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Showing posts from January, 2018

The Patriarch's Story

As we work our way through the Bible this year, we meet some interesting people and realize that they struggle with issues of Faith and Obedience as much as we do (or at least I do).  Genesis opened up the story of the Bible by reminding us WHY it is so difficult to be faithful and obey...SIN.  We all have that common nature - which if you think about what Adam and Eve did in the garden, makes sense.  God created the world and everything in it (hence Genesis says "he created the heavens and earth", i.e. everything).  He pronounced it all fact VERY GOOD.  But you see immediately, it is God and God alone who determines what is good, and what is not.  So when the serpent comes to Adam and Eve he tells them that they can be like God - determining good and evil.  That's the problem.  Only God knows what is good, and what is evil...and if history has shown us anything at all, human beings are lousy at defining good and evil. So as God reaches out to redeem a fallen

Praying Scripture

As January continues I wanted to pass along an encouragement to keep reading thru the Bible.  Some of you have had a good start, but I know how things can slow down in some of those - "what in the world is he talking about?" - sections of Scripture.  Be of good cheer...I find myself in that spot from time to time and I've been reading through Scripture for 35 years! One of the best things to do is "pray" the Scripture you're reading.  For example, this week in my teaching we're going to see the story of the Patriarchs that followed Abraham - Isaac and Jacob, and Jacob's 12 sons.  Their story is not smooth, often filled with "what are they doing?" kinds of drama.  Nevertheless you cannot help but see - as the stories unfold - how God is at work in the background. I often imagine that God interrupts and moves things along much like a chess match.  He makes a move and we try to play against him...but he always knows the best move to counte

Let the Scripture Teach You

Our church is reading the Bible this year in order to understand the whole Story of the Bible.  It is my hope that our church, and all who might follow along online, get a firm grasp of the unified story of the Bible.  My heart for believers and for their families is that they are firmly grounded in Scripture for the glory of God. When Paul wrote to Timothy in his second letter he soon faced his own execution.  The letter is full of Fatherly advice for his young - but obviously loved Son in the faith who was to carry on after Paul was gone.  You might read it as a “Last will and Testament”.  He challenges Timothy on multiple levels, but none more importantly on his concern that Timothy immerse himself in the word of God and teach it soundly to his congregation of believers. Here is a passage that of which the last two verses are in chapter 3, and the next 4 verses begin chapter 4.  Together they read: 2 Timothy 3:16-17 16  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitab

The Bible: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

"This Book is the most valuable thing that the world affords.  Here is wisdom; this is royal law; these are the lively oracles of God" .  With these words, the Moderator of the Church of Scotland hands a Bible to a new monarch in Britain's coronation service. Many people have a Bible in their homes; but that does not guarantee that they read it, much less study it in order to understand it.  Jesus is unequivocal about the necessity of God's word:  Matthew 4:4  4  But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”   The writer of Hebrews says the Word of God is able to reach deeply into our very soul:   Hebrews 4:12 12  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  The Bible is the Word of God.  In it we discover God&#

Persevering through the "Weary"

This time of the year is hard on the soul - sometimes.  The short days are cold and uninviting.  While I love to sit in front of a fireplace and read, I also long for time to be outdoors and walk.  I actually took a walk in the country yesterday when the temp here was a -3 and a small, but challenging wind was blowing out of the west.  With my face to the wind it was cold - wearying.  After a mile I turned my back to the wind and it felt much better.  Still, this is not shorts and 75 degrees. I thought about that some this morning.  I'm reading thru the Scriptures as I have done for years - and invited you to come along with me!  Abraham's story is full of up's and down's.  One moment he is hearing God say, "I will bless you and you will be a blessing"...and then he heads down to Egypt to escape the difficult weather and lies about who Sarah is.  Then his Nephew, Lot, is captured and Abraham (actually its Abram at this point) takes his household and goes a