Just started reading Chase The Lion by Mark Batterson. Already hooked at this opening page!
Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.
Just started reading Chase The Lion by Mark Batterson. Already hooked at this opening page!
Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.
Today’s Moment Of Truth by Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg is so chockfull of helpful truths that I couldn’t possibly have shared all of the passages I highlighted. Here are a few more quotes I wanted to share with you:
“Jesus said, ‘Do not believe Me unless I do the works of My father. But if I do them, even though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father’ (John 10:37-38). And Jesus did the miraculous works He referred to. Even the Pharisee Nicodemus conceded, ‘Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs You are doing if God were not with Him’ (John 3:2).
“We can see such confirmation repeatedly in the lives of Jesus and the biblical prophets. But it never happened in the life of Mohammad, the founder of Islam. Mohammad believed Jesus was a prophet who performed miracles, including raising the dead. Muslims also believe Moses and Elijah performed miracles.
“However, according to the Qur’an, when unbelievers challenged Mohammad to perform a miracle, he refused. He merely said they should read a chapter in the Qur’an (Surah 2:118; 3:181-184; 4:153; 6:8, nine, 37).
“So, unlike Jesus, Mohammad never did miracles. It wasn’t until approximately 150 to 200 years after Mohammad’s death that some of his followers begin to come up with stories of miracles and ascribe them to him.” —Lee Strobel & Mark Mittelberg
“There are two major competing worldviews to Christian theism—atheism and pantheism…. The problem with atheism is that, with its denial of God’s existence, there’s a loss of any ultimate moral basis by which to declare something good or evil. So atheists are left without any objective standard by which to judge something as being right or wrong. Instead, they’re left with mere preferences. I have mine. You have yours. Rape and murder may not be my cup of tea, but they maybe somebody else’s. And who are we to say that what others choose to do is wrong? [We are] not saying an atheist cannot live a moral life; we are saying that an atheist cannot define what morality is. ….
“If everything is part of god [as in pantheism], then what we call evil is actually part of that god as well. … This is the very god, or ultimate reality, that Eastern philosophy says we’re supposed to strive to become more like and eventually to become one with. This presents a tremendous problem: we’re supposed to join with the very entity that contains evil within itself!” —Lee Strobel & Mark Mittelberg
“Revering Christ as Lord and being prepared to defend our faith are ongoing processes in the Christian life. … It’s interesting that in the original Greek, the word Peter used for answer is apologia [1 Peter 3:15], from which we get our word apologetics. It literally means we are to be ready to give a speech of defense—a well-thought-out account of why our faith in Christ makes sense. … With God’s help we can present information that will remove intellectual barriers, helping people move one step closer to faith in Christ.” —Lee Strobel & Mark Mittelberg
“In 2 Chronicles 7, God says if Israel’s sin reaches a certain level, He’ll destroy the temple, exile the people, and leave them in a state of judgment. Sure enough, this comes to pass. The prophet Daniel prays in Daniel 9 that God would have mercy. God gives him a revelation about the temple being rebuilt. Before this new temple is destroyed, Daniel is told, several things are going to take place, including the bringing of everlasting atonement—the final dealing with sin.
“The prophet Haggai says the glory of the second temple will be greater than the glory of the first temple. God will fill the second temple with His glory. Then the prophet Malachi says the Lord will come to His temple. He uses a Hebrew term that always refers to God Himself: the Lord—He will come to that temple.
“Keep in mind the second temple was destroyed in AD 70. Atonement for sin had to be made and the divine visitation had to take place before the second temple was destroyed.
“So … if it’s not Yeshua, the Jewish name for Jesus, then throw out the Bible, because nobody except Him accomplished what needed to be done prior to AD 70. What divine visitation did take place if not for Yeshua? When else did God visit the second temple in a personal way? How else was the glory of the second temple greater than the first?
