Is That In The Bible?

A meme that makes me chuckle every time I see it is a “quote” attributed to Abraham Lincoln in which he says, “The problem with quotes found on the internet is that they are often not true.” 

(Not to spoil the joke for you, but unless Lincoln knew how to time travel to the future, I don’t think he knew about the modern internet! 😂) 

I love this meme because it captures something that so many people fall into: a quick acceptance of a statement without verifying its source or thinking through the implications of the statement’s truthfulness. 

Some insightful comments sound Shakespearean, but William never wrote them. 

Some pieces of wisdom sound Socratic, but Socrates never taught them. 

Some religious maxims sound godly, but the Bible never recorded them. 

I would like to invite you to join me in a new series we are beginning this Sunday called Is That In The Bible? I think you may be surprised to discover just how many phrases we call biblical aren’t, and how many phrases there are that we never realized are actually in the Bible. 

By the way, if you have a phrase that you would like to have us explore in this series, please leave it in a comment below. 

You can join us in person at Calvary Assembly of God, or tune in for our Facebook Live broadcast. I’m looking forward to learning with you! 

Links & Quotes

link quote

“Paul says ‘whatever you do’—even down to such everyday things as taking a meal—do it in order to glorify God [1 Corinthians 10:31]. Apparently there are ways of using culture—our table manners, language, style of dress, way of working, how we drive our car and care for our homes, the use we make of TV and films, the emails we write, the phone calls in which we become involved, and all the rest of our culture—there are ways of using such everyday things that will allow us to signal to the world around us that we are aware of an obligation in such cultural activities that extends beyond our own puny selfish interests. We seek the glory of God in our use of culture.” —T.M. Moore

“To be fully free, we must have the desire, the ability, and the opportunity to do what will make us happy forever. No regrets. And only Jesus, the Son of God Who died and rose for us, can make that possible. If the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed [John 8:31-32].” —John Piper

Here is what is sad to me, many people buy into what George Lord Byron wrote, speaking of Socrates: “Well didst thou speak, Athena’s wisest son, ‘All we know is nothing can be known.’” We can know through our relationship with Jesus Christ.

“Heaven will solve our problems, but not, I think, by showing us subtle reconciliations between all our apparently contradictory notions. The notions will all be knocked from under our feet. We shall see that there never was any problem.” —C.S. Lewis

“Pleasure is not a quick fix, it can be a thief, it will undermine happiness. Eventually, pleasure loses its pleasure and becomes a prison.” —Andy Stanley

If you have ever been hurt by your church, first of all: my heart breaks with yours … that should never have happened. But if it did, this post may help you in overcoming your hurt.

We must be in prayer! Every five minutes, a Christian is martyred for their faith somewhere in the world.

[VIDEO] J. Warner Wallace, a cold case detective, talks about how he uses his investigative skills to explain the origin of life from non-life—

 

13 Other Quotes From “JumpStart Your Leadership”

JumpStart Your LeadershipOne of the things I appreciate about John Maxwell’s work is how many other authors and deep thinkers he reads. Dr. Maxwell then sifts through all those works and brings the best of the best to his books. Here are some of the other quotes John shared in his book JumpStart Your Leadership.

“Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved.” —William Jennings Bryan

“No man is a leader until his appointment is ratified in the mines and the hearts of his men.” —Infantryman’s Journal (1954)

“The supreme quality of leadership is unquestionably integrity.” —Dwight Eisenhower

“You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.” —Ken Kesey

“Let him that would move the world, first move himself.” —Socrates

“The most essential quality for leadership is not perfection but credibility. People must be able to trust you.” —Rick Warren

“Looking back, my life seems like one big obstacle race, with me being the chief obstacle.” —Jack Paar 

“Effective leaders reward dissent, as well as encourage it. They understand that whatever momentary discomfort they experience as a result of being told from time to time that they are wrong is more than offset by the fact that ‘reflective back talk’ increases a leaders ability to make good decisions.” —Warren Bennis

