Why Study the Bible?

Read the Bible and pray. Those are the basic instructions given to every new believer. What LifeWay Researched has determined, however, is that while Americans are very fond of the Bible they just don’t read it.

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Scott McConnell of LifeWay Research says that even among worship attendees less than half read the Bible daily. You can read his full report here. I have often observed that many Christians get their Bible reading at church on Sunday, i.e. in the Sunday School lesson or what the pastor reads from the pulpit. Continue reading

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Living on Samples

When I was a kid it was a special treat to find them handing out free samples on grocery day. I remember asking my mother to buy whatever brand of sausage they were handing out and she told me that was already what she bought. I then asked if she could cook it in little one inch cubes and serve it on toothpicks because it tasted better that way. She never did that. Continue reading

The Temptation of Jesus

Jesus tempted by SatanI have written on this subject before but certainly not recently. This post from 2009 focuses on the nature of sin as the easy way out. Stealing is easier than hard work, one night stands are easier than putting time and effort into a relationship, etc. Just about every example of sin that can be listed involves an easier or quicker way of getting something that would take time, effort, patience or involve suffering to obtain otherwise. Is also involves settling for less than what God has in mind for us were we to to do it his way instead.

I want to focus here on Jesus’ responses to each of Satan’s suggestions. Read the story in Matthew 4:1-11 and notice some things with me. Continue reading

A Defense of The Apostle Paul

PaulSaul of Tarsus developed quite a reputation in the world of the early Christian church, zealously hunting down those who taught and preached in the name of Christ. He was on his way to Damascus, with arrest letters from the Jerusalem Sanhedrin in hand, when he had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. As the Apostle Paul he became one of the most prolific church planters and writers of the first century; 14 of the 26 New Testament books are his letters (epistles) to various individuals and churches.

But here’s the rub: Do we today make too much of Paul? Does our attention become Paul-centered rather than Christ centered? Just because he wrote many epistles that become a major component of the New Testament, is everything Paul wrote the Word of God? Which is why I propose a defense of Paul to consider and respond to these criticisms. Continue reading

Mind Blown by Psalms

No matter how many times you read the Bible, no matter how much you think you know, there will always be new discoveries to make.  It’s an old story that never gets old.  And so it’s been with me here lately in the Book of Psalms.

Many people love the Psalms and Proverbs, even if they rarely enjoy other Old Testament books.  Our church has been studying through Psalms on Sunday nights.  For the first time in my life I have a pastor that is a few years younger than I am.  He often defers to me as an authority on the scriptures.  But I have to tell you this: Psalm 139 the other night – blew… my… mind. Continue reading

Gideon Sunday

Today was Gideon Sunday, at least where we live.  It may not be the same in every county or state, but once a year the Gideon’s spread out and each take a church to visit and share with.  For those that may not know, the Gideons is an organization that does nothing but print and distribute Bibles.  If you have ever been in a hospital or hotel room, there was probably a Gideon Bible there.  That’s only a part of what they do. Continue reading