Friday, December 31, 2010

"The Effective Invitation" by R. Alan Streett. Chapter 2

Chapter 2 of R. Alan Street's "The Effective Invitation: A Practical Guide for the Pastor" is entitled "The Theological Content of the Invitation." Street warns us that we cannot preach the Gospel without issuing an invitation to our hearers to respond.  The aim of 1st century preaching was the conversion of the lost.  The invitation is the act of the preacher in exhorting and instructing hearers in appropriating the content of the message (kerygma) in their individual lives.  Streett quotes Roy J. Fish concerning the nature of the Gospel: " is obvious that it represents an offer.  God makes man a concrete offer of forgiveness of sin on the basis of the saving acts of his Son.  Such an offer demands a decision."  Streett is critical of the practices of substituting a trip to the altar or the raising of hands for the inclusion of the theological content of the invitation.  Scriptural models of the invitation all contain theological content.  In Mk. 1:14-15, Jesus preached the Kingdom of God which is entered through repentance and faith. (see also Acts 3: 12-26, 20: 20-21)  Repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin, says Streett, but the preacher must clearly define the terms for his listeners.  Repentance must be preached first in the Gospel invitation (Acts 20:21, Heb. 6:1).  The Greek verb matanoeo is translated in English as repent.  It means a change of mind toward someone or something. It denotes a rational rather than an emotional response.  Repentance is not the message of the Gospel, but the intitial response, and its origin is with God, not man.  (Ps. 80:19, Jn. 6:44, Acts 5:30-31, Rom 2:24, 2Tim 2:24-25) Faith is the second component of the invitation. The Greek verb pisteuo is translated as believe, commit, trust.  It means to rely one someone or something.  The noun pistis is translated as faith and the object of this faith is the person and work of Jesus Christ.  Faith is a gift of God (Phil 1:29, 2Pet 1:1, Heb. 12:2, Rom. 10:17), it is more than mental assent (James 2:14) and does not focus on the visible world (2Cor. 5:7, Jn. 20:29, Ge. 12:3, 15:6 and Rom. 4:19-25).

Monday, December 13, 2010

Preaching And Teaching

Yesterday I preached a sermon entitled "Something New Under The Sun."  I had found a message I had written under that title and when the pastor asked me to preach this Sunday, I decided to use that message as the basis of the sermon.  In the end, all that survived of the original message was the title.  In the very near future, I will post the sermon on my audio blog.  Over the next couple of weeks I will finally get that blog going.  I will also post the original written message on my main blog.  All this will be done if God permits it.

I have almost finished teaching on the Sermon on the Mount. It took me longer than anticipated to teach both the Sermon on the Mount and the book of Philippians.  I am going to have to refine my teaching style.  Next month I hope to take time to post some of what I taught from Philippians on both my main blog and audio blog.

Friday, December 3, 2010

"The Effective Invitation" By R. Alan Streett. Chapter 1

Recently I began reading "The Effective Invitation: A Practical Guide For The Pastor" by R. Alan Streett, chairman and professor of Evangelism at The Criswell College and editor of the Criswell Theological Review.  Chapter 1, "Tell Me, What Is The Gospel," deals with the theological content of the Gospel message.  I will briefly summerize the chapter's contents.

Streett cautions against making an appeal to others to accept Christ as Lord and Savior when a clear proclamation of the message of the Gospel has not been preached. There are two parts to the Gospel message, proclamation and invitation. Proclamation must always precede an invitation to listeners to respond to its truth.  Three New Testament words deal with proclamation: kerygma, kerysso and keryx.  Kerygma, appearing 8 times in the New Testament, refers to the content of the Gospel.  It is translated in English translations as "preaching" (ex. 1Cor. 1:21).  Kerysso, appearing 61 times, means "to proclaim" or "to preach"; it refers to the act of preaching.  Keryx, appearing 3 times, refers to the preacher.  Paul used the word twice to describe himself (1Tim 2:7, 2Tim 1:11).  The word also includes the concept of an ambassador in its meaning. (1Cor. 1:17, Eph. 6:19-20, 2Cor 5:20)  The preacher does not proclaim merely for the sake of doing so.  An inseperable component of his motivation is an expectation of response.  Three New Testament words deal with evangelism: evangelion, evangelizo and evangelistes.  Evangelion, appearing 77 times, simply means good news and is a synonym for kerygma (Rom 16:25).  Evangelizo, appearing 55 times, means to bring or announce glad tidings. Evangelistes, appearing 3 times, meaning bringer of good tidings, is translated as "evangelist" and is a synonym for keryx.    

Two-Fold Nature of Man

Taken from F.G. Smith's "What The Bible Teaches", chapter 2, "The Nature of Man."

Man is a compound being

1Cor. 6:20, 1Cor. 7:34, Job 14:22, 2Cor. 4:16
The outer man is mortal- Rom. 6:12, Rom. 8:11, Gen. 1:29,2:7,15,3:19, Ps. 8:4, 5 with Heb. 2:6-7, 1Cor. 15:53, Lk. 20: 35-36, Job 19:26, Mt. 10:28, 2Cor. 4:16.
The inner man is spirit- 2Cor. 4:16, Job 32:8, Is. 57:16, Zech. 12:1, 1Tim. 1:17, Mt. 10:28, Ps. 22:26, Mic. 6:7, James 2:26, Rom. 6:12-13, 2Cor. 5:1-9, 2Pet. 1:13-14, 2Cor. 12:2-4, Phil 1: 21-24, Mt. 22:32, Rev. 6: 9-10, 20:4, Lk. 23:43,46, Acts 7:59, Ps. 90:10, Ecc. 12:7, Rom. 3:4.
Christ is first-begotten of the dead- Rev. 1:5, Col. 1:18, 1Cor. 15:20, Acts 26:22-23.

God's Attributes In General And Who Each Person Of The Trinity Is

From F.G. Smith's "What The Bible Teaches", Chapter 1- "The Doctrine of God":

God's Attributes

1. Self Existence: Jn. 5:26, Ps. 36:9
2. Eternity: Ps. 90:2, Is. 57:15
3. Spirituality: Jn. 4:24
4. Unity: Is. 45:21
5. Immutability: Mal. 3:6, James 1:17
6.  Omnipresence: Jer. 23:24, Acts 17: 27,28
7. Omniscience: Acts 15:18, Heb 4:13
8. Omnipotence: Rom. 1:20, Mt. 19:26
9. Wisdom: Dan. 2:20, Rom 11:33
10.  Holiness and Truth: 1Pet. 1:16, Hab. 1:13, Titus 1:2
11. Justice: Ps. 89:14, Acts 10:35
12. Goodness: (Benevolence, love, mercy,grace) Rom. 2:4, Jn. 3:16, Ps. 136:26, 1Pet. 5:10,
13. Faithfulness: 2Thess. 3:3, Heb. 11:11

1. The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit are represented as special personsdistinct from each other.
2. They are clased together, seperate from all other beings.
3. Divine titles are aplied to each.
4. Divine attributes are ascribed to each.
5. Divine works are attributed to each.
Yet There is only one God.

