Aug 06

Links to Begin the Week

Link to a previous post on my blog

Faith and Experience Moses and the Jewish elders- Experiencing the presence of God

Links to things I’ve read recently

You should not assume that I agree with everything said in these articles but I did find them thought provoking.

The death of reading is threatening the soul

Do You Pray Like an Atheist?

7 Reasons God Commands Us To Sing To Him

Must I Join a Church to Be a Christian?

What You Never Know You Miss By Skipping Sunday Morning

If the U.S. had 100 people: Charting Americans’ religious affiliations

A Very Modern Map of Britain’s Ancient Roman Roads

The Perfect 22-Foot Map for Your Ancient Roman Road Trip

The following posts address the defection among some Evangelicals on the biblical definition of marriage

Four stages of “evangelical” affirmation of gay marriage

Rosaria Butterfield weighs-in on 4 stages of evangelical affirmation of gay marriage

Links to books I’ve recently started

I usually have about 15 books going at once. These are ones that I have started in the last week. I often reread books that I find enlightening. I obviously don’t agree with every statement in these books. Often, I find books written by those without any Christian faith to be very stimulating as they are addressing issues that are faced by all people.

I did not start any new books this week.

You may give me feedback, suggest blog topics, or make any other comment to Bob@robertkrupp.com

Jul 31

Links to Begin the Week

Link to a previous post on my blog

Faith and Experience John the Baptist- A word from God

Links to things I’ve read recently

You should not assume that I agree with everything said in these articles but I did find them thought provoking.

Our Cultural Waterloo

Goats, bookworms, a monk’s kiss: Biologists reveal the hidden history of ancient gospels

How Medieval Chefs Tackled Meat-Free Days

The next three links are to articles on the 50th anniversary of Joni Eareckson Tada’s accident that left her a quadriplegic

After 50 Years in a Wheelchair, I Still Walk With Jesus

In Awe of Her God- Joni’s Fifty Years of Counting Quadriplegia Joy

Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of My Diving Accident

Randy Alcorn reflects on his time on a ship that brings literature resources around the world

Our Time Aboard Operation Mobilization’s Ship, Logos Hope

Why Evangelism Requires Both Logic and Loveliness

12 Pastoral Commitments (or, How to Pray for Your Pastor)

Three resources by John Piper on how the Bible will change you

Reading the Bible Will Change You

Reading Is Just the Beginning Five More Ways to Enjoy God’s Word

Does John Piper Overplay Bible Literacy?

Links to books I’ve recently started

I usually have about 15 books going at once. These are ones that I have started in the last week. I often reread books that I find enlightening. I obviously don’t agree with every statement in these books. Often, I find books written by those without any Christian faith to be very stimulating as they are addressing issues that are faced by all people.

I did not start any new books this week.

You may give me feedback, suggest blog topics, or make any other comment to Bob@robertkrupp.com

Jul 28

God keeps his promises even when we are faithless and our challenges seem unbeatable

The world is messy. Our lives are messy. Sometimes it seems as if we can’t depend on anything. In the midst of this, God is faithful and God is in charge

God is trustworthy even if we are not and the world seems to be against us

David’s good idea

After King David had conquered Jerusalem and build himself a palace he decided that he would build a permanent temple. This would replace the Tabernacle, a tent constructed 400 years earlier during the pilgrimage from Egypt to the Promised Land. His advisor, the prophet Nathan, thought this would be a good idea. (2 Samuel 7:1-3)

God’s promise to David

That night God appear to Nathan and told him to tell David that he would not build a house for God. God would build a house for him. His kingdom would be secure. His descendants would reign in Jerusalem. His kingdom would have no end. The Messiah would come from his line. (2 Samuel 7:4-29)

If he or his descendants disobeyed God, God would treat them like his children and discipline them. He would not abandon them like he did King Saul who reigned before him.

Ahab, a descendant of David

King Ahab was a descendent of King David. He did not worship the true God and he did not obey God’s law. (Isaiah 7)

The plans of Israel and Syria

The kings of Israel and Syria planned to come to Jerusalem, depose Ahab, and put their puppet on the throne. They planned to end the house of David.

Ahab’s plans

Ahab responded to this threat by checking his defenses and his water supply in case of a siege. He also sought a military alliance with Assyria to defeat these two kings.

God keeps his promise

God sent the prophet Isaiah to give his message to Ahab. God would be faithful to the house of David. Ahab would not be deposed. He was to trust God not Assyria. Isaiah told him to ask for a sign. (Isaiah 7)

Ahab refused.

