Aug 27

Belief divides- some believe, some don’t. (So that you may believe. John 20:30-31)

Belief divides some believe, some don’t

Belief divided the crowds

When Jesus spoke to the crowd in Jerusalem at the Feast of Booths there were different responses.

He is a good man.

He is leading the people astray.

He is demon possessed.

He is the Messiah. (John 7:10-31)

These responses are very similar to what C. S. Lewis talked about is his Trilema where he contended that Jesus is either a Liar, a Lunatic, or the Lord.

Belief called individuals out from groups

The religious leaders as a group rejected Jesus and played a key role in his death. Jesus reached out to them as a group and individually. Some of them concluded that Jesus was the Messiah and identified with him. Nicodemus came to Jesus privately and defended his right to a fair trial before the council. Joseph and Nicodemus provided a tomb and proper burial for Jesus after he was crucified. (John 3:1-15; 7:45-52; 19:38-42)

Near the end of Jesus’ life these issues intensified

When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead many in the crowd believed that he was the Messiah. However, even after seeing the power of this miracle, some who saw it did not believe but quickly told the religious leaders what had happened. The leaders responded by plotting to kill Lazarus as well as Jesus. (John 11:38-46; 11:47-53; 12:9-11)

We should not be afraid of the divisions

When Jesus taught about being the Good Shepherd he told the crowd that his sheep would hear his voice. He wasn’t worried that there would be no followers. His sheep would hear his voice. (John 10:1-21)

Leaving the results to God

When I joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru). I was asked to memorize a number of things and one of them was the following principle. “Evangelism is sharing Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.” The Gospel is accepted and it is rejected. We need to remember that this was true when Jesus spoke and it is true today.

What choices have you made that have separated you from others close to you?

How do you deal with rejection when you try to serve others and are rejected?

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Aug 19

I have revised two posts on my blog

What should we learn from the parables about the kingdom?

When did a Canaanite prostitute show more faith than a Jewish man?

Aug 14

I have revised two posts on my blog

Is there a right way to come to Jesus?

Jesus’ Kingdom will start out small and the growth may not be obvious

 

Aug 14

Creative Bible Teaching: The Bible Project

The Bible Project is a very creative series of animated videos about the books of the Bible and topics covered in the biblical text.

One of my colleagues, Gerry Breshears, is on the Board of Directors for the project.

I have enjoyed the videos myself.

Please do three things:

Watch some of the videos. They are free.

Try them with your children or grandchildren and let me know what ages you think can benefit from the videos.

Support the project if you think it is worthwhile.

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Aug 12

Is abortion logical? Four possible answers

Justin Taylor’s recent blog post links to a video lecture by Peter Kreeft. and presents a written summary of the lecture.

Kreeft’s  discussion of abortion addresses the possible options and their outcomes.

Kreeft is a professor of philosophy at Boston College and The Kings College. He began his spiritual pilgrimage as a protestant at Calvin College and became a Roman Catholic.

He was born in 1937 and has written numerous books over the decades.

His Unaborted Socrates probes abortion related issues using fictional dialogues led by Socrates.

Between Heaven and Hell is a fictional account of a post-death discussion between the apologist and professor C. S. Lewis, the atheist biologist Aldous Huxley, and Catholic president John F. Kennedy. These three men all died on the same day in November, 1963.

Can you concisely state and defend your views on abortion?

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Aug 09

I have revised two posts on my blog

Simeon’s message of greatness and suffering

The blessed father of the faithful failed to be a blessing

Aug 03

10 Benefits of Minimalism

You can’t serve God and money, (Matthew 6:24)

Allison Vesterfelt’s thoughtful post give some of the benefits of not trying.

 

Aug 03

“You may choose to look away, but you can never say again that you did not know.” – William Wilberforce

Josh Howerton’s article about Planned Parenthood is a good place to reflect after the recent videos.

William Wilberforce, an English politician, speaking about slavery about 200 years ago.

“You may choose to look away, but you can never say again that you did not know.”
– William Wilberforce

Aug 02

I have revised two posts on my blog

The Greatness of Jesus- Some Pictures From His Birth

Why doesn’t everyone believe in Jesus? Should we change the message if they don’t respond? In the end, everyone will be saved, won’t they?

Jul 31

Prayer should not be hard and it definitely should not be boring

The problem

We know we should pray. We know about many great praying Christians from the past or from our own experience.  But we just sit there and wonder if we are doing anything. It is hard and, if we were totally honest, it is boring.

Maybe, it doesn’t need to be this way.

A solution from the Bible

Let’s look at an example of an exciting prayer from the Bible. (Daniel 9

Daniel was an exile in Babylon. He was taken hostage with other upper class Jewish adolescents and trained to work in the Babylonian bureaucracy. He rose to the top of the government. He lived a life of influence. God used him to advise powerful Gentile kings. (Daniel 1-4)

He was called out of retirement through the memory of the queen mother and predicted the fall of Babylon to the Persians. He then served Persian kings. (Daniel 5-6)

He was in his 80s when he realized from his study of the writings of the prophet Jeremiah that the captivity of the Jews was about to end. God had predicted that a man named Cyrus would free the Jews. He had predicted that the Babylonians would be judged. He had predicted that the captivity would last seventy years. All of these signs had occurred and it was time for the Jews to be restored to the Promised Land. (Daniel 9; Jeremiah 25:1-14; Isaiah 44:28; 45:1)

He began by confessing his sin because he did not want personal uncleanness to separate him from God. He then asked God to act according to his promises. He did not ask God to act because people deserve his grace and his mercy. He asked God to act because he is the type of God who acts graciously and mercifully toward undeserving people. (Daniel 9)

Daniel’s prayer was guided by reading and reflection on God’s written word.

A solution to try today

Usually our prayers are lists of requests that we repeat because they are the same concerns and desires we had yesterday and the day before. The list may change and some of the requests are granted but basically it is a list. We are told to boldly make our requests to God but is there something that can be combined with the list to bring greater life to our prayers.

Praying the Bible

Donald S. Whitney’s new book, Praying the Bible, accurately shows us why prayer can be a problem and leads us to a solution. He shows how to link our prayer life to Scripture.

Many will be aware of his previous books. His Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life is well known and his Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health is also very helpful.

Boredom and sameness in prayer

We pray about the same issues but as we focus on different passages of Scripture each day our perceptions change and we pray differently about the same things.

The psalms are a good place to start. They are inspired prayers that cover the range of human experience and emotion. Whitney has a guide to cover the psalms in a monthly pattern.

Paul’s letters contain prayers that can serve a models and focus our prayers. As we pray with Scripture we will see new life and strength as we seek God’s will in our lives and those we care about.

How often do you find prayer boring or repetitious?

How closely do you link your prayer time and your reading and meditation on the Bible?

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