God The Father

The word "Father" applied in 2 senses, to God without any personal distinctions (1Chron. 29:10, Ps. 89:26, 2Chron. 6:18, Jn. 4: 21,23,24) and to distinguish the Father from the Son (Mt. 11:27, Jn. 5:17, Acts 2:33, Rom. 15:6, Gal. 1:1-4)

God The Son

1.  Divine Titles Applied to Him the same as the Father- Heb. 1:8, Is. 9:6, Mt. 1:23, Jn. 1: 1,14, Acts 20:28, Jn. 20:28, Rom. 9:5, Phil. 2:6, Col. 2:9, Titus 1:3, 1Jn. 5:20, Rev. 17:14

2. Divine Attributes are ascribed to Him.
a. preexistence or eternity-Jn. 8:58, 1Cor. 15:47, 1Jn. 1:1, Phil 2:6-7, Jn. 17:5, Col. 1:17, Mic. 5:2, Rev. 22: 16,13
b. Omnipotence- Is. 9:6, Mt. 28:18, Jn. 11:25, Phil. 3:21, Col. 2:10, Jn. 10: 17-18, Heb. 1:3, 2Tim. 1:10
c. Omnipresence- Mt. 18:20, 28:20
d. Omniscience- Jn. 2:24-25, 21:17, Acts 1:24, Col. 2:3, Mt. 11:27, Rev. 2:23

3.  Divine works are ascribed to Him.
a. Creation- Heb. 1:1-2, 10, Jn. 1:3, Col. 1:16
b. Redemption- Eph. 1:7, Heb. 9:12

4. He is Preeminent--Above All Things- Acts 10:36, Rom 14:9, Phil 2:9, Col. 1:18, 1Pet. 3:22

5.  He is a proper object of Devotion and Worship- Heb. 1:6, Jn. 5:23, Lk. 24:52, 1Cor. 1:2, Phil. 2:10, Rev. 5:13, 2Tim. 4:18

God The Holy Spirit-
Also divine and distinct from the Father and the Son.  Called the Spirit of God (Rom 8:9)because He was sent from God (Jn. 15:26).  Also called the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9) because He is sent to do the work of Christ.
1.  His divinity- Mt. 10:20, Ez. 36:27 cf Acts 2: 17-18, Acts 28:25, Rom. 8:14, 1Cor. 3:16, Eph. 1:13.
2. His personality-
a. Associated with Father, Son as their equal- Mt. 28:29
b. The personal pronoun "He" is applied to Him, Jn. 16:13
c. Personal acts are ascribed to Him- Jn. 14:26, 15:26, 16:13, Acts 13:2,4.
d. Particular attributes are ascribed to Him- for example- knowledge (1Cor. 2:11), will (1Cor. 12:11), Power (Rom. 15:13)

All three are classed together, seperately from all other human beings, as divine- Mt. 28:19, 2Cor. 13:14, Jude 20:21, 1Pet. 1:2, Rom. 8: 14-17.
3. His works-
a. In creation: Gen. 1:1,2, Job 33:4, 26:13, Ps. 104:30.
b. In redemption: 2Thess. 2:13, Acts 15:8,9, Titus 3:5, 1Jn. 3:24, Rom 8:9, 14, 16  

Divine Authority of Scripture And The Words Of the Apostles

Taken from F.G. Smith's "What The Bible Teaches" , Preliminary- The Divine Authority of The Scriptures:

The Holy Spirit as the author of Scripture- 2Pet 1:19,21, 2Tim. 3:16, Is. 1:10, Jer 1:7, Ex 1:3, Jn. 5:39, 46, Lk.16:31, Heb 10:7.

The Holy Spirit as the author of the words of the Apostles- Mt. 10:19-20, 1Thess. 2:13, 1Cor. 14:37, 2Pet. 3: 15-16 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Scriptures Illuminating The Meaning Of The Beatitudes

From background research for a sermon delivered on the Beatitudes. All word definitions from Greek reference works.  This material was used for the last 15 minutes of the sermon. Of course I only shared only a few of the verses listed here. These and other verses unpack the meaning of each attribute, they give a fuller meaning than what we might expect.  +'s indicate verses that show these attributes originate in the Holy Spirit and are the picture of one filled with the Spirit, a test of whether one is Spirit filled.

MATT 5: 3-10.

3. Blessed- fortunate, happy, free from daily cares and worries.
    Spirit- Greek word pnema-refers to sight unseen, not physical poverty-gives
    sphere of poverty spoken here.
    Poor in Spirit- Mt 11:25, 18: 1-3, Lev. 26:41, Dt. 8:2, 2Chron. 7:14, 33:12, 33:23, 34:27, Ps. 34:18, 51:17, 147:3, Ec. 7:3, Is. 57:15, 61:1, Mic. 6:8, Lk. 18:14, 2Cor 6:10, Ja. 2:5.

4. Mourn- takes possession of person, a quality that cannot be hid. Future reward.
    Ps. 32: 3-7, Ec 7:3-4, Is. 25:8, 35:10, 61:2, Ezk. 9:4, Zec. 12: 10-14, Lk. 7:36, 2Cor. 1: 3-7, 7:4, Rev. 21:4.

5.  Meek- Humble, gentle attitude which expresses self in patient submissiveness to
     offense, free from malice, desire for revenge.
     Mt. 11:29, Ps. 25:8-13, Ps. 37 (whole), 149:4, Pr. 14:29, 15:1, 18, 16:32, 19:11, Ec 7:8, Is. 29:19, Zeph. 2:3, +Gal 5:23, +Eph 4: 2-3, Col. 3: 1-14, Titus 3:2.
      Inherit the Earth- Gen: 22:17, Ps. 25:17, 37:9-11, Is. 54: 16-17, Dan. 7: 14, 18, Rom. 4:13, Rev. 5:10.

6.  Hunger- A continual attitude.
     Righteousness- That God gives, or or comformity to God's will (Mt.5:20) Here, God is the agent, we are passive. Hunger and thirst-Ps. 41: 1-2, 63: 1-2, 107:9, Is. 26:9, Amos 8: 11-13, +Jn. 6:27, +36, +7:37.  Filled- Ps. 8:10, Jn. 4:14, Rev. 7:16-17.

7.  Mercy- Indicates moved by pity, compassion at tragedy, includes fear this could
    happen to me.  Mt. 6: 14-15, 18: 34-35, 25: 34-36, Ps. 12:5, Pr. 11:17, Ezk. 16:49, Dan. 4:27, Mic. 6:8, Gal 6:9, Eph. 4: 26- 5:1-2, Col. 3:12, +James 3:17, Mt. 7:2, 2Cor. 4:1, 2Tim 1:16, +Heb. 4:16, 6:10.

8.  Pure- Mt. 23:25-28, 1Chron. 29: 17-18, Ps. 18: 25-27, 24:3-4, 51: 6,10, Ps. 73, Ezk. 36: 25-27, +Acts 15:9, +2Cor. 7:1, Titus 1:15, +Heb. 10:19, +James 1:8, 3: 17-18,+Heb. 12:14, +1Jn. 3:2, 3.  Heart-Center of the inner life of the person where all the spiritual forces and functions have their origins.    

9.  Peacemaker: Ps. 34: 12-14, Prov. 12: 20, Rom: 12:18, +14:17-19, +2Cor. 5:20, +Gal 5:22, Eph. 4: 1-3, Col. 3: 12-15, James 1: 19-20.  The Hebrew word for Son often denotes the character of the parents as expressed by the child.

10.  Persecuted- cause of persecution, righteous conduct.  Mt. 10:39, Ps. 69: 7-9, Is. 51:29, Jn. 15:20, Acts 5: 40-41, 9:4, Rom. 8:17, 37, 2Cor. 4:8, 2Tim. 2:12, 3:12, Heb. 10:34, James 1:4, 1Pet. 4:12-16, 2Thess. 1:4-7, James 1:12.

Friday, November 5, 2010


I am still teaching on The Sermon on the Mount on Wednesdays at Church.