“Either the Messiah came two thousand years ago, or the prophets were wrong and we can discard the Bible. But they weren’t wrong. Yeshua is the Messiah—or nobody is.” —Michael Brown, a messianic Jew
“Even nonreligious people live in the trust that their nonreligious beliefs are accurate and that they won’t someday face a thoroughly religious Maker who actually did issue a list of guidelines and requirements that they failed to pay attention to.” —Mark Mittelberg
“There can be no doubt that archaeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of Old Testament tradition.” —William F. Albright
“The noted Roman historian Collin J. Hemer, in The Book Of Acts In The Setting Of Hellenistic History, shows how archaeology has confirmed not dozens, but hundreds and hundreds of details from the biblical account of the early church. Even small details have been corroborated, like which way the wind blows, how deep the water is a certain distance from the shore, what kind of disease a particular island had, the names of local officials, and so forth.
“Now, Acts was authored by the historian Luke. Hemer gives more than a dozen reasons why Acts had to have been written before AD 62, or about thirty years after Jesus’ crucifixion. Even earlier, Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke, which is substantially the same as the other biblical accounts of Jesus’ life.
“So here you have an impeccable historian, who has been proven right in hundreds of details and never proven wrong, and it’s written within one generation while eyewitnesses were still alive and could have disputed it if it were exaggerated or false.” —Norman Geisler
“No Book of Mormon cities have ever been located, no Book of Mormon person, place, nation, or name has ever been found, no Book of Mormon artifacts, no Book of Mormon scriptures, no Book of Mormon inscriptions,…nothing which demonstrates the Book of Mormon is anything other than myth or invention has ever been found.” —John Ankernerg and John Weldon
“Jesus did exist, whether we like it or not.” —Bart Ehrman, an agnostic
If you would like to read the first set or quotes from this book, please click here.
You can check out my review of Today’s Moment Of Truth here.
And to read some of the other quotes I’ll be sharing from this book, be sure to follow me on Tumblr and Twitter.
I love reading. But hands-down, without a doubt, my favorite book to read is the Bible. So I’m always intrigued by any resource that can help me get more out of my time in the Scriptures. In The Gospels Side-By-Side by Rose Publishing, I found a goldmine.
This short pamphlet is chockfull of graphics, charts, maps and historical background information that helped me see the bigger picture of the story of Jesus that the Gospel writers were conveying to us. It begins with the unique perspective of each Gospel writer, and launches us deeper into the Bible from there.
In this book you will see things like:
This should bring new life to any Bible student’s reading time! I highly recommend you check out not only this pamphlet, but many of the other resources available at Rose Publishing.
Here are a couple of screenshots from the book…
I have noticed a lot of similarities between the September back-to-school rush, and New Year’s Day. Except instead of resolutions, in the fall most people set new goals, or try to readjust their schedules to take advantage of a new season.
This is an excellent idea, and the perfect time to do it.
In a psalm written by Moses, he tells us to understand the value of our days, and be as wise as we can with what we do with each day God has given us (Psalm 90:12).
The Apostle Paul echoes these thoughts:
Be very careful, then, how do you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. (Ephesians 5:15-17)
One way for us to make the most of every day is to wisely set some goals. Here are four tips that I’ve discovered to help me.
(1) The fewer the goals, the better.
Craig Groeschel said, “To do more things, do less things better.” I totally agree. I would suggest limiting yourself to just 1-2 goals at a time. Then put these one or two goals on your calendar first. In other words: Don’t prioritize your schedule, but schedule your priorities.
(2) Don’t fall into the sacred/secular trap.
So many people—even Christians—think that there are spiritual goals and non-spiritual goals. But the Bible says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Every goal you set is a spiritual goal, because every goal should help you live your life wisely, in a way that honors and glorifies God.
(3) Make your goals S.M.A.R.T.
You may have heard these before, but I really like to use them. Make your goals:
(4) Make a “stop doing” list.
You cannot do everything, so focus on the important, not the urgent. And remember not everything can stay on your calendar. For instance, if you want to read more in the evenings, you may have to eliminate some TV time; if you want to exercise in the mornings, you may have to eliminate that second cup of coffee.
Just a couple of verses after Moses challenges us to make the most of every day God has given us, he asks God for His help—May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands.
May God give you wisdom as you make new goals, and may He bless the work of your hands as you implement your new strategies.