God told him there would be a sign. In the time it takes for child to move from birth to childhood the kingdoms of Syria and Israel would be destroyed.

There would also be a bigger sign. A virgin would give birth to son and that son would be a faithful king unlike Ahab.

Also, God told Ahab that the Assyrians, whom he trusted, would attack the Jews conquering much of the land and destroying most of their cities.

They would not destroy the kingdom. God would be faithful

The big picture

God was faithful to the house of David. He disciplined David, Solomon, and their descendants.

God was faithful but there were consequences for their actions.

God is trustworthy even if we are not and the world seems to be against us

Question for consideration:

How has your life been a balance of consequences and God’s faithfulness?

If you like this post, please share it.

You may give me feedback, suggest blog topics, or make any other comment to me at Bob@robertkrupp.com

Jul 24

Links to Begin the Week

Link to a previous post on my blog

Faith and Experience- Peter- A Great Experience

Links to things I’ve read recently

You should not assume that I agree with everything said in these articles but I did find them thought provoking.

4 Incredible Blessings of Giving

The Pastor-Historian: Proclaiming 2,000 Years of Christ’s Power

Wanting It Enough

One-on-One with Keith Getty about Being Awarded by the British Empire, Modern Hymns, and His New Book

Hope When Your Children Stray

How Millennials Can Avoid Poverty: Follow the ‘Success Sequence’

Help Your Kids Navigate Complex Cultural Waters

5 Passages Your Pastor Wishes You’d Stop Taking out of Context

Teaching Inmates Their Worth

The Most Controversial Claim Jesus Made

10 Predictions About The Future Church And Shifting Attendance Patterns

Links to books I’ve recently started

I usually have about 15 books going at once. These are ones that I have started in the last week. I often reread books that I find enlightening. I obviously don’t agree with every statement in these books. Often, I find books written by those without any Christian faith to be very stimulating as they are addressing issues that are faced by all people.

I did not start any new books this week.

You may give me feedback, suggest blog topics, or make any other comment to Bob@robertkrupp.com

Jul 16

Links to begin the week

Link to a previous post on my blog

Go and Tell… and …Come and See

Links to things I’ve read recently

You should not assume that I agree with everything said in these articles but I did find them thought provoking.

It Is Impossible to Read the Bible

How to Pray for Your Pastor

12 Principles on How to Disagree with Other Christians

Five “Fake News” Stories That People Believe about Early Christianity

Why Christians Need to Make the Case for Making the Case

How We Read the Bible Rightly and Get It Wrong

The Bible and Same-Sex Relationships: A Review Article by Tim Keller

Links to books I’ve recently started

I usually have about 15 books going at once. These are ones that I have started in the last week. I often reread books that I find enlightening. I obviously don’t agree with every statement in these books. Often, I find books written by those without any Christian faith to be very stimulating as they are addressing issues that are faced by all people.

I did not start any new books this week.

You may give me feedback, suggest blog topics, or make any other comment to Bob@robertkrupp.com

Jul 14

Isaiah saw God and it changed his life. What can we learn from Isaiah’s call in Isaiah 6?

Isaiah served God as a prophet for most of his life. He was an advisor to good kings and bad. At the beginning of his ministry he saw God and the vision set the tone for the rest of his life. (Isaiah 6)

When we get a clear picture of who God is it changes our lives.

Judah’s long-reigning but prideful King Uzziah died in the same year that Isaiah saw God, the King of heaven.

When Isaiah saw God he got a real picture of his own moral failings

In the first chapters of the book Isaiah pronounced Woes on the Jewish people for their immorality. In this chapter he pronounced a Woe on himself for his uncleanness. He saw God’s perfection and saw how far he fell short.

When Isaiah acknowledged his failings God took away his sin and prepared him for service in his kingdom

We must first confess before we can be made clean. He is given a picture of cleaning when an angel touched his mouth with a coal. He saw his guilt and then his guilt was removed.

When Isaiah was ready, God commissioned him as a prophet.

Being cleansed by God was not the end. It prepared Isaiah for a life of service.

Being right where God wants you doesn’t always mean that you will succeed by human standards

Isaiah was told that the people would not listen to him. Isaiah’s ministry would not be successful in converts but sometimes God calls us to cast the seed of his message. People respond as they will.

The chapter ends with only a stump. The was not much left after the people rejected God and felt the consequences.  In Isaiah 11:1 salvation for the Jews and the world comes from the stump.

God wins his victory from the dead stump of apparent defeat

When we get a clear picture of who God is it changes our lives.

Questions for consideration:

Can you think of instances where someone you know has pulled away from Christian service and their church because they preferred a secret sin to being open to God about their faults?