Starting Monday I will begin reading for the Ordination process.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"A Plain Account Of Christian Perfection" by John Wesley

This week I reread John Wesley's "A Plain Account of Christian Perfection."  I plan to do a major series on it at my main blog.  This reread has been very helpful to me spiritually.  The rational of the series is to state what Wesley meant by perfection and to deal with the misconceptions that surround the doctrine.  I may include my background notes, which consist of excerpts from "A Plain Account..." here on this blog.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bible In 90 Days: Acts

Earlier this year the church I attended in Illinois participated in the "Bible In 90 Days" program. I completed the program in 86 days reading the NLT.  I wrote down my impressions as I read and posted them on this blog. (See the link at the right-hand side to access my comments)  I stopped posting my comments after reading John because my upcoming move made time scarce.  However, I did write down my impressions of Acts.  I am taking the opportunity to post these impressions now.  For 1- 1076, click the "Bible In 90 Days: Impressions" link below:

1077.  Jesus continued to preach through the power of the Holy Spirit.
1078.  Jesus continued to show proofs that He was still alive.
1079.  Jesus taught during those 40 days on the Kingdom of God.
1080.  The Apostles asked when God would restore the kingdom of Israel.  They were still unfocused.
1081.  Receiving the Holy Spirit is the promise of the Father.
1082.  After Pentecost, the use of lots ceased.
1083.  Peter's 1st sermon- 3 points- What the crowd witnessed was the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, that David prophesied Jesus' resurrection and ascention and that they had crucified the Lord and Messiah.
1084.  The crowd's response- repentance leading to forgiveness followed by baptism and the receiving of the Holy Spirit.
1085.  The Church devoted themselves to the Apostles teaching, fellowship, the Lord's Supper and prayer.  They shared their possessions.
1086.  They enjoyed the goodwill of the people.
1087.  God added daily to the Church.
1088.  The 1st Christians worshipped in the Temple.
1089.  It was faith in God that healed the lame man at the Temple.
1090.  Peter tells the crowd they were complicit in Christ's death.
1091.  From Samuel onward, every prophet spoke of Christ.
1092.  Through Abraham all the families of the earth will be blessed. Christ was in Abraham's descendants.
1093.  Christ went to Israel first to turn Israel from its sinful ways.
1094.  Peter and John were arrested because they preached the Resurrection in Jesus's name.
1095.  The lame man had been lame for 40 years. Jesus must have passed him when going to the Temple.
1096.  The Church was filled with the Holy Spirit and they preached boldly.
1097.  Their message focused on the Resurrection.
1098.  The Apostles were of one mind and did not think their possessions were their own.
1099.  There was no poverty among them.
1100.  After Peter and John were arrested, the threat of arrest for following Jesus was real.  So why didn't insincere followers like Annanias and Saphira stay were it was safe?
1101.  Annanias allowd Satan to fill his heart.
1102.  Before Pilate the religious leaders said let Jesus' blood be on them and their children.  Now they were angry that the Apostles charged them with killing Jesus.
1103.  Gamaliel was couseling a political approach, not a godly one.  Worldly wise.
1104.  Possible racial conflict arose as more were added to the Church.
1105.  The Apostles needed to be free to preach and teach.
1106.  The 7 workers had to be filled with the Holy Spirit and with wisdom.
1107.  The solution to the food distribution problem increased the number of saved, even among the Jewish leaders.
1108.  Stephen was charged with violating the Law of Moses.  Stephen demonstrated that it was Israel that had done so.  He charged Israel with always resisting the Holy Spirit.
1109.  When Stephen related his vision of Jesus, he was stoned.
1110.  Saul was a witness to Stephen's death, seeing him forgive his killers.
1111.  The persecution allowed the message to spread.  The Apostles stayed in Jerusalem.
1112.  Were those in Samaria who accepted the message saved even though they had not received the Holy Spirit?
1113.  Simon thought that the receiving of the Holy Spirit was like magic.  He believed, but he still had mixed motives.
1114.  Philip went where God told him to go, including a desert.
1115.  Apparently Philip's baptisms were considered legitimate, even though he was not an apostle, but a lay leader.
1116.  Apparently baptism was part of Philip's message.
1117.  It was humbling for Saul to be led by the hand into Damascus.  He had planned to enter it with authority.
1118.  Saul was God's chosen instrument to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles, Kings and the people of Israel.
1119.  Annanias took issue with the Lord.
1120.  Paul's message- Jesus is the Son of God.  And since Paul was trained in the Scriptures, no one could refute him.
1121.  It was Barnabas who allowed Saul to gain credibility with the Church.
1122.  The miracles in Peter's ministry added many to the Church in Lydda and Joppa.
1123.  God heard the prayers of unsaved Cornelius.
1124.  Peter was still thinking in terms of Judaism's attitude toward the Gentiles that the Lord had to repeat the vision of the sheet and the food 3 times.
1125.  Peter didn't understand the vision until he was summoned by Cornelius.
1126.  Peter brought the other witnesses so the Church would accept Gentile Christians.
1127.  The Gentiles received the Holy Spirit while Peter was still speaking.
1128.  The Lord used Peter to convert the first Gentile Chrisitians so later Peter could give credibility to Paul's ministry to the Gentiles.
1129.  Many Jewish Christians thought the Gospel was only for Jews, or that Gentiles had to become Jews first.
1130.  Peter said the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit in the same way as the 1st disciples.
1131.  The Jerusalem Church rejoiced specifically that the Gentiles repented and received eternal life.
1132.  The Church in Antioch began providing famine relief for the Judean Church before the famine began.
1133.  Barnabas and Saul's journey to deliver famine relief set the stage for their missionary journey.
1134.  When Peter is rescued from prison, he thought it was a vision.
1135.  The soldiers paid with their lives for the Lord's rescuing Peter.
1136.  Herod died because he accepted the people's worship.
1137.  Just as Elymus the sorcerer had to be neutralized, so do evil forces that try to keep people from accepting the Gospel.
1138.  In Acts 13, Paul comes to the forefront.
1139.  When Paul preached to the Jews, all he had to do was prove Jesus was the Messiah spoken of in the Scriptures.
1140.  Paul pronounced judgement on Pisidia even though many became believers there.
1141.  When they preached to Gentiles involved in idol worship, such as at Lystra, they had to start from scratch, proving there was only one God.
1142.  Paul was stoned in Lystra, later returning, carrying the marks of the stoning on his body as he preached warning believers they must enter the Kingdom of God through many tribulations.
1143.  Paul and Barnabas were summoned back to Jerusalem.  They were not free agents, but under Jerusalem's authority.  When the findings of the Jerusalem Council was sent to Antioch, official represetitives were sent from Jerusalem to Antioch.  The Jerusalem Church also declared that the Judaizers were not sent by the Jerusalem Church.
1144.  What was Peter's evidence that the Gentiles had received the Holy Spirit?  God cleansed their hearts through faith.
1145.  Paul felt it was necessary to circumsize Timothy.
1146.  The journey was directed by the Holy Spirit- 16: 6-10.
1147.  Luke has joined Paul by 16:10.
1148.  The Gospel was opposed by those who were threatened by it economically, like the master of the demon possessed slave girl who told fortunes.
1149.  When Paul and Silas told the Philippian jailer that all he had to do was believe to be saved, the jailer's subsequent actions proved his faith.
1150.  Paul told the Athenians they had to repent of idol worship.
1151.  Paul spent over 1 and 1/2 years in Corinth.
1152.  Paul found believers who had only heard of the baptism of John and were not baptized in the Holy Spirit.
1153.  Paul spent 2 years preaching in the Hall of Tyrannus.
1154.  Pauls message- the Kingdom of God.
1155.  The incident of the 7 sons of Sceva showed many believers that Jesus was not magic and many repented of their practice of magic.
1156.  Paul reminded the Ephesians how he conducted himself among them.
1157.  Paul said false prophets twist the truth to gain a following.
1158.  It was prophesied that Paul should not go to Jerusalem.
1159.  The Jews of Jerusalem reacted violently when Paul said he preached to the Gentiles.
1160.  Paul set the Pharisees and the Sadduces against each other.
1161.  Paul said the reason he was on trial was because he preached the Resurrection of the dead.
1162.  Paul said to Agrippa that he preached repentance proved by fruits, and that he preached nothing more than what Moses and the Prophets said would happen.
1163.  Acts 28 claims that the 1st 5 books of the Old Testament were writtten by Moses.
1164.  In Rome, Paul preached the Kingdom of God.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Finished Philippians, Starting The Sermon On The Mount

Wednesday of last week we finished our study of Philippians; Wednesday of this past week,  I began teaching from the Sermon on the Mount.  We managed to get through the Beatitudes.

