Tag Archives: Bible reading

For those who say Jesus words do not make sense

More than once we get questions from people wondering what Jesus meant by saying such a strange thing. We also get several remarks that Jesus said so many strange things, that we should not take them seriously.

All Gospel readers want to understand Jesus’ teachings, but it’s not always so easy! Luckily, a little ancient Jewish context can go a long way to aiding our understanding.

Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenber in his article “When Jesus Does Not Make Sense” looks at such strange remarks of Jesus, like

“Allow the dead to bury their own dead” (Luke 9:60)

which for many do not

seem to make no sense at all.

He also looks at the weird saying

“The eye is the lamp of the body….”

Then, as if this were not confusing enough, Jesus adds,

“So, if your eye is healthy (ἁπλοῦς; aplous) your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad (πονηρὸς; poneros), your whole body will be full of darkness” (Matthew 6:22-23a.)

The most popular way of dealing with texts such as these is to ignore them!

Though, we can not agree with that. We have the opinion that one should look at those sayings in the manner of speaking at the time of Jesus Christ. I am convinced that when we want to read the Old or the New Testament, we should look at those texts as Jewish texts from previous times, when certain idioms and ways of speaking were used. Therefore, one must be familiar with the techniques of Jewish literary traditions.

One should consider the thought-language of the gospels in light of Hebraisms and Aramaisms.

We must be aware that in the Hebrew and Aramaic scriptures there was (is) a lot of use of descriptions. Hebrew has many idiomatic terms that can not easily be translated to other languages; for example בארבע עיניים be’arba enayim, literally ‘with four eyes,’ means face to face without the presence of a third person, as in, ‘The two men met with four eyes.’ The expression לא דובים ולא יער lo dubim ve lo ya’ar is literally “neither bears nor forest” but means that something is completely false. The saying טמן את ידו בצלחת taman et yado batsalahat “buried his hand in the dish” means that someone idles away his time.” [ Bivin, David. “Hebrew Idioms in the Gospels,” Jerusalem Perspective Online. Archived 2007-05-26 at the Wayback Machine]

Furthermore, we should take into account that often those writers use a description instead of going for just one word or term. When reading the Holy Scriptures we should try to come into that way of thinking. We should almost make Judaic thinking our own.

Regular Bible scholars have tried to convey the view of the saying. To this end, they took the liberty of expressing that thought with simple words in the language of translation. In this respect, those who have made paraphrased translations have gone furthest, but have also sometimes taken a little too much liberty by writing things out on the basis of their doctrine.

Furthermore, we should not underestimate metaphorical language or figure of speech, and we should take it fully into account. It is true that by using such language one can have a system of thought antedating or bypassing logic. At the time of use, they might have been very originally vivid images and clear for those who listened to the texts.

Jesus for example uses the terms of the “healthy eye” versus “evil eye” metaphorically.

A man with a “single-minded eye” looks at a God-given path alone! God’s word becomes the guiding light (Psalm 119:105). But the one with “the lustful eye” gets distracted and greedy by coveting the possessions of others. As envy takes root, generosity dies. Then darkness settles in.

This is why we must remember that “the eye is the lamp of God,” so that our eye stays healthy and we always walk in God’s paths. {When Jesus Does Not Make Sense}

If one takes the time to read and reread the text carefully, while trying to put oneself in that ancient language, one will find that the words of Jesus and other prophets do have meaning and significance. In comparison with sentences spoken in the past, everything will become clearer, but then one has to be prepared to do verse and text comparison. Also, reading more than one translation can often bring more clarity.

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Filed under Cultural affairs, Questions asked, Religious affairs, Spiritual affairs

“I want to draw closer to God, but…”

We, at our office, regularly receive letters from people who would love to come to know God and want to feel closer to Him. Several people tell us how difficult it is for them to see God near to them when they are confronted with so many difficulties.

Especially during the Corona period, we received many requests to tell more about suffering, illness, life and death. The pandemic made many people reflect on the how and why of our presence here on earth and what would be after death.

Seeking God

Some days, it can feel like all of life’s demands are conspiring together to consume you. But, seeking God in His Word has the power to bring positive change into your life. We are convinced that God Himself has made the answers available by recording His Words and thus enabling them to be passed on through the ages.
So if you are looking for answers to the many questions in your life, we recommend reading the Bible daily. There you shall be able to find a “A living Word giving confidence“.

Daily rhythm

How can you find that daily rhythm?

By setting small, achievable goals… and taking them on one by one.

To help you, the Christadelphians provide some help to go through the Bible day by day in a year. They also provide next to the Bible Reading Plan or chart some inspirational texts in their “Thought for today“. That Bible Companion or guide developed by the Christadelphians to aid reading the Bible, is just a practical aid, encouraging people to continue their Bible reading in a way that they do not skip the same chapters, but go from one book to the other, chapter after chapter, each year. It was first produced by Robert Roberts when he was 14 years of age, in about 1853, and revised by him over a number of years into its current format.

Please do find a 2-page PDF document Bible Reading Plan

Bible apps

Modern technology also has provided several applications. You always could use a bible app to have it presenting some daily bible verses, to think about.

Did a particular Bible verse really speak to your heart? Highlight it, and you’ll unlock the Highlight Badge. Keep highlighting, and you’ll “level up” each time you reach the next milestone. Try the same thing with Bookmarks, and unlock and level up your Bookmark Badge!

Badges

Motivate yourself.

Complete one of our annual challenges (like the Christmas Challenge), and you’ll earn a Badge. Subscribe to a Bible Plan, and you’ll unlock the Plan Subscription Badge. Finish that Plan, and you’ll unlock the Plan Completion Badge. Keep starting and finishing Plans, and you’ll level up both.

Badges in Profile

Build momentum.

Your home feed shows your progress on Badges. Go to your profile to see all the Badges you’ve unlocked so far… and which other Badges are available. Once you’ve encouraged yourself with some of the smaller Badges, maybe you’ll feel inspired to chase the Whole Bible Badge.

Badges in Community Feed

And inspire others.

Your friends will see your Badges in their feeds, or you can share your journey and invite them to join you, on social media or by text. And, when you see your friends’ Badge progress in your feed, you can like or comment to encourage them.

*

God’s Word is with you.

Tens of millions of people are using the Bible App™ to make God’s Word a part of their daily lives. Download the free app and access your bookmarks, notes, and reading plans from anywhere. Enjoy hundreds of versions, including audio, all on your mobile device.

Download The Bible App Now

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Available in more than 1600 languages worldwide.

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Scan this QR Code with your mobile device to download the free Bible app.

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Preceding

Hide and Seek ~

In October-November People often too busy with death and the dead

You don’t have to walk through the fire

Knowledge of God by reading and willingness to open your mind to transform you

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Additional reading

  1. Souls and Religions with Nirvana and light
  2. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  3. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  4. People Seeking for God 4 Biblical terms
  5. People Seeking for God 6 Strategy
  6. People Seeking for God 7 The Lord and lords
  7. Struggles of life
  8. When you don’t know what to do and hate yourself
  9. Major challenges and great things happpening in our life
  10. Isaiah 55-56, Revelation 11
  11. Being religious has benefits even in this life
  12. Healthy life can be found in sacred books
  13. Creator and Blogger God 7 A Blog of a Book 1 Believing the Blogger
  14. A living Word giving confidence
  15. Daily Spiritual Food To prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God
  16. Bible
  17. Bible Word of God inspired and infallible
  18. Word of God
  19. Gospel or Good News – Evangelie of Goede Nieuws
  20. Questions on the Bible and Crossword Books
  21. Today’s thought “A New Year” (January 01)
  22. Today’s thought “Blessed the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly” (January 01)
  23. Today’s thought “Going with the right people” (January 01)
  24. Today’s thought “Jehovah God makes us dwell in safety and confident trust” (January 02)
  25. God is the strength of my heart
  26. Concerning prayer and thought for the day

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Related

  1. Seeking God; April 27, 2022
  2. Looking For God in Our Daily Lives
  3. God Did All This
  4. No Short-Cuts
  5. Finders, Seekers
  6. Sticky Note From God ~05.17.22~
  7. May 21st-a reminder to seek God diligently; we know not how we may be blessed along the journey
  8. May 22nd-Why not make a commitment to seek God through fasting and prayer for that situation that is right now giving us great concern?
  9. Quiet time, Part 1
  10. Connection is Vital
  11. Outward vs. Inward: A matter of heart
  12. Where do I  start reading my Bible?
  13. Did you remember to read your Bible? One Year Bible Reading Plan and Devotional Today’s Bible Reading: March 8 Download the full one-year Bible reading plan here
  14. Did you remember to read your Bible?
  15. Psalms 30 Day Reading Plan

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Filed under Lifestyle, Questions asked, Religious affairs

If the Bible tells us not to lean upon our own understanding, are preachers, and Bible professors, leaning upon the theirs’?

In our world, there are lots of people who consider themselves the only appropriate people to talk about the Bible, because they have studied at the university of theology and/or philosophy. The clergy with their priests and pastors in a variety of denominations all try to convince those coming into their church, that their church is the only true one.

Though we can find lots of denominations in Christendom, of which there are many where the clergy are not exactly behaving like Christ Jesus instructed. In Why there are so many denominations in Christendom we tried to give a short answer to a question many times posed. What is striking about many denominations in Christianity (or better: in Christendom) is that often not much attention is paid to the biblical texts. It is as if the Bible is only a small faits divers within religion.

The absence or minimisation of biblical content means that by paying more attention to human doctrines, more conflicts have also arisen, leading to splits in groups and thus to the emergence of multiple denominations.

So the question may be asked, why is it that the clergy of these denominations do not resort to the Book of Books, which can indeed give them the best information and teachings?

At the question:

If the Bible tells us not to lean upon our own understanding, are preachers, and Bible professors, leaning upon the theirs’?

We think that is the whole problem in Christendom, people leaning upon their own understanding, following more the philosophical and theoretical theologian writings of human beings instead of going by what is written black on white in the Holy Scriptures.

Profile photo for D. Paul Walker D. Paul Walker, An Elder with many years in the faith, writes

Many reject the teaching of the Bible based on their own faulty belief such as that something is impossible when the Bible says there is nothing impossible for God.

According to Theodore Tsistinas

the understanding of the bible is plain to those who read it with the purpose of not challenging it. That’s why the language has been changed from time to time because people wanted their own opinion to be expressed. The entire bible is the history of the people of God from the Jews to the Christians. There is one god spoken of in the bible. Its people and their personal interpretation that has challenge the understanding spoken very clearly in scripture. But then stupid is what stupid does and the mass of humanity would rather listen to the opinions of men rather that the wisdom of God.

