Links & Quotes

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“The job isn’t to catch up to the status quo; the job is to invent the status quo.” —Seth Godin

Check this out: just 2 verses of Scripture, but 22 verified historical confirmations!

J. Warner Wallace explains why we should trust a courtroom over a laboratory when evaluating the truthfulness of historical events.

Seth Godin tells us how to win an argument with a scientist.

I know you read this from me (a lot!), but I love what the folks at The Overview Bible Project do. Check out this overview of the Gospel of John.

[VIDEO] John Maxwell on the power of implementation—

[VIDEO] Dr. Bobby Conway answers a tough question: what is habitual sin?

12 Quotes From “God-Breathed”

God-BreathedJosh McDowell has given us another outstanding Christian apologetic. In God-Breathed, Josh shares with us some astounding facts that show the amazing reliability of the Bible. You can read my book review of God-Breathed by clicking here. Below are some of the quotes I especially appreciated.

“The doctrines and commands of Scripture act as two guardrails to guide us down the right path of life. The teachings of Scripture (doctrine) keep us thinking and believing rightly. The instructions of Scripture (commands) keep us acting and living rightly. But without the proper context, we can miss the true purpose of Scripture, which is to guide us into keeping right thinking and right living in balance. … Scripture was given to lead us into a deeper love relationship with the One Who wrote the Book, and then also with everyone around us.” 

“The infinite God is personal. And because He is personal, we can love Him, worship Him, and please Him with our trust and obedience. Because He is personal, He can love us, rejoice with us, comfort us, and reveal Himself and His ways to us.”

“What is it that really parents our children? Is it the directives, instructions, and commands we give them? Those are behavioral guidelines, but they are not what raises our kids. It is not ‘parenting,’ as a concept, that brings up children; it is the parents themselves—relational human beings—who do the work and perform that role. That is the way God designed it. He wants kids to be brought up in loving relationships. Without relationship with another person, all attempts to instill right beliefs and right behavior will be ineffective, because they are detached from the necessary elements of personal love and care. … The Holy Spirit administers Scripture to us like a loving parent, in order to provide us with wisdom through its lessons (Proverbs 3:5), security through its boundaries (Exodus 20), caution through its warnings (Ephesians 4:17-22), and reproof through its discipline (Philippians 2:3-4).” 

“By AD 100, the apostles had died, but the Christian Church was still in its infancy, with fewer than twenty-five thousand proclaimed followers of Christ. But within the next two hundred years, the fledgling church experienced explosive multiplication of growth, to include as many as twenty million people. This means the church of Jesus Christ quadrupled every generation for five consecutive generations!”

“In AD 367, Athanasius of Alexandria compiled the first official list of books that we know today as the New Testament. There were twenty-seven books listed in all. These books were then canonized officially by the church at the councils of Hippo (AD 393) and Carthage (AD 397). Again, these councils didn’t authorize which writings were God-breathed works; rather, they recognized that these writings were authorized by God Himself.” 

“The Old Testament, comprised of thirty-nine books, was officially recognized as God-breathed Scripture as early as the fourth century BC and certainly no later than 150 BC.”

“The Bible is now the most translated book of all-time. The United Bible Society reports that, as of 2014, the Bible or portions of the Bible has been translated into 2,650 languages. Their Digital Bible Library now hosts more than 800 translations in 636 languages spoken by 4.3 billion people.” 

“Compared with other ancient writings, the Bible has more manuscript evidence to support it then the top ten pieces of classical literature combined.”

“No other work in all literature has been so carefully and accurately copied as the Old Testament.”

“Once archaeologists completed their search of the Qumran caves—eleven caves in all—almost 1,050 scrolls have been found in about 25,000 to 50,000 pieces (a number that varies depending on how the fragments are counted). Of these manuscripts, about 300 were texts from the Bible, and many of the rest had ‘direct relevance to early Judaism and emerging Christianity.’ Every book of the Old Testament was represented, except for the book of Esther, and the earliest copies dated from about 250 BC. … Once the Dead Sea Scrolls were translated and compared with modern versions of the Hebrew Bible, the text proved to be identical, word for word, in more than 95% of the cases. (The 5 percent deviation consists mainly of spelling variations. For example, of the 166 words and Isaiah 53, only seventeen letters are in question. Of those, ten are a matter of spelling, and four are stylistic differences; the remaining three letters comprise the word light, which was added to Isaiah 53:11.)”