Biblical Insights For Understanding Grief

(From a presentation at a Creditials Retreat for those seeking ordination)

The Bible dignifies grief by presenting it as a God-given, theraputic response to loss.

God grieves

The Father grieves over evil in Noah's day (Gen. 6:6)
The Son grieves over the death of Lazarus (Jn. 11: 35-36) as well as over Jerusalem.  See also Is. 53.
The Spirit grieves over believers sin (Eph. 4:30)

God responds to our grief

Recording our tears (Ps. 56:8)
Symapthizing with our weaknesses (Heb. 4: 15-16)
Eventually ending our griefs (Is. 65:19, Rev. 21:4)

Grief measures the meaning of our attactments

Our attatchment to friends (Jn. 11:36)
Our attachment to family (Gen. 50:1)

Grief potentially interupts life's routines

Leaving mourners with little appetite (2Sam. 12:17)
Causing mourners to wish for death (2Sam. 18:33)
Multiplying mourner's illness and death (1Sam. 4: 18-22)

Grief potentially persists over an extended period of time

7 days (Gen. 50:10)
30 days (Num. 20:29)
70 days (Gen. 50:3)
Time does not heal, it's what you do with that time.

Grief is potentially expressed in a variety of ways

Before a loss (Mt. 26: 37-38)
By shock, numbness or denial (Mk. 8:31-32)
In anger (Job 10:9)
Through bargaining (Is. 38: 1-22)
With depression (2Sam. 12: 16-18)
With acceptance (Phil. 1:12, 21-24, 4:11-13)

Grief is potentially facilitated by various expressions

Through songs (2Sam. 1: 17-27)
Through poetry (Lam. 1-5)

Other Scriptures

Is. 43:2-3, Ps. 23:4, 46:1, 147:3, Jn. 14:1, Is. 41:10, Prov. 3: 5-6, Dt. 31: 5-6.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Credentials Retreat

Two weekends ago I attended a Credentials Retreat for those going through the Ordination process.  Here are a few quotes from the various presentations:

Ordinances of the Church:

Is it a good thing that we make baptism something that is added to the regular worship service?  Shouldn't it be a time of celebration for all of God's people at a special time? 

It may be better to record or video baptismal testimonies before baptism so that the people will know more about someone's journey to faith before they are baptized.

Let different persons share communion thoughts so that the people will gain fresh perspectives.

When one partakes of holy Communion, one sees three faces in the cup: Jesus', mine and those who are lost.  This is a good idea for a communion meditation.

The Making of a Leader:
1.  Nothing Happens until someone provides leadership to make it happen. Nothing of eternal significance happens until God raises up a leader. Judges 21:25.  "Everything rises or falls with leadership." John Maxwell

2.  Leadership is influence for good or bad.  1Tim 4:2.  The Biblical definition of leadership: A "leader" is someone with God-given ability and responsibility to influence a group of God's people to accomplish God's purpose for that group.  To be a Biblical leader, you must know what God is calling you to be.

 It is true that when we say no to God, God will raise up someone else to accomplish His purpose.  But when we say no to God, we say no to those God knows only we can reach.

Positions of influence have changed over the past couple of generations.  Age and official position have nothing to do with leadership now; since Watergate authority is considered suspect.  In Churches, often influencers do not hold an official position, especially when the pastor is new.  How do pastors determine who are the influencers?  By seeing who the people look to in meetings.  Pastors need to build relationships with these people, letting them to see your heart and getting to know theirs.

If you are on staff under a lead pastor, you are a direct extension of that pastor.

If a senior pastor has no input in the hiring of staff, this is a recipe for disaster.

Start in small things; make sure you lead at home.

3.  The test of leadership: is anyone following? Jn 10:27, 1Cor. 11:1.   If you have to remind people that you are the leader, you are not the leader.  Are we as leaders listening to God, or other voices.  Who are those we are trying to lead listening to?

A leader will be a person of eternal significance if they are the same in their personal as well as their public life.

4.  The foundation of leadership is character, not charisma.  1Tim. 3: 1-13, Heb 13: 7-8.  Paul told us to do as he did.  We can't be like someone else.  God called us to be who we are in a particular place.

Three characteristics of good leaders: a. They have a message worth remembering, b. They have a lifestyle worth considering (who they are, not what they have), c. They have a faith worth imitating.

You know you are influencing someone for Christ when they start asking you questions.

5. Leadership can be learned; not all are born leaders.  Mk. 3: 14, 2Tim. 2: 2.  Let them learn the difference between head knowledge and wisdom.

6.  If you stop learning, you stop leading.  Ecc. 10:10.  If a pastor stops growing, he/she can no longer feed their congregation.  Learn as much as you can, work all that you can, pray all that you can.

On Grief:

Tears are the words the heart cannot express.

The ability to grieve is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Grief is a natural, normal reaction to loss of any kind.  It is the most powerful emotion God gives us.

Grief hurts.  It operates differently in different persons.  Everyone heals in a different way.

Time does not heal ; it is what you do with that time.  There are no stages of grief, but their are common responses.  Initial shock is God's gift, a shield.

Grief is a steady companion with ministers.

The presenter shared scriptures concerning grief.  I will write a seperate entry for those.

What one should wish a pastor would know at the beginning of his ministry:

Don't rush ordination.

Ask pastoral search committees what is expected of you and inform them what you expect of them.

When things go wrong, ask self what am I doing I shouldn't be doing and what is it I should be doing I am not.

All "Yes" persons will get you into trouble.

Opinions and beliefs can change; your certitudes never die.

When someone gives you a compliment such as "That was a good sermon, pastor," don't fully trust them. They may not know what else to say.

Be careful when things go wrong who you blame the former pastor to.  Also, there will come a time that you can no longer put the blame on the former pastor but on yourself.      

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Not long ago I wrote of an opportunity to engage in hospital ministry.  Unfortunately, that opportunity has been denied.  Apparently the ministry had many interested in the program and so those who applied first made the cut.

I finished teaching Philippians on Wednesday evening.  I will post teachings based on what I presented on my audio blog in the very near future.

Friday, September 17, 2010

About This Blog

This blog is a record of my pastoral studies, preaching and teaching activities and any other activities I engage in to prepare myself for pastoral ministry.  While I sometimes express opinions on the subjects covered, this is not an opinion blog.  Because this is merely a personal record, the effort towards good grammar and personal style is not as great as on my main blog.  This blog exists mainly to aid myself and to let those in authority over me as well as my friends in the ministry know that I am engaged in continuing education. I do welcome your comments.

Scriptural Evidences of the New Birth and Its Outworking in Our Lives (Undivided Heart,Sanctification, Perfect Love)

From Dennis F. Kinlaw's "Let's Start With Jesus: A New Way of Doing Theology":

Scriptural Evidences of the New Birth: Titus 3: 4-7 (Holy Spirit initiates a new life within us, the very life of God), Rom. 5:8 (Holy-love of God poured into our hearts), IJn. 3:1, 11 (tyranny of self-absorbtion broken, the love we receive from God is lavished upon others).  Proof of this change 2-fold- We experience a consciousness of reconciliation with and belonging to the Father again (Rom 8: 15-26, IJn. 3: 1-2) and experience change in conscious concerns, a divine love for God and Man (2Cor. 5:14-15). We are to walk (keeping in step, walking) in the Spirit (Gal. 5:25); it is the Spirit we live by, not the flesh- (Gal. 2:20, Phil. 1:21, 1Cor. 4: 16-17).