Michael Ballai writes

There’s a certain amount of, hopefully, Biblical understanding that a student of the Bible can readily bring to a given text of scripture or how the Bible explains an appropriate worldview. I know stuff after more than three decades that are bedrock to the Bible and I have no intention of putting my personal two cents in on what God says.I revisit passages regularly and seek to consider them afresh each time because I know there is more in there than I have seen previously. People who are lazy simply deprive themselves of the depth of treasure.God is perfectly ok with how an individual preacher chooses to explain something in their own style as long as it doesn’t get in the way of the message.A preacher is called to cut it straight. It lines up with God’s understanding. The reason we do it is to tell it according to the way God sees it. And that is how God wants to sanctify us in getting us to line up our understanding with Him.

Scott Bissell sees one of the difficulties in what we think is a major issue in many churches, namely when they quote half a verse, or as we would add, take just part of a verse and use it out of context. In case people would check more what is taught at their church with was is written in the Bible, more people would grow closer to a unity of Bible-reading people.We may not forget that the attitude to the Bible is of paramount importance.Robert Hoge reacts to this by writing

Scripture is subject to endless interpretation, some of which is purely tendentious. I recently got a comment from someone who was gushing over the Bible as the greatest collection of symbolism in the world, or something to that effect. My own principle when reading and teaching the Bible comes out of a book I read long ago but no longer own:“When the literal meaning makes sense, seek no other meaning.”Not only does this save a lot of effort, it also ensures that we don’t add or take away anything. Rev. 22:18–19 says,“18 I warn every one who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if any one adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book,19 and if any one takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”For all I’m concerned, these last words of the Bible apply to the whole of the Bible, not just to its last book, Revelation.

That warning may make it very difficult to teachers of the Word of God, preachers and/or pastors, having them to be very careful what they say and how they say it. They always should control if their teaching is in accordance with the teaching of the Bible.For those who read the Scriptures, there is the danger that they got into the trap of their church to which they belong and that they cannot do away of their own indoctrinations or doctrines of their own church. They are so used to think in the same way as their church teaches that it has become very difficult to read the words like they are written in the Bible. For example when there is written in the bible about Jesus “the son of God“, many read “god the son“, which is something totally different from what there is written and from what God said on several occasions when He declared Jesus to be His only begotten beloved son.According Michael Abernathy

most people approach the Scripture with a certain bias. Before they even open their Bible, they have creeds and denominational positions that they force upon a text. On the other hand, most of the preachers I know spend a great deal of time searching the Scripture and praying for God’s enlightenment. Yes, they use their minds to help them understand what God has written. But anyone who says they don’t do that is either lying or deluded.

Profile photo for Matthew HeadyMatthew Heady likes to extend the above question and asks

Does not everyone, including the questioner “lean” on others? Why restrict the question to just preachers and professors?What the biblical teaching refers to is not facts and conclusions which are known to or drawn from the minds of humans. The biblical teaching refers to how a person is actually informed about the Triune God of the Bible.

Here in his answer already gives a big sign of how he himself fell for the human doctrinal teaching, because in the Bible there is no such information on a Trinity, though there is a clear teaching we may have no other gods than the Divine Creator God, Who is a Singular eternal (= having no birth + no death) all-knowing Spirit Being Who is the Almighty God above all gods.Heady continues

There is nothing a sinful human being with a corrupt (and limited) understanding and reason of all things may do. There is not any thought, word, or action, that will allow a person to recognize the Triune God, they may only realize that a god is, but not the Triune God.

People when willing to give their full attention to the Words of the Bible, shall come to see clear and understand that there is no such thing to worship as a three-headed god. There may be many gods in the world but people should only keep to that Only One True God God of gods of the Bible, Jehovah, Who is the God of Israel.

It is this knowledge of God, revealed in His Word, the Holy Scriptures, that is what a person must “lean” on. Not the thought and practices of humans. They will get us nowhere. Our minds come into play after we are gifted by faith in Christ and are then able to properly understand and explain to others Biblical teaching and practices.

writes Matthew Heady.

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Continues with: Should church members question preachers about the doctrine that is not in the Holy Bible?

Preceding

Confrontation by people telling lies to force others to avoid the targetted groups

Daring to speak in multicultural environment

Many opportunities given by God

Christian denominations as pots in the desert

Having to learn and benefit from other Christian denominations

Preaching as Public Speaking

Maybe it is About Me

Hitler and Christianity: Some Trends in Interpretation

++MAKE SURE OF ALL THINGS

Additional reading

  1. A world with or without religion
  2. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  3. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  4. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  5. Approachers of ideas around gods, philosophers and theologians
  6. Digging in words, theories and artefacts
  7. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  8. Protestant denominations of the Low Countries and Abraham Kuyper
  9. Counterfeit Gospels
  10. Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26
  11. Religious people and painful absence of spring of living water
  12. Denominationalism exists because?
  13. Why the church keeps losing it’s grounds.
  14. Why there are so many denominations in Christendom
  15. Tri-union gods and Pagan, Christian, Muslim and Jewish views on the Creator God
  16. Reading to grow and to become wise concerning the most important thing in life 1 Times of reading
  17. Literalist and non-literalist views
  18. From Bibles and other religious writings and those who witness for Jehovah
  19. Exceptionalism and Restricting Laws
  20. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritualy
  21. Pastoral discipline and dissent from papal teaching
  22. Not true or True Catholicism and True Islam
  23. Good or bad preacher
  24. Many churches
  25. Religion and believers #7 Independent and organised form of existence of a religion
  26. Looking for a biblically sound church
  27. In all circumstances preaching Christ
  28. You Are The Truth
  29. The Most Appropriate teacher and Scoffers in our contemporary age
  30. From those preaching the Gospel and Baptism in Jesus name
  31. A Book to trust #1 Background book for debate
  32. Challenging claim 1 Whose word
  33. Divine revelation mediated by Moshe and other selected people
  34. Vital importance of reading and following the Kitvei Hakodesh
  35. Reading to grow and to become wise concerning the most important thing in life 1 Times of reading
  36. One of the most important Truths
  37. Bible Inspired Word of God
  38. Everything from the Bible is useful for humans
  39. Importance to read the Bible regularly and gain understanding
  40. Bible exceptional Book of books where nothing can be taken away or added
  41. Bible in the first place #1/3
  42. Where to learn the truth
  43. Lovers of God, seekers and lovers of truth
  44. Engaging the culture without losing the gospel
  45. By the closing down of the Association for Biblestudy
  46. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  47. Different wineskins
  48. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  49. The Bible: is it contradictory?
  50. Those willing to tarnish
  51. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  52. Those who call the Christadelphians a cult
  53. Christadelphians or Messianic Christians or Messianic Jews
  54. Jeshuaists, Carrying the name of Christ
  55. About Three-in-Ten U.S. Adults Are Now Religiously Unaffiliated
  56. When there is secrecy involved

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WILL RESEARCH SHIPWRECK YOUR FAITH

Related

  1. What is faith and is it the only thing required
  2. What Do We Mean by the Word Christian?
  3. Variations of Christianity
  4. Religious Population Is Growing
  5. The Problem with Christianity
  6. One Body
  7. TRUTH – I believe that God’s greatest disappointment in the Christian Church is our lack of solid unity
  8. Catechesis 101 | Church: Did Jesus intend one Church or many denominations?
  9. Which Church Would Jesus Choose?
  10. A Call for Unity
  11. Unity
  12. This is Church Unity?
  13. Simple Difference
  14. About the different denominations
  15. Division Among Christians
  16. From One Religion To Another
  17. Christian denominations (sects)
  18. Denominations 2 We are divided on the question of authority
  19. Denominations 3 It seems there are some Catholics who feel free to discard the teachings of their Church when they conflict with their lifestyle.
  20. Denominations Part 3.
  21. Denominations part 4
  22. Denomination’s 5..Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  23. The Difference in Denominations
  24. Are Different Denominations Okay?
  25. Do Denominations Divide Us?
  26. Are denominational differences a blot on the church?
  27. Does Denominationalism Blind You to the Truth?
  28. Denominational ABC’s: Advantages, Burdens and Controls (Part One)
  29. Putting Denominational Disagreements in Perspective for the World and the Church
  30. Denominational Dialogue
  31. Denominations Losing Internal Influence
  32. Bethel, the BGC, and the Decline of Denominational Financial Support for Christian Higher Education
  33. We’re All Heretics Now
  34. Roger Olson on Denominations and Christian Unity
  35. Faith/Belief
  36. Is religious faith madness?
  37. Declining Denominational Support for Evangelical Colleges?
  38. Charlottesville and storms
  39. thoughts on the death of the Church
  40. By What Authority? – A Non-Denominational Response
  41. Rethinking Scripture
  42. Please don’t call me a Christian
  43. Why My Family Is Changing Churches (and Denominations)
  44. Are Pastors Lying to You?
  45. There are many Trinities!
  46. Christianity vs. Catholicism
  47. Baptists, Catholics, and the Protestants
  48. Are you a “hypenated-Christian”?
  49. Embrace diversity by embracing tribalism. It’s okay to be different
  50. Being Religious Is Not The Way
  51. Deceived
  52. Can Christians now remain in the Methodist Church?
  53. Why are there so many splits in the Presbyterian Church? Here’s an Explanation
  54. Self Deception Part III – Wolves Among Us
  55. On the Intersection of Differences and Unity in the Body of Christ
  56. Throwing Away The Wrong Thing
  57. Christianize Christianity (6)
  58. Isolation of the Church
  59. My church History (Part 2)
  60. Is There Life After Leaving Church?
  61. If I Were Starting A Denomination From Scratch
  62. Nuanced beliefs
  63. Many Christians Are Known for What They Are Against…Unfortunately
  64. The Holy Struggle
  65. Brand Ambassador or Christ’s Ambassador?
  66. Can I attend an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship instead of a church while at college?
  67. What Does It Mean To Be Non-Denominational?
  68. Am I angry at Christianity?
  69. Letter to a Friend (2o3)
  70. How to Avoid Being a Lazy, Arrogant Christian
  71. After I was lost in sin, I was lost in church…
  72. Experiencing More of the Church
  73. I Am Not A Denomination – Episode #101
  74. Can you find your religious practices in the Bible?
  75. How Many Gods?
  76. Swiss Cheese Theology
  77. Unity (Ephesians 4:1-10)
  78. On belongingSo whose right?
  79. Warning! Get Out of Her – My People!
  80. The American Gospel

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Filed under Questions asked, Religious affairs, Vragen van lezers

For a close relationship with God

I love Jehovah because he hears my voice, my pleas for help.​—Ps. 116:1.

One way to respond to Jehovah’s love is by talking to him in prayer. Your love for God will grow as you tell him about your concerns and thank him for all that he does for you. And the bond between you and Jehovah will be strengthened as you see how he answers your prayers. You will become convinced that he understands you.

