Help Reading the Bible – Part 2 (Translations and Resources)

 

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain. 

God wrote a book-The Bible. As Christians we should strive to live and breathe the Bible.
The Bible is inspired (God-Breathed), meaning God divinely influenced the human authors of the Scriptures to write the very Word of God. In the context of the Scriptures “inspiration” simply means “God-breathed,” making the Bible unique among all other books. The human authors, though inspired by God, had different writing styles with their own personalities, worldviews, and cultural influences. Yet, because the words of Scripture were received from an all-powerful, all-knowing, perfect God, the Bible in its original form is inerrant and authoritative. Continue reading

The Big Event Before the Big Event (Mark 1:1-8)

The Gospel of Mark
Mark 1:1-8

Imagine a signpost in a field nestling a tributary of the Pine Creek. On the sign is written the words, “The Big Event Before the Big Event!” No one knows what the big event is, let alone what the big event before the big event necessarily means. Nevertheless, everyone goes out to check it out. Cars line up and jam up traffic. Energy can be felt in the air, as well as excitement, intrigue, and mystery. Everyone goes out. Everyone wants to know what is going on and what will come next. Continue reading

The Offering the Satisfies Debt (Leviticus 5:14-6:7)

The Lord Jesus in LeviticusLeviticus 5:14-6:7

I remember forgetting to return a library book when I was fourteen. I checked it out. I knew I needed to return it. Nevertheless, there it laid for weeks or months beyond its due date. I was tempted to not return it. However, the better part of me compelled myself to walk through the Library doors and face the music. The librarian took the book and in an unharmonious voice told me what I already knew, “This book is late.” The fine was twenty or so dollars, a small fortune for a fourteen-year-old, especially in the nineties. Continue reading

The Sacrifice that Cleanses (Leviticus 4:1-5:13)

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Leviticus 4:1-5:13

God understands sin more broadly than we. We might think of sin as breaking one of the Big Ten. However, for God, sin is insidious. It engenders every action, thought, and attitude that is contrary to God’s flourishing design for this world. Sometimes we sin without even knowing it. Continue reading

Help in Reading the Bible – Part 1 (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

Do you read your Bible? I mean really sit down without distractions and read it? We call it “The Holy Bible” because it is God’s Word set apart from all other books. Continue reading

The Mission of Jesus Begins (Mark 1:9-13)

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Submitted by Craig Devenport. 

Mark 1:9-13

The first chapter of Mark has it all. Angels, God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and even Satan are all in the same place at the same time, during the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist and Jesus’ temptation by Satan. Continue reading

The sacrifice that celebrates peace (Leviticus 3)

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Leviticus 3

The Hebrew word for “peace” surpasses most notions of peace today. Some think of peace as the absence of political or international conflict. Others of the absence of pain or presence of tranquility. Some think of relational harmony. The Hebrew concept of peace includes these things, but it goes further. It includes health, wealth, joy, and wholeness. But there is more. The peace that makes all other peace possible is God’s peace established between God and humans. Continue reading

All Our Yesterdays and Tomorrows (Ecclesiastes 3: 1-22)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-22

Macbeth Act 5 Scene 5
There would have been a time for such a word.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

We see in this quote from Shakespeare’s Macbeth that the theme of Ecclesiastes is felt and expressed by all men in all of history. Continue reading

The sacrifice that kills negativity (Leviticus 2)

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Leviticus 2

A critical spirit infects the world we live in. Instead of expressing gratitude, we are prone to grumble and complain. We complain about the school board, politicians, or the way people parent or spend their money. Our inner voice tempts us to think we could do things better in their shoes. The Israelites had an offering to counter such negative attitudes. It was called the Meal Offering (or “Grain Offering”). Continue reading