What are areas in your life that God has cleaned up and put into his service.

If you like this post, please share it.

You may give me feedback, suggest blog topics, or make any other comment to me at Bob@robertkrupp.com

Jul 10

Links to begin the week

Link to a previous post on my blog

Usually it is best to slow down

Links to things I’ve read recently

You should not assume that I agree with everything said in these articles but I did find them thought provoking.

Your Suffering Is Not an Accident

Should Christians Attend Gay Weddings? Does It Matter Whether They’re Religious or Secular?

Act Your Age!

Spurgeon’s Secret for Raising Godly Children

What is the purpose of fasting?

Refuse to Settle for Singleness

4 Tips For Dealing With Procrastination

Links to books I’ve recently started

I usually have about 15 books going at once. These are ones that I have started in the last week. I often reread books that I find enlightening. I obviously don’t agree with every statement in these books. Often, I find books written by those without any Christian faith to be very stimulating as they are addressing issues that are faced by all people.

I did not start any new books this week.

You may give me feedback, suggest blog topics, or make any other comment to Bob@robertkrupp.com

 

Jul 07

God wants to invest in us but sometimes we think we can get a better deal somewhere else

God wants an intimate relationship with us but we often settle for much less.  We accept God’s initial offer (the Gospel) and get to first base.  But, in the words of a famous preacher, we then turn away from the action. We go and sit in the dugout and wait to go to heaven.

Most of us start with God and then spend the rest of our lives under our own power trying to do the best we can and then die. God wants much more for us.

God wants to invest in us but we think we can do better on our own. This can lead to disaster.

What God wants to do

There’re two types of agriculture

In one you plant a seed and in a few months you harvest a crop.

The second type requires a greater investment but the investment produces far more.  It costs a lot of time and effort to produce an orchard or a vineyard but fruit trees and vines can produce for decades.

God wants to work deeply in our lives.  The night before he was crucified Jesus used the illustration of a grapevine and its branches to show how he would empower his disciples.

In Isaiah 5 the prophet talks about the Jewish people as God’s Vineyard.  God brought them out of Egypt to the land he promised to Abraham, their ancestor. He preserved the nation for centuries.  Like the farmer who grows grapes he came looking for good fruit. He found only useless fruit.

What we do sometimes

Sometimes we’re like the people that Isaiah condemns.  We have received a lot from God: material resources, spiritual gifts and abilities, and churches where we can flourish.

Sometimes we hoard all of this and use it for own enjoyment. Sometimes we even bully, cheat, and belittle.

We bear little fruit.

The consequences

A number of Christ’s parables addressed the area of stewardship.  People are given different resources.  There are one talent people, five talent people, and ten talent people.

We are not all identical and God has made it clear he will judge fairly.

Some of the consequences of our stewardship occur on earth and some will wait until eternity.

God wants to invest in us but we think we can do better on our own. This can lead to disaster.

I have covered some of these issues an earlier post:

Go…I will show you. Go … I will tell you.

Questions for consideration:

What long-term strategic investments has God has made in your life?

Have you ever been tempted to abandon some of them for what you think is a better deal?

If you like this post, please share it.

You may give me feedback, suggest blog topics, or make any other comment to me at Bob@robertkrupp.com

Jul 03

Links to begin the week

Link to a previous post on my blog

How to be a living sacrifice.

Links to things I’ve read recently

You should not assume that I agree with everything said in these articles but I did find them thought provoking.

Animation Showcases The Pompeii Disaster With Accurate 3D Rendering Of The Events

Poverty, Dropouts, Pregnancy, Suicide: What The Numbers Say About Fatherless Kids

Loving the People You Love to Hate

You Will Die Without Good Friends

Ruralology: All It Takes Is Sacrifice, Commitment, and a Desire to Be What God Made Us to Be

I Was a Christian Woman Addicted to Porn

My 3 Big Fears in Parenting Teenagers

Why Did God Allow the Fall?

Are There Errors in Scripture in the Small Details, Like Measurements of Time and Distance?

12 Things Pastors Cannot Do

On Single Women and Career Success

5 Reasons You’re Still Procrastinating: How to Get Over It and Finally Get Things Done

Links to books I’ve recently started

I usually have about 15 books going at once. These are ones that I have started in the last week. I often reread books that I find enlightening. I obviously don’t agree with every statement in these books. Often, I find books written by those without any Christian faith to be very stimulating as they are addressing issues that are faced by all people.