But to grow close to Jehovah, you need to understand his way of thinking. And you need to know what he wants from you. The only way you will gain that knowledge is by studying his Word, the Bible. So learn to appreciate it.
Only the Bible contains the truth about Jehovah and his purpose for you. You show that you appreciate the Bible by reading it each day, by preparing for your personal Bible study session, and by applying what you learn.

97 How I do love your law!+ I ponder over* it all day long.+

99 I have more insight than all my teachers,+ Because I ponder over* your reminders.

(Ps. 119:97, 99)

17 Sanctify them by means of the truth;+ your word is truth.+(John 17:17)

Do you have a personal Bible reading schedule? Do you follow that schedule, making sure that you read the Bible each day?

w20.03 5 ¶8-9

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Additional reading

  1. Word of God
  2. Gospel or Good News
  3. A Book to trust #18 Available in many languages #1
  4. A Book to trust #28 A Collection of words showing and teaching us about the beginnings to the end
  5. A Book to trust #29 God His Book, God-breathed profitable for doctrine, for reproof and for correction
  6. Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #12 God Himself masters His Own Word
  7. Studying the Bible
  8. Demanding signs or denying yourself
  9. Inner voice inside the soul of man
  10. A Sound Mind: Theory and practice
  11. Brian Rosner on “What Makes a Good Biblical Scholar?”
  12. The faithful God
  13. Christian growth a team event
  14. How to Study the Bible: We Are in This Together
  15. On the Affirmation of Scripture
  16. Summer time to spend some more time at the growing process of your faith

1 Comment

Filed under Reflection Texts, Religious affairs

2 Easy Ways You Can Fit Daily Bible Time into Your Busy Life

Bobby Jamieson

I believe every Christian should strive to carve out time dedicated to Scripture reading and prayer every day. But for many of us, devotions aren’t very daily. Some people, like mothers of young children, have excellent reasons for this. Others, like many college students, not so excellent.

If you struggle to fit in a daily quiet time, the open spaces in your schedule can be great places to squeeze in the Bible. Even if you have a robust devotional life, you can still cram the Bible in wherever and however you can. Wedge it into the gaps in your schedule. Stuff it into the in-between places, the nooks and crannies of unclaimed time throughout your day. In other words, fit the Bible into the margins of your life.

I don’t mean push the Bible out to the margins of your life, as in, “Quit making the Bible so central in everything you do!” But all of us, even the busiest, have open spaces in our lives where God’s Word can be given a place.

How many minutes a day do you spend waiting in line, washing the dishes, or driving?

Or, how many minutes do you spend on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram?

Each of those numbers will give you a rough idea of how much Bible you might be able to squeeze into your daily routine. Is it a sin to browse Facebook or carry on a game (or six) of Words with Friends? Not necessarily. But if you regularly find time for those hobbies but only irregularly find time for God’s Word, what does that say about your heart? What is it that you’re craving more than the nourishment of every word that proceeds from the mouth of God?

Often in the marginal times your attention is partially occupied by something else: commuting, chores, errands, and so on. You might not have your reading chair, slippers, and cup of coffee (or tea) handy. You might not even have your hands free to crack open a physical Bible. But here are at least two ways you can fit Bible intake into times like these.

1) Listen to an audio Bible
A number of Bible apps and online Bible resources come with free, quality audio Bibles. (For example, these are at BibleStudyTools.com.)  If you’ve got twenty minutes while you’re riding the bus or picking up your kids’ toys after bedtime, you can listen through several chapters of Scripture. If you’ve tried and failed to make it through a Bible-in-a-year plan, why not supplement your reading with listening? You might find that listening to Scripture while doing something else actually aids your focus on the Word.

2)  Memorize Scripture
Listening, of course, is one way to do this. If you’ve got a fifteen minute commute to work in the car, you can listen to Ephesians 1 five times. Do that every day for a week, and you’ll be well on your way to memorizing the entire, magnificent chapter.

Do you have any consistent windows of time when you can fit in Scripture memory? Maybe a treadmill workout, or walk to the store, or washing dishes at night? All you need in order to memorize Scripture is the ability to mutter the verses out loud and occasionally glance at your pocket Bible or phone to check the wording.

Whether it’s listening or memorizing or good old-fashioned reading, there are all kinds of ways you can fit the Bible into all kinds of times during your day. Think of those gaps in your day as loose change. You could simply leave them lying around, or you could invest some of them in God’s Word and see what they add up to in six months, or a year, or ten years.

You may not be able to fit the Bible into every single spare moment of every single day. I certainly don’t do that, and I don’t know anyone who does. But too many Christians’ daily routines include no Bible, and something is infinitely better than nothing—especially when it comes to taking in the Word of God.

If you’re looking for a way to start, pick one window of your day when you can fit Scripture in, and try to do so every day for a week.

Time with the Bible is time well spent. How can you fit more Bible into the margins of your life this week?

Bobby Jamieson is a PhD candidate in New Testament at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of Sound Doctrine: How a Church Grows in the Love and Holiness of God (Crossway, 2013).

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3 Keys to Reading the Bible with a Fresh Perspective

It is a new year, and no doubt many have made it their ambition to read the Bible more often this year. What nobler resolution could someone have?

But many people will give up in mid-February, when they are slogging through Leviticus and are halfway through their third straight gospel tour. The passages that seem redundant and unexciting tend to drown our Bible reading goals.

How can we keep our Bible reading fresh – even the parts that don’t stir us at first reading – so that we don’t give up on our resolution to read more? Allow me to share a few suggestions.

1. Remember that God’s word is alive

Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active.” Just like God himself, his word is full of life and is always doing something. That means, to state the obvious, that God’s word is never dead or inactive. And that is just as true for Leviticus 3:16 as it is for John 3:16.

The implication is that we can come to every passage with a sense of anticipation that God will work through it. That doesn’t mean we will necessarily finish our Bible reading with intense spiritual feelings. But it does mean that we can be assured that no matter what we read on a given day his word will not return void (Isa. 55:11).

2. Pray for God to open your eyes, and trust that he will

The psalmist prayed, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psa. 119:18). He recognized that without God’s help, it would be very easy for him to read God’s law and not come away marveling at how great God is. He needed God to give him eyes to see the wonders of his word.

The same is true for us, of course. We must not read our Bibles without asking God to enable us to see the amazing things in it. I confess that this is something that I sometimes forget. Being somewhat of a task oriented type of person, I’ll sometimes sit down at my desk to begin preparing a sermon only to realize an hour later that I had forgotten to ask God to speak to me and lead me to the message he wants delivered on Sunday. It is by God’s grace that I can even recognize my self-sufficiency. I must stop and repent of my prayerlessness, and then ask God to “open my eyes” before I resume my study.

3. Read with a God-centered attitude

It’s very easy to read God’s word with an emphasis on you. What am I going to learn? What am I going to get out of this? How am I going to apply this?

But as you grow as a Christian, you grow less concerned with yourself, and more interested in loving God and neighbors. This gradual self-emptying process gives a perspective that comes to Scripture with a desire to see more of God and less of yourself.

Take, for example, Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Instead of focusing on the “I can do” part, what if you meditated on the “him who strengthens me” part? Your mind will be prodded to meditate in a fresh way of God’s grace to enable you to make it through your trials and empower you for your successes.

Don’t let dull days get you down

As much as it would be great to have an amazing spiritual encounter every time we read the Bible, I admit that is not always my experience. Sometimes nothing “hits” me. But I know that my emotional response is not what makes God’s word do its work in my life. That’s the Spirit’s job.

So if you find that there are some days where your Bible reading seems less impactful, don’t be discouraged. You and I have only to be faithful to read God’s word with the thirst of a deer panting for water. More times than not, when we open the Bible with that kind of neediness the streams will taste quite fresh.

Eric McKiddie serves as Pastor for Gospel Community at the Chapel Hill Bible Church He helps pastors grow as well-rounded ministers of the gospel at his blog, Pastoralized, and through sermon coaching.

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Sacred Rhythms – Longing for a deep, fundamental change in your life with God

Sacred Rhythms

Do you long for a deep, fundamental change in your life with God?

Spiritual disciplines are activities that open us to God’s transforming love and the changes that only God can bring about in our lives. Picking up on the monastic tradition of creating a “rule of life” that allows for regular space for the practice of the spiritual disciplines, this book takes you more deeply into understanding seven key disciplines along with practical ideas for weaving them into everyday life.

Each chapter includes exercises to help you begin the practices–individually and in a group context. The final chapter puts it all together in a way that will help you arrange your life for spiritual transformation. The choice to establish your own sacred rhythm is the most important choice you can make with your life.

°°°

Not all Bible reading is created equal.

In Sacred Rhythmsfree this month—Ruth Haley Barton describes the posture we must bring to Scripture for true transformation:

Reading for Relationship

When we engage the Scriptures for spiritual transformation we engage not only our mind but also our heart, our emotions, our body, our curiosity, our imagination, and our will. We open ourselves to a deeper level of understanding and insight that grows out of and leads us deeper into our personal relationship with the One behind the text.

And it is in the context of relational intimacy that real life change takes place.

This is a fundamentally different kind of engagement than what we are normally accustomed to with the things we read. When we engage the Scriptures for spiritual transformation, we make it our top priority to listen to God relationally rather than seeking only to learn more about God cognitively. Our approach is driven by the longing of a lover. We read slowly so that we can savour each word and let its meaning sink in. Rather than rushing on to the next chapter so that we can complete a reading or study assignment, we stay in the place where God is speaking to us, contemplating its meaning for our life and for our relationship. We receive it as it is given without judgment, wanting only to hear the heart of this One we love. Like the little boy Samuel, we approach the Scripture with utter openness and availability to God:

“Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:9).

In this listening stance, Scripture becomes an instrument of God’s control rather than a tool that we control to our own ends. Then, as God speaks to us through Scripture, we respond to what we read with our heart and soul rather that just our intellect.

When we are falling in love with someone, we want to know everything about them. We are fascinated by every detail, every relationship, and every event that shaped them. But the desire for intimacy moves us beyond fact finding to seeking understanding, connecting with that person emotionally and sensing our own response.

Thus when we read Scripture for relationship we pay attention to our own inner dynamics and allow our response to take place in the deeper levels of our beings. We are open to a whole different set of questions—questions that help us to risk greater levels of truth telling with ourselves and with God. In addition to asking,

What does it say? What does it mean? How do I apply it to my life?—all questions that promote primarily cognitive activity and allow us to remain firmly in control of the whole experience—we might ask:

  • How do I feel about what is being said? Where do I find myself resonating deeply? Where do I find myself resisting, pulling back, wrestling with what Scripture might be saying? (Note: It is important to notice these inner dynamics without judging them, because they have much to tell us. You may even notice that you feel resonance and resistance at the same time. For instance, you may have a deep sense of the rightness of what the text is saying but on another level have the feeling, “There is no way I can do that!” This is a particularly important dynamic to notice, because it indicates a place where God is at work beyond your own cognition.)
  • Why do I feel this way? What aspect of my life or my inner being is being touched or spoken to through this Scripture?
  • What do my reactions tell me about myself—my attitudes, my relating patterns, my perspectives, my behaviours? Am I willing to look at that in God’s presence?

