Jottings – Before Honor is Humility

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Christ was designed for the highest honours, yet in his first step he thus abases himself. Note, Those who would rise high must begin low. Before honour is humility.

 

Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994), 1620.

 

Thanks Keith!

 

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Devotional – When God Asks You Questions

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Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Job 38:4a ESV

No doubt Job had questions he wanted God to answer. Many questions. Many legitimate questions. Who could blame him? I’m sure I would have some questions for God if I lost all of my earthly possessions, my family and my health like Job did.

But God never answers Job’s questions. Instead, God has a lengthy list of questions for Job! Job 38-41. Dozens of questions– none of which Job couldn’t possibly give an adequate answer for.

What about Job’s questions for God? Certainly God could answer his questions! But in His wisdom and sovereignty God chose not to. God never even revealed to Job the reasons why no answers were given.

Maybe you have questions — legitimate questions concerning difficult, real-life issues you’re facing– questions God has chosen not to give you an answer for. Questions that keep you awake at night: why do I have cancer? why am I in debt? Why did my mother die? Such unanswered questions are difficult to live with, but remember God has chosen to withhold the answers. It’s not that God can’t answer your questions. Rather, He chooses not to for reasons only He knows.

In the end (Job 42:5,6), Job saw God, recognized his own sinfulness and repented in dust and ashes! Amazing! Job received something far greater than answers… Job received God!

Today, God is offering you something far greater than answers. God is offering to you Himself. Will you repent and receive Him?

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Editorial note: Originally published August 22, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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Top Digital Sojourner Posts of All Time

 

Top Digital Sojourner posts of all time:

10. Two Roads Two Destinies Chart

9. Thomas Newberry Reference Bible Available Online For Free

8. Two Android Hymn Book Apps

7. The Dispensations – A Chart By R P Amos

6. Is Change A Good Thing?

5. 5 Thoughts: Preaching with an iPad

4. Involving Youth in Church Ministry

3. Reading John Nelson Darby

2. A Chart On The Course Of Time From Eternity To Eternity

1. Ironside’s Revelation Chart

 

 

Prior “Top Post” articles:

Top 15 Posts of 2015

Top 14 Posts of 2014

Top 13 Posts of 2013

Top 12 Posts of 2012

Top 10 Posts of 2011

 

 

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Jottings – Who Is Lord of Your Prime Time?

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It is impossible for any Christian who spends the bulk of his evenings, month after month, week upon week, day in and day out watching TV networks or contemporary videos to have a Christian mind. This is always true of all Christians in every situation! A Biblical mental program cannot coexist with worldly programming… we need to allow Christ to be Lord of our prime time.

 

Hughes, R. Kent. Disciplines of a Godly Man. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1991. p75. Print.

 

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WWW Wednesday: 12 Free Kindle Christian eBooks

Christian-Internet-Conference

My post this Wednesday over at the Why We Web blog lists 12 eBooks in Kindle format that you can download for free. If you do not own a Kindle you can still read Kindle formatted ebooks with one of Kindle’s free apps (see WWW post for details).

Enjoy!

Link: 12 Free Kindle Christian eBooks

 

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WWW Wednesday: CoWorking – A New Way To Get Work Done

Why We Web
What is CoWorking? And what does it have to do with being a digital sojourner? Check out my most recent Why We Web post…

 

Link: CoWorking – A New Way To Get Work Done

 

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Hitting The Sanctification Gym

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My good friend Keith Keyser recently posted on his blog an excellent exhortation entitled Becoming A Spiritual Heavyweight.

In the article brother Keith addresses the need for intentional self discipline. Drawing heavily on scripture, Keith demonstrates that the way in which we live our daily lives not only impacts our Christian life now, but also throughout eternity.

Keith’s call to a disciplined life is highly relevant for the digital sojourner. The digital world is a deadly minefield… one misstep online can easily destroy one’s testimony.

I encourage you to check it out…

 

Link: Becoming A Spiritual Heavyweight

 

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NT Tuesday: Build Up One Another

Open Bible MarkLast week we looked at exhort one another. This week we will look at “building up of one another” or “edifying one another.” Romans 14:19 NASB reads “So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.” (I had to “resort” to using the NASB because the ESV does not use the terms “one another” in its translation of this verse.)

The verse follows an exhortation by Paul to mature Christians to not allow their freedom to participate in certain liberties to be a stumbling block or a hindrance to other Christians as they walk with Jesus on the path that He leads them. Rather than causing “differences” to become an issue, Paul argues, we should spend time strengthening each other.

A similar thought is also found in 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 – For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

God, in His manifold and infinite wisdom, has designed the body of Christ to be knit together. Believers are not individuals running around on their own individual crusade or left alone to deal with their own issues, problems, challenges, or successes. Rather, our Father has designed a body where each member is joined together with each other and with Jesus Christ as our Head. He has designed this body so that each member is needed and vital. He has designed the body so that each member is necessary for the mutual upbuilding of the other members. In other words, we need each other. We need each other in our walk with the Lord, we need in other to be better equipped to use the gifts given to us, we need each other for encouragement, exhortation, prayer, confession, etc.

Because we need each other – and let’s think selfishly for the moment – the more we can positively impact one another, the better off we will be because the body, as a whole, will be in better shape. It’s sort of like the exhortation to husbands to love their wives like their own bodies. We can extrapolate that verse from marriage and apply it to body life – “believers edify the other members of the body as you want to be built up yourself.”

