This was reportedly said by Charles Spurgeon: “By this the elect of God are known—that they love the Word of God”
I have been a student of the Bible for 35 years now. I try to read it every day and to one degree or another I am successful. It is my source of certainty about the knowledge of God. Yes, I said certainty.
When I was in seminary a while back I was struck to discover that textual criticism had failed as a tool to disprove the Bible, but rather, thanks to the work of textual critics, I can have more trust in the Bible.
Recently I’ve been studying about Islam for a program I’m in. I’m not studying Islam, I’m studying about Islam. As I have read about its early history, I have been struck by the apparent weakness of its core document. It is a document that, according to what I am learning, can not stand the test of textual criticism as the Bible has.
If you are a disciple of Jesus, you are a learner (that’s what the word means), you should cultivate a love of the Bible, what Spurgeon called the Word of God.
Tragically, studies show many Christians, and, sadly even their pastors, do not share this love of the Word of God. Too bad more Christians aren’t disciples.
Don’t study about God, study God. Be a learner. Be disciplined. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you cultivate a love of the Word He breathed into existence.
On this trip I was on my own a lot and was able to explore beautiful Sarajevo on my own terms.
Here are a series of pix I took in a neighborhood up the hill from Old Town. They are of a kind of neighborhood mosque with many graves from 1992-1995 and the main mosque in the Old Town.
My assumption is that these died in the siege during the war when Serbs bombarded the city from the surrounding mountain tops.
Down the hill, I went to the main mosque, it’s minaret was visible down this alley…
And upon entering you are given the rules…
On Fridays this mosque is filled with Muslims…
Walking by the side I noted the extra prayer rugs stacked in the window…
Martin Luther said that Muslims (among many others including Jews and many “Christians”) worship the same God, but they worship him incorrectly. As I study Islam (for my Cross Cultural Studies program) and read from many sides of this discussion, it seems Luther makes a sound argument. The enemy of God wishes to keep people away from him and the best way is a way that looks right while being wrong. A one degree error send KAL 007 into Soviet airspace and hundreds died when the Soviets shot it down. Worshipping the right God the wrong way, through works, may look good, but is not His way.
We depend on grace alone, trusting in the final and complete work of Jesus: death, burial and resurrection. In Christ alone.
Allow not a desire for pluralism to water down the way and the truth.
Filed under being a disciple, culture, culture > disciple making, definitions, disciple making, Eastern Europe, experience, from the Balkans, photos along the way, seeking understanding, spiritual questions/musings/wonderings, travel notes
Not unpacked: either baggage
or in my head, but it is so good to be home after a great trip. Some fresh thoughts on disciple making are brewing after this trip.
3rd annual CEO leaders retreat for laughter, rest and reflection…
I believe that we should have a strategy for Scripture reading as part of our greater plan to train our hearts and minds as disciples of Jesus. But, I want to make the case for NOT controlling all of our reading. I think it is natural for us to gravitate to that which is helpful and encouraging, and this is fine. But, I think if we are in control of what we read, we are probably missing some blessing from the Bible’s vast resources that we may miss. This is why I am a big advocate of the Bible reading plans available out there. I am very thankful that today we have the YouVersion Bible application.
Here are three lists that I think are particularly helpful:
The first step I’d take is The Essential 100, I like it because it give a big picture of the Bible, a great place to start if you’ve had trouble developing the habit of daily Scripture reading.
The second step I’d take is The Essential Jesus. Now that you have begun the habit, this is a great way to get to know Jesus by reading some familiar texts about Him.
The best step, in my current thinking, is The M’Cheyne Reading Plan which takes you through the Bible in one year (and the New Testament twice).
By reading texts not of your choosing, by relinquishing control of what you read, God the Holy Spirit can show you things that you may not see otherwise. As we begin a new year, let’s renew our efforts to know God better and let Him speak through His word.
Oh, the YouVersion has apps for both iPhone and Android.
Happy New Year!
There has been and will be, for about 10 days or so, a lot of talk about resolutions.
I suggest that if we really want to make a valuable resolution and need a list, here are some suggestions:
1. Go to YouVersion Bible App and start reading the M’Cheyne reading plan every day.
2. Go to CBD and buy Keller’s new book on Prayer. I noticed they have free standard shipping today. This book will really help you understand prayer in ways you may not have considered.
3. Set a time and a place to read and pray daily. Begin what Dallas Willard calls training our heart and mind.
4. Commit to giving away a little more than you did last year.
5. If you are not involved in disciple making, get involved in someone’s life for some fellow disciple making. Meeting and discussing Keller’s book would be a great way to start.
These ideas are designed to help one grow spiritually. In answer to this question:
How do you want to grow spiritually in 2015?
Today there will be last minute trips to the store, the final wrapping of gifts, greeting family and friends, lots of cooking, for some there will be Christmas Eve services.
I remember my one Christmas in Budapest. Days before, signs were posted in the public transit informing the public that at about 3 pm on Christmas Eve the transit system would shift to night busses only until the morning of the 26th. Things really shut down. Christmas Eve night Sweet Anna and I walked a half hour or so through the cold snowy quiet from our daughter’s home to where we were staying. A silent night it truly was.
Then the next morning we went back for Christmas.
Upon our arrival something was needed from a store. The only thing open was a 24 hour shop the size of a closet. After I made my purchase I walked across the street to the local parish which was in the middle of one of many Christmas masses. It was packed with all ages. I hope they understood the real story.
In Cambridge, England today that story will be told. the annual Lessons and Carols event will originate from King’s College Chapel at 10 U.S. Eastern time… Click here for more it is a helpful reminder to me each year of what the whole Christmas is: from the Fall to the promise and then Redemption.
Here are Scriptures I’ve been meditating on:
For God so loved the world…
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior who is Christ the Lord…
Therefore since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…
How wonderful that the Prince of Peace has come to this world.
We live in a busy culture that rarely slows down.
Why not slow down today and consider the good news that the Incarnation happened so that you may live in a state of peace with God who sent His only begotten Son so that you and I can be His sons and daughters.