***

This excerpt is taken from Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton, free this month on Faithlife Ebooks. Copyright © 2006 by Ruth Haley Barton. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL., www.ivpress.com.

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The Reformation shows us why we need expository preaching

In Christianity pastors or preachers should be followers of Christ Jesus and spread the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God. Their first and most important book in their preaching should be the Greatest Book of all, the Bible.

It is not bad to look back at the several people who also tried to be a servant of Christ or to be a servant of God. But the main focus of the preaching may not be on the words of those previous preachers, but always should focus on the Words of God. Too often that is forgotten in several churches, where they shout only a few quotes from Scriptures and fill the main service with their own words and with music, in the hope to entertain the people in their church.

Today we have to ask all those elders, presbyters, expositors to come to preach That Most Important Word. all those who hope to have some mega church running should better remember those who did their best to bring the Word of God to the people: The evangelists in the Second and First Great Awakenings and the Reformers who preached the Word, like the apostle Paul preached followed Jesus who also preached the Word, him following Isaiah, Ezra and so many man of God who where not afraid to preach the Word of God.

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To remember

Martin Luther  = main spark to Protestant Reformation <=  95 Theses  > because the Word was unleashed.

William Tyndale, John Hus, + many others executed for translating or preaching the Word in people’s language.

Roman Catholic Church prevented Catholics from reading the Word themselves + from possessing a Bible > restricted for a thousand years.

Read word for soul’s health > solace

expository preaching > involves exposition, or comprehensive explanation, of Scripture => presenting meaning + intent of biblical text, providing commentary + examples => passage clear + understandable ==> expose meaning of the Bible, verse by verse.

 

Knowing the blood of the martyrs soaks the ground under thousands of stakes, how dare we insert our own words, opinions, fads, and stunts onto the pulpit? Men died for this Word to be preached. Jesus as the Word suffered and absorbed all God’s wrath for the elect so this word would go out and be preached.

 

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Further related

  1. The Reformation shows us why we need expository preaching
  2. St. Luke: An Expositional and Devotional Commentary” by William Klock
  3. How Relevant is Your Church?
  4. 1810 5vols The Family Expositor or A Paraphrase and Version of the New Testament
  5. The Protestant Reformation and the Reformers: The Truth Restored
  6. Was the Reformers’ Gospel something new?
  7. A Swiss Reformer
  8. The Human Reformer: Martin Luther Struggled With Depression and Nightmares
  9. Scripture Alone, for the Reformers and us!

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Related articles

The End Time

With the 500th year anniversary of the Reformation coming upon us October 31, many people are looking to history and learning Martin Luther and his the men that came before him.

Martin Luther is generally acknowledged to have been a main spark to the Protestant Reformation. Protestant comes from the word protest, which Luther’s 95 Theses sparked against the Roman Catholic Church’s excesses of indulgences (sin absolution for hire) and other abuses.

The Reformation didn’t happen because Martin Luther put the 95 Theses on the door to Wittenberg Chapel. It happened because the Word was unleashed. ~Mark McAndrew, North Avenue Church

Here, John MacArthur explains in a 1:33 clip How unhindered access to God’s Word changed history.

William Tyndale, John Hus, and many others were executed for translating or preaching the Word in the people’s language. The Roman Catholic Church prevented the Catholics from reading the Word themselves and…

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Summer holiday time to knock and ask, and time to share

In the daily Bible readings our chapter in Matthew today unfolds to reveal powerful personal lessons – principles we must live by, though in the chapters of the first book of Samuel we also see that it was not always easy for the preferred one of God, David! He also was victim of human jealousy [v.8-12].

In these summer-months we do have time to examine ourselves and the situation we are living in at the moment. We can check if we kept to Jesus his sayings or if when we had certain needs or wanted to receive knowledge if we did ask like Jesus advices us. Often when we are at work we do not have time enough for God’s Word. It might not always be easy to have us every day to pick up the Bible and to read in it and to take time enough to let our thoughts wonder over the Biblical text. Now when the Summer holiday comes to us we have no excuse. Now we should have enough opportunity to read in the Bible but also to talk to others bout different things, including the Word of God.

Summer time often gives us opportunities to come at other places, where nobody might know us, where we do not have to fear talking about our faith and to show others how we love God.

We can ask God to help us to get insight ourself but also to give us strength and opportunities to give others insight in His infallible Word. We might be assured when we dare to ask Jehovah God will provide, when our heart is in the right place with Him.

“·Ask [Keep asking], and ·God will give [L it will be given; C the passive verb implies God as subject] to you. ·Search [Seek; Keep seeking], and you will find. ·Knock [Keep knocking], and the door will open for you. ·Yes, [L For; Because] everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who ·searches [seeks] will find. And everyone who knocks will have the door opened.

“If your children ask for bread, which of you would give them a stone? 10 Or [L which of you] if your ·children ask [or son asks] for a fish, would you give them a snake? {Matthew 7:7-10 Expanded Bible (EXB)}

When we long to have knowledge in the Holy Scriptures God is not going to withhold it. He is not going to detain us and leave us without Biblical knowledge if we really want to have such knowledge. Though in such circumstance God wants us to open our mind and when we encounter matters which we have learned at school or in the past in our religious environment, but which are based on human doctrines, God wants us to choose for the Biblical doctrines and to put those human and false teachings aside. We have to show to God that we are willing to learn what He wants to say to us and what the Bible puts openly in front of us, words black on white and no misty myths of the world.

For many it may not be easy to put away all such false human teachings, but that is what God requires, not to be of the world but to belong to the world of God.

Knowledge will be given to you when you are prepared to seek honestly and with the will to learn Godly Truth. When you open your mind, ask God to help you, He will provide and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened to you.

Keep Pursuing What You Need From God. He Will Give You Good Things

“Be asking, and it will be given to you; be seeking, and you will find; be knocking, and it will be opened to you. For everyone asking receives; and the one seeking finds; and to the one knocking, it will be opened. Or what person is there from-among you whom his son will ask-for bread— he will not give him a stone[a], will he? 10 Or indeed he will ask-for a fish— he will not give him a snake[b], will he?

  1. Matthew 7:9That is, something useless.
  2. Matthew 7:10That is, something harmful. {Matthew 7:7-10Disciples’ Literal New Testament (DLNT)}

For everyone, also you, who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds. So you only have to be prepared to be willing to find and to ask God to help you find it. But you too should help others to find it. So what you have uncovered may not only be your secret. Even when we will realize our failure to see the Biblical truth because we wanted to hold fast so much to denominational teachings, noticing it so late in our life, we better accept it that it is better late in life than never, to come to the Biblical truth.

Out of compassion and love for the other, we should try to let others know the Word of God and show them what is really written in it. One of the tasks given by Jesus was to go out and preach. When we do understand what the Nazarene man Jesus has really done, we should tell others of this incredible act of self-renunciation. We should tell others about his self-sacrifice and how he is not the God we should worship but the Way to God, the Only One True God of gods Whom is the Only One to be worshipped and praised above all.

Jesus expects everyone who hears these words of him to do them!

24 Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and is doing them will be-like a wise[a] man who built his house upon the bed-rock.

  1. Matthew 7:24Or, prudent, sensible. {Matthew 7:24Disciples’ Literal New Testament (DLNT)}

Let us be wise in the Lord and show the world how we want to be partakers of the Body of Christ and follow the same God as Jesus had. In the knowledge that the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, we should be aware that though salvation is given to all the world also shall have to see that those who find that entrance to the Kingdom of God shall be just a few. We should know and let others know that wide is the gate and broad and easy to travel is the path that leads the way to destruction and eternal loss.

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. [L Because] The gate is wide and the road is ·wide [broad; spacious; or easy] that leads to ·hell [L destruction; ruin], and many people enter through that gate. 14 But the gate is small and the road is ·narrow [or difficult; hard] that leads to true life. ·Only a few people [And there are few who] find that road. {Matthew 7:13-14Expanded Bible (EXB)}

For those few we have to invest our free time and do what Jesus expects from us, making sure that we are not a foolish person in his eyes, because he shall watch us and in the end days shall judge over us. Let us listen to Jesus his words:

Matthew 7:25-29Disciples’ Literal New Testament (DLNT)

25 And the rain came down, and the rivers[a] came, and the winds blew— and they fell against that house. And it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the bed-rock. 26 And everyone hearing these words of Mine and not doing them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand. 27 And the rain came down, and the rivers came, and the winds blew— and they struck-against that house. And it fell, and the falling[b] of it was great”.

The Works of The King: Divine Power In Action28 And it came about that when Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astounded[c] at His teaching. 29 For He was teaching them as One having authority, and not as their scribes.

  1. Matthew 7:25 That is, rivers of flood waters.
  2. Matthew 7:27 Or, collapse, downfall.
  3. Matthew 7:28 Or, overwhelmed, amazed, astonished.

{Matthew 7:25-29Disciples’ Literal New Testament (DLNT)}

When having found Jesus his words and having gone deeper into them, finding the Words of his heavenly Father, we should build our own life on them and create the foundation for ways for others also to come closer to God.

There are many ways – travel in our world has never been more readily possible, but whether nearby or further afield, we must, as we read two days ago in Matthew 5,

16 In the same way let your light shine ·before others [for people to see], so that they will see ·the good things you do [L your good deeds/works] and will ·praise [glorify; give honor to] your Father in heaven. {Matthew 5:16 Expanded Bible (EXB)}

Take some time this holiday to have some work done for Jesus and his God that they and the world may see your good works and glorify your Father in the heavens.

Let us also make sure that we tell others what is in the Word of God and have us honestly trying to have our faith in God shine as a strong light before others, so that on that day when Jesus returns we do not have to be ashamed and do not have to say like many who will say to him

… Lord, did we not prophesy (preach) in your name…?”

Having Jesus to look at them and responding that they have to depart from him because he does not want to know of them.

22 On ·the last day [judgment day; L that day] many people will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, ·we spoke for you [L Did we not prophesy in your name…?], and ·through you we forced out demons [L cast out demons in your name…?] and did many ·miracles [L mighty works in your name…?].’ {Matthew 7:22 Expanded Bible (EXB)}

We do not have to show extra-ordinary things to others, not doing miracles. We only have to honestly tell them what we believe and show them what the Bible says.

