Why turn away?

Using Jn 6.44 as his text, Ed Mathews wrapped up today’s devotional with this paragraph,

Why do people turn away? Matthew 23:37. They have so much to gain! They have nothing to lose! Their problem is threefold. (1) They evaluate Jesus in human terms. How could a carpenter be the Christ? (2) They argue among themselves. Are their opinions greater than the words of God? And (3) they resist divine kindness. Why do the lost reject the Savior? The decision is up to us, Jeremiah 31:3. He has already taken the first step. Now it is our turn.

The second point notes a great problem. Opinions take the place of revelation. We want to talk instead of listening. We preferring collecting, weighing and sifting rather than accepting and submitting.

Focus question: How can I make the word of God central to my understanding of Christ and to my faith?

A better approach to teaching the Bible in schools?

Peterson makes no truth claims about the Bible, whether it is divinely inspired or accurately conveys historic events. In fact, he explicitly states on his website that the Bible is neither history nor empirical science. Rather, he unpacks the Bible as a guide to understanding Western cultural thought.

For example, Peterson’s lecture about the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve focuses not on whether such events occurred or their religious significance but rather on the story as a metaphor of the battle between chaos and order. Further, Peterson lectures extensively about the symbolic meaning of sacrifice in the Bible and its connection to the discovery of the future.

Peterson’s biblical lecture series would, I believe, pass the Supreme Court’s test as a constitutionally appropriate course of instruction in public high schools. His approach of the biblical narrative from a purely secular point of view does not encourage anyone to believe, or not, the stories as materially true.

Source: Jordan Peterson Shows How the Bible Can Be Taught in Public Schools

Surely there is a better way! The above approach is not objective. To say that the Bible is not history ignores all the evidence that it is accurate in every detail. “Western cultural thought” based upon the Bible took for granted the historicity of the Bible account. Can one not say at least that the Bible presents itself as an accurate record of God’s working in history?

First mention of bread in the Bible

Bread is first mentioned as being in the hands of the priestly king of Salem, Melchizedek:

Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (Now he was the priest of the Most High God.) Gen 14.18.

There’s no connection of that with Jesus as the bread of life, but it seems most appropriate to note the first appearance of bread in the Bible.

First notes in new Bible

Last Christmas I received a new NVI Bible (by request), since my old one was falling apart. It has lines in the margins for notes. My first notes, for a sermon, covered Rom 8.28-39. Quite a good place to start, don’t you think?

Destination reached

Destination of a long journey reached. Needed: rest, food, bath. So have travelers in all eras required after a trek, be it on foot, by Roman cargo ship, by carriage, or by a metal tube hurtling through the skies.

The Lord answered prayer for safe travels and, above and beyond, removed a traveler from our three-seat section so that the Missus and I had some extra space.

On arrival, a beautiful study Bible awaited me, gracious gift from a good friend. Did son and family get neglected for a few minutes while said Scripture got examined with care? The debate is open.

Soul’s vitality depends on faithful Bible reading

In today’s devotional, Ed Mathews uses Amos 8.12 as the basis for his devotional.

Much is discovered when we search the word of God. Therein we discover what can be found nowhere else: a thorough equipping “for every good work,” II Timothy 3:16,17. The vitality of our soul depends on faithfully reading the Bible. To neglect it will inevitably result in spiritual starvation. Those who ignore His word and despise His instruction will finally quit hearing from Him, Acts 13:46. His word is given in grace. It is taken away in disgrace, Proverbs 1:24-28.

In God’s word is spiritual life and power to please him and serve others.

What passages did you read yesterday in the Bible? What is your plan for today? Tomorrow? For the next week?

Coincidence or Providence?

So two days ago, I read Isa 51.16 and spent some time studying it. It served as the verse of the day for the 22nd. Now, this prayer uses this same verse in its daily devotional. If it were a common verse like John 3.16, nobody would think a thing. But a relatively unknown verse like this one from Isaiah? Somebody might say the Lord is sending a message.

Jesus might have ridden in this boat

This boat was dug up in the 1980s. Jesus might have ridden in it. Odds are not favorable, but it’s possible. He likely rode in one like it. May it help to bring home to us even more those stories in the NT when Jesus was near or on the Sea of Galilee.