’t know the Lord.  If you are one of my followers who don’t believe in Christ then get and read this book to prove me wrong.  This is what one of my Messianic Jewish friends did. He studied the Christian Bible to prove a friend wrong and found God in doing so.

.  I have recently added an “Inspirational” Genre to my classroom and will place a copy of this on my school shelves for those who wish to delve deeper into their beliefs. I will highly recommend this book to everyone I meet

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