I know this technically isn’t a “poem” but I found this allegory poetically beautiful. I hope you enjoy it as I did!
“…sorrowful, yet always rejoicing…” (2 Corinthians 6:10)
Sorrow was beautiful, but her beauty was the beauty of the moonlight shining through the leafy branches of the trees in the wood, and making little pools of silver here and there on the soft green moss below. When Sorrow sang, her notes were like the low sweet call of the nightingale, and in her eyes was the unexpectant gaze of one who has ceased to look for coming gladness. She could weep in tender sympathy with those who weep, but to rejoice with those who rejoice was unknown to her.
Joy was beautiful, too, but his was the radiant beauty of the summer morning. His eyes still held the glad laughter of childhood, and his hair had the glint of the sunshine’s kiss. When Joy sang his voice soared upward as the lark’s, and his step was the step of a conqueror who has never known defeat. He could rejoice with all who rejoice, but to weep with those who weep was unknown to him.
“But we can never be united,” said Sorrow wistfully.
“No, never.” And Joy’s eyes shadowed as he spoke. “My path lies through the sunlit meadows, the sweetest roses bloom for my gathering, and the blackbirds and thrushes await my coming to pour forth their most joyous lays.”
“My path,” said Sorrow, turning slowly away, “leads through the darkening woods, with moon-flowers only shall my hands be filled. Yet the sweetest of all earth-songs—the love song of the night—shall be mine; farewell, Joy, farewell.”
Even as she spoke they became conscious of a form standing beside them; dimly seen, but of a Kingly Presence, and a great and holy awe stole over them as they sank on their knees before Him.
“I see Him as the King of Joy,” whispered Sorrow, “for on His Head are many crowns, and the nail prints in His hands and feet are the scars of a great victory. Before Him all my sorrow is melting away into deathless love and gladness, and I give myself to Him forever.”
“Nay, Sorrow,” said Joy softly, “but I see Him as the King of Sorrow, and the crown on His head is a crown of thorns, and the nail prints in His hands and feet are the scars of a great agony. I, too, give myself to Him forever, for sorrow with Him must be sweeter than any joy that I have known.”
“Then we are one in Him,” they cried in gladness, “for none but He could unite Joy and Sorrow.”
Hand in hand they passed out into the world to follow Him through storm and sunshine, in the bleakness of winter cold and the warmth of summer gladness, “as sorrowful yet always rejoicing.” —Lettie Cowman
From Corrie ten Boom’s book I Stand At The Door And Knock…
“Once I was waiting at a very primitive bridge in New Zealand. We were traveling by car, but we didn’t dare to cross. First, one of the men in the car went to investigate if the bridge was strong enough. It appeared to be strong enough, even though it was very primitive, and we crossed without a problem.
“This man was not investigating our trust in the bridge. Very often, we tend to look at our faith, and we know our faith is big and strong, or weak and small. But we shouldn’t investigate our faith; we should investigate the Bridge. We should not rely on ourselves, but on Him. And when we look to Jesus, we know that He is strong.” —Corrie ten Boom (emphasis added)
This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.
The tendency to rest in any of the blessings which are the natural outcome of union with God is the beginning of backsliding. …
If God were to remove from us as saints the possibility of disobedience there would be no value in our obedience, it would be a mechanical business. … The possibility of disobedience in a child of God makes his obedience of amazing value. …
If we have received the life of Jesus, it is unconscious blasphemy in God’s sight to stop short of attaining anything He reveals as possible for us. … If once we deliberately stop short and refuse to let God’s life has its way with us, we shall revile the truth because it has not been reached.
From The Philosophy Of Sin
Oswald Chambers is reminding us that there is no standing still for the saint. We cannot say, “That’s good enough, I don’t want any more,” or “It’s so wonderful here, I don’t want to move on.” Either of those attitudes sets us up to begin to slide backward from our relationship with God.