These days when we might have more free time, let us make sure that we take some free time for God and to show our love for God to others.In the knowledge that “many are called, but few are chosen” let us belong to those “few” that will hear the words we read today in Isaiah 62,

Isaiah 62:11-12 Expanded Bible (EXB)

11 The Lord ·is speaking [announces]
    to ·all the faraway lands [L the end of the earth]:
“·Tell the people of Jerusalem [L Say to the daughter of Zion; Zech. 9:9],
    ‘Look, your Savior is coming.
He is bringing ·your reward to you [L his reward with him];
    ·he is bringing his payment [his recompense/reward is] with him.’”
12 ·His people [L They] will be called the Holy People,
    the ·Saved People [Redeemed] of the Lord,
and Jerusalem will be called ·the City God Wants [L Sought After],
    the City ·God Has Not Rejected [or Not Abandoned; Deserted]. {Isaiah 62:11-12 Expanded Bible (EXB)}

If you knew how much God loves you, you would be happy to receive and share His love with others and would be pleased to have others also coming to know Him and His great Love.

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Preceding articles

Summer holiday

May we have doubts

Facing our existence every day

What Are You Seeking?

High time to go out telling the world about Jesus

7 Ways To Become A Better Christian

What Should I Preach ?

Daring to speak in multicultural environment

Crisis man needed in this world

Refusing to Be Silent

Go Ye!

To proclaim the day of vengeance

Proclaiming: a task given to Christians

Go! Proclaim! Testify!

Scriptures and Thoughts about: Proclaim

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Additional reading

  1. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  2. God let my compassionate affection be tolerant and kind
  3. Do You Expect God’s Answer
  4. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
  5. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #18 Fulfilment
  6. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  7. We should use the Bible every day
  8. Bible in the first place #2/3
  9. Loving the Word
  10. Necessity of a revelation of creation 8 By no means unintelligible or mysterious to people
  11. Necessity of a revelation of creation 11 Believing and obeying the gospel of the Kingdom of God
  12. Atonement And Fellowship 6/8
  13. Not about personal salvation but about a bigger Plan
  14. Fragments from the Book of Job #3: chapters 21-26
  15. Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still
  16. Obtain favour from Yahweh
  17. The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places
  18. Blogging in the world for Jesus and his Father
  19. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings
  20. Going deep into cultures to reach lost people
  21. Engaging the culture without losing the gospel
  22. How do I know if I’m called to ministry?
  23. Priest, scribes and others with authority
  24. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  25. Oratory Style
  26. What Should I Preach ?
  27. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church

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Further reading

  1. Here for a cause, anointed with a message the world needs to hear
  2. Motives behind Criticism are often more Important to deal With then the Criticism itself.
  3. Special Sundays!~Matthew 7:7~
  4. Which Story Do You Want To Live?
  5. Share Jesus
  6. Are you judging people by what they look like?
  7. Do to others…
  8. There is a wolf nipping at your soul
  9. “Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need.” ~Jesus
  10. Matthew 9 – Stepping forth in courage
  11. Matthew 11 – Praise and trust
  12. Matthew 14 – Prayer, Faith & Action
  13. By His Grace
  14. The Journey of Love and Commitment 
  15. Strengthen Yourself In Your God
  16. “Following Jesus” (Matthew 4:18-22 sermon)
  17. “What We Have Seen … We Proclaim”
  18. “Reaching, Teaching, Caring: Following the Footsteps of Jesus” (Matthew 4:23 sermon)
  19. A Day in the Park
  20. The Goodness of God
  21. Count Your Blessings
  22. The call to serve
  23. See you next time
  24. Christianity is a Learned Experience
  25. Biblical Application
  26. Biblical Revelation Knowledge On Spiritual Warfare
  27. The Gospel of The Kingdom
  28. Do We Really Know God?
  29. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Contrasts
  30. Awaken
  31. 8. Doors and Destinations
  32. Meditation – Choices
  33. The Path of Love
  34. Life’s Narrow and Wide Gates
  35. Love, Entering the Narrow Gate.
  36. The Narrow Way
  37. Religious Theology – The wide gate!
  38. Shifting Sand
  39. Exodus 10, Job 28, Luke 13, 1 Corinthians 14
  40. How to choose between the wide and the narrow
  41. The Narrow Gate
  42. against the stream
  43. Taking responsibility – the narrow gate that leads to life
  44. How to choose between the wide and the narrow:part 3
  45. Difficult is the Way that Leads to Life
  46. Those Who Find It Are Few.
  47. Guard My Feet Lord ~
  48. Two Gates
  49. The Narrow Gate
  50. The Protestant – Catholic divide – The Narrow and the Wide Gates
  51. The Crumb That Turns Stale With Time
  52. Only dead fish swim with the stream
  53. The narrow gate and the postmillennial hope
  54. The Grand Reception
  55. Lord, will only few people be saved?

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Let us being filled each day by the Word of God

Coming closer to the end of the year we can see how this year brought us closer to the return of Christ. We can see many signs which should alert the world. In that world we do have to make the right choice and take the Scriptures at heart.

We have to realise the need to

“approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:10,11).

Each day we shall be confronted with the world and shall have to show to others where we want to stand in this world. Every day again we can look up to God and be pleased that we do have His Word to fill us each day.

Each day we also see how much challenge there is in these “last days.” We also notice how there is an increasing “times of difficulty”. That does not make it easy for many to remain faithful. When we help each other to bear the difficulties of this day and help each other to continue to feed our selves with the spiritual food, we shall be able to grow together in strength.
Helping each other to understand the ways of this world versus the Way of God we can try to build ourselves up to receive “the crown of righteousness” by having loved his Jesus his first appearing and him giving his body for us. Also by reading Jesus his words and following his path, we by taking him and following him as the Way to God and the Way to life, can fill our hearts and minds with an awareness of God and the wondrous Saviour He has provided for us.

Let us make sure we are feeling “filled” a little more – each and every day – and there is no “famine” amongst us.

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Preceding articles:

Dedicated daily reading of God’s word to create a vibrant faith within us

A masterly copied and reproduced Word to feed the minds

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Additional reading

  1. Are you being swept along by the world
  2. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  3. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  4. Looking for wisdom not departing from God’s Word
  5. We may not be ignorant to get wisdom

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A masterly copied and reproduced Word to feed the minds

The Divine Creator took care that all human beings could come to know Him. He provided His Word and made sure it was copied carefully and reproduced through the many years of humankind.

All people have the opportunity to hear about the Divine Maker. We, who have the gift of all

“the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation …” (2 Timothy 3:15)

must make abundant use of them to ‘feed’ our minds, and ‘inspire’ our actions, if we are to experience the wonders “of the age to come”.

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Preceding article: Dedicated daily reading of God’s word to create a vibrant faith within us

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Dedicated daily reading of God’s word to create a vibrant faith within us

May our dedicated daily reading of God’s word create a vibrant faith within us,
a longing for when we “shall … know” God
– when our faith is turned to sight –
and, by his grace, that will be soon.

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Choose Green: Reading and talking about your ideas leads to success.

English: "Selkirk reading his Bible"

“Selkirk reading his Bible” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the beginning of times man has received the free will to choose. The Maker of everything also provided a solution against the rebellion of man, who thought their Maker withhold something from them. After their act of adversary their Divine Maker provide for a solution against the curse of death and was willing to guide man with His Word. That Bible Word of God, inspired and infallible, is now available in more than 2500 languages.

Mankind should give green light to that Book of books, the Bestseller of all times, which gives us an insight in the Plan of God and offers a map or guide to the entrance gate of the Kingdom of God where those who want to be children of God can find non-ending life.

Reading in that Book of books, which entrails all wisdom we do need to have, shall give us more than any other book of ordinary man.

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To remember:

  • success > Read > Study = improve your mind, increase your knowledge or calm your spirit
  • reading the Bible = stories of love, stories of war + specific battles, stories of family feuds, rape, adultery, stories of heart broken people, stories about egotistical kings, jealous kings and kings gone mad = lot of stuff in the Bible.
  • Read something positive every day.
  • Know what’s going on in the world = read international news or get it from TV, internet
  • or whatever source you choose. Successful people are aware of what is going on around them.
  • Read material that will help you be a better …
  • reading opens window to the world = opens your mind + allows new thoughts to enter, new ideas born

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Preceding articles

Hang On!

God’s wisdom for the believer brings peace

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Additional reading

  1. A voice and a Word given for wisdom
  2. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids
  3. Colour-blindness and road code
  4. the Bible – God’s guide for life #1 Introduction
  5. the Bible – God’s guide for life #2 Needs in life
  6. To create a great journey
  7. Solution against curse of death
  8. God Our Refuge
  9. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  10. Counterfeit Gospels
  11. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  12. Is God behind all suffering here on earth
  13. Best intimate relation to look for
  14. Know Who goes with us and don’t try to control life
  15. In the night His song shall be with me

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Further related

  1. So Many Voices ~ So Many Lies
  2. God Loving Us
  3. Your Word for This Day: “Jehovah Guides Me”
  4. The Battle Is the Lord
  5. Find out for yourself
  6. My Daily Bread –
  7. Not Believing
  8. Whose Fool Are You?
  9. Straight Outta Context Series
  10. Go on trusting in God’s future grace.
  11. Lord, could I have a moment of your time, please?
  12. When Christians Get it Wrong
  13. More Ways Than Jesus? Of course, but…
  14. Philippians 4:13
  15. Bible Fun Fact
  16. Master Plan #1 // Choosing Your Study
  17. It is time to let churches die.

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Healing Secrets

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You want to be a success? Read. Better yet, STUDY. Study anything that will improve your mind, increase your knowledge or calm your spirit. The visual in the header here is an inspirational read that may calm your spirit or encourage your soul.

I highly recommend reading the Bible; anywhere in the Old Testament is a good start. There are stories of love, stories of war and specific battles, stories of family feuds, rape, adultery, the stories of heart broken people, stories about egotistical kings, jealous kings and kings gone mad. There is a lot of stuff in the Bible.

Read something positive every day.

Know what’s going on in the world, either read international news or get it from the TV, the internet or whatever source you choose. Successful people are aware of what is going on around them.

I enjoy reading the autobiographies of successful people. I find…

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Filed under Cultural affairs, Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs

An uncovering book to explore

Now Summer has come to us we have more time to sit outdoors and relax. Ideal time to take up the Book of books to read in it. We have the whole of God’s Word to read and inspire us whenever we feel like doing so. Though many people like to postpone Bible reading. Some are also afraid to be confronted with the words which they might find inside. To prorogue reading the Bible shall keep a lot of wisdom from them. Holding off Bible reading will withhold us from useful help. Protracting a confrontation with the Word of God shall only make it more difficult for the person to find a satisfying life which shall be righteous in the eyes of the Most High Divine Creator.

"WHICH BOOK, HOLY BIBLE" - NARA - 516150

“Which Book, Holy Bible” – NARA – 516150 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To understand past and evolution to the future, our position in life, our way to follow, we could use that what is brought to us in that old library of 66 books.