It is possible for disciples to have an undivided heart (sanctification): Dt: 30:6, Mt 5:8, Mk 12: 28-34, Rom 6: 1-4, 8: 1-15, 12: 9-15, 13: 8-10, 1Cor. 12:3, Phil. 2: 1-11, 2: 19-23.  (Compare the verses in Phil. to Phil. 1:17 and Rom. 2:8- these verses indicate that a believers love can be tainted by selfishness.  The word for self seeking in both these verses is eritheia).  Paul demonstrates how he looked out for the interests of others: 1Cor. 3: 3-9, 8: 9-13, 9:12, 15, 18-19, 22-23, 10: 31- 11:1, 15: 1-6. See also 1Jn. 1:7.  Paul begins Rom. by boasting of the Gospel's power to save; at the close of Rom. ( Rom. 12-15)Paul demonstrates how salvation works itself out in a disciple's life.  Rom 12:1-2, Paul speaks of a New Testament sacrifice, not of animals, but of self.  The grace that God gives in response to this self-sacrifice is the agape of God which is other oriented: Rom. 12: 3-5, 10, 14-20, 13: 4, 13: 1-7, 8-10, 14: 7-8, 15: 1-3, 23-32. This is not a state obtained in our own strength:  Gal 2:21.  The Spirit works through faith: Gal: 5:6.

Why do we need sanctification in addition to salvation?  Only after we walk with Jesus in intimate fellowship for a while do we realize the fullness of our sinfulness.  The Holy Spirit reveals this to us.  We must trust the Lord to do this and that it is for our eternal good.  Failure to trust God in this is the final evidence of our sinfulness.  (1Jn. 4: 18.)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Scripture References on The Flesh, Forgiveness And Salvation

From Dennis F. Kinlaw's "Let's Start With Jesus: A New Way of Doing Theology."

From my main blog: For Paul, the flesh is not evil. The moral character of a man or woman is determined by their relationship to the Holy One. If they are centered on God, their flesh is infused with the Holy Spirit and they are characterized by agape love. This is to be the pattern of life for all believers. (Gal. 5: 13-17, 2Cor. 5: 14-15) The life Jesus had on earth in the flesh was not just a moral/ethical example for us to follow, but a pattern of true personhood. None of us is complete if the Holy Spirit is not living within, liberating us from self interest. (Rom. 8:6-8) "Our completeness, our healthy personhood as it was created to be, is found not in ourselves, but perichoretically in God's Spirit. The person who knows that completenessis truly a new creature, as human as God intended the human creature to be." (Kinlaw, p. 122)

God's own arm is God's solution for restoring fellowship between Himself and Man- (Is. 59)-God's own arm executes divine will (Is. 40:10, 48:14, 51:5, 62:8).  God's own arm is the means of our salvation (Is. 59:16).  God's own arm is not power to impose a solution or declare the problem solved, but the power to take into Himself the very problem He wants to solve.  Identity of God's own arm, the suffering servant (Is. 53:1, 3-6, 11, 12).  See also Rom. 5: 6, 8, 15).

To be forgiven, to be bourne- Ps. 32:1-blessed is the man who is forgiven can read blessed is the man who is bourne. OT words conveying bourne- nasa (to bear), he' amin (to confirm, support) and batach (to lie extended upon, to repose oneself on- found mainly in OT worship lit, mainly the Psalms).  We bear others on our hearts, their welfare more important than our own, ex. Moses lived to intercede for Israel, Israel, all humanity blessed- Num. 11:1-3, 12: 1-6.  see Gal. 4:17, 6:2.  Lose life, find it- bind on earth, bind in heaven, loose on earth, loose in heaven- bear others, possibilities open up for others- Mt. 16:16-28.

Scriptures Relating To Man's Rebellion and Sinful State

From Dennis F. Kinlaw's "Let's Start With Jesus: A New Way of Doing Theology."

Mans rebellion- Gen. 6:5, Is. 53: 3, 6, 10, 13, Ezk 22 (see v. 30), Rom. 2:8 (eritheia- self seeking),5:12-18

Man's sinful state- Rom 3: 10-18 with Old Testament parallels- 3:10-12 (Ps. 14: 1-3), 3:13 (Ps. 5: 9, 140:3), 3:14 (Ps. 140:3), 15-18 (Is. 59:7-8, Ps. 36:1).  All creation, including Man, groans for redemption- Rom 8:19-22.

On the meaning of flesh/sarx from my main blog: This seperation is so total that Paul uses one word as a metonym for this: flesh (sarx). When Paul writes of the flesh, he is not referring to some Greek dualism such as the flesh v. the Spirit. Adam and Eve experienced life in the Spirit before they sinned. Life in the flesh is life lived in our own strength and desires. Kinlaw quotes Lesslie Newbigin to illustrate this: "The words 'flesh' and 'Spirit' do not refer to parallel and analogous realities in our experience, such as 'visible' and 'invisible' or 'lower nature' and 'higher nature.'...Flesh...denotes the whole of our creaturely being insofar as it seeks to organize itself and to exist in its own power apart from the continually renewed presence and power of God 'from above.' " (Kinlaw, p. 119)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Teaching, Preaching And A Possible Hospital Ministry

I haven't had much time to update you on my activities.  Here is the run down:

I am still teaching from Philippians on Wednesday evenings. We are in chapter 3.  I had planned to give a brief overview of the lessons here but instead I will feature that on my audio blog.  When they are posted, it will be announced here.

This Sunday, I preached on the Beatitudes.  I haven't decided whether to post the sermon on my audio blog.  If I do, only the first 30 minutes will be posted.  I will post my background notes here.  I have found some old sermons of mine on tape.  I may post one or two on the audio blog.

There is an opportunity for me to participate in a hospital ministry.  The training is 18 weeks.  Many are interested and they may not accept all who go through the training process.  I am hoping to make the cut.

A couple of weeks ago my pastor officially introduced me to the state organization of the religious affiliation to which I belong. (I do not identify my state nor my religious affiliation.  I try to be as anonymous as I can.  My religious affiliation is Wesleyan in theological orientation.)  This introduction is the formal beginning of the process of ordination.  I was told that the state organization would like to have the process completed in one year's time.

After I finish the series I am working on on my main blog, I will again be posting regularly here.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Three Metephors Describing God's Relation To His Creation And His Ultimate Purposes For Us

These scripture references are from Dennis F. Kinlaw's "Let's Start With Jesus: A New Way of Doing Theology."  I am currently reviewing it on There are 3 metephors that describe God's relationship to His creation and His ultimate purposes for redeemed mankind.

The Royal/Legal Metephor

God as King: Ps 93:1-2, Ps. 95:1-5, Ps. 23 (God as shepherd King.  Israel attributed the this psalm to refer to David and this belief provides the background for Israel believing that the Messiah will come from David's linage.)

God as Judge: Ps. 96:10-11, 13 (God  as judge guarantees righteousness). Theme developed in the New Testament in proclaiming the Kingdom of God- John the Baptist, Jesus (the parables, "The Kingdom of God is like...), Paul (Acts 19:8, 28:23), Revelation ("...All of creation is pictured as standing before the throne of God.  In the center of that throne stands none other than Jesus, who is now recognized as Lord and Judge.  Every knee is bent to him in acknowledgment of his soverign lordship as all creation awaits his judgment.  Every creature faces its Creator Judge." (Kinlaw, p. 50)

The Familial Metephor

God as Father- Of Israel: Ex. 4:22-23 (indicates God's family will extend beyond Israel's borders), Dt. 32:6, Hosea 11:1-2, 4, 8.  Of David (Ps. 2:7 [Another scripture applied to David in OT times which provides background for the belief that the Messiah would be from David's line, see Mt. 21:9, Lk 19:38]), Of Solomon (2Sam 7:14.
To be in God's family requires a change of heart: Lev. 26:41, Dt. 10:16, 30:6, Jer. 4:4, 9:25-26, 31: 31-34, Ezk 36:24-28, Jn 3:5-8.
Jesus is God's Son- Jn 8:41, Jesus is the eternal Son- Jn. 8:58.
God as our Father- Eph. 3:14-15.

