A lot of people seem to believe that on the Day of Judgment, all of their good deeds will be weighed against all of their sins to see whether or not they have been good enough to be saved. 2 Corinthians 5:10 says, “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” But if we are saved “by grace,” how can this be true? As a part of our “Re-Examined Series,” let’s take a closer look at 2 Corinthians 5:10.Continue Reading...
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As I read through Genesis, as part of my 2018 reading plan, I tried to assume I didn’t know how the grand narrative of the Bible would end. I tried to carry as few biases and preconceived notions with me as possible. Though it’s important to attempt to do just that, I’m not sure any of us can truly do that. Regardless, here are seven things I observed as I read:Continue Reading...
One of the most important, but yet misunderstood and ignored words in the Bible is meekness. I often hear Christians boldly protest, “Meek does not mean weak.” Even if that sentiment is accurate, it still doesn’t tell us what it means to be meek. What is meekness? Why does Jesus say, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5)? Here are a few things I hope you will consider.Continue Reading...
Today’s post is part four of our “Re-Examined Series,” in which we are taking a look at some well-known passages that may not mean what we’ve tried to make the mean over the years. Today we will re-examine Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Honestly, I’ve been shocked this week as I’ve dug deeper into this verse. Let’s look at it together.Continue Reading...
I recently heard a podcast interview of Andy Davis, who has memorized 43 books of the Bible. Can you imagine, 43 books of the Bible? His strategy for memorizing Scripture really isn’t complicated at all. It something any of us could do. Yes, even you. In today’s brief post I will share with you Davis’ proven strategy for memorizing Scripture.Continue Reading...
Occasionally I will hear people criticize others in a Bible study for saying things like, “I think this passage means…” I’ve even been criticized for saying, “I think…” in sermons. The critics say, “It doesn’t matter what you think, it only matters what the passage says.” But the words, “I think…” actually play a very important role in discussions about the Bible. So here are some reasons to keep saying, “I think…” when studying the Bible.Continue Reading...
How can everyone read the same Bible and come to different conclusions about what it means? If we’re all reading the same book, why don’t we all believe and practice the same things? Here are some thoughts about why we don’t all understand the Bible alike.Continue Reading...
This weekend I picked up a brand new Bible, the ESV Single Column Journaling Bible. I plan to use this as my 2014 Bible. If this plan works well, I plan to purchase a new Bible each year to read through. Here’s my plan for studying, color coding, and marking in my new Bible.Continue Reading...
In a recent interview with author Rick Warren, interviewer Piers Morgan said the Bible was “inherently flawed” and that “it’s time for an amendment” to the Bible. Specifically, he was talking about how the Bible needs an amendment to allow for “gay rights.”
Morgan’s sentiments remind me of an e-mail I recently received from a man who believes Christianity needs to be overhauled and the Bible needs a “second version.” The e-mailer believes that it is “unfair” to expect people to follow rules that were written “2,000 years ago.” This e-mailer was also outraged by the Bible’s prohibitions on certain sexual behaviors.
These people, it seems, are okay with there being a God. They are okay with God having a book (the Bible). They are just not okay with God saying things in His book with which they disagree. So, they reason, God’s book should be changed so God agrees with them. How audacious man can be!
“If God and man do not agree,” they seem to say, “God needs to change His rules so that they reflect man’s wisdom, learning, and culture.” This, of course, is nothing new; but it is just as heartbreaking now as it ever was.
Sadly, there are many who are doing just as Piers Morgan suggest; they are amending the Bible to suit their own desires. A book has been published recently entitled The Queen James Bible. It is self-described as, “a gay Bible.” The publisher promotes it as being, “based on The King James Bible, edited to prevent homophobic misinterpretation.”
Christians must stand strong in this battle. We must be outspoken and loving. We must teach people that there is absolute truth. Scripture was absolute truth when it was written and it is absolute truth today. Scripture is not “inherently flawed,” in fact it is perfect. It is God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
The charge Paul gave to Timothy in the fourth chapter, is just as fitting today as it was then:
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
I love you and the God of the Bible loves you,
It seems, in today’s culture, everyone is looking for the easy way, the shortcut. I’m sure thousands of people would pay money for someone to tell them how to read through the entire Bible in only 60 seconds. But guess what…there’s no shortcut through the Word of God.
I once went through the Bible in 90 days, and I know a brother who read through the Bible in three weeks. But, it is not those types of speed-reading Bible sprints that make Christians who they ought to be.
The type of Bible reading which will change your life is:
- Thorough – Dig deep and really understand what you’re reading.
- Theological – Focus on what each passage communicates about God.
- Thoughtful – Reflect on what the passage means and how it could apply to you.
There are no shortcuts to good Bible study. So, let’s all stop looking for ways to make our Bible study easier, and look for ways to make our Bible study better! Remember, it is not about how quickly you go through the Bible, but how thoroughly the Bible goes through you!
I love you and God loves you,
P.S. What are some of your tips for good Bible study? Feel free to share in the comments section.