Tag Archives: Bible

I’m lame

School starts next week, so Christians on Campus has been really active.  We’ve had open houses, moved students into their dorms, breakfasts, lunches, and everything in between.  This morning we had Sunday fellowship at our campus house and the topic was Mephibosheth.  Now, lets be real for a second.  How many of you can honestly say that you know who Mephibosheth was?  I couldn’t.  But after our fellowship this morning, I’ll never forget his story.

Let me give you the verses from 2 Samuel and then I’ll re-speak (or type) what the brothers shared this morning.

2 Sam 4:4 “Now Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son who had crippled feet.  He was five years old when the news came of Saul and Jonathan out or Jezreel.  And his nurse took him up and fled.  And as she hurried to flee, he fell and was made lame.  And his name was Mephibosheth.”

9:1 “And David said, Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show kindness to him for Jonathan’s sake?

3b-9 “And Ziba said to the king, There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.  Then the king said to him, Where is he?  And Ziba said to the king, He is just now in the house of Machir the sone of Amiel in Lo-debar.  And King David sent men and took him from the house of Machir the son of Amiel, from Lo-debar.  And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage.  And David said, Mephibosheth.  And he said, Your servant is here.  And David said to him, Do not be afraid, for I will surely show kindness to your for the sake of Jonathan your father; and I will restore to you all the land of your father Saul, and you will eat food at my table continually.  And he paid him homage and said, What is your servant that you should look upon a dead dog like me?  And the king called Ziba, Saul’s attendant, and said to him, All that belongs to Saul and to all his house I give to your master’s son.”

10b-11 “…and Mephibosheth, said to David, shall eat at my table like one of the king’s sons.”

13 “And Mehibosheth dwelt in Jerusalme because he ate at the king’s table continually.  And he was crippled in both his feet.”

Ok, so Mephibosheth was Jonathan’s son, which means he was Saul’s grandson.  Just in case you don’t know the story, Saul was the first king of Israel, but after a while he turned away from Jehovah and eventually lost His blessing.  Jehovah then chose David, who was one of Saul’s attendants who played the lyre.  Even though both Saul and Jonathan realized that David would be king someday, Saul tried to kill David but Jonathan made a covenant with David that he would always show kindness to his house (there’s a lot more but this is the abridged version).  So after Jonathan and Saul were both killed in battle, David became king.  This is why Mephibosheth’s nurse ran – she was afraid David would kill everyone in Saul’s house.

But he didn’t.

He invited Jonathan’s only descendent – the grandson of the man who tried to kill him – to eat at his table continually.

The brother who shared this morning pointed out that this story of Mephibosheth actually represents our Christian experience today.

Romans 5:10 says “For if we, being enemies, were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more we will be saved in His life, having been reconciled.”  Just like Mephibosheth was an enemy of David, so we were enemies of God.  But we were brought back to God through another – through Christ, or in the case of Mephibosheth, through Jonathan.

And like Mephibosheth, we are also lame towards God.  According to Romans 3:10-11 “There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands, there is none who seeks God.”  But luckily, Romans 2:4 says “…knowing that God’s kindness is leading you to repentance.”  If you look back in the verses, King David sent men and took Mephibosheth.  He didn’t seek out David, just like we, in our lame condition, can’t seek out God.  God sought us and His kindness leads us to repentance.

So what happens after God finds us and leads us to repentance?  We eat!  For free!  All the time!  Once Mephibosheth got to David’s house, all he did was eat at the king’s table.  Continually.

But the point that really got me was that when Mephibosheth sat down at the table, he didn’t see his crippled feet!  When he sat down at the table all he could see was the food on the table. He forgot about his lame condition and just enjoyed!  I don’t know about you, but it seems like I’m always bombarded with thoughts from Satan about what a miserable sinner and terrible person I am.  He likes to bring up all of my sins and shortcomings and it’s so easy to get depressed and try to hide from God in Lo-Debar, which by the way means “no pasture,” “not having,” or “not having.”  But that’s the perfect opportunity to quote Ephesians 2:11-14 and claim my status as a child of God through the blood of Christ.  We don’t have to look at our crippled feet!  We can just come to the table through our Savior and eat!  Why stay in the place of no supply as an enemy of God when you can feast at the king’s table!  Don’t stay in Lo-Debar!  Come to the feast and forget about your weaknesses!