Nick Needham. 2,000 Years of Christ’s Power Vol. 1: The Age of the Early Church Fathers

David Powlison. How Does Sanctification Work?

You may give me feedback, suggest blog topics, or make any other comment to Bob@robertkrupp.com

Jun 30

Should Christians feel a little self-serving when they obey God? Do we do it to get something from him?

Are we being a little mercenary when we obey God? Do we do it for the goodies we get?

Satan raised this very charge when God told him about the obedience of his servant Job. (Job 1:8-12; 2:3-6)

Job lived a godly life and was a wealthy, respected man.  Satan told God that if God caused Job to suffer he would curse God to his face.  God permitted Satan to takeaway Job’s security and destroy his health.  Job questioned what was happening to him but he never cursed God.  God corrected his complaining and restored his family and his wealth.

Satan accused Job of obeying God for the money.  Job proved him wrong.

God is our Lord but also our Loving Father

God is the Sovereign Lord

It is a consistent teaching of Scripture that God is our Sovereign Lord.  Isaiah uses the phrase over a dozen times.

God created the universe from nothing and created the first of man and woman in a special way.  They became the parents of the entire human race.

He deserves our faith and he deserves our obedience.

Jesus made it very clear.  If you love him, you will keep his commandments. (John 14:15)

God loves his children

God is not only our Lord but also our Loving Father.  God loves those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ in many ways.

The writer of the book of Hebrews lists many ways that Jesus is superior to the Old Testament sacrificial system.  He teaches us about all that Jesus has done for those who trust in for their standing before God.

The Apostle John talks about the great love of God and how we should model that love in our lives. (1 John)

If God loves us so much, why do Christians suffer?

Why is there evil in the world and why do Christians suffer?

People suffer and Christian suffer.

Three explanations have been proposed for suffering in this world.

Free will

Some have proposed that free will is very central to what God is doing in his creation.  Free will means that he does not interfere or control people’s choices.  For some it means that he does not truly know the future until each of us chooses our part of it.

The free will explanation is attractive and consistent with how most people view the world. However, it is not used Scripture to address times of suffering.

A higher purpose

It is clear from some passages in Scripture that God has a higher purpose than is apparent on the surface.

When Jesus and his disciples saw a man born blind the disciples asked who sinned that this person was born blind.  Someone must have done something very wrong for this to happen.  Jesus said no.  There was a higher purpose. That day Jesus came and revealed to the Jewish leaders and to people in the city that he was the Messiah who can heal the blind. (John 9:1-41)

Near the end of their lives Joseph’s brothers needed reassurance that he would not take revenge on them. They had sold him into slavery.

Joseph has suffered much in his life before he was a ruler in Egypt.  He was hated by his brothers. They sold into slavery. He was also falsely put in prison when he resisted seduction by his master’s wife.

He assured his brothers that even though they meant him evil, God meant it for good.  The lives of the extended family that would become the Jewish people were saved from famine by what happened.  The brothers’ evil was real but so was God’s higher purpose. (Genesis 50:15-21)

In the book of Job, we see Job’s life from his perspective and the perspective of heaven.  We are never told that Job found out the full picture.  He experienced and complained about how he suffered.

God had a higher purpose.  He corrected Job for his questioning of the way God dealt with him.  He restored his family and wealth. He lived a long life.

We are never told that God told Job about how his response to suffering silenced Satan. (Job chapters 1, 2, 40, 42)

A redefinition of God

I mentioned earlier those who so strongly hold to free will that they limit God’s knowledge and his lordship over his creation.  Their view of God becomes less than the God embraced by Christians throughout the history of the Church.

This view is attractive but is difficult to reconcile with the God of Scripture.

How should Christians respond to evil in general and to suffering in their own lives?

The prophet Habakkuk complained to God about the lawlessness and injustice among the Jews.  God replied that he was going to bring the Babylonians and use them to judge his people.  (Habakkuk chapters 1, 2, 3)

Habakkuk replied but God shouldn’t do that.  The Babylonians were worse than the Jews.

In chapters 2 and 3 of his book he recorded what he learned about how God works in his creation.  The third chapter is a song where he praised God and told him that he would wait for God’s solution no matter how long it took.

God’s sovereignty brings God into the unexplainable.  God will bring justice and healing, even if he does not do in this life.

God is our Lord but also our Loving Father

Questions for consideration:

Do you believe that suffering is sometimes caused by spiritual failure?

What if God was more concerned with making us holy than with making us happy? Would that be acceptable? How can you see this in your life?

If you like this post, please share it.

You may give me feedback, suggest blog topics, or make any other comment to me at Bob@robertkrupp.com

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