“The writings of the most authoritative writers of the early church—the leaders scholars referred to collectively as the Apostolic Fathers—give overwhelming support to the existence of the twenty-seven authoritative books of the New Testament. Some Apostolic Fathers produced extensive, highly accurate quotes from the text of the New Testament. … Early church writers provide quotations so numerous and widespread that if no manuscripts of the New Testament were extant, ‘the New Testament could be reproduced from the writings of the early Fathers alone.’” —Norman Geisler and William Nix 

“The earliest preachers of the gospel knew the value of…first-hand testimony, and appealed to it time and again. ‘We are witnesses of these things,’ was there constant and confident assertion. And it can have been by no means so easy as some writers seem to think to invent words and deeds of Jesus in those early years, when so many of His disciples were about, who could remember what had and had not happened. … One of the strong points in the original apostolic preaching is the confident appeal to the knowledge of the hearers; they not only said, ‘We are witnesses of these things,’ but also, ‘As you yourselves also know’ (Acts 2:22). Had there been any tendency to depart from the facts in any material respect, the possible presence of hostile witnesses in the audience would have served as a further corrective.” —F.F. Bruce

Links & Quotes

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“Only the mediocre are always at their best. If your standards are low, it is easy to meet those standards every single day, every single year. But if your standard is to be the best, there will be days when you fall short of that goal. It is okay to not win every game. The only problem would be if you allow a loss or a failure to change your standards. Keep your standards intact, keep the bar set high, and continue to try your very best every day to meet those standards. If you do that, you can always be proud of the work that you do.” —Mike Krzyzewski

“Spectacular achievements are always preceded by unspectacular preparation.” —Roger Staubach

“Christians who serve in ‘secular’ vocations are the ones who do most of the ministry and kingdom-expansion work that happens in the world. It’s the job of vocational ministers [pastors] to equip these folks so they can do their various ministries effectively.” Read more from Jon Bloom in his post Christian, Your Job Is A Ministry Job.

“One of the most important decisions we make is almost always made without thought, without discussion: ‘How big do you want this to be?’ It’s a question that always gets in the way of, ‘How good do you want this to be?’” —Seth Godin

Scientism keeps trying to find evidence to fit their theories (like this latest one to explain the absence of global warming), but few seldom recognize the genius of Our Creator. Sad…

Dr. Tim Elmore always has amazing insights into the youth mindset. Check out this article: Does A Loaded Childhood Delay Healthy Adulthood? (If you haven’t read any of Dr. Elmore’s books, please type his name in the search box, and check out the book reviews I have posted.)

[VIDEO] Check out Frank Turek’s answer to the question, “Will God send me to hell for not believing in Jesus?”—

God-Breathed (book review)

God-BreathedI have always been a fan of Josh McDowell’s work as a premiere Christian apologist. Christians hold closely to the Bible, so if that work can be proven to be faulty, all of the Christian’s arguments will fall flat. Josh McDowell, in his newest book God-Breathed, presents all of the evidence to show the undeniable reliability of the Bible.

Josh writes, “If used properly, words can effectively connect us relationally. Words are important, and the God-breathed words of Scripture are the most important of all. But we must listen to how words are being used in order to understand their true meaning. … How can we be sure that we have a Bible that accurately represents what God inspired people to write on His behalf? Since we have none of the original manuscripts, how can we know that the copies in our possession are reliable and accurate? … That is what this book is about: knowing with certainty that we can experience the power of God’s Word as revealed in the Bible, because it’s reliable.”

Josh systematically shares the evidence that leads to the conclusion that the Bible is indeed God’s inspired Word. You will learn about the care scribes took in copying the Scripture through generations; the literary evidences that can be used to verify the biblical message; the historical and archeological findings that corroborate the messages in Scripture; and so much more.

This is a fascinating book to study!

Put this on your bookshelf, and refer back to it often, and you will gain a greater appreciation for the amazing collection of books that we refer to as the Holy Bible.

I am a Shiloh Run Press book reviewer.

12 Quotes From “Rise”

RiseTrip Lee has given parents, teachers and anyone who mentors teens and 20-somethings an excellent resource in his book Rise. I read this book for myself, and now I’m reading it and discussing it with my teenage son. You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are just a few of the quotes I especially appreciated in Rise.

“There are great benefits to living for Jesus in the present. Now is the time when we have the most strength. Now is the time when we have the most energy. Now is the time when we can give it everything we have. Now is the time to get up and live.”

“Every decision we make is a small piece of a larger puzzle. And without looking at the big picture for reference, we’ll place the pieces incorrectly every time. It’s tragic to treasure a moment in time more than an entire lifetime.”

“It’s loving of me to stop my son when he tries to put his finger in a socket or put a penny in his mouth. It’s loving of Jesus to tell me to say no to myself when I’m doing the wrong thing. … Let’s be clear, though. He’s not saying you can’t be yourself. He’s not calling you to ignore your personality and abandon your interests. Instead, He’s saying, ‘Submit all those things to Me.’ Your personality and your interests are His, and following Him shapes those things to bring you joy and bring God glory.” 

“One of our problems is that we think we belong to ourselves. Our assumption is that we are the masters of our lives and we get to make all the big decisions. That’s a myth. I belong to God. First, because He created me (Psalm 139:13), and second, because He purchased me (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). And that has serious implications for how I invest each hour of my day. I don’t have the right to rob God of time.”

“We allow our desire for approval to push us in directions we wouldn’t go otherwise. The answer is to be more content with the acceptance of Jesus, while praying that God would make us more passionate about pleasing Him than pleasing other people. … One of the quickest ways to ensure compromise is to obsess over what other people think of you.”

“Confession of sin can only be perceived as your enemy if you have a goal other than God’s glory. If your goal is your glory, then confessing your sin works against that goal and therefore should be avoided. But if you’re living for the glory of God, confessing your sin to the right people will only help.”