Many want others to believe that it is

dang hard. {J.S. Parks Five Primers On How To Study The Bible}

but it does not have to be so hard as they say. When you start with the right open mind and good attitude you should be able to trace back those old sayings and enjoy the different genres of literature the Bible presents. Like any book we come to read we do not have to expect to see clear (in everything) straight ahead. We do need time to reflect and to let the material come into our mind, having it come to grow, like a mustard seed.

Though those writings may be written long ago for people who lived ages ago, the words still are very useful and edifying for today. Whatever mood we are in those words can enlighten us and change our mood for the better. When we are willing to have those words come unto us they shall do.

Every time you open the Bible, believe that God has something for you. Believe it. At every moment, good and bad, up or down, in all seasons, the Bible will speak.  The Holy Spirit convicts you of all truth. Be ready for it to push against you, to disagree with you, to challenge what you always thought was true. The Word of God is a sword that will cut you to your soul, exposing all. {J.S. Parks Five Primers On How To Study The Bible}

The Bible is much more than just the message of Jesus. It is the message of God. Some might want you to believe that as an unbeliever you are nothing with the Bible. They say, like J.S.Park, that it is crazy to those without Jesus, and want us to believe that it only can be the saving truth to believers. but the Biblical message is a message of hope, peace and message of salvation for all.

We should know that all Scripture is breathed out of God, useful for everybody and for everything we do and who we are. No matter if you believe or to have faith, confidence, or trust in this or that or do not believe in this or that or trust what one has heard. Be sure not everything what so called believers belief is true. Many, not to say the majority in Christendom belief nonbilical things. The ones who try to keep to the Bible in Christianity are often fought against and shunned by so called ‘Christians‘. Therefore it is not bad to come to see what is really written in that book of books.

To come to a real good exploration of the Bible you should start with a fully open mind, undone from the traditional human doctrines and willing to read what is really written there on those uncovering pages.

Lots of people want to get as much gain as possible from everything what comes into their hands. They should know that we are not here to  hoard treasures down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. We are better to find more useful treasures by reading in the Bible.  From those words we can learn a lot and build up a stronger character. It shall also learn us how to stockpile treasures in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars.

Your eyes are windows into your body and you have to use them to see into yourself. The Bible is your looking glass and your best tool to get to know yourself and those around you. Perhaps you will not see it at first, but given time you will come to see. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have! Pulling up the blinds are the shutters you will come step by step to more insight and closer to the truth. You also shall start feeling how higher forces will come to guide you.

This doesn’t mean you’ll “feel something” every time you read Scripture. But meditate on even a tiny scrap of a verse and let it sit. The Bible has the very words of God pouring out His heart for you. He is big, but by His Word, He is so close. Hear it as a friend speaking, as a leader leading. Be encouraged and convicted. {J.S. Parks Five Primers On How To Study The Bible}

Quadruple combination opened to the Book of Is...

Quadruple combination opened to the Book of Isaiah – note the cross references between Biblical and Latter-day Saint scripture in the footnotes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those writings from the old times are still of use for us. It are the Words from God and from people God wanted us to hear their voices. Words from good and bad people are written down so that we can learn from what went right and what went wrong. They are words which we should embrace and believe. They do come from the One who brought Jesus to life when the conditions were equally hopeless as in our times. (Romans 4:23-24)  Even if it was written in Scripture long ago, you can be sure it’s written for us. God wants the combination of his steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in Scripture to come to characterize us, keeping us alert for whatever he will do next. (Romans 15:4)

In the knowledge that  every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another — showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way, it is a major manual to guide us through life in easy and in difficult times. Knowing also that some very difficult times soon may arrive, we are better to prepare ourselves for that great war which shall come over humankind. A forewarned is forearmed.

Therefore this Summer do not hesitate to take up the Bible and let yourself be carried away by its stories. Through the Word you may be put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for you. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

We couldn’t be more sure of what we saw and heard — God’s glory, God’s voice. The prophetic Word was confirmed to the apostles who took care like the other men of God that the messengers of God their words would be told to the next generations. We do well to keep focusing on those precious words. When you are feeling blue or are not happy, feeling tired, or when you feel pleased with what you have, come to see the one light you have in a dark time as you wait for daybreak and the rising of the Morning Star in your hearts. The main thing to keep in mind here is that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of private opinion. And why? Because it’s not something concocted in the human heart. Prophecy resulted when the Holy Spirit prompted men and women to speak God’s Word. (2 Peter 1:19-21)

When reading it we should leave the human words, which tried us to belief certain things, for what they are, and go deeper in to study what is really written in the Bible.  We are convinced when you try to read the Bible, listening to the words like they are written there, it is not such a difficult book at all.

Good luck with it.

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Preceding articles:

Summerholiday season time to read the Bible

Holiday making and dreaming

Home-stayers and their to do lis

Genre – Playing by the Rules

The Need to Understand Genre

A Dutch version / Een Nederlandse versie: Zomertijd ideaal op met Bijbellezing aan te vangen

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Additional reading:

  1. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  2. A question to be posed
  3. A way to look for Christ, the Bible, Word of God
  4. Youth has difficulty Bible Reading
  5. Some one or something to fear #3 Cases, folks and outing
  6. The Right One to follow and to worship
  7. People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers
  8. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  9. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  10. People Seeking for God 6 Strategy
  11. Not able to make contact with God because to busy
  12. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  13. Relapse plan
  14. Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists
  15. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  16. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  17. Engagement in an actual two-way conversation with your deities
  18. Creator and Blogger God 10 A Blog of a Book 4 Listening to the Blogger
  19. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  20. Statutes given unto us
  21. Written down in God’s Name for righteousness
  22. Unread bestseller
  23. Do Christians need to read the Old Testament
  24. We should use the Bible every day
  25. Daily Spiritual Food To prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God
  26. Daily portion of heavenly food
  27. Feed Your Faith Daily
  28. The importance of Reading the Scriptures
  29. Necessity of a revelation of creation 9 Searching the Scriptures
  30. Necessity of a revelation of creation 10 Instructions for insight and wisdom
  31. The Almighty Lord God of gods King above all gods
  32. God who knows the heart
  33. Glory of only One God Who gives His Word
  34. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  35. Hearing words to accept
  36. Writers needed to preach to non-believers
  37. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  38. Appointed to be read
  39. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  40. Absolute Basics to Reading the Bible
  41. How to Choose a Bible for Preaching
  42. The Third Word: Scripture twisting is blasphemy
  43. Interpreting the Scriptures (Part 5)
  44. The holy spirit will bring back to your minds all the things told
  45. Building up the spirit of the soul
  46. Be an Encourager
  47. God’s never-ending stream of much-needed mercies
  48. Displeasure of יהוה , Jehovah the God of gods, and His wrath against all the gentiles their divisions
  49. Believing in the send one and understanding that one does not live by bread alone
  50. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian
  51. The manager and Word of God
  52. Accuracy, Word-for-Word Translation Preferred by most Bible Readers
  53. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  54. Scripture alone Sola Scriptora

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Filed under Religious affairs

The Need to Understand Genre

When we look at the Book of books, the Bible, as we said in the previous article, it is important to take the words and genres as they are written down and passed on from one generation unto the next.

The Gutenberg Bible displayed by the United St...

The Gutenberg Bible displayed by the United States Library of Congress, demonstrating printed pages as a storage medium. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

God is a God of order and did not give His Words in such a form that ordinary people would not be able to understand it. It is written so that every person can get wisdom out of it.
It is true it is not directly written for us in this time, but has to be looked at writings for those times when those people were living in total different conditions than we now.

God has communicated His message to special individuals over thousands of years. But he wrote first for them, in their time and in their culture. He preserved the message for us, but it was first written to another people in another time. {The Bible is simple… right?}

In the knowledge that they had a  different cultural background to us, we should look at those writings from that standpoint.

The original audience was an ancient one. They knew nothing of the science, technology, medicine, and other things that define our modern world. They knew little of democracy, and literacy was not widespread. It is only in the modern era, from perhaps the 18th century onwards, that literacy has been common. Even today literacy is not as widespread as it should be. Consider then that the original audience most commonly would have heard rather than read the text! {The Bible is simple… right?}

As such the text often was intended to be of a format that people could easily remember. For this reason stories instead of literal or scientific reviews of happenings were a good way. Most important for the Biblical writers was to bring over the message of God. To convey His message and to bring it in such a way people at that time could understand it. Therefore we also should look for the intentions of the writing and for what is being emphasised in the passages.

One of the most important aspects of the human side of the Bible is that, in order to communicate his word to all human conditions, God chose to use almost every available kind of communication: narrative history, genealogies, chronicles, laws of all kinds, poetry of all kinds, proverbs, prophetic oracles, riddles, drama, biographical sketches, parables, letters, sermons, and apocalypses.

To interpret properly the “then and there” of the biblical texts, one must not only know some general rules that apply to all the words of the Bible, but one also needs to learn the special rules that apply to each of these literary forms (genres). The way God communicates the divine word to us in the “here and now” will often differ from one form to another. For example, we need to know how a psalm, a form often addressed to God, functions as God’s word to us, and how certain psalms differ from others, and how all of them differ from “the laws,” which were often addressed to people in cultural situations no longer in existence. How do such “laws” speak to us, and how do they differ from the moral “laws,” which are always valid in all circumstances? Such are the questions the dual nature of the Bible forces on us.

Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth (Fourth Edition.; Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014), 26–27.

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Preceding articles:

Genre – Playing by the Rules

Summerholiday season time to read the Bible

Holiday making and dreaming

Home-stayers and their to do list

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Additional reading:

  1. Looking for something or for the Truth and what it might be and self-awareness
  2. The faithful God
  3. Have you also been deceived
  4. Increased in wisdom in favour with God
  5. The very very beginning 2 The Word and words
  6. Necessity of a revelation of creation 2 Organisation of a system of things
  7. Necessity of a revelation of creation 3 Getting understanding by Word of God 1
  8. Creator and Blogger God 11 Old and New Blog 1 Aimed at one man
  9. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  10. Background to look at things

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Filed under Religious affairs

Genre – Playing by the Rules

English: religion - composition old bible book...

English: religion – composition old bible books from Hungary (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Taking up the Bible, a Book of books, we should always remember that it were men chosen by God to write down His Words to help find people the way to live and to give them a stronghold.

Important by looking at those books and letting those words coming unto us, we should always remember what their purpose was and is, plus in which style they were written, always understanding the genre it was meant to be.

Also what we should care for is not to be carried away by human teachings or human doctrines. They often make it more difficult to come to a correct insight and easy understanding. Most people are afraid to put away those false teachings and human traditions, which becomes a hindrance to come to a good insight. Though God always has protected His Words and no matter whatever translation a person is using he or she can come to insight when he or she is willing to open his or her heart to God His Words. that is the primordial act to do, letting God speak to you.

We also may never forget that we are created in the image of God and have an inner voice leading us through life.

Enjoy the reading of several Bible books this Summer and let them bring light in your life.

