"There are, in the end, only two ways to read the Bible: Is it basically about me or basically about Jesus? In other words, is it basically about what I must do or basically about what he has done?" Timothy Keller, Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism. New York: Viking, 2015, page 60.
"The Word of God is the seed out of which the divine nature springs up in the human soul." R. A. Torrey, Power-Filled Living: How to Receive God's Best for Your Life. New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 1998, page 17.
“Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” Proverbs 14:31 [NIV] We have here an antithetical parallelism. The two halves of the couplet contrast with each other, and in that way the writer shows us one key truth by showing us both sides of the … Continue reading Bible Note #21: Proverbs 14:31–The Heart of God and the Poor
"But how far removed from the idea of the New Testament are the insipid words of the hymn which says, 'He came sweet influence to impart, a gracious willing guest,' and goes on to say, 'and his that gentle voice we hear, soft as the breath of even, that checks each fault, that calms each … Continue reading Quote #13 — God as He Is
[Yes, that's what I meant to say: "to be used rightly by the word of God."] Your word, Lord, is alive and powerful in the ears of faith. Grant me believing ears, so that I will hear your word clearly and welcome your word warmly into my mind, my heart, and my life. My calling … Continue reading Prayer Note #48 — A Preachers Prayer to Be Used Rightly by the Word of God
Every so often people ask me about my devotional practices. I don’t think I’ve ever written about that before, but it strikes me a something that some folks might find helpful. I don’t share what follows as if to say that everyone should pattern their devotions after me. In fact, my own pattern of devotional … Continue reading Pastor Note #51 — Here’s How I Do It: The Devotional Life of One Christian
Time flies. Or, time drags. But the unalterable reality of human life is time. We live in time as fish live in water. I have a past. I am in the present. And in some form I will have a future. This time-orientedness is the fundamental framework of our lives. Everything we do, everything … Continue reading Pastor Note #46 — Living in Time, Living with God, Part 2: The Past Tense of Faith
How we interact with the "world" is a theme that is regularly addressed in the Bible. The apostle John digs into that matter here in this passage of his first letter. I explore a little bit of how the term "world" is used in the Bible. It is presented in both a positive and a … Continue reading Sermon #28 — Getting Rooted and Grounded in “Forever”– 1 John 2:12-17
From start to finish, the Scriptures leave no doubt that human beings are fatally broken by sin and evil. Genesis 6:5 lays out the state of affairs in stark and thorough fashion -- "every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Jesus doesn't depart from that assessment. "And this is the … Continue reading Sermon #25–Light and Life–1 John 1:5-10
If "religion" is humanity's effort to know God, then Christianity is not a "religion." The heart of the Christian faith is not our endeavor to know God, but rather God's determination to make himself known to us. Here in 1 John 1, the apostle points us to the God who "reveals" himself, the God who … Continue reading Sermon #24 — The God Who Makes Himself Known: 1 John 1:1-4