Links & Quotes

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Some good reading & watching from today…

“James has in his mind a picture of people who use prayer to try to get from God something they desire more than God [James 4:2-4]. He calls these people—men and women—‘adulteresses.’ Why? Because in his mind God is like our Husband who is jealous to be our highest delight. If we then try to make prayer a means of getting from Him something we want more then we want Him, we are like a wife who asks her husband for money to visit another lover.” —John Piper

“The greatest outward troubles and calamities that we meet with…must needs appear very little things to the misery which we have deserved.” —Jonathan Edwards

“Our Enemy is a hedonist at heart. All those fasts and vigils and stakes and crosses are only a facade. Or only like foam on the sea shore. Out at sea, out in His sea, there is pleasure, and more pleasure. He makes no secret of it; at His right hand are ‘pleasures for evermore.’ Ugh! Don’t think He has the least inkling of that high and austere mystery to which we rise in the Miserific Vision. He’s vulgar, Wormwood. He has a bourgeois mind. He has filled His world full of pleasures. There are things for humans to do all day long without His minding in the least—sleeping, washing, eating, drinking, making love, playing, praying, working. Everything has to be twisted before it’s any use to us. We fight under cruel disadvantages. Nothing is naturally on our side.” —C.S. Lewis, Screwtape writing to Wormwood in The Screwtape Letters. (In case you didn’t know, The Screwtape Letters are letters from an older demon [Screwtape] to his young apprentice demon [Wormwood]. So the “Enemy” in their correspondence is God.) 

Since I just reviewed Beyond IQ, I have been reading more about the workings of the human brain. This post—How To Rewire Your Brain For Greater Happiness—is interesting. Even though they are quoting scientific findings, everything they have “discovered” was already in the Bible!

Philip Nation has a great list of how God reveals Himself in every book of the Bible.

I love John Piper’s latest project called Look At The Book, which shows Piper teaching the Scripture. Check out this video—

Chronology Of Old Testament Prophets

Chronology Of The ProphetsI am throughly enjoying my reading through The Archeological Study Bible. I am reading through the Scripture in chronological order. You can download a chart I produced of the kings and prophets of Israel and Judah by clicking here.

The chart in this post was produced by the editors of The Archeological Study Bible, which I have simply reproduced here. You can click on the picture for a larger view, or you can download a PDF version by clicking here → Chronology Of The Prophets ←

My prayer is that resources like this will aid your own personal Bible reading!

9 Quotes From “Bible Reading”

J.C. RyleJ.C. Ryle’s book Bible Reading has a question repeated all throughout the book: What are you doing with the Bible? do you read it? how do you read it? This is a book that will challenge and encourage both the Bible-reading novice, and the Bible-reading veteran. You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are some quotes that I highlighted in this powerful little book.

“This is the Book to which the civilized world is indebted for many of its best and most praiseworthy institutions. Few probably are aware how many good things that men have adopted for the public benefit, of which the origin may be clearly traced to the Bible. It has left lasting marks wherever it has been received. From the Bible are drawn many of the best laws by which society is kept in order. From the Bible has been obtained the standard of morality about truth, honesty, and the relations of man and wife, which prevails among Christian nations, and which—however feebly respected in many case—makes so great a difference between Christians and heathen.” 

“The Bible applied to the heart by the Holy Spirit is the grand instrument by which souls are first converted to God. That mighty change is generally begun by some text or doctrine of the Word, brought home to a man’s conscience. In this way the Bible has worked moral miracles by the thousands. It has made drunkards become sober—immoral people become pure—thieves become honest and violent-tempered people become meek. It has wholly altered the course of men’s lives.”

“The Bible can show a believer how to walk in this world so as to please God. It can teach him how to glorify Christ in all the relationships of life, and can make him a good leader, employee, subordinate, husband, father, or son. It can enable him to bear misfortunes and loss without murmuring, and say, ‘It is well.’ It can enable him to look down into the grave, and say, ‘I will fear no evil’ (Psalm 23:4). It can enable him to think about judgment and eternity, and not feel afraid. It can enable him to bear persecution without flinching and to give up liberty and life rather than deny Christ’s truth.” 

“The Lord God knows the weakness and infirmities of our poor fallen understandings. He knows that, even after conversion, our perceptions of right and wrong are extremely vague. He knows how artfully satan can overlay error with an appearance of truth, and can dress up wrong with plausible arguments, till it looks like right. Knowing all this, He has mercifully provided us with an unerring standard of truth and error, right and wrong, and has taken care to make that standard a written Book—the Scripture.”

“A man must make the Bible alone his rule. He must receive nothing and believe nothing which is not according to the Word. He must try all religious teaching by one simple test—Does it square with the Bible? What does the Scripture say?” 

“A false minister may say, ‘You have no right to use your private judgment: leave the Bible to us who are ordained.’ A true minister will say, ‘Search the Scriptures, and if I do not teach you what is scriptural, do not believe me.’ A false minister may cry, ‘Listen to the Church,’ and ‘Listen to me.’ A true minister will say, ‘Listen to the Word of God.’”

“Love of the Word appears preeminently in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He read it publicly. He quoted it continually. He expounded it frequently. He advised the Jews to search it. He used it as His weapon to resist the devil. He repeatedly said, ‘The Scripture must be fulfilled.’ Almost the last thing He did was to ‘open their minds so they could understand the Scriptures’ (Luke 24:45). I am afraid that man cannot be a true servant of Christ, who has not something of his Master’s mind and feeling towards the Bible.” 

“Read the Bible with Christ continually in view. The primary object of all Scripture is to testify about Jesus: Old Testament ceremonies are shadows of Christ; Old Testament judges and deliverers are types of Christ; Old Testament history shows the world’s need of Christ; Old Testament prophecies are full of Christ’s sufferings; Old Testament prophecies are full of Christ’s glory yet to come. … All these shine forth everywhere in the Bible. Remember this clue, if you would read the Bible right.”