The Nuptial Metephor

God as Israel's husband and Israel's sin as adultey: Ex: 19:4 (Mt. Sinai not just a legal covenant but a marriage cov.), Song 2:16, Jer. 2:2-3, Ezk. 16, Hos. 1:2, Is. 54, 62:4-5 (In Hebrew, Hephzibah means "My delight is in her" and Beulah means "married." Beulah land is married land). Rev. 18:3,9. (Babylon's sin called adultery; this indicates God wants a covenant marriage with all peoples. Babylon's judgement described in marital terms- 18:23, cf. Jer. 7:34, 16:9, 25:10, 33: 10-11) Idolatry as prostitution- Ex 34:15, Lev. 17:7, 20:5, Dt. 31:16.
NT teaching- Mt 22:2, Mk. 2:19-20, Jn 3:37-30, Eph 5:22-33, Rev. 19:6-8, 9-10, 20:4, 11-15, 21:2, 9, 22:17

Saturday, July 24, 2010

God Is One And Is To Have Our Complete Undivided Devotion. Jesus The Son Is God

The following Scripture verses come from the book currently covered on my main blog: Dr. Dennis Kinlaw's "Let's Start With Jesus: A New Way of Doing Theology."

God is the only one God: Dt 6:4, Is 45:5, 43:10, 44:8, 45:6, 14, 18, 21.
Jesus and Moses both affirm the oneness of God (Jn. 5:45-46) and we are to give God our undived love (Mk 12:29-30)
Paul teaches the same (ICor 8:4-6). He Paul teaches that God is both Father and Son. Christianity's difference with Judaism and Islam: Jesus, a stumbling stone(IPet. 2:8, Rom. 9:32-33).  The difference between Christianity and other monotheisms: Jesus' own self-understanding as God's Son.  In John, Jesus speaks of God as His Father twice as many times as in Matthew, three times as much in Luke, six times as much in Mark.  The Father is mentioned by Jesus so much in John that the Father becomes the main character of the book.  The Father is spoken of no less than 170 times in the New Testament. In Jn. 5, Jesus heals on the Sabbath and states that His Father works on the Sabbath.  Jesus is accused of blasphemy for claiming to be equal to the Father.  Jesus states He does nothing but what He sees His Father doing. (5:19).  Jesus states that the Father has given all judgement to Him (5:27).  Jesus should be recognized for who He is by His works.  John the Baptist identified Jesus as the Messiah (5:33,36), Moses prophesied of Him (5: 46-47).  This means that Jesus is to be honored as the Father is honored.  Failure to recognize who Jesus is is to miss out on the life Jesus offers (5:39-40). See also Jn 17, Mt. 10:40, 11:27, Mk 12:1-2, Lk 10: 22.

 To see Jesus is to see God.  Jn 1:18 (He has "exegeted" Him to us (KJV), compare with Mt 11:27. See also Col. 1:15, Heb 1:1-4, Rev. 5:5, 22:1-5. The unity of Father and Son seen in familial terms.  Prefigured in the Old Testament.  Israel spoken of as God's first born- Ex. 4:22, Israel as God's son- Hos 1:11, Jer. 3:4-5.David spoken of as God's son- IISam 7:14 (with this bckground Israel understood Ps. 2:7 as refering to David), Ps. 89:26-28. The vulnerable spoken of as God's children- Ps. 68:4-6.  See Pauls' introductions in his epistles.  See Jn. 10:7.  Jesus is the door (KJV) not only to salvation but into participation in the very fellowship of the Father and Son which is spoken of in familial terms.         

Whats Been Going On

Last Wednesday I continued teaching through the book of Philippians at Church.  As there were a good many more than last time I reviewed a few key points and then moved on.  We had an excellent discussion; we still haven't finished chapter 1.  When we do, I'll begin posting the key points made.

This past week I participated in Vacation Bible School, helping out behind the scenes Monday-Friday.

After I have finished reviewing Dennis Kinlaw's "Let's Start With Jesus: A New Way of Doing Theology" on my main blog, my posts on "Notes From My Study" will increase.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Teaching on Philippians

Last night I began teaching through the book of Philippians.  We did not get very far as discussions led to a wide ranging dialogue.  Also I think I let things get bogged down.  I am a bit out of practice.  I need to remember to keep things moving even as comments and questions are allowed. 

Taking notes on Wesley is going very slow. 

Soon I am going to begin reading some books on preaching by James Earl Massey.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Pertinent Scripture References (To Be Updated Regularly)


Divine Origin of Scripture.
Genesis: Its historicity, its unity, its geneologies.
Jesus View of the Old Testament

Specific Scriptural Topics:
The Meaning of the Beatitudes
Submission To Authority.
Man's Rebellion and Sinful State.
The Flesh, Forgiveness and Salvation.
The New Birth And Its Outworking In A Disciple's Life (Sanctification, Christian Perfection, Perfect Love, Undivided Heart)
Two-Fold Nature of Man
Women In Ministry
CHOG View of Revelation
New Testament References To Old Testament Examples Of God's Wrath
God Hardens The Heart
The Old Testament Book Jesus Loved To Quote: Deuteronomy
Exhortation To Sinners: God And Man Working Together
Evangelion In Scripture
The Gift Of Exhortation
Against An Inclusivist View Of Salvation
Suffering With Joy
History and the Scriptures


The Oneness of God, Jesus is God, Jesus reflects the Father.
Three Metephors Describing God's Relationship To His Creation And His Ultimate Purposes For A Redeemed Mankind.
God's Attributes in General and the Attributess of Each Member of the Trinity
God's self revelation in the Old Testament
Life Issues:



Was Paul in a state of sin when he wrote Rom. 7?

The Church:

A Select List Of Books And Articles Covered On Notes From My Study (To Be Updated Regularly)

The Bible In 90 Days: A Record of my reading and impressions of reading the Bible in 90 days.

New Testament Studies:
Dethroning Jesus by Darrell L. Bock and Daniel B. Wallace.
Jesus And The Eyewitnesses by Richard Bauckham.

Wesleyan/Methodist Studies:
The Way To Pentecost by Samuel Chadwick

Preaching To A Shifting Culture, ed. by Scott Gibson.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Meeting Tonight

This evening I met with two members of the state credentials committee for the Christian fellowship of which I am a member.  The meeting went well as I discussed my call to ministry with them.  Soon I will travel to the state capital for a state-wide camp meeting and in August will hopefully be presented to the General Assembly. 

You may notice that the preceding paragraph lacks specifics.  Since I have just moved from Champaign, Il, I have made the decision not to reveal where I now reside on my blogs.  The reason is simple.  There has been one attempt that I know of to ascertain my exact whereabouts.  In May of 2008, I wrote a review of the documentary "Expelled." Apparently someone took exception to what I wrote.  This person managed to find my parents number and demanded that they give him my phone number.  He asked them if I had actually graduated from college.  My parents had no clue what he was talking about as they do not read my blog (nothing personal, they are in their 80's and are just not into blogs).  They were understandably upset by the experience.  I also managed to draw the ire of an unstable person on Christianity Today websites.  (This person's comments are no longer published on these sites.)  Now that I have changed locations, my profile states only that I reside in the USA.  I also no longer reveal my age.  For these reasons, I do not state which Christian fellowship I am now involved with, or where I attend church.  I am willing to disclose my location on other venues, but for the time being, not on my blogs.  I hope this doesn't seem too strange, but I think this is a prudent decision.    