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Preceding:

Engagement in an actual two-way conversation with your deities

Inner voice inside the soul of man

Summerholiday season time to read the Bible

Holiday making and dreaming

Home-stayers and their to do list

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Additional reading:

  1. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  2. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  3. Are you looking for answers and Are you looking for God
  4. Counterfeit Gospels
  5. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  6. God-breathed prophetic words written torah and the mitzvot to teach us
  7. Necessity of a revelation of creation 11 Believing and obeying the gospel of the Kingdom of God
  8. Background to look at things
  9. Minimizing the power of God’s Force the Holy Spirit
  10. Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
  11. Inner voice inside the soul of man
  12. Illuminating our minds and watching out
  13. Cleanliness and worrying or not about purity
  14. Reminding myself!!
  15. Our Inner Voice
  16. Inner Voice

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Biblical Cogitations

Bible Genres Genres in the Bible (adapted from “How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth” by Fee and Stuart).

The Bible is more of a library than a book! It contains literature of all different genres and types. Just as you wouldn’t read a novel the same way that you read your new employment contract, we can’t read every passage of scripture the same way. We need to pay attention to the genre of the passage we’re looking at and make sure we appreciate the tools that particular genre uses to communicate. One writer uses the analogy of a board game:

… there are different “game” rules involved in the interpretation of the different kinds of biblical literature. The author has played his “game,” has sought to convey his meaning, under the rules covering the particular literary form he used. Unless we know those rules, we will almost certainly misinterpret his meaning…

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Engagement in an actual two-way conversation with your deities

Today we can find lots of people who are not at all interested in The God sole Creator of Heaven and Earth or in gods, though often they create themselves many gods and worship lots of idols, mainly from the little screen which has become a huge screen in these days (some have measures like the cinema screen of our childhood).

Driver in a Mitsubishi Galant using a hand hel...

Driver in a Mitsubishi Galant using a hand held mobile phone violating New York State law. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A 32 year old single girl who lives alone with three cats, in the process of trying online dating pagan, and likes to think about ‘big’ questions occasionally, currently trying to learn to read the tarot, writes:

Everywhere you turn within Pagan circles these days it seems like you are surrounded by people who have a direct connection to their Gods. They seem to be in possession of their very own ‘Godphone’ (to steal a term I have seen floating about) and are God-bothered on a seemingly constant basis. {G is for Gods}

She is not talking about that strong ‘godly communication‘ we talked about in our previous article. Though the mobile phone may be the new god of many, and lots of them do hope to find with that electronic tool with many gadgets or applications to find the real god app of their life.

Lots of the youngsters put all their aspirations in that mobile phone or their i-pad and are willing to cue all night just to have the latest i-phone or Apple McIntosh gadget. Several i.t.-meetings have taken the place of the old Eucharist celebrations and today we do find high-masses especially for electronic wizards.

After some time many get the feeling they are standing in a becoming colder breeze or getting a ice cold shower, putting them in the Hitchcock thriller were the blood runs in the gutter, taking all their so called (Facebook) friends with it. They do not start wondering if their godphone collection has gone wrong but think they must be at fault.
For sure they must be doing something wrong. The Gods must be ignoring them for a reason,

or you are just not open enough, or maybe you’re on the wrong path.  This is obviously the experience of ‘real’ pagans, so maybe you just aren’t pagan enough. {G is for Gods}

Perhaps there lies the fact: “being not pagan enough”. So this could perhaps give some hope for the many people who felt disillusioned after their internet experience. Perhaps this will give them enough reason to look for other and better values than those that internet can offer them.

The pagan lady writes she is not in possession of a Godphone,

I am not God-bothered, and I can’t think of a single time when I engaged in an actual two-way conversation with my deities. Sure I get a feeling about things sometimes, I know they appreciate the incense I offer her for example, but it exactly that… a feeling. This doesn’t mean I am not pagan enough and it is actually a perfectly normal experience for a large number of Pagans.

Those pagans we would offer a better solution. If their gods are not such listening gods and not so much answering gods, why would they not try to come to find the real Supreme God of gods? Why going second hand when each of us has the opportunity to go first hand 5-star quality?

Many of those not satisfied with what their mobile can bring, are looking for something more sacred or divine. Divination is something they are interested in.

I have spent some time looking at different types and trying to find one that works for me. I’ve tried runes, the pendulum, crystal gazing and even tea leaf reading but I am always drawn back to the Tarot. I am beginning to think it must be for the artwork, as I seem to have little to no skill in reading them! {D is for Divination}

Often we notice people are going to look for it so far away, when it is easy to grab for in front of their nose.

I have had all sorts of advice about reading cards, not just Tarot but oracle as well, but they tend to come back to either ‘learn by rote’ or ‘trust your intuition’. Having tried both, and continuing to flip between the two, I can see that I have problems with both. {D is for Divination}

Japanese mobile phone keyboard

Japanese mobile phone keyboard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We would say, it is not in those cards you shall find the right answers. You may find and see lots of symbols in it and find word-games made up by human beings, but when taking up a Book of books, written down in very old times, they would be surprised what it all has to tell, also about things happening today. In that Book of books, short “the Bible” they and we can find the answer on many of our daily questions. With that best-seller we get the best guide and best manual for life we ever can get.

When looking at it and giving it more of your time, you shall come to notice that it has not to be a one way road to seeing letters forming words, words forming phrases and phrases forming ideas. By reading all that old stuff we shall get ideas for our life and find out that it is not only our reading effort but also our taking down information out of the book that shall bring us to a two way system of communication.

When we are prepared to listen we shall find answers and we shall get replies.

Paganists looking at their own pagan books may find that when they have tried reading from intuition they went blank. The 32 year old lady writes:

I don’t trust myself enough to just open up and ‘say what I see’ as it were. I am so worried about getting it wrong that I just can’t allow myself to go with it.

Communication Centre, Kimbolton - geograph.org...

Communication Centre, Kimbolton – geograph.org.uk – 1572042 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, that opening up is something which is necessary for everything, to see the good but also to see the bad. We are all created in the image of God and as such we also have the inner feeling of good and wrong. Since the fall of man, having eaten the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil mankind, like the animals have their instinct, but they also received something more which is that inner feeling which gets deep down to them. Lots of people resist that inner feeling and that inner Voice. But as soon as a person wants to open him- or herself to that inner Voice he or she shall be able to come to hear the Voice of God. The Voice of the real God of gods, Who is a much better option than to go for all those other gods.

Go straight ahead to the Only True God of gods, the Most High Elohim, Hashem Jehovah!

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Preceding article: Of old and new ideas to sustain power and to feel good by loving to be connected and worship something

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Articles of interest:

  1. Do you believe in One god
  2. God of gods
  3. Attributes to God
  4. God is one
  5. Does there have to be a Holy Trinity Mystery
  6. The Trinity – the truth
  7. Bible Word of God, inspired and infallible
  8. Incomplete without the mind of God
  9. God is positive
  10. Let us not forget it was God who chose us
  11. God Helper and Deliverer
  12. Jehovah my strenght
  13. Life with God (video)
  14. Faith because of the questions

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Spiritual affairs

Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach

Universe exist already a long long time, and it shall continue to exist for a much longer time. Human beings in that universe have a lot of limitations. We are chained by our confinements. We do not like to have restrictions imposed on us and lots of people do think they can do a lot or even do think they can play for god.

We as perishable persons may look around us and either see the beauty of creation or miss it all. What is important that we should come to see the Hand behind everything. All being created in the likeness of the Divine Creator have not their eyes open to see their origin or to understand the ways of life.

For coming to insight it is important that people help each other. We have developed education centres and got printing and other media aids to provide educational material.

English: Rabbis Lesson with kids

Rabbis Lesson with kids (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some two thousand years ago there was a simple man of flesh and blood in the Jewish community who warned the people around him that they better took account of what the previous rabbis told. The world had got prophets, men send by God, who gave warnings, but not many wanted to listen. With that prophet 2000 years ago it was not much different. He was considered a ‘stand in the way’ and therefore killed. Though making his mouth shut down, did not end his teachings. His disciples continued to go around wherever and whenever they could. They followed a big lesson they had learned from their master rabbi: going out into the world to preach the Good News of the Coming Kingdom of God.

Today Jeshua, as this rabbi was called (today better known as Jesus) is till alive in many hearts. Several people came to see what his death really means for the world. The eternal God, Who cannot die, told the world that there in the river Jordan was standing “His only beloved son“, given to the world to bring salvation. By the Grace of God, Jeshua his offering of his body is accepted as a ransom for us all.

But the story may not end there. The master teacher who had only a very short public life of three very active years, has asked his followers to continue in his footsteps. And there seems to lie a big problem. Not many do want to go out and preach in the name of Jesus.

Today it does not seem to be very much different than in the times of Jeshua. There are loads of discussions about the position of the Torah on issues that are out of date with our modern sensitivities. There are people who also come to see that there might be rituals which are supposedly similar to pagan festivals of the time. The reason for this is that often it were people who liked so much certain attitudes that they took over certain attitudes and feasts. But we always should consider if they would be something God would like to see.

It becomes more and more important to get to know what the Divine Creator really wants from us and what His Plans are. the task Jesus has given to his disciples has become more vital. It should be an essential part of the life of a follower of Christ (a Christian). Being Christian should mean that you are prepared to follow Christ his teachings and are willing to live according his rules (The Law of Christ)

Coming together, exhorting each other and preaching the gospel should be the core-business of a Christian.

Some may be convinced that a religion has to give to the people what they want to find, not having to change too much their life. Lots of people want that they get something familiar to hold onto? Perhaps they could call it “God modelled” “His new religion” after existing practices.

There is an established principal in Jewish thought (and a logical one as well) that “The Torah speaks in the language of man.” Among other things, this means that the Torah speaks in the context of the time in which it was given and in a way that is appropriate for the people of the time. Many of the commentators write that God had to gradually wean a pagan slave population off of it’s pagan ritual and belief system. It would not be effective for God to create brand new rituals that have no meaning for the worshipers. To give a silly example, if God were to create a brand new religion now, he would not create one where worship of God is done by standing on one’s head 5 times a day.{Why are some Jewish rituals similar to Pagan rituals?}

People have to come to understand it is not God Who has to adapt to them but that they have to come closer to God knowing Him and following up what God wants us to do.

To get to know what God really wants from us, we best look into what He has given the world to get to know Him better. God has given His Word for all mankind to find Who He is, what He wants and what we can do to come to Him and to become Children of God.

People write history or similar for a reason; what someone did may not be as important for their memory as what someone later needed to do with it. Jeshua his followers had their own worldly job, but they knew how urgently needed was their preaching, telling others about the works of their master teacher. Whether or not all these who tried to bring the gospel to others were really talented orators we probably can’t tell. In a certain way it does not really matters. What matters is that they got the message across.