“Let us resolve to read the Bible more and more every year we live. Let us try to get it rooted in our memories, and engraved into our hearts. … Let us resolve to be more watchful over our Bible reading every year that we live. Let us be jealously careful about the time we give to it, and the manner that time is spent. Let us be aware of omitting our daily reading without sufficient cause. Let us not be gaping, and yawning and dozing over our book, while we read. … Let us be very careful that we never exalt any minister, or sermon, or book, or tract, or friend above the Word. Cursed be that book, or tract, or human counsel, which creeps in between us and the Bible, and hides the Bible from our eyes! … Let us resolve to talk more to believers about the Bible when we meet them. Sorry to say, the conversation of Christians, when they do meet, is often sadly unprofitable! How many frivolous, and trifling, and uncharitable things are said! Let us bring out the Bible more, and it will help to drive the devil away, and keep our hearts in tune.”

Bible Reading (book review)

BibleJ.C. Ryle wrote 100+ years ago, but his words still resonate with me as though they were written yesterday. In his book Bible Reading, J.C. Ryle makes a strong case for a renewed passion for every one to step up their time in reading, meditating upon, and living out Scripture.

Chapter after chapter Ryle asks, “I charge you, I entreat you to give me an honest answer. What are you doing with the Bible? Do you read it? How do you read it?” And chapter after chapter he continues to give us fewer excuses for not reading the Bible, and more persuasion to read Scripture in a more meaningful way.

The opening words of this book are about as simple and as profound as anything any one could say about God’s Word: “Next to praying there is nothing so important in practical religion as Bible reading.”

What are you doing with the Bible? Do you read it? How do you read it? This book will help you answer these vital questions.

The Quick-Start Guide To The Whole Bible (book review)

Quick-Start GuideZig Ziglar once quipped, “Every day I read the newspaper and I read my Bible. That way I know what both sides are up to!” I couldn’t agree more. Everything I read gets filtered through the Bible, but the Bible is a huge volume and one could lose sight of the big picture while trying to read through it. This is where The Quick-Start Guide To The Whole Bible by Drs. William Marty and Boyd Seevers become a valuable resource.

The book is laid out in the same order as the 66 books of the Bible, and each chapter follows the same sequence. For each book you will learn (1) the setting, (2) the summary, and (3) the significance. With each chapter only being a few pages long, it’s a great introduction before reading a book of the Bible.

In the setting you will be reminded of the events occurring in history at the time of the book, which helps give perspective to what you will be reading in the Bible. In the summary you will notice the overarching themes to look for while you read. And in the significance you will discover how this book of the Bible fits into the overall big picture of the whole of Scripture.

Keep this book close to your Bible, and read the corresponding chapter before you begin reading a new book in your Bible. I think you will get so much more out of your Bible reading time by doing this.

I am a Bethany House book reviewer.

Don’t Forget The Most Important Thing

Pastor JoshPastor Josh continued the Boating Lessons series yesterday, which Pastor Tom began last week. What a great word Josh brought us! Here are my “raw notes” just as I took them during his message.

Boating Lessons—part 2 (Psalm 103:1-5Matthew 8:23-27)

How many of us have been in a storm where we felt out of control or distant from God? When we are in the midst of that storm, we must remember Who’s in the boat with us.

Jesus challenged the disciples, “Have you forgotten Who I am?” They had seen Him heal leprosy (8:1-4), heal paralysis (8:5-13), raise up the sick and set the demon-possessed free (8:14-17). But now they were more focused on the situation than on the Savior.

One symptom of forgetting Who God is: complaining (the disciples asked Jesus, “Don’t You care about us?!” [Mark 4:38]).

The storm is part of God’s process to change us and to bring glory to God—Be strong, courageous, and firm; fear not nor be in terror before them, for it is the Lord your God Who goes with you; He will not fail you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Don’t forget Who’s in the boat … He never leaves us. The most important thing is not the storm rocking the boat but Who is in the boat with me!

I might feel like I have no control, but I must remember that Jesus is in the boat with me and He has all control!

Storms may come “without warning” to me (Matthew 8:24), but remember God Who is in my boat is All-Knowing and He’s never taken by surprise. 

Pastor Josh closed his message the same way I’d like to close this post: in prayer. If you are in the midst of a storm—or if you feel like God is distant—this is the best time to cry out to Him in prayer. The Holy Spirit can remind you of Who is in the boat with You. He will never leave you nor forsake you!

Please join us next Sunday as Pastor Tom and Pastor Josh continue this series.

Links & Quotes

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Some great reading & watching from this weekend…

What it means to fight like a man.

[INFOGRAPHIC] The most popular Book of all time.

“Christians are priests, but how priests if they offer no sacrifice? Christians are lights, but how are they lights unless they shine for others? Christians are sent into the world, even as Christ was sent into the world, but how are they sent unless they are sent to pray? Christians are meant not only to be blessed themselves, but in them shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, but how if you refuse to pray?” —Charles Spurgeon

“Reason does not know that salvation must come down from above; we want to work up from below so that the satisfaction is rendered by us.” —Martin Luther

“No matter the society or culture, the city or town, God has never lacked the power to work through available people to glorify His name.” —Jim Cymbala

Chilly Chilton has a very timely message: My Take On Mark Driscoll & Acts 29.

[FREE EBOOK] I love the graphics and Bible study tools from The Overview Bible Project. Check out the free ebook they are offering on the apostles.

[VIDEO] John Maxwell says, “You cannot be full of yourself and focused on others.” Check out his video on humility.

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