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Kingdom Of God

Tonight I taught on the Kingdom of God.  We had a lively discussion as we did for last week's lesson.  I used a lesson I developed for an education class in seminary.  It had a lot of scripture but those in attendence did not mind.  In the past, some have complained about how much material I sometimes include in my lessons and sermons.  However those that attend Wednesday night at this church appear to enjoy the lessons and participate in discussions.  The Kingdom of God is the main pillar of what I teach and preach and this church appears to be of the same mind.    

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Devotions Written

I have written more devotional pieces that will appear on my main blog These devotionals are short impressionistic looks at various Scriptures which can be later developed into sermons.  They will appear on the blog feature "Monday Morning Devotions."  I have almost enough for six months worth of entries, though I may decide some may not be good enough to publish.  I will now work on other forms of Scripture studies that will appear on redemptivethoughts.  The first will be a study of Jn. 12-17.

One project that is long overdue is to take notes on Part II of Wesley's "Original Sin."  It must be nearly a year since I read it.  It needs to be finished so I can read the rest of it and do a series on it on my main blog.  This will be a slow process considering the manner in which this is written.

Those other projects that appeared on this blog, such as Thomas Oden's "Classical Pastoral Care" and articles on Scripture and its origins will continue. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Ten Commandments

Last night I taught  on The Ten Commandments at Grafton Road Church of God.  

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Teaching On Eternal Life

Tonight I taught on Eternal life at Grafton Road Church of God (Anderson).

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Teaching On Heaven

Last night I taught on Heaven at the Grafton Road Church of God.  I have also been working on devotions that will appear on my main blog.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lesson Taught On Hope

Last night I taught on hope, what it is, what Christian hope is based upon and what it produces in our lives in terms of action and character.  I taught at Grafton Road Church of God.  I am thinking of taking some of the individual scriptures cited and make a sermon series out of it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Comment Policy

All reader comments on Redemptive Thoughts and Notes From My Study will not be posted without prior approval by me. Blogger may send your comment to the spam file, so I might not see it right away.  I check the spam file twice a week, so please be patient. All comments must adhere the the following policy concerning comments:

1. Abusive, foul and threatening language is forbidden.  Those who I have observed displaying un-Christlike behavior towards me or others on other websites will not post here.

2. I will not post any comments branding me a heretic, one who does not honor Scripture, etc. Nor will I approve any comments questioning my motives. In the past, I have been so grateful for any comment on my humble little blog that I approved all comments. When accused by some poor, deluded soul that my posts were heretical, I tried to reason with them. It did not work; I only was showered with more abuse. Such people are not interested in reasonable dialogue. Why should I allow myself to be subject to such ignorance. Therefore no such comments will be posted. For an example of such unacceptable comments, see here, from an earlier post on this blog. If you want to apply an adjective, adverb or any other English grammatical construction to me, it had better be nice.

3. The opinions of all will be respected and not maligned. No legitimate Christian tradition, whether mine or someone elses, will be labeled as heresy.

4. No insulting language concerning God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit will be posted. This is a website that honors the Triune God. Those who practice other religions, agnostics, or atheists are welcome to comment just so you follow this rule. Show respect for my beliefs as I will try to show respect for yours. No insulting language concerning the world wide Church will be permitted, although if someone wishes to challenge Church positions on cultural issues or its past conduct, if those comments are not in violation of the Comment Policy, they will be posted and responded to.

5. All comments must relate to the subject matter of the post.

6. No "information dumping" will be tolerated. While lengthy comments are permitted, I do know when someone is saturating the Comment section with lengthy posts simply to waste my time in reading and responding, to change the focus from the point of the original post, to encourage other readers to give up following the comments any further, as well as to discourage my continuing the conversation.

7. All comments must be in English.

8. If a person posts a comment to promote their blog or product, I have no objection as long as the comment appears to be a legitimate response to a blog post. These comments will be considered on a case by case basis.

9. I welcome those who wish to post comments disagreeing with any position I have taken on a particular issue. However, I will not tolerate those who post negative comments on nearly every post. Those who do so will be warned. I will not allow anyone to become "The House Critic" who chases away other readers. Use discretion in determining how often you post contrary comments here. I exercise the same discretion when I comment on other websites. Failure to honor this policy will result in being banned from this site.

10.  The purpose of this blog is for public interaction; all interaction between readers and myself will take place in the comment section of this blog. I will not give out my personal contact information to anyone I am not acquainted with. If you do not want to identify yourself, blogger gives you the option to comment anonymously.

If a reader's comment is in violation of this Comment Policy, his/her comment will not be posted. However, that person will be given one chance to amend their ways. If they still fail to abide by the policy, any comment they send will be rejected without being read.

Posted by Mr. Guthrie at 8:40 PM

Saturday, March 27, 2010

90 Days: Day 86, The Final Day

Today I read Revelation.  Finished.  I posted a short article on my experience reading the Bible in 86 days on my main blog which can be seen here.  I will finish posting impressions from Acts-Revelation later this year.

90 Days: Day 85 Continued

Last night I finished the General Epistles.

Friday, March 26, 2010

90 Days: Day 85

Read Hebrews and James.  I will read tomorrow's assignment tonight and the book of Revelation tomorrow to finish.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

90 Days: Day 84

Read I and IIThess., I and IITim, Titus and Philemon.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New Blog Address

This blog's new address is .  Its title is still "Notes From My Study."  My audio blog can be found at  .

90 Days: Day 83

Read Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Main Blog, New Name

The Right Hand of Fellowship has been renamed.  It is now entitled Redemptive Thoughts.  Its address is   I chose this time to make the change because Blogger is making all those on FTD swich to Custom Domain.  If you are unaware of the change, which is supposed to be complete by 3/25 or 3/26, consult the "Blogger Buzz" section of your dashboard.  Right now I am going to change the address of this blog and my audio blog.  I will keep the same names for these blogs.  Their new addresses will be posted tomorrow.

90 Days: Day 82

Finished I Cor. and read both II Cor and Gal.  In finishing Galations, I read part of tomorrow's reading assignment.

Monday, March 22, 2010

90 Days: Day 81

Finished Romans and read I Cor. 1-14.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

90 Days: Day 80

Read Rom. 1-14.  As the end of this 90 day Bible reading endeavor is approaching, I am going to forgo posting impressions on the remainder of my reading.  I am about to move to a new location and I just do not have the time to type these impressions with all that I have to do.  I may return and finish them later this year and post them here.  In the meantime, I am current with my reading and will finish on time and will continue posting on my progress.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bible In 90 Days: John

For 1- 994, click the "Bible in 90 Days: Impressions" link below.

