I heard something the other day and it’s been on my mind ever since. I like it when I hear something that challenges me and at the same time makes perfect sense. There are so many things that are active in our lives today, that if they were available in biblical times, would be super interesting to see how they’d be used. Here’s an example…..
Twitter, as of 5/7/2013, has 554,750,000 active registered users. If you’re living under rock and don’t know about Twitter, it’s a social networking website that allows you to post “tweets” consisting of 140 characters. Ready? OK, it’s easy to come up with a tweet about where you ate lunch, what the kids are up to, or even what you saw in traffic, but take it a step further. Give me your resume in only 140 characters. Describe your husband or wife in only 140 characters. Tell me about the love you have for your children in only 140 characters. Try selling me your favorite product in only 140 characters. Now, go even further and imagine if the bible had to be written in only 140 characters. The thoughts are endless, but it certainly made me think about things a little differently…..
John 3:16 is the most popular verse in the bible.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
OK, that’s 129 characters. Give me the rest of the bible in 11 characters!
Ready… Set… Go…
June 30, 2013 Bible Reading
2 Kings 17:1-18:12
Listen to the Bible On Your Phone – Daily Audio Bible Podcast
If you started with the rest of us, you’re just about half way through reading the Bible in a year. Tomorrow we will finish June as my buddy Brian Tucker helps us round the corner in to the second half of 2013 and the second half of the Bible. How has life changed for you? Back up… has it changed? If so, how?
Chances are you have seen dramatic changes to the way you view the world. You probably have changed in many good ways. Share one way life has changed on our Facebook Page here.
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June 28 Bible Reading
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This morning, early, I read today’s reading and the Proverbs stuck in my mind. A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart. (Proverbs 18:2 NKJV). All throughout the day I found places where I would normally “speak up” that I did my best to stay quiet. I also found places I would normally stay quiet that I spoke up. The Proverbs are pure, good wisdom. In fact, I had planned to write about it and ran out of time this morning.
Then tonight we had dinner at some friend’s place and would you know it… the bottom fell out. It must have been full when the bottom fell out too because we all got flash flood warnings from Verizon on our phones. Later when we tried to leave we were trapped. Literally. Trapped. No way to exit our friends neighborhood and get to ours. Water gushing across streets, cars being flooded in the path of raging waters, and dead ends of water crossing roads was everywhere we turned. Finally, we found a way to get through. It took two hours to get home from a place that is less than 10 minutes away. BIZarRE!
It made me grateful for God’s mercy
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We often think of the disciples as meek men that are gentle and nice. I agree with John Eldridge in that this message is distorted. What does it say that Paul does when he arrives in Corinth? It says he met up with a man that was a tentmaker… like himself and he worked. Paul was a tent maker, he worked with his hands (there were no sewing machines… right?). Peter and a few of the others were dock-working fishermen. Have you ever seen dock-working fishermen? Not so meek… to say the least. And what about Jesus Himself? A carpenter by trade. He built things out of wood and what we would call primitive tools. These guys would put John Wayne to shame. These were men’s men. They were all a little rough and tumble.
Paul was definitely rough and tumble, but he listens to God. He not only listens, but Paul also does what God instructs him to do, how to do it, and where to go. Paul allows God to guide his steps. What courage it takes for a “man’s man” to be so vulnerable. To put himself out there and allow control over his life to belong to someone else. Paul knows… KNOWS he belongs to God.
What would happen if we did that in every decision we made. You know. Allowed God to direct our steps. Where would that path take us? Where would we end up? If you think about it it really wouldn’t matter, because God would be there the whole time. Ask God into your life and allow Him to guide your steps. Allow God to shape you and quit trying to control the path. You will be pleasantly surprised at where it leads.
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Many times in scripture I will read about something that seems… SEEMS to have no bearing on my life what-so-ever. Then, like a ton of bricks, it falls on my big toe. This morning I’m talking about the exploits of Jehu that we are reading about in the Old Testament portion of our daily reading. This guy had “Zeal” for The Lord. He swept Israel clean of idol worship and baal worship. He cut off the house of Ahab and fulfilled the Word of The Lord that came from Elijah about Jezabel. This guy clearly wanted to do what God wanted him to do, but…
Continue reading “Generational Sins”
Paul and Silas give us an example in our scripture to follow today. They have every right to be down-trotten, distraught, and just plain old miserable. They have been thrown in jail and for all they know they will be executed for preaching the Gospel of Jesus.
What do they do? They begin to sing Hymns. They are singing the Gospel at the top of their lungs. They are singing the truth and it sets them free. Literally. As soon as they are freed they go on working for Christ. The bring their captor the Gospel and he and his entire household are saved.
After being set free, Paul stands firm in Christ by challenging the authorities.
“They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out.” (Acts 16:37 NIV)
All of that may sound awesome or it may sound Continue reading “Can Praise Be A Weapon?”
June 24 Bible Reading
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Today my focus was drawn back to the disagreement between Paul and Barnabas. Who was right? Who was wrong. The disagreement is about allowing one of the disciples to remain on the same journey or not. It seems John Mark had previously deserted them and Paul didn’t want to allow a repeat of the situation. Barnabas was probably arguing on the side of “77 Times” of forgiveness that Jesus spoke about. It may be fun to verbally spar with someone about that, but I think we might miss the point.
We have a group of Christians here discussing… let’s face it… probably screaming at each other. Screaming about whether to offer forgiveness or to stand firm in the faith. But I think an even bigger point is that they are arguing over “non-essentials” of the faith. Essentials of the Faith being, Christ died for our sins, we are forgiven when we accept his free gift of grace, we have been bought with the price of His blood, and nothing can take that position in Christ away. Those are essential. Not essential… which candidate to vote for, should you feed the hungry in America or the hungry in Hungary, and are you a sprinkler or a dunker?
These two Christians are at each other’s throat over non-essentials of the faith. So what do they do? They agree to disagree. They go separate ways AND continue to do God’s work according to how God directs them. I do not see where it says they hated each other or even didn’t like each other. The Bible simply says they had such a sharp disagreement that they separated.
So if you find yourself divided on an issue first ask yourself if the outcome is essential to the Christian faith. If it is not, you may be better off to agree to disagree. If the outcome IS essential… stand your ground and pray to God to guide you through the situation. Ask God to allow the Holy Spirit to lead you.
If this message blessed you, use it to bless someone else. Thank you to all of you that do share it. I have recently checked the stats and that number has grown significantly. It warms my heart and encourages me to keep going.