“You can dream, create, design, and build the most wonderful idea in the world, but it requires people to make the dream a reality.” —Walt Disney

“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” —Rosalynn Carter

“The outstanding leaders of every age are those who set up their own quotas and constantly exceed them.” —Thomas Watson

“Do what you do so well that those who see you do what you do are going to come back to see you do it again and tell others that they should see you do what you do.” —Walt Disney

“The secret is to work less as individuals and more as a team. As a coach, I play not my eleven best, but my best eleven.” —Knute Rockne

You can read quotes from John Maxwell in this book by clicking here.

You can read my review of JumpStart Your Leadership by clicking here.

5 Quotes By James Madison In “Humility”

HumilityI thoroughly enjoyed Dr. David Bobb’s book Humility (you can read my full book review by clicking here). The book was partially a challenge for us to cultivate this virtue in our individual lives and in the fabric of our nation. So Dr. Bobb uses several biographies of notable Americans to illustrate the power of humility. These are some quotes by James Madison.

“Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every of Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.” —James Madison

“The aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of the society, and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust.” —James Madison

“As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust, so there are other qualities in human nature which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence. Republican government presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form.” —James Madison

“Before any man can be considered as a member of a Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.” —James Madison

“Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks—no form of government can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea.” —James Madison

Humility (book review)

HumilityDavid J. Bobb has a title/subtitle combination that almost sounds paradoxical—Humility: An Unlikely Biography Of America’s Greatest Virtue. After all, when many think of America they are more likely to use the terms “confidant” or even “brash,” but not usually “humble.” But in this seeming paradox is a great truth.

The Greek philosophers often described a virtue as the golden mean between two extremes. Indeed, David Bobb uses such philosophers as Socrates and Aristotle, alongside Augustine and even more modern thinkers like Benjamin Franklin, to explore how America could be virtuous because of its humility.

Or more precisely, how America could be virtuous because of humble Americans. Dr. Bobb explores the biographies of notable Americans like George Washington, James Madison, Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass to give us an intriguing description of what true humility looks like. Although in their time many thought of these people as proud or even glory-seekers, Dr. Bobb shows us how it was their profound, often hard-won humility that made them examples worth emulating.

And we do need these examples. In the epilogue, Dr. Bobb quotes Oliver Wendell Holmes, “Humility is the first of the virtues for other people.” How true! The question is: Will Americans re-learn the virtuous power and strength of humility, or will humility continue to erode, mistaken by many as a weakness?

For both history enthusiasts, leaders, leaders-in-training, and those who love a good biography, Humility is a very enjoyable and educational book.

I am a Thomas Nelson book reviewer.

Miracles (book review)

MiraclesReading C.S. Lewis elaborate on theology is no easy task. But for those willing to work through his profound thoughts, a treasure trove of new insights into Scripture await. Miracles: How God Intervenes In Nature And Human Affairs is no exception to this.

“Miracle” is directly mentioned so 30 times in Scripture, but the Bible never explicitly defines miracle. Lewis gives this definition: “I use the word Miracle to mean an interference with Nature by supernatural power.” He then proceeds to explain what philosophers such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle meant by “nature” and “super-nature” and how those understandings have been dismissed, adapted or corrupted throughout history.

Lewis moves through several chapters without admitting miracles are probable (or even possible) and without ascribing any possible miracles to God. When he finally reveals that there is a God, he states, “From the admission that God exists and is the author of Nature, it by no means follows that miracles must, or even can, occur.” He then moves to the Scripture to show how God could—and indeed, does—work miraculously.

Even after all of Lewis’ brilliant arguments, I appreciate one of his final admissions in this book: “If you find that [these ideas] so distract you, think of them no more. I most fully allow that it is of more importance for you or me today to refrain from one sneer or to extend one charitable thought to an enemy than to know all that angels and archangels know about the mysteries of the New Creation.”

