Biblical Devotional Study Book Review: Less Than Perfect

Publisher's Description

"What can the Bible’s most flawed men and women reveal about who God is and how he reaches out to less-than-perfect people? In Less Than Perfect, bestselling author Ann Spangler takes us beyond cardboard cutouts of 38 biblical characters to show us how these were real individuals who had dreams, temptations, and weaknesses just like us.

Whether considering the murderous Herodias, the scheming Jacob, or the doubting Sarah, Spangler approaches both familiar and lesser known characters with fresh eyes. We meet each of these individuals again as if for the first time as Spangler offers a dramatic retelling of their lives, insight into the historical and cultural context of their time, and key takeaway points for our lives today. Each chapter includes questions for discussion or reflection, making Less Than Perfect ideal for individual or group Bible study.

Entertaining, informative, and inspirational, Less Than Perfect gives you a big picture view of the Bible even as it takes you into the hearts and minds of people with struggles just like yours. As you learn more about the individuals who are part of your spiritual family tree, you’ll discover why God loves to use imperfect people to tell his perfect story of redemption."

My Review

Less Than Perfect, by Ann Spangler, features the stories of more than thirty different men and women from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Each of the Biblical stories included in this book is retold in refreshingly honest detail that is enriched by historical context and cultural insights. These stories offer a vivid glimpse into the lives of real, flawed human beings who were integral in God’s plan for the redemption of humanity. Though they lived thousands of years ago, these men and woman made choices that we can still learn from today. 
 
Whether reading a chapter a day or a chapter a week, the reader will be inspired by Ms. Spangler’s thoughtful retellings of these Biblical stories. Each chapter will resonate with those who long for a deeper understanding of how God has established a pattern of using ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things according to his will.

Less Than Perfect is heart-felt and sincere. It is a relevant book that is grounded in a love for the life-giving truth of God’s Word. It is well-researched, well-organized, and well-written. It is thoughtful, insightful, practical, and uplifting. I plan to reread this book often, and recommend it to others whenever I have the opportunity.

My Reflection

Of the many chapters in this book, the one I found especially meaningful is the one featuring the story of Saul. Saul’s story is a cautionary tale offering insight into what not to do when responding to God’s leading and His calling. Saul’s insecurities, pride, and disobedience hasten his downfall and lead to his own pain and despair. Because he consistently relies on his own will and his own strength, he loses the blessings and guidance of God. Saul’s story is utterly heartbreaking as it exposes a human brokenness that lead to missed opportunities for grace and redemption. Saul’s repeated failures reveal to us our own personal need to pursue a heart of humility, faithfulness, and obedience to God’s word and will in our lives.

About the Author

"Ann Spangler is an award-winning author, publishing her first book, an instant bestseller, in 1994. Since then, she has gone on to write several bestselling books, including Women of the Bible (co-authored with Jean Syswerda), Praying the Names of God, Praying the Names of Jesus, and Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus (co-authored with Lois Tverberg). Her latest book is Praying the Attributes of God. Together her books have sold millions of copies.

In 2013 she was named the Logos Bookstore Author of the Year, an award given to an author "whose body of works exemplifies the power of books to change lives forever."

By paying attention to the spiritual and emotional hungers that animate us and by finding creative ways to explore God's self-revelation in Scripture, her writing surprises by revealing a God who is often far bigger and better than we might imagine.

In addition to writing, Ann has enjoyed a lengthy career in Christian publishing, working for William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Servant Publications, and Zondervan Publishing in marketing, editorial, and management roles. Her broad experience in publishing has convinced her that readers are looking for well-written books that explore the connection between spiritual experience and everyday life, books that both engage the mind and strengthen the heart." --Biography from Ann Spangler's author page on Amazon.com.

Click here to purchase a copy of this book for yourself.

*I was given a copy of this book from the publisher. A review was not required. The review I have written contains opinions that are entirely my own.

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