“With Christians or non-Christians, when we pretend, we are using them instead of loving them. Instead of saying or doing what would be most beneficial for them, we say or do what makes us look good. We’re using them to get to that end goal, the magical feeling of acceptance and approval, that sweet ego stroke. And that will eventually crush us and crush them.”

“The mature Christian doesn’t just ask, ‘What can I do?’ but ‘What can I do to glorify God?’”

“A Christian’s job is to live in such a way that shows off the real Jesus, the all-powerful, Almighty, sinner-loving King of the universe.”

“One of the reasons we struggle is because we forget that Jesus is the Lord of all. When I say Lord of all, I don’t just mean Lord of all people; I mean Lord of all things and spheres of life. It’s easy for us to section off our lives into little quadrants. There’s the fun stuff, the family stuff, the boring stuff, and the spiritual stuff. But the Bible doesn’t recognize any area of our lives that’s not spiritual. God made every sphere of life, He rules over every sphere of life, and He can be glorified in every sphere of life. This means everything is sacred.”

“The symptom of an encounter with the compassion of Jesus is compassion for others.”

“People go to hell because they haven’t seen the glory of God in the Gospel and trusted in Christ. Seeing the glory of God matters, and we want them to see it. Where the glorious light of Christ is not seen, sins are not forgiven and souls are not saved. This is why we share the Good News. The end goal of evangelism is that people would see the glory of God and worship Him forever.”

Links & Quotes

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“True revival can never take place without this kind of all-consuming hunger for God’s Word. Indeed, when God’s people grow weary of hearing His Word preached, a spiritual death begins—and the joy of the Lord departs.” —David Wilkerson

“The Scriptures should be read with the aim of finding Christ in them. Whoever turns aside from this object, even though he wears himself out all his life in learning, he will never reach the knowledge of the truth.” —John Calvin

“Let men see that the world has changed, not you—that man’s opinions and man’s maxims have veered round to another quarter, but that you are still invincibly strong in the strength which trusting in God alone can confer.” —Charles Spurgeon

“The Missionary Spirit of God is ever restless. Where is it dark? Where is it hopeless?  Where is there no church? Where are there no Christians? Where is the Father’s glory not known? Where are their tongues that blaspheme and knees refusing to bow to King Jesus? It is there that we must go, must stay, must live, and must die.” —Dick Brogden

“Have you ever looked up? Have you ever been hugged? Have you ever sat in front of a warm fire? Have you ever walked in the woods, sat by a lake, lain in a summer hammock? Have you ever drunk your favorite drink on a hot day or eaten anything good? Every desire is either a devout or a distorted enticement to the glory of heaven. You say you haven’t tasted God’s glory. I say, you have tasted the appetizers. Go on to the meal.” [Psalm 34:8] —John Piper

“Our Heavenly Father also exhorts us to be men. He wants you to be like Him. When He calls you to ‘be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect,’ He’s asking you to rise above your sinful tendencies to impure eyes, fanciful minds, and wandering hearts. His standard of purity doesn’t come naturally to you. He calls you to rise up, by the power of His indwelling presence, and be the man He created you to be.” —Steve Arterburn

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has great insight into what gives Americans their freedom. Check out this post on the United States Constitution.

[VIDEO] Dr. Bobby Conway answers a good question: Do Christians sin?

A Mother’s Prayerful Perseverance

Prayerful perseveranceNaomi had it rough. It seemed like everything in her life fell apart. And to add insult to injury, everything around her seemed to mock her pain—

  • She lived in Bethlehem, which means House of Bread, but there was no bread because of the famine.
  • Her husband’s name was Elimelech, which means God is my king, but instead of him trusting God, he trusted his own wits.
  • Her sons were supposed to bring her joy and a hopeful future, but their names also haunted her: Mahlon means sickly, and Kilion means wasting away.

Naomi hit rock-bottom—Now Elimelech, Naomi’s husband died… And after they had lived there about ten years both Mahlon and Kilion both died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband (Ruth 1:3, 5).

Is it any wonder Naomi—whose name means pleasant—wanted to change her name to Mara (bitterness)?

But somewhere deep inside, Naomi had courage enough to hang on to hope. She heard that God had once again provided bread in the House of Bread, and she returned home. She had no prospects for success, and her husband’s debts were still awaiting her, but she went back to Bethlehem with her daughter-in-law Ruth.

It was here they encountered Boaz. His name means pillar and he is described as “a man of standing” (2:1). Boaz was a kinsman-redeemer. Boaz is a picture of Jesus. As our Kinsman-Redeemer, only Jesus can…

  • Give our needs a voice as He intercedes for us
  • Bring us peace as He asks us to cast all our cares on Him
  • Pay all of our debts
  • Give us a hope-filled future

Especially as we remember Mothers Day, it’s a great reminder that a mother’s prayerful perseverance on her Kinsman-Redeemer yields blessings now and for generations to come! 

Don’t give up! Jesus is your Kinsman-Redeemer, and He is waiting for you to cling to Him.

(The Book of Ruth is an absolutely amazing, hope-inspiring story. It you haven’t read it lately, you can read it through in just a few minutes.)

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