Even for those who accept his arguments, Lewis offers this counsel: “My work ends here. If, after reading it, you now turn to study the historical evidence for yourself, begin with the New Testament and not with the books about it.” Ultimately I recommend this book for this one reason—Miracles creates a hunger to study God’s Word more.

I Am Jehovah

I Am JehovahOne of the misconceptions about Jesus that He first appears on the scene in a manger in Bethlehem. Nothing could be further from the truth! Jesus appears in the opening words of the Bible—In the beginning God created—and in the last words of the Bible—Yes, I am coming soon. And He appears in every word in between!

It was Christ’s claims of being one with the Father that enraged the Jewish religious leadership. When He proclaimed His “I Am” statements in the New Testament, they knew He was tying Himself to the “Jehovah” titles of the Old Testament.

B.B. Warfield has a great picture of the Old Testament being a mansion with richly-decorated, beautifully-ornate rooms, but which are dimply lit. So with just the Old Testament by itself, it is hard to appreciate the magnificent beauty that’s there. In Jesus, the light is turned on, and we can now appreciate the glory and majesty that was always there!

So notice how the “I Am” statements shine a bright light on the titles of “Jehovah”

  • Jehovah Jireh (I Am Your Provider) → I am the Bread of Life (John 6:35)
  • Jehovah Rapha (I Am Your Healing) → I am the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25-26)
  • Jehovah Nissi (I Am Your Source) → I am the Vine (John 15:5)
  • Jehovah Shalom (I Am Your Peace) → I am the Light of the world (John 8:12)
  • Jehovah Raah (I Am Your Shepherd) → I am the Good Shepherd (John 10:11)
  • Jehovah Sabaoth (I Am Your Wall Of Protection) → I am the Gate (John 10:9)
  • Jehovah Tsid-kenu (I Am Your Righteousness) → I am the Way, Truth, and Life (John 14:6)
  • Jehovah Shammah (I Am Here) → I am the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8; 22:13).

In essence Jesus is saying “I Am Jehovah in all His fullness.” So what are we to make of that? What are we to make of Jesus Christ? Here’s how C.S. Lewis addressed that question:

This is a question which has, in a sense, a frantically comic side. For the real question is not what are we to make of Christ, but what is He to make of us? The picture of a fly sitting deciding what it is going to make of an elephant has comic elements about it. But perhaps the questioner meant what are we to make of Him in the sense of ‘How are we to solve the historical problem set us by the recorded sayings of this Man?’ 

The problem is to reconcile two things. On the one hand you have got the almost generally admitted depth of sanity of His moral teaching, which is not very seriously questioned, even by those who are opposed to Christianity. In fact, I find when I am arguing with very anti-God people that they rather make a point of saying, ‘I am entirely in favor of the moral teaching of Christianity….’ 

On the one side clear, definite moral teaching. On the other, claims which, if not true, are those of a megalomaniac, compared with whom Hitler was the most sane and humble of men. There is no halfway house and there is no parallel in other religions. If you had gone to Buddha and asked him, ‘Are you the son of Bramah?’ he would have said, ‘My son, you are still in the vale of illusion.’ If you have gone to Socrates and asked, ‘Are you Zeus?’ he would have laughed at you. If you had gone to Mohammed and asked, ‘Are you Allah?’ he would first have rent his clothes and then cut your head off. If you had asked Confucius, ‘Are you Heaven?’ I think he would have probably replied, ‘Remarks which are not in accordance with Nature are in bad taste.’ 

The idea of a great moral teacher saying what Christ said is out of the question. In my opinion, the only person who can say that sort of thing is either God or a complete lunatic suffering from that form of delusion which undermines the whole mind of man. (emphasis mine)

C.S. Lewis gives us three choices about Jesus. We can either say (1) He is a liar, (2) He is a lunatic, or (3) He is who He says He is.

What do you say about Him?

I will be continuing my series of messages in the series Who Is Jesus? next Sunday, and I’d love to have you join me!

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