995.  Jesus is spoken of as the Creator.
996.  For those who believe in Jesus Christ, they have the right to become children of God.
997.  John the Baptist testified so that ALL may believe in Him.  Sorry Calvinists.
998.  Although John was born before his cousin Jesus, Jesus existed before John.
999.  When John the Baptist says Jesus takes away the sins of the world and that He is the lamb of God,  John's disciples did not yet understand that Jesus would be the final sacrifice for sin.
1000.  Nicodemas was focused on Jesus' miracles.  Jesus, in telling him he must be born again to see the Kingdom of God, was trying to get Nicodemas to focus on the right things.
1001.  Jn. 3:10- "Jesus replied, 'You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don't understand these things?' " Nicodemas should have known what Jesus was talking about.
1002.  Those who still want to sin in secret do not want to trust in Jesus.  They don't want their actions to come to the light that they may be forgiven.
1003.  John the Baptist identifies Jesus as God's Son who must be obeyed to receive eternal life.
1004.  The Samaritan woman was unfocused; Jesus tried to get her rightly focused as He tried with Nicodemas.
1005.  Salvation comes through the Jews, Jesus said.
1006.  God is looking for those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth.
1007.  The Harvest is ready now; why wait?  Many will harvest souls where others first planted the seed.
1008.  The Samaritans believed Jesus after hearing His message.
1009.  The people in Cana believed Jesus could do miracles, but they did not believe in HIM.
1010.  In chapter 5, the NLT leaves out v.4.  But does the whole passage make sense without it, especially v. 7?
1011.  The religious leaders saw the man healed with his mat walking.  They should have realized he had been healed, but they were angry that he was carrying his mat on the Sabbath.
1012.  Jesus told the man to stop sinning.  Was his lameness due to sin on his part?
1013.  The religious leaders wanted to kill Jesus because He called God His Father, making Himself equal with God.
1014.  The Father reveals to the Son what He is doing because He loves the Son.
1015.  Jesus will raise people from the dead.
1016.  The witnesses to Jesus are John the Baptist, Jesus' own teachings and His miracles.  The last two are greater than the first.
1017.  The Old Testament speaks of Jesus.  And Moses will accuse those who don't believe because Moses wrote of Him.
1018.  The people wanted to make Jesus king after He fed the 5000, but they would not accept His teachings.
1019.  Those that demanded Jesus show a sign that He was sent from God were the ones who ate when Jesus fed the 5000.
1020.  God's will- all that believe in Jesus shall have eternal life, that Jesus will raise them from the dead on the last day.
1021.  Jn. 6:44- "For people can't come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me..."  Prevenient Grace.
1022.  When Jesus taught that those who were His partake of His flesh and blood, the crowd of disciples thinned out.  The 12 disciples had a hard time accepting His words, but they knew He alone had the words that give eternal life.
1023.  When Jesus' brothers urged Him to go to Jerusalem, were they hoping He would be killed?  After all, it couldn't have been easy being the brother of Jesus.
1024.  Jesus said those who preach their own ideas are seeking praise from men.
1025.  When Jesus told the Pharisees to think through what is lawful on the Sabbath, Jesus was trying to get them to use their reason to discern the truth.
1026.  When Jesus spoke of living water, He was speaking of the Holy Spirit that will be given to believers after Jesus enters His glory.
1027.  When the woman was caught in the very act of adultry, it was because she was set up so that Jesus' enemies could set Him up.
1028.  If we obey God, God is our Father.  Otherwise, we are of the Devil.
1029.  God is always with Jesus because Jesus always does what pleases the Father.
1030.  The parents of the man healed of blindness did not want to say that Jesus was the Messiah.  They must have known only the Messiah could make the blind see.
1031.  The Pharisees condemned the man born blind as one born in sin.  Obviously they thought they were not born in sin.
1032.  Satan's purpose is to steal, kill and destroy.  Jesus came to give life in all its fullness.
1033.  The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
1034.  Jesus has other sheep not of His sheepfold- the Gentiles.  He will bring them in and be their shepherd as well.
1035.  No one kills Jesus; He lays down His life voluntarily.  He lays it down and takes it up at His own will.
1036.  The Pharisees tried to kill Jesus because He said He and the Father were one.
1037.  In Jn. 10:36, Jesus claims to be the Son of God.
1038.  When Jesus saw Mary, the sister of Lazarus mourn, He was indignant at death itself.
1039.  To raise someone dead after 4 days made some want to kill Jesus.
1040.  Ciaphas prophesied concerning Jesus, but still was not of God.
1041.  Many feared that Jesus would threaten not only the religious establishment but also the nation of Israel itself.
1042.  In the Synoptics, Jesus' annointing by Mary took place at the home of a Pharisee.  In John, it happened at the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus.
1043.  Instead of praising God for raising Lazarus, some wanted to kill him because he was drawing people to Jesus.
1044.  Those who follow Jesus will go where Jesus goes, even in death.
1045.  When Jesus washed the disciples feet, he was demonstrating how they ought to treat each other.  The disciples love for each other will show the world they are His disciples.
1046.  Jesus said if you see Him, you see the Father.  When He washed the disciples' feet, they saw the Father's love in action, and will do what the Father does.
1047.  The disciples will do greater works than Jesus when He goes to the Father because Jesus and the Father will send the Holy Spirit to indwell believers.
1048.  Jn. 14:15- "If you love Me, obey My commandments."
1049.  Those who don't produce fruit will be cut off because they seperated themselves from Jesus.
1050.  We can't do anything apart from God.
1051.  How do you measure love?  Laying down one's life for his friends.
1052.  Jesus calls His disciples friends, not servants, for He shared with them all His Father taught Him.
1053.  Jesus chose the disciples, including Judas.
1054.  Because the people saw Jesus' miracles, they had no excuse for their sin.
1055.  The world will hate the disciples because it hates Jesus and the Father.
1056.  Jn. 15:27- "And you must tell others about me because you have been with me from the beginning."
1057.  Jesus spoke of these things so the disciples will not fall away.
1058.  Some will persecute the disciples thinking they are doing God a service because they know neither the Father or Jesus.
1059.  The Holy Spirit will convict the world of its sin (unbelief in Jesus), righteousness being available because Jesus goes to the Father and sends the Holy Spirit, and future judgement.
1060.  Jesus wanted to tell them more, but they were not yet ready to bear it.
1061. Soon the disciples, then and now, can ask for anything in Jesus' name.
1062.  Jn. 17:3- "And this is the way to have eternal life-to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth."
1063.  Jesus prayed that the disciples would not be taken out of the world, but that they would be protected from the evil one."
1064.  Jesus prayed His disciples would be made pure and holy by being taught the words of truth.
1065.  Jesus prayed for all believers for all time.
1066.  Jesus prayed that all believers would be one as the Father and Son are one, so the world will know the Father sent Jesus and loves the disciples as much as He loves the Son.
1067.  Jesus revealed the Father to the disciples and will keep on revealing the Father to them through the Holy Spirit.
1068.  In the Garden, Jesus identified Himself and those arresting Him fell back.  Was Jesus demonstrating that He had power, but voluntarily submitted to arrest?  Perhaps He revealed His power to give authority to His request that the disciples be let go.
1069.  The religious leaders had heard Jesus teach, so there was no need for them to ask Him what He taught.  They were only trying to trip Him up so they could accuse Him.
1070.  The religious leaders would do anything to see Jesus killed.  They gave their alligience to Caesar.
1071.  To fulfill religious requirements, the religious leaders demanded that those crucified have their physical pain increased.
1072.  Jn. 19:34- John appeals to his credibility as an eyewitness.
1073.  Joseph of Arimethea and Nicodemas overcame their fear of the religious leaders to place Jesus in the tomb.
1074.  Jn. 20:23- The disciples received the Holy Spirit before Pentecost when Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit on them.  Whether they forgave or not would be guided by the Holy Spirit.
1075.  Jesus expected Thomas to believe based on the testimony of others.  We are to accept their testimony today.
1076.  Jn. 20:31- "But these are written so that you may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in Him, you will have life."  

90 Days: Day 79

Finished Acts.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bible In 90 Days: Luke

For 1- 928, click the "Bible in 90 Days" link below.

929.  John the Baptist will cause many Israelites to turn to God, turn many disobedient minds to accept godly wisdom and and turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, fulfilling Malachi's prophecy.
930.  A priest such as Zechariah should have remembered what God did for Abraham and Sarah.
931.  The people were not going to listen to Elizebeth as to what the boy will be called.  The status of women, including mothers was low.
932.  Mary spoke of God making wrong things right.
933.  The NLT reads "...peace on earth to all whom God favors," instead of "...peace on earth, good will to men."
934.  Anna's speaking of Jesus helped to prepare hearts to accept Him later.
935.  "And a sword will pierce your soul."  Jesus will die for His mother's sins.
936.  Jesus was obedient to His parents, even though He was the Messiah.
937.  John warned not to feel secure because one was descended from Abraham.
938.  John's message of good news came with warnings.
939.  People asked John what specific actions would prove repentence.
940.  The glory of earthly kingdoms belong to Satan.
941.  After Satan failed to tempt Jesus, he went