Happy New Year ~ Bible Reading

I hope you all had a “Blessed Incarnation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, Day” (think about it – “Christmas”) and a triumphant entry to the New Year.

If you don’t have a Bible Reading Plan I encourage you to begin one. It is a great way to begin the New Year, with a plan to read God’s Word completely through, during the year. It is important to read the Bible, completely and in context (as opposed to haphazardly, here a little, there a little). There are many plans you can follow. A very easy one is to read about 3 chapters a day (5 on the Lord’s Day/Sabbath).

One we are enjoying following is a bit different. It prescribes reading from both the Old and New Testaments everyday, and takes you through the whole Bible completely once, and the New Testament and Psalms twice in the year. The layout of it divides the readings into Family and Individual readings, so half the chapters will be read by yourself, and the other half as part of your daily Family Altar time (I hope you are doing this too.)

One great thing about this schedule is that the whole family (and perhaps your whole church, if they do such) is reading the same chapters each day and you can all discuss them at any time. It is a great way to bring spiritual unity in growth, in the family and the church.

This schedule was arranged by Robert Murray M‘Cheyne, who lived in the early 1800’s. It is/was recommended by Ravi Zacharias, Charles Spurgeon and John Stott, among many others.

Here’s a link to a site where you can download/print the schedule. (There are many others, but I like the format of this one – legal size, folds to brochure to fit in Bible, large enough to read easily.) Look under Daily Bible Reading and click on pdf file:
www.mountzion.org/see.html

(Put M’Cheyne Bible into a google search and you will come up with many others, some interactive online versions.)

And here’s a link to a website where you can download free Bible Reader software for reading the Bible on your Palm (or other) handheld, and M’Cheyne reading schedule that you can check off the chapters as you read them. Click on your type of handheld on the left to get the download page for Bible Reader.
www.olivetree.com/download/

Then click on this page to choose a bible version to download. Several are free. KJV is $5.00.
www.olivetree.com/store/catalog/Products-p-1-c-259.html

Then click on this page, on Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s Schedule to download his reading schedule:
www.olivetree.com/handheld/BibleReadMe/

You can also download many other books (many for free) to read on your Palm with Bible Reader. But that’s another topic for another day.
For today, start a systematic reading of the Bible itself – for a Blessed New Year!

 

Theology & Doctrine

July 12, 2005
I’ve heard it said in contemporary American churches that we need to steer away from theology and doctrine. That they are just divisive issues, and should stay out of our pulpits and home group discussions.

I agree they are VERY divisive. But they are exactly what we need to stay close to, and build our lives upon.

Theology and doctrine are at the heart of Christianity. In fact there is no Christianity without theology and doctrine. Theology isn’t some high minded legalistic argumentation. It is nothing more than your beliefs about God. Everyone has them. The question is, are your beliefs about God Biblical? If not, you need to hear the Word that tells you what is Truth about God.

Likewise Biblical doctrine isn’t some man-made ideas about how we should worship God and live in this world. It also isn’t a optional thing. Doctrine means teaching We are commanded to adhere to the doctrine (teaching) of the Apostles about Jesus.

Theology and doctrine. They are what makes Christianity, Christianity. They are our Biblical beliefs about God, and the teachings of the Bible. They are the only hope of every person on earth. To come to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, whom You can only know and understand through Biblical theology and doctrine.

At Jesus’ feet,
SDG,
Lisa

Count it all Joy!

Greetings from Me and My House,

“Count it all joy when you fall in various trials.” Has that always been your favorite verse? I really don’t see many Christians applying this one – me included. But this I know, God wrote it; it is truth; I need to do it.

I wrestle with God’s Sovereignty and man’s sin. Although I know that God works all things for good for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose, I don’t believe that sin is God’s design and plan. But this I do know, God allows sin, and the good that He wants to bring out of it is the conforming of my character to the image of Christ.

Clay that I am, I don’t like being pushed and squeezed. I don’t like being in the heat of the fire. But…

He works good for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose, so when others sin against me, and I am in the midst of various trials, I can – WILL – count it all JOY, because He is conforming me to the image of His Son, as I submit to His work in my life.

At Jesus’ feet,
SDG,
Lisa

Meeting People’s Needs

Greetings from Me and My House,

I’m having a “no brainer” moment. So if you get offended by reading “no brainers” just skip today’s blog.

It is said that if you tell people they are sinners, they won’t “come to church”. Duh!! People that are unregenerate don’t need to “come to church”. The Church is the Body of Christ, therefore unregenerate people aren’t part of the Church – so why do they need to “go to church”? Why would they want to?