“But,” someone might say, “the next level God is calling me to seems so difficult. Staying where I am seems safer than attempting something where I might fall flat on my face spiritually!” Chambers reminds us that obedience to what God calls us to do is “of amazing value” to Him. Also, a littler later on, Oswald Chambers encourages us with these words: “All God’s commands are enablings.” In other words, what God calls us to do, His Spirit enables us to do.
Don’t stay where you are and risk backsliding away from Him. Press on! Press forward! Keep obeying what God is revealing to you!
There is so much excellent content to digest in each day’s reading from Today’s Moment Of Truth. Be sure to check out my book review by clicking here. Below are th first set of quotes I’m sharing from this book.
“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” —Robert Jastsrow, founding director of NASA’s Goddard Institute For Space Studies
“As astronomers have discovered, our sun and moon are much more exceptional than once thought. Our sun is far from ordinary; it has exactly the right mass and composition and is the ideal distance from the earth to enable life on our planet. If it were much smaller, its luminosity wouldn’t allow the high-efficiency photosynthesis necessary in plants; if it were much closer, the water would boil away from the planet’s surface. Similarly, our moon is just far enough away and just the right size to stabilize the Earth’s tilt. Without the moon’s stabilizing presence, the Earth would experience wild temperature swings, with devastating consequences for life.” —Lee Strobel
“I think people who believe that life emerged naturalistically need to have a great deal more faith than people who reasonably infer that there’s an Intelligent Designer. —Walter Bradley, co-author of The Mystery Of Life’s Origin
“An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.” —Francis Crick, Nobel Prize winner
“It is my science that drove me to the conclusion that the world is much more complicated than can be explained by science. It was only through the supernatural that I can understand the mystery of existence.” —Allan Rex Sandage, cosmologist
“The beginning seems to present insuperable difficulties unless we agree to look on it as frankly supernatural.” —Sir Arthur Eddington
“Secular scientists often talk as though life came about through this formula: Matter + Energy + Time = Life. However, when scientists go into their labs and try to produce life, they add another ingredient—one they often don’t think about. The formula they really use is: Matter + Energy + Time + Ideas = Life.
“In other words, they’re not just throwing all of the ingredients into a blender, switching it to the highest setting, and hoping life will pop out at the end. Rather, they’re applying the best of scientific knowledge to selecting the elements necessary for living matter as well as the conditions that will be conducive for life to flourish.
“Putting it another way, they’re trying to replicate what God did. And if they finally succeed, it’ll only serve to reinforce what the Bible says—that God created life.” —Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith
“When this church service is over, I’m heading to the airport to fly back home. But it’s not enough for me to sit in the terminal and believe that airplanes fly. Just acknowledging the soundness of aviation science will never get me home. I have to go beyond mere belief that airplanes fly to a personal belief in the particular airplane that’s heading to my city—demonstrated by climbing on board. It’s that active trust that will ultimately get me where I want to go. Similarly, we all need to go beyond merely believing that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the Cross for our sins. We must take the next step and trust in Him personally, asking Him to forgive our sins and to lead our lives.” —Mark Mittelberg
If you would like to know when I post more quotes from Today’s Moment Of Truth, you may enter your email address in the form to the right, and you will be notified by email as soon as new content is available.
Also be sure to follow me on Twitter and Tumblr, where I will be sharing quotes from this book, along with lots of other material I’ve been studying.
This is a fascinating video that may just revolutionize the way you think about addictions and addicts.
Near the 4:45 mark of the video the statement is made about a new way of interacting with others. This, I believe, is what the Christian church should be doing. If we aren’t, I doubt we are living out the good news that Jesus taught. If you want to do an interesting study, check out how many times the phrase “let us” is used in the New Testament. Also note that the word saint never appears in the New Testament in the singular, but it is always saintS. This tells me that we were designed to be together.
“Human beings have a deep need to bond and form connections. It’s how we get our satisfaction. If we can’t connect with each other, we will connect with anything we can find—the whirr of a roulette wheel or the prick of a syringe…. We should stop talking about ‘addiction’ altogether, and instead call it ‘bonding.’ A heroin addict has bonded with heroin because she couldn’t bond as fully with anything else.” —Johann Hari
What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comment below?