April 15, 2014

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How to Make the Bible Easy to Understand

Make a connection with an actual Bible and put its contents to memory!

Make a connection with an actual Bible and put its contents to memory!

In our world of search engines, we have the ability to search the entire Bible in seconds.

In our world of smartphones, we can do it anywhere and any time.

I know it is a little bit “old school” – but give me a chance on this:

Bible memory work is still a very valuable part of our growth and maturity in the faith.

Sometimes it seems a little “old school” to even carry a Bible to church. The Scriptures used during the service are often projected on a screen making it seem unnecessary to open one at any point in the service.

In order to get to know the scriptures – to get to the point where we know where we stand, we need to get better connected with what it says. I cannot think of any way better to get to know what it says than to memorize the Bible.

Here’s a few thoughts on why. Memorization will …

  • Clarify the text – When you memorize, the nuances of the text start to appear. The Bible is FULL of great truths that we miss through skimming and mere devotional reading.
  • Grow our faith – If faith comes from hearing God’s word (Romans 10:17) then committing it to memory can’t help but make stronger Christians
  • Clean our mind – Our mind returns what we plant in it. Fill it with the good stuff (Philippians 4:8)
  • Make us ready – We are to be ready in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2) What better way to be make a convincing response than to be able to quote the scriptures?

All of the cool devices in the world would have a hard time providing these benefits. They make great supplemental study tools but …

They don’t connect us to or help us fall in love with God’s word!

Challenge:

  • Take an inventory of Bible scriptures you either know or once knew by heart (There are more than you think!)
  • Try to think of passages that you know where to find if you need them, but don’t really have memorized.
  • Work on memorizing everything on the two lists.
  • By the time you have done this, you will have discovered more passages you want to add to the list. Memorize those too!
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April 14, 2014

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How to Be Worthy Servants

The Parable of the Unworthy Servant is a strong statement about our attitude toward serving God.

The Parable of the Unworthy Servant is a strong statement about our attitude toward serving God.

“…we have only done what was our duty.”

The Unworthy Servant passage makes me stop every time. (Luke 7:7-10)

The World

When it comes to passages to be worried about, this one is near the top of my list.

By the worldly benchmark, we are taught to finish a project, finish it to specs, and finish it within budget. The ones who do this well are promoted and given bonuses and praise.

We are programed to strive to reach the top and enjoy the rewards we have merited.

The Kingdom of God

That is not how the spiritual realm works though. We are told to be perfect, (Matthew 5:48) yet all have sinned and fallen short of perfect. (Romans 3:23)

When the subject comes up, I like to tell people that the Bible only teaches about one way to retire from God’s work. That is because our work is never done to perfection. The more mature among us have instructions to teach others and be leaders. There is no retirement age during our earthly stay!

We never reach the point where we merit indebtedness from God.

The Passage! How do I apply the Passage??

I have seen it taught that Luke (17:7-10) means we cannot get to heaven by doing only what God commands. That cannot be right, though. This is one of the first measures of love we show God. (John 14:15)

The passage is a warning not to get too cozy in our righteousness. Assuming we could get to the point of perfection, it would not a time to take it easy and expect godly accolades.

The point Jesus was driving home is that we are to remain humble servants, looking for what the Master needs from us next.

Question: What is your current goal in your service to God? What are you doing to reach it?

 

 

 

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April 11, 2014

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Paying the Price

After you “count the cost,” there will come a time to “pay the price”

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April 10, 2014

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This is One Hard Lesson

The way to heaven is a challenging one. Too many are being fooled into thinking otherwise.

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April 9, 2014

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Why Starting Small is Best

Small is where every new thing starts. Jesus encouraged us to stick with it and wait for the results.

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April 8, 2014

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4 Tasks to Get Our Spiritual House Clean

Drop in visitors can be fun if your house is ready for them. What drop in visitors is your spiritual house ready for?

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