They are totally opposed to it and its ways. Duh!! They are at enmity with God, why would they want to gather together with Christ’s Body to worship Him? So tell me, just why is it that the gathering of the saints for corporate worship would want to conform to the world to appeal to the unsaved? They aren’t gathering together for them. They are gathering to worship God. It isn’t about the sinners or their comfort. It is about the saints worshipping, praying, and feeding for growth on God’s Word. The ‘natural man’ (unsaved) cannot understand spiritual things. Period. It is only by the drawing power of God’s Holy Spirit that man has any interest in the things of God.

Man-made, especially pragmatic humanistic, methods cannot draw man to God. They can draw man to “church” and programs that the ‘natural’ man may think can meet his needs, but he will be left in his uncomfortable sins, sitting in a comfortable church, without the drawing, saving power of God. Filling the “church” with unregenerated people and trying to help them feel good? Why?

What unregenerate people need is to be saved, not “go to church”. They are lost and need to be found. They have problems that need to be fixed. Duh!! They have no hope of anything else, without the Truth. They need to realize that they are in rebellion to the Almighty God, their Creator, and that their need is to repent, and be converted. Then and only then will they want to gather with the saints to worship God, to learn the depths of His Word. Only then will they not be offended by the message of the Cross. Then and only then will they have any hope for their true needs to be met.

“Church” is not somewhere for unregenerate people to go to, to feel better about themselves. Church is someone, the Body of Christ, and their assembly together, not to stir and please their flesh, but to strengthen their spirit, giving them the grace to crucify the flesh.

It is said that Jesus met people’s (sinners’) needs. Duh!! Of course He did. He met their physical as well as spiritual needs. What He did not do was stroke their carnal self esteem (ego).

This message is not callous to sinners’ needs. Quite the contrary; that is exactly my concern. I’m not advocating that we walk up to people and tell them they are sinners and going to hell unless they change their ways. Though that is certainly Truth, it must be told in love. No, I have a really novel idea, when people recognize/ admit they have a need, how about we introduce them, not to ‘going to church’ so they feel better through pop psychology, but to Jesus the Messiah? How about we tell them of the Almighty, Holy, Righteous God who made everything including them, who loved them so much he came to earth as a sinless man to take the punishment for all of their sins, IF they believe in Him, repent for their sins, turn away from them that they may be truly changed into an entirely new creature. That they put all their trust in Jesus and lay down their life for Him, denying their flesh and picking up their cross to follow Him. Its a radical idea, but hey it’s worked for thousands of years and God Himself thought of it. How about we give it a try?

Perhaps we might even have evangelistic meetings for those that God is drawing, that want to learn more of Him and the different life He will give them – the Full Gospel message for those that are truly seeking and have ears to hear. Whoa, what a concept! Perhaps we might even talk to them ourselves and lead them to a saving knowledge of and relationship with the Lord.

I just started a new book I got. (Yes, in the middle of writing this.) I’m not even to the end of the first chapter, so I don’t know how good it is or isn’t yet. But it sounds promising. It’s called Set Apart. A quote from the first chapter says what I’m saying, so much nicer: “A worldly church cannot and will not reach the world. The church must be distinct from the world to reach the world. We must set ourselves apart to God if we hope to reach the world. In a word, the only hope for us and the lost world is a holy church.
From the onset God’s plan for reaching the world has been to create a people distinct from the world who would then minister to and reach the world.” Novel idea for meeting people’s true needs.

At Jesus’ feet,
SDG,
Lisa

Intolerable

Greetings from Me and My House,

Herein lies the beginning thoughts, in unpolished format, for this blog.

There can be no compromise in Christianity. Without absolute truth there is no truth at all. If everything can be true, then there can be nothing false, and if nothing is false, then also nothing is true.

If Jesus is the way, there is no other way. If there is any other way, Jesus is not the way. There cannot be Jesus PLUS other ways that are equally as good. The Gospel is completely exclusive, because Jesus is the only way.

The world (and now even much of the Church) screams toleration, for everything — except Biblical Christianity. It is easier to accept everything else, than to accept the One thing necessary/ needed. For that One thing will exclude all else. All that is built on humanism (man as his own god and savior) can co-exist in false peace/ tolerance. But only God can bring true peace. And that ONLY brings exclusivity.

One little word makes Biblical Chrisitanity “untolerable” – ONLY.
Only One God.
Only One Savior.
Only Begotten Son.
Only One way to salvation.

At Jesus’ feet,
SDG,
Lisa