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Happy Atheist’s Day!

April 1, 2014

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April Fool's Day

April Fool’s Day

The joke goes something like:

An atheist complained to a friend, “Christians have their special holidays, such as Christmas and Easter; and Jewish folks celebrate their holidays, such as Passover and Yom Kippur. EVERY religion has its holidays. But we atheists,” he said, “have no recognized national holidays. It’s unfair discrimination.”

His friend replied, “Well … Why don’t you celebrate April first?”

There is plenty of scripture that compares the non-believer to a fool. I am convinced that in the Proverbs, wisdom = God’s word and the fool or foolish = non-believer.

In fact once, when Paul differentiated his inspired speaking from his own words, he said he was speaking as a fool. (2 Corinthians 11:16, 17, 21)

For fun today, here are five of my favorite verses that David and his son wrote about non-believers:

Psalm 14:1 – The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.

Psalm 39:8 – Deliver me from all my transgressions. Do not make me the scorn of the fool!

Psalm 53:1 – The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good.

Proverbs 10:8 – The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.

Proverbs 10:23 – Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.


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Why Should I Read My Bible?

March 5, 2014

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Bible slice

Wow. Seven years.

From the very beginning, this site was intended to be a place to encourage Bible reading and scripture memorization. For my personal growth, it has helped me to stay accountable to my Bible study routine. For those of you who read and study along with the thoughts I post here, I appreciate your comments and sharing and requests to reuse the material.

This week is the seven year anniversary of the first post I made on this site! (March 5th) It was a simple post that took me a few hours to get just right. It simply answered the question, “Why should I read my Bible?” Since seven is thought to represent a perfect number in the Bible, I’m going to consider this a milestone year and celebrate a little.

First, a reprint of that post:

Why should I read my Bible?

  1. To easily detect misuse of Scripture (Matthew 4:5-7)
  2. To be ready to answer tough questions (1 Peter 3:15)
  3. It has all we need to guide us (2 Timothy 3:16)
  4. It fills our minds with good things (Philippians 4:8)
  5. To show God you care (2 Timothy 2:15)

Second, this is the 7th anniversary, so we need two more in the list:

6. It causes our faith to grow (Romans 10:17)
7. It is dangerous not to mature spiritually (Hebrews 6:1-7)

Third, encouragement:

Read your Bibles daily.

Study it.

Memorize some of it, and learn where to find the rest of it.

Eventually, it will become a real habit.

Eventually, you will become an expert.

Are you a daily Bible reader yet? Reply below to tell me how you do it.

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7 Reason Jesus Taught With Parables

March 4, 2014

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Jesus teaching in the Temple, from the book Standard Bible Story Readers, Book Five (1928) Authors O. A. Stemler and Bess Bruce Cleaveland

Jesus teaching in the Temple, from the book Standard Bible Story Readers, Book Five (1928) Authors O. A. Stemler and Bess Bruce Cleaveland

Those who have read the four Gospels will have noticed two things about the way Jesus taught his followers. He used miracles and parables. We can understand how the miracles worked as a teaching device, but the parables? Not so much. The disciples were very curious about this approach also, and even asked him one day. (Matthew 13:10-17)

Unfortunately, not everyone that had the opportunity to hear Jesus speak wanted to hear it. Sounds like people today too, doesn’t it? When Jesus explained the parables, it was usually only after the disciples were taken aside. Those who truly want to hear the word, will take the time to sit down with it and work on understanding it.

Based on what Jesus was facing in his time, here are seven reasons why he taught in parables.

  1. Prophecy Isaiah 6:9-10
  2. Confound the spies and Pharisees
  3. Challenged His disciples to greater spiritual discernment
  4. The Hebrew people were familiar with the method
  5. Easy to remember
  6. Interesting
  7. The teachings were unsuitable for use against him in court

The next time you read from the gospels, look for the subtle differences a believer and a nonbeliever would see in those parables.

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The 10 Resurrections in the Bible

February 13, 2014

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The Entombment of Christ - 1602–1603 - Caravaggio (1571-1610)

The Entombment of Christ – 1602–1603 – Caravaggio (1571-1610)

We don’t talk about the other resurrections much.

I can’t recall ever hearing about the one recorded in Matthew 27:58 in any major context. After doing a little research, it turns out that it is a historically debated event for the last several centuries.

I wanted to take the time to look at the other resurrections recorded in scripture today, so here they in Biblical order:

  • The Widow of Sarepta’s son – 1 Kings 17
  • The Shunamite’s son – 2 Kings 4
  • The man that touched Elijah’s bones – 2 Kings 13
  • Jairus’ daughter – Matthew 9
  • The saints in Jerusalem – Matthew 27:58
  • The widow of Nain’s son – Luke 7
  • Lazarus – John 11
  • Dorcus – Acts 9:41
  • Eutychus – Acts 20:9-10

Obviously, none of these matter to us the same way that Christ’s resurrection does, but they do server as an excellent reminder of the God’s power.


I will file this one away as an example of God’s providence. Did you ever notice that Jesus was provided with a brand new tomb? If he had been put into a used tomb, his resurrection could have been attributed to touching the bones of a prophet like the 2 Kings 13 event.

It’s no wonder the Centurion was convinced. It looks like the only graves that opened were of those Matthew considered saints. This is probably a good preview of how it will happen on judgment day.

Nicodemus was there too. (John 19:39) He helped Joseph and the Marys tend to the body. Here is an official Sanhedrin member that witnessed his death. No “not really dead” theories have legs to stand on because of this.

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Six Ways to Avoid Woe

February 4, 2014

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Woe unto You, Scribes and Pharisees - between 1886 and 1894 - James Tissot (1836–1902)

Woe unto You, Scribes and Pharisees – between 1886 and 1894 – James Tissot (1836–1902)

The Jews missed a great opportunity. They overlooked the signs (or just ignored them) that the Messiah was present among them. How did that happen?

I’m not sure what the crowd’s reaction was at the time, but I have always gotten a good chuckle when Jesus summed it up for them:

You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! – Matthew 23:24

All things considered, we live in a great spot on God’s timeline. We have more resources to read, study, and analyze God’s word than ever before. We should realize though, we are not insulated from making the same mistakes the Jews made. Jesus gave us a great outline of what they did wrong in Matthew 23, where he continues his harshest language directed at the Jews. If we are to avoid being in the same situation, we should consider the things he told them:

  • Your example can both save or hinder others (Matthew 23:13)
  • Convert others to God’s word, not a man’s opinion (Matthew 23:15)
  • Become known as one whose promise is always binding (Matthew 23:16-22)
  • Concern yourself with important matters, not trifles (Matthew 23:23-24)
  • Outward appearances are less important than what we do and what we think (Matthew 23:25-26 and Matthew 23:27-28)
  • Honor the truth over tradition (Matthew 23:30-31)

What are some ways we can use these things to improve personally, in our families and in our churches?

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