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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Core Passages

Typically when I start to write one of these posts, I start by either reviewing past journal entries or by writing on a current Bible study.  After I choose the passage I review what was written in the past eight years to make sure that I have not covered the ground already.  This morning I was following the first practice, reviewing a past journal…
Core Passages
I was going to write on 2 Timothy 3:14 (here @ Bible Gateway), so I checked my files for other posts on 2 Timothy 3 (here @ Bible Gateway).  To suggest there were several, would be an epic understatement.

It took the better part of 30 minutes to scan through all of the posts on 2 Timothy 3 (here @ Bible Gateway).  Many focused on or had in support of the point of the post 2 Timothy 3:14 – 17 (here @ Bible Gateway).

In his work Having A Ministry That Lasts--By Becoming A Bible Centered Leader, Bobby Clinton shares the importance of mastering ones’ core passages and becoming intimately familiar with the rest of the Bible.

The thing that became obvious this morning for me was that 2 Timothy (here @ Bible Gateway) is a core book for what I do.  I was stunned on how much I have written on this book.  I also am aware of how often I refer to the book in conversations with men.

For me this experience validates Clinton’s work, yet again.  I highly recommend that you examine his work for yourself and work toward becoming a Biblically centered leader.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Emphasis on Why

This is an addendum or emphasis on the last post, “Why Engage with the Bible.”
Emphasis on Why
There are a lot of discussions, programs, projects, messages, podcasts, blogs, facebook posts, tweets, and whatever else that suggest that it is important for you to be engaged with the Bible.  My last post here included.

Engagement is more than knowledge about.  It is good to know details about the Bible.  Who wrote what, when it was written, purpose of the segment, and that sort of thing.  It is also good to know the technical stuff, being able to work in Hebrew and or Greek.  It is great to understand theology; all of those –logy words, hamartiology, soteriology, ecclesiology, etc.

But more important, no, most important, in Bible engagement is deepening one’s knowledge of.  Knowledge of the person behind the text.  God chose to reveal Himself in a book and in coming in person to deal with the problems that existed.  That coming is also revealed, to us, in a book.  That book was inspired by Him, 2 Peter 1:20 – 21 (here @ Bible Gateway).

Its purpose is to reveal Him.  His nature, His character, His heart, His passion.  It is for this reason that we should be engaged.  The other knowledge about, is only valuable to the extent that it leads us to knowledge of Him.  Otherwise it is just another empty arcane academic pursuit.

When brought face to face with God, Isaiah was undone.  He essentially was a partaker of the Divine Nature in that encounter.  Based on 2 Peter 1:3 – 4 (here @ Bible Gateway), when we engage with the Bible, we are, as Isaiah was, partaking of the Divine Nature.  Thus, we, as he was, should be shaken to our core.

When you engage with the Word, ask the Lord to reveal Himself to you.  Then fasten your seat-belt.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Why Engage with the Bible

In the midst of a difficult time I read Psalm 31:7 (here @ Bible Gateway).  The last clause, “…You have known the troubles of my soul…” comforted me.  It led me to review Hebrews 4:15 – 16 (here @ Bible Gateway).  The message is clear, regardless of what we are going through, the Lord not only knows but in fact has gone through much more than we are or ever will.
Why Engage with the Bible
This is a comfort.  But more than that, it is instructive on how we should be approaching our time in the Bible.  As we engage with His Word, we are not doing so in order to increase our knowledge.  While it is good to know which prophets ministered to either Israel or Judah and it helps to know some Greek or Hebrew, being expert on the prophets or the languages is not really the point.

In John 5:39 – 47 (here @ Bible Gateway), Jesus is confronting those who know the Bible, as it existed then, very well.  In fact they had the first five books memorized.  He informed them in no uncertain terms that they had completely missed the point.

It is not about knowing the content.  It is about knowing Him.  When we come to the Scripture, we are being exposed to God’s nature and character, 2 Peter 1:2 – 11 (here @ Bible Gateway).  As we read we should be looking for what the passage tells us about Him.

That was my experience in the passages I mentioned above.  Those passages reminded me of the reality not only of His engagement with me personally, but also His empathy, care, and support in all with which we have to deal as we navigate our journey through this broken world.

If from time to time you are not moved to tears as you face this reality in the Scripture, you may want to spend some time praying through why you are engaged in the Word.  You may want to ask Him to reveal Himself to you through the Scripture.

Psalm 119:18 (here @ Bible Gateway) would be a good thing to pray.