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12 Practical Points on Bible Reading

This is an awesome post from HoldingToTruth.com about how to read the Bible.  The twelve points are divided into three sections as follows:

The proper attitude for reading the Bible

1. Have the attitude of contacting God Himself

2. Have the attitude of coming to receive spiritual nourishment

3. Have the attitude of coming to receive enlightenment

Some simple ways to read the Bible

1. Read the books of the Bible sequentially

2. Don’t read too much at one time

3. Blend reading of the Word with prayer

4. Underline precious verses

5. Don’t seek too much understanding

6. Muse on the Word

Some tips on time

1. The best time to read the Bible is in the morning

2. It is best to read the New Testament in the morning

3. Try to set apart at least ten minutes at a time

 

I highly recommend you go to the actual blog post itself, because there you’ll find lots of helpful verses and extra commentary for each of the twelve points.

Do any of you have any other tips for reading the Bible?

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A Deeper Look at “My Father’s house”

This is a short video from EachOneHas.com.  In it, a computer programmer takes a quick, but deep, look at John 14:2.

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A Stable Christian Life

Last night right before I went to bed I remembered that I hadn’t read the New Testament all day.  I knocked out the Old Testament in the morning, but put off the New.  It was late and I was tired, so the idea of not reading quickly came to mind.  But almost as soon as the thought of abandoning the Bible came to me, another thought came in.  “Why would I do that?  The Bible’s my rock.  It’s the basis of my Christian life and everything I believe.  I think I can sacrifice a few minutes of sleep for one chapter.”

This is not a new predicament, or one that is exclusive to myself.  Everyday Christians around the world have to fight to get into the word.  Whether they’re fighting culture, apathy, governments, etc., there is always a struggle to get into the Bible.  A lot of Christians think it’s unnecessary for them to read the Bible.  “I won’t understand it anyway, so why waste my time.  I’ll just go to church or watch church on T.V. and let someone else explain it to me.”  This is something I hear a lot, and have been tempted to indulge in myself.

In 2008 I went to a sort of Christian training for college students.  The topic was the book of Philippians, and something one of the brothers said came to me last night.  He told us that “Without the Word of God to go along with the bountiful supply of the Spirit, our Christian life can be unstable…. The Word never changes and is always the same, so it can stabilize our Christian life.”

Isn’t this good?  I’m so unstable and constantly fluctuating.  One minute I’m praising the Lord and the next I’m completely immersed in the world and my own problems to the point that I forget about God and focus on my pitiful self.

There’s a parable in Matthew 7:24-27 that portrays my situation perfectly:

“Everyone therefore who hears these words of Mine and does them shall be likened to a prudent man who built his house upon the rock.  And the rain descended, and the rivers came, and the winds blew, and they beat against that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.  And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not do them shall be likened to a foolish man who built his house upon the sand.  And the rain descended, and the rivers came, and the winds blew, and they dashed against that house; and it fell, and its fall was great.”

The translation I’m using has fantastic footnotes.  I want to share two of them here, one for the word “rock” and the other for the word “sand”.

Rock – “Rock does not refer to Christ but to His wise word, the word that reveals the will of His Father who is in the heavens.  The living and work of the kingdom people must be founded on the word of the new King for the accomplishing of the will of the heavenly Father.  This is to enter in through the narrow gate and walk the constricted way that leads to life.”

Sand – “Sand refers to human concepts and natural ways.  If we live and work according to our human concepts and natural ways, our living and work will be founded on sinking sand.  This is to enter in through the wide gate and walk the broad way that leads to destruction.”