I want to make one more observation about Romans 14. Notice what Paul says. He says we are to “pursue the things which… edify one another”. That, to me, sounds like it needs to be purposeful, not random. In other words, we need to proactively and decidedly behave in such a way that it builds up the other members of the body. We need to structure our day, our week, our month around being edifying to other members of our body. That takes time, investment, sacrifice. But it would seem that it would be a wise investment and it seems that it would be pleasing to Jesus.

Until next week – fulfill your ministry and build one another up! Hey, why not invite them to the Shepherding Conference at Greenwood Hills later this week (shameful plug!!)

 

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Photo credit: CreationSwap/Krist Adams

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God’s Good News: Lesson 6 Part 1

1. READ THESE VERSES IN YOUR BIBLE: Romans 5:12-6:14

2. READ TEACHING ABOUT THE VERSES

God’s Gospel Continued: The two races of men – Adam and Christ (Romans 5:12-21)

We have learned that we can be right before God forever. If I trust in Christ who died for my sins, I will not be judged for my sins. This is the first thing God teaches us in Romans (chapters 1 to 5).

But God also wants us to live right, so He also made a way for this in Christ. We can walk right while we are here on earth, if we reckon that we died and rose with Christ, and let Him live His life in our body. This is the second thing that God teaches us in Romans. We want to learn some more about this second part of God’s gospel that He teaches us in Romans 5 to 8. We will learn God’s solution to our internal problem, that is, the deep problem we have inside us.

For us to walk right, the key is to understand that there are two men with two races that came from them. The two men with their two races are Adam and Christ. All men are born into Adam’s race. Sin rules in Adam. We can see that sin rules Adam’s race if we think about the fact that everybody dies.

Sin began to rule when Adam sinned. By his one act of sin, his whole race came under sin’s rule. This is similar in Christ, who is the second Man. Christ did one act and it affected everyone in His race. But the difference is that Christ’s act was a righteous act, and so His race is a righteous race.

Because sin rules Adam’s race, all die. The law was added to Adam’s race to show that sin had control. Grace rules Christ’s race through righteousness, so all who have received Christ have eternal life in Him. Grace has super-abounded over sin!

Continued in Lesson 6 Part 2

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Three Archaeology Websites Reviewed

Websites reviewed:
1. Life & Land Seminars (Gordon Franz)
2. Bible Places (Todd Bolen)
3. Associates For Biblical Research (ABR)

Archaeology fascinates modern people, for it lifts the veil on life in the ancient world. Christians are particularly interested in this field due to the light it sheds on the world of the Bible.

During the past two centuries, skeptics have sometimes asserted that archaeology disproves the Bible – or at least, undermines its credibility by revealing numerous errors. A careful study of archaeology from the 19th-21st centuries demonstrates that these claims are patently false. Time and again, the biblical view of the ancient world has been vindicated by the scholars’ shovels, spades, and research in libraries and laboratories.

The more of the Bible lands that are excavated, the more clear become the culture, languages, and backstory of Bible passages.

Unearthing The Past

Happily, digital sojourners (i.e. web-connected believers) have a trove of good materials relating to Biblical archaeology on the web. I wish to highlight three helpful & trustworthy pages.

By way of disclaimer, I will admit that the three driving forces behind these sites are acquaintances of mine: I studied with Dr. Bryant Wood during my history studies at Messiah College in the early 1990s. Todd Bolen led study tours at the American Institute of Holy Land Studies (now called Jerusalem University College) when I was a student there in the Fall of 1993. Gordon Franz has been a close personal friend for twenty-one years, and has encouraged and edified me in innumerable ways. I am indebted to these three brothers for their good service to their fellow-saints by laboring in the Word and historical research.

Veteran archaeologist Gordon Franz’s site is called Life & Land Seminars and may found here: www.lifeandland.org. His page contains numerous articles that he has written over the years on OT & NT history and archaeology. There are also excavation and tour reports pertaining to various biblical sites around the world. He updates the site regularly, and has it well-organized under various tabs such as “Life of Christ,” “Life of David,” “The Seven Churches of Asia Minor – Rev. 1-3,” etc. Technical material is sometimes discussed, but in a way that is accessible to the non-specialized reader.

Picturesque Israel

Todd Bolen’s Bible Places prominently displays his excellent photography of biblical lands – some is freely downloadable, other material may be purchased. He has spent years teaching in Israel (first with the IHLS and then with Master’s Seminary’s extension campus in Israel.) He is currently completing a doctorate at Dallas Theological Seminary. His blog (blog.bibleplaces.com) is outstanding. It contains helpful news from Israel, as well as links to current archaeology on the web.

The Associates For Biblical Research (ABR) exists to teach biblical archaeology, as well as conduct fresh research in the field. Its president, Bryant Wood is well-trained with advanced degrees from the Universities of Michigan and Toronto. His writing in defense of the biblical Jericho has been particularly noteworthy in refuting the prevailing opinion set down by Dame Kathleen Kenyon. Helpful articles and excavation reports may be found at their well-organized site under such headings as “Contemporary issues,” “Exodus-Conquest,” and “New Testament Era.” What is more, it is well-worth subscribing to their quarterly print magazine, Bible & Spade. Their bookstore contains helpful audio, video, & print resources. The blog’s address is www.biblearchaeology.org

I commend these helpful website for all thoughtful Christians, as well as for those who are not convinced of the Bible’s trustworthiness.

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