Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Reading and Doing

To know the will of God: READ THE BIBLE.

To be Spirit led: DO THE BIBLE.

-Dr. Lester Sumrall

Friday, June 10, 2011

Greek and English Interlinear Giveaway (scientia et sapientia)

Marc Cortez over at Scientia et Sapientia is giving away Bill Mounce's Greek and English Interlinear so surf over and enter for this great study tool.

This is a totally different kind of interlinear. It has the standard two translations running down the side of each page (NLT and TNIV), and down the middle is the Greek text and a new English translation. Below each word is also its parsing and its GK number.
  • The Greek text is unique in that it shows many of the variations reflected in modern English translations
  • The translation is actually readable. Due to some typographical innovations, this interlinear maintains Greek word order but the translation itself also makes sense. It is an excellent tool for young Greek students to see how an experienced translator (Robert Mounce) works with the language
  • The parsing explains the Greek form
  • The GK numbers allow someone who does not know Greek to be able to discover the Greek word lying behind the translation and find its meaning in a Greek-English dictionary such asMounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words
  • A basic Greek dictionary

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Preparation for Receiving the Word

 Image retrieved from creationswap.com
Proper preparation is critical. Without it, Scripture reading is seldom blessed. Such preparation is threefold. First, we must approach Scripture with a reverential fear of God and His majesty. We must approach the Word "swift to hear, slow to speak" (James 1:19), determined like Mary to lay up God's word in our hearts. Reverential fear is always blessed, either by having our understanding enlightened or by some other good affections being put into us.
Second, we must approach the scripture with faith in Christ, looking on Him as the Messiah, who "is the lion of the tribe of Judah, to whom it is given to open the book of God." If we come to Scripture with reverence for God and faith in Christ, will Christ Himself not open our hearts as He did the hearts of the disciples traveling to Emmaus?
Third we must approach the Scripture sincerely desirous to learn of God (Prov. 17:16). Those who bore fruit from thirty to a hundredfold were precisely those who received the word "in a good and honest heart" (Luke 8:15). We often do not profit from Bible-reading because we come "without a heart" for divine teaching.

-Joel R. Beeke  and Ray B. Lanning, "The Transforming Power of Scripture" from Sola Scriptura: The Protestant Position on the Bible pgs. 119-120

The above quote prompts preparation for reading the Bible. While many of us thrive on reading, meditating is more difficult in a fast-paced lifestyle and sometimes we excuse ourselves by attempting to meditate in the midst of hundreds of other things. In the same way, preparing for consuming and digesting the Word can be difficult. Many times I find myself eagerly diving into the Bible, desperate for the Word, but unconscious of the sacred act that has been engaged. I am receiving the very words of God. The question becomes how well am I receiving?

Jesus rebuked His disciples again and again because of their dullness of hearing when it came to the Word. His irritation is apparent (and apparently still divine irritation), His disciples were not prepared to receive spiritual instruction, they had their heads, but more important still, their hearts, set on earthly things. They responded from the shallow context that pervaded their hearts. Jesus desperately wanted them to hear.

Many times I have attempted to institute a discipline of saying "grace" before reading the Word, simply preparing myself with a short prayer asking God to give me ears to hear and a heart to receive His Word and His voice. I know that my own interpretation of the Bible is as useless as the Pharisees'. It is only the Holy Spirit's revelation of the Bible's meaning and significance that will produce good fruit. The Pharisees were mentally prepared to tackle the scripture, they had it memorized, knew it by mind, but had never received it by heart. They were the professional interpreters of their day, but did not have the humble heart to hear.

Lord give us that heart.