This is so true.  Without the word of God, all we’re left with is our own ideas of how to live a proper Christian life.  We may look to other people and philosophies, but how we apply what we see and appreciate in those people and philosophies still depend on our “human concepts and natural ways.”  But even though certain traditions and ideologies may look solid and trustworthy on the surface, they’re really just sinking sand with no support.  The only way to really have a stable Christian life is to read the “wise word” of God.  People and philosophies come and go, but the Bible is constant and unchanging.  There is no other way to know the Father’s will or receive the grace needed to walk the narrow and constricted way.  So which do you want?  A house that is stable and strong, or a house that can fall with a change in the wind?  Oh Lord!  Keep us all in Your wise word!

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“Your words were found…”

The famous Greek word logos — “word, speech, a...

I’ve recently been enjoying verse 16 from Jeremiah chapter 15.

“Your words were found and I ate them,

And Your word became to me

The gladness and joy of my heart,

For I am called by Your name,

O Jehovah, God of hosts.”

What a wonderful verse.  Did you know that such a verse existed was in the Bible??  A verse that tells us to eat God’s word??  But it does!  When some of my friends in Christians on Campus first pointed out this verse, and verses like it, my concept

of the Bible completely changed.  Suddenly, it went from being boring and hard to understand, to still sometimes boring and still hard to understand, but eatable as well.  But not even just eatable, but joy-infusingly eatable.  How in the world is this possible?  Let me share with you a footnote on this verse from the translation I’m using:

“According to the entire revelation in the Holy Bible, God’s words are good for us to eat, and we need to eat them.  God’s word is the divine supply as food to nourish us.  Through the word as our food, God dispenses His riches into our inner being to nourish us that we may be constituted with His element.  This is a crucial aspect of God’s economy.  When we eat Gods words, His word becomes our heart’s gladness and joy.”  For example, Psalm 119:103 says:

“How sweet are Your words to my taste!

Sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

Matthew 4:4 is a well-known verse among Christians on this topic.

“But He answered and said, It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God.'”

Now, in Greek, there are two different ways to say ‘word’.  Logos refers to the constant word, like the Bible.  While rhema refers to the instant word, like when the Lord speaks something specific to us in our prayer.  In this particular verse, the word is rhema.  This means that as a Christian, we need to pay attention to God’s personal and instant speaking to us.  Otherwise, we won’t make it.  We can’t live the Christian life without some real contact with God.

1 Peter 2:2 is a good example of a verse using logos.

“As newborn babes, long for the guileless milk of the word in order that by it you may grow unto salvation.”

Here, we see that the constant word, or the Bible, is likened to food.  This means we can eat it!  However, as we grow in Christ, we should move on from milk to solid food as in 1 Corinthians 3:2.

Now that we know we can take in the Lord’s instant and constant words as spiritual nourishment, but how exactly do we go about doing it?  Well, Ephesians 6:17-18 are helpful:

“And receive the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which Spirit is the word of God, by all means of prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit and watching unto this in all perseverance and petition concerning all the saints.”

Aha!  So, in order to receive the word of God into us, we need to pray over it.  Martin Luther once said “It is very certain, that we cannot attain to the understanding of Scripture either by study or by the intellect. Your first duty is to begin by prayer.”

There is a wonderful little book on this topic that is almost entirely composed of quotes, including the one above, from Christians throughout the ages and across denominations who have discovered the benefits of praying over the words of the Bible.  It’s called “Lord Thou saidst…” compiled by Ray Graver and I highly recommend it.

Anyway, I hope you find the joy that is hidden in the word of God and let it become “sweeter than honey” to your mouth!

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5 Verses on the Comfort of God

Psalm 46:1-3 

“God is our refuge and strength; A help in distress, He is most readily found.

Therefore we will not fear, Though the earth change, And the mountains slip into the heart of the seas;

Though the waters of the sea roar and foam;”

Psalm 18:2

“Jehovah is my crag and my fortress and my Deliverer; My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my high retreat.”