Also today, you may perhaps not be so eloquent, or not so good in many languages, but you should know you too can have a story to tell. Everybody can help to contribute getting the news of the coming Kingdom spreading all over the world.

Many may think it is sufficient when they preach in their own church. For them it is sufficient (they think) to give exhortations to their own church or ecclesia members. Many may find the opportunity to stand in front of congregations and crowds many times. How many time do they think about the responsibility they bear? Though may shall have the hope some of the people in the congregation will hear their voice and carry the thought with them to ponder.

But we do not have to preach for those who already believe. We do need preachers for those who do not yet know the truth. Those who do not know the importance of Christ yet, should come to know it. We need announcers of the Good News, not a bellman for the own flock or to bring just recreational or bad news, like the journal offers it every day over and over again.

It is true others may not understand the energy it takes to get up in front of others to proclaim God’s word and lots of people would call it a silly activity. But it is not what the worlds find interesting to do what we should do. The love of the world is not for the Holy Word. People are not interested in God, His Plans or His world. Though they should know it really matters to know Him.

Importance of coming together to study the Word of God - Bible time at Shunem

Importance of coming together to study the Word of God – Bible time at Shunem

Those who love God should not be afraid to come out for it. They should also trust Him, what He can do with them is they are willing to go to others to tell about Him and His son. They shall be surprised to come to feel the Hand of God in what they do, when they try to do it honestly. They can be surprised to feel how God can guide them and how God is willing to give His Power and presence in a mighty way. Often we shall be amazed at the insight He gives, the words He brings, the abilities we recognize, not because of our skills, but because of God’s power and presence within us.

Today time seems to be spares for everybody. Pastors and everybody else are busy.

They hardly have time to prepare their sermons every week while at the same time visiting, counseling, planning, fixing, etc. Ask most pastors what good theology books they’ve read recently and you’ll be greeted by blank stares. {The Value of Systematic Theology to Pastors}

How many can, or better said, are willing to take time to come to study the Bible and to share their findings with others? How many are willing to come to a God-centered search and preaching?

In certain churches the priest may have the idea that:

Pastors who do not study theology tend to preach atheological sermons. They may be able to atomistically expound a text, but they will have difficulty connecting the text to the grand redemptive truths that give the texts weighty significance. {The Value of Systematic Theology to Pastors}

but they forget that the essence is all in the Word of God and can be found when really looking in that word, not having to have had theological studies in universities. God Himself has provided everything in His Word to be found by every man, educated and non-educated. Man does not need a theological study to come to understand God His Word. They also do not a university tittle to go out preaching the gospel. Jesus nor his followers, except Luke and Paul, got high degrees or were known scholars. common people in the first century of Christianity took care that the word spread and that it could reach lots of people, from child, slave, uneducated up to educated people. Many came to know the truth by simple people who took their time to spread the news.

Van Til saw a definite connection between the study of systematic theology and the ability to preach the whole counsel of God. If a pastor is not well-versed in theology, he may shy away from Scriptures that his flock needs for growth in grace. Or worse, he may shy away from Scriptures his flock needs for spiritual and doctrinal protection.{The Value of Systematic Theology to Pastors}

He also writes:

Many people believe that the basis and source of defending the faith is different than that of knowing the faith. That is, they believe that we do systematic theology by appealing to the Scriptures, and we defend our faith by appealing to reason or philosophy (since unbelievers don’t accept the Bible as the Word of God). {The Value of Systematic Theology for Defending the Faith}

Without being in the faith a person can not come over convincingly. The faith has to be in the veins and the spirit. When the person is wiling to give him or herself to the Words of God, those Words can feed him or her. It is in the Word of God that The Truth can be found and not in the words of human beings. Jesus wanted us to share that truth which we can find.

The distinctive of the presuppositional (or transcendental) approach to apologetics developed most extensively by Cornelius Van Til is its demand that Scripture be the starting point for all human knowledge, and that it be maintained as such in a believer’s defense of the faith against attacks by unbelievers.The best apologetic defense will invariably be made by him who knows the system of truth of Scripture best. The fight between Christianity and non-Christianity is, in modern times, no piece-meal affair. It is the life-and-death struggle between two mutually opposed life-and-world views

Both seem to forget the Power of God, the Holy Spirit, Who is the One Who has to guide the speaker or preacher.  It is not as they say that

He who has not been trained in systematic theology will often be at a loss as to how to meet these attacks.

It probably shall not be easy, that’s sure, but that we can see by theologians as well when they are brought down their pied de stall.

Van Till and

He may be quite proficient in warding off the attack as far as details are concerned, but he will forever have to be afraid of new attacks as long as he has never removed the foundation from the enemy’s position.

Those who go around telling about the prophets, Christ and the One who send all these men, should not consider the others as the enemy. Even when they may go in the position of attack, the one willing to preach for God shall be able to trust Him and would not have to worry man.

All those who come along and hear the words of the one who wants to preach in the name of God can either stop to listen or continue their way. Nobody should remain. Nobody is expected to take everything for what and how it is said. The preacher when he does not find the ground fertile, finds no one to listen can and shall continue his or her way to go further trying to reach people who are willing to listen and who are willing to investigate and to take the Word of God to compare with what is said.

Van Til starts stepping on toes:

The church will have to return to its erstwhile emphasis upon its teaching function if it is to fulfill its God-given task of bringing the gospel to all men. Its present recourse to jerky evangelism as almost the only method of propaganda is itself an admission of paupery…Revivalists ought to make themselves unnecessary as quickly as possible.

Reformed apologist and churchman Cornelius van Til preaching on the street

Reformed apologist and churchman Cornelius van Til preaching on the street

We only can hope Van Til was pleading for a return to a comprehensive instruction in sound doctrine, (what he and other  theologians may understand by that?) that would provide the foundation for both a deep and strong faith, and a solid foundation for a robust defence of the faith against attacks.

We are convinced that regular Bible reading (perhaps according to a strategic plan) is the right foundation for successful Bible study. And the principles of accurate interpretation will take that Bible study to the next level of spiritual blessing and benefit. Each person willing to get to know God and His works shall find the answers to his and others questions by reading God’s Word. True biblical sermons or exhortations don’t drive the biblical text, they are driven by the biblical text. Scripture speaks for itself.

But preaching is not all about giving sermons or exhortations it is also by showing your heart to others and letting others feel how vibrant the Word of God makes you. Feeling humbled by the privilege to study Scripture and teaching it to others we should love seeing God working out and confirming His calling on others, having us nearby them to give them our hand to go together on the path of God.

We should not be afraid to go out in the world to tell others what we do believe about the Creator and His son.

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Find also to read:

  1. More Muslim children than Christian children growing up in our cities
  2. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  3. Trying to get the youth inspired
  4. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  5. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  6. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  7. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  8. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  9. How should we preach?
  10. Our way of life
  11. Attackers silenced freedom of speech
  12. Minimizing the power of God’s Force the Holy Spirit
  13. Van Til interacting with Bavinck and Calvin on Natural Theology
  14. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  15. Belonging to or being judged by
  16. Holland Week of billing
  17. Trying to get the youth inspired
  18. When discouraged facing opposition
  19. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  20. Atonement And Fellowship 4/8
  21. The Involvement of true discipleship
  22. Testify of the things heard
  23. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  24. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  25. A Voice to be heard
  26. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  27. Blogging for Jesus…
  28. Our openness to being approachable
  29. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  30. Words to push and pull
  31. Good or bad preacher
  32. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  33. How should we preach?
  34. Breathing and growing with no heir
  35. Breathing to teach
  36. Bringing Good News into the world
  37. Reasons to come together
  38. Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church
  39. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus

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Find additional literature:

  1. Why are some Jewish rituals similar to Pagan rituals?
  2. Messages will be spoken! (Micah 3:8)
  3. The Value of Systematic Theology for Defending the Faith
  4. The Value of Systematic Theology to Pastors
  5. Common Interpretive Pitfalls
  6. Seminar CXLIX: the importance of being eloquent in the Italian Church
  7. Van Til the Evangelist
  8. Van Til the Street Preacher
  9. Jehovah’s Message
  10. Following Jesus’ Footsteps
  11. The Good News of God’s Kingdom
  12. Thoughts concerning the preacher
  13. On Preaching “To the Men”
  14. Expository preaching – friend or foe?
  15. How to Spread the Gospel
  16. 4 Principles for Collaborative Preaching
  17. 6 Ways to Your Teacher’s Heart
  18. Preaching is a two-way street
  19. How to Get More Out of the Preached Word of God
  20. What do you need…?
  21. Preach It, Sister!
  22. Community Houses are Better than Church Buildings

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  • Who Is a Jew? (venitism.blogspot.com)
    Jews argue about everything, including who is a Jew. Disagreements usually develop along sectarian lines. Reform Jews are willing to accept into the tribe someone with a Jewish father and a gentile mother, but Orthodox Jews are not. Some ultra-Orthodox rabbis won’t even accept a child as Jewish when born to a devout Jewish mother from a donated gentile egg.All branches of Judaism allow for converts, but Orthodox Jews don’t recognize conversion of gentiles to Judaism unless that conversion is approved by a three-judge religious court comprised of three Orthodox men (usually rabbis), ritual immersion in a mikvah, and a commitment to perform all the Torah’s commandments according to Orthodox interpretations of Jewish law.
  • Generosity, Stewardship, and Living in God’s Economy (wawalker.com)
    So despite our smallness, our apparent insignificance, human beings are set apart and given a unique role. God gives us dominion over the earth and we’re to be stewards of it. It’s been entrusted to us. We’re to be a stewards, meaning we’re to be managers or overseers — caretakers — which means our responsibility is to do exactly what the owner wants us to do with the things that are not ours but Owner’s. The things that are God’s. So as it turns out, in spite of some obvious limitations, we nonetheless possess a certain degree of great power and freedom — and — responsibility, as stewards. Because Human beings have the capacity to do things that no other creatures can’t do.
  • Beware the Error of Replacement Theology! (pilgrimpassing.com)
    These are challenging and confusing times. With all the numerous and varied “winds of doctrine” that are blowing around us these days, many Christians find it difficult to discern the difference between truth and error. Here at CJF Ministries, one error we frequently encounter is Replacement Theology. Actually, it’s nothing new: in fact, it’s been around for centuries. Some of its roots are traceable to the writings of some of the Early Church fathers. And even today, oddly enough, this pernicious error is taught as a fact in many Bible colleges and seminaries worldwide. So let me ask you – how much do you know about Replacement Theology? If you were called upon to refute it, could you?
  • Interview with Yoel Glick – Part 2 (kavvanah.wordpress.com)
    Rabbi Yoel Glick just released a book  Living the Life of Jewish Meditation: A Comprehensive Guide to Practice and Experience. The book is billed as  a “comprehensive guide to meditation as a way of life draws on the knowledge of the East to vitalize and illuminate traditional Jewish practices in a whole new way.”

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