I desire to take Beeke and Lanning's warning and exhort myself to pause before I hastily enter the Word. I am on sacred ground. I am entering a place that terrorizes the devil and that he has crafted an entire army of lies to twist and pervert. I need the Lord to soften my heart, to give me spiritual ears to hear, to give me a humility that is able to receive and a hunger that is ready to feed on the living Word. I need to invite the Holy Spirit to come and interpret the text, to communicate to my spirit and place within me the engrafted word. May we take time to open ourselves to the work of the Spirit to establish us as a habitation for the living Word of God.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Genesis Synoptic Graphic

A good friend of mine is a brilliant graphic designer and came up with a series of graphics displaying a summary of Genesis relating events to chapters.

Now if only I could get him to do the rest of the Bible. . .

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Jots and Tittles June 2011

Image from www.creationswap.com.

My June Newsletter. Please pray for me as I pursue the heart of Jesus to seek and save the lost in Detroit.

Don't forget to enter the June giveaway.

Boston Bible Geeks review The Books of the Bible: an intriguing edition from Biblica.

In a related article, Gordon Fee on "Why Christians Read Their Bible Poorly."

A meandering article from N.T. Wright on English translation of the Bible from 1611 to 2011.

One of the books I'm currently reading is Dr. Michael L. Brown's phenomenal encouragement for seeking divine visitation and revival: A Time For Holy Fire.

At the end of April, David Wilkerson entered into glory. At the time, I did not write anything about his promotion because I was perhaps still trying to understand my own reaction to this news. I was deeply burdened by the loss of this man's ministry. His heart had impacted mine, even from so far a distance as I listened to his sermons on sermoninex. His passion and burden for the bride and the lost planted a seed in my heart during my first years as a believer. I find myself asking God, "Who will take up the role that this man fulfilled in the body? Whose heart will you fill to reach the lost and to reach the blind, poor and naked who have not yet understood that they are meant to be the bride?" May God use and burden us. The following is a precious word from a gift to the body of Christ and a man who has received his reward in glory and gives his God and King adoration face to face.

I Will Veil Myself in You By David Wilkerson
Lord, only You can speak to the depths of the soul
I don`t know who this is for
But Lord, I`m going to speak to those who have backslidden
To those, Oh Lord, who have been growing cold & indifferent
to the call of God & the things of Christ.
Oh God, come & speak.

God says, `The word that I`ve sent to you,
I didn`t send it out to be void.
But the word that I have given to you
is going to accomplish the very thing I said it would.`

Lord, I flee to You to hide me.
Folks, the original in that says,
`I will veil myself in You.`

Now you think about it.
You see, our faith now cannot be based on emotion.
Our faith cannot be based on just the testimonies
of others who have been delivered.
They can`t be cliches.
They can`t be just a shout.

We have to have a foundation
for the faith that we`re going to need.
And this has to be laying hold of
God`s own claims of who He is.

This whole things starts out right here.

Oh, hear my prayer, Lord.
Hear my supplication.
In Your faithfulness, answer me
And in Your righteousness.

And here`s a challenge.
God, here`s the basis upon which I come to You.
Not what I`ve heard in the past about people,
but here`s what You told me You are.

You said that You are faithful.
That You are just.
That You are holy.
You cannot lie.
You can`t be God if You aren`t faithful.

You said You are long-suffering.
You said You`re the God of peace.
You said You`re the God of my strength

Now I`m coming to You.
I`m going to lift my hands to You.
I`m going to believe what You said about Yourself.
And I am coming on the merits of nothing I have done,
no righteousness of my own, but on the promise of God.
What You told me.

Remember the word unto Your servant
which You have caused me to hope in.
This is my comfort in affliction.
For You have now quickedned me.

How was he quickened
Lord, God, I have lifted my hands to You.
I have trusted You.
I have claimed Your promises.
You are who You said You are.

From now on, I`m going to veil myself in You.
I`m going to cut myself off from all confidence in the flesh,
or in people, or in anyone else.

I`m going to throw myself at Your mercy.
Your grace! Your power! Your glory!
And I`m veiling myself in Christ.

From a sermon/tribute video.

originally found at http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=39173&forum=34&2