Nahum 1:7

“Jehovah is good, a stronghold in a day of distress; And He knows those who take refuge in Him.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-5

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassions and God of all comfort;

Who comforts us in all our affliction that we may be able to comfort those who are in every affliction through the comforting with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

For even as the sufferings of the Christ abound unto us, so through the Christ our comfort also abounds.”

2 Thessalonians 2:16

“Now the Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope in grace”

Don’t see your favorite?  Tell me in the comments!

Added by you guys:

1 Corinthians 1:3

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

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The Lord’s Prayer (Part 1)

Almost every church-going Christian can recite the prayer in Matthew 6 from memory.   In case you are unfamiliar with, or have forgotten, this prayer, it reads:

“9 Our Father who is in the heavens, Your name be sanctified;

10 Your kingdom come; Your will be done, as in heaven, so also on earth.

11 Give us today our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13 And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.  For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen.”

Growing up, my dad took me to a Methodist church and we read it at the end of every service, but I had no idea what it meant.  It was just the signal that church was almost over and I could go home and change into soccer shorts and a t-shirt.  So when I saw that my morning devotional for this week focuses on this prayer I had some mixed feelings.  One reaction was to groan and sigh.  “Ugh.  This again.  I already know this.”  But I was also curious.  “Maybe there’s something here that I’ve never seen before.  Some kind of deeper significance that I never understood.”

Luckily, I went with the second reaction and read it even though I wasn’t too excited about it.  My devotional splits the prayer in to two parts for study, and that’s what I’m going to do here.  The first part is verses 9-10.

“You then pray in this way: Our Father who is in the heavens, Your name be sanctified; Your kingdom come; Your will be done, as in heaven, so also on earth.”

My devotional points out that first of all, the ones praying have to be children of God.  Otherwise, how could they say “Father”?  And as children of God the ones praying this prayer have the authority, the right, to call God their Father.  Isn’t this wonderful?  We have the right and the authority to call the God of the universe our Father!

I also appreciate this translation’s use of the word “sanctified” in verse 9 instead of the word “hallowed” that I grew up with.  The devotional points out that “To be sanctified means to be separated and distinct from all that is common.  On the fallen earth there are many false gods. The worldly people consider our God as being in common with those gods.  If we pray for our Father’s name to be sanctified, we should not just utter this with our words.  For His name to be sanctified, we should express Him in our living.  We must live a sanctified life, a daily life separated from being common.”

I had never considered how the Father’s name would be sanctified or hallowed.  I guess I just thought if I said the words, it would somehow happen, almost in a superstitious way.  But the devotional points out that as a child of God, I bear the name of my Father.  Therefore, in my daily living I have a responsibility to sanctify His name and make sure it is separated from all other “gods” and anything else that is common.  The Lord’s name is cursed and spoken evilly of throughout the whole earth.  He needs some who would sanctify His name and make it holy.  Lord, make me this kind of person!  I don’t just want to say these words!  I want to live this prayer!

And lastly, the devotional talks about verse 10.  “Today the world is not God’s kingdom but His enemy’s kingdom.  This is why the Bible says that Satan is the ruler of today’s world (John 12:31).  In Satan’s kingdom, the world, there is no righteousness, no peace, and no joy.  Romans 14:17 tells us that the reality of the kingdom life is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.  In Satan’s kingdom today, there is no joy, because there is no peace.”

Wow.  This really opened my eyes to see the real situation on the earth today.  I knew that when the Lord comes back He will establish His kingdom, but I guess I didn’t think of it as pushing out or defeating Satan’s kingdom.  “We need to pray for the Father’s divine will to be done on earth as in the heavens.  This is to bring the heavenly ruling, the kingdom of the heavens, to this earth.  Then the Father’s will surely will be done on the earth.”

After reading this devotional my view of this prayer has done a complete 180.  It’s not just something to repeat verbatim in a church service.  Its more of a blueprint for how to live the Christian life and a skeleton model of what to pray for.  I’ve realized that I can take any one of the verses and expand it to apply to the world situation to today and to my daily living.  What a wonderful pattern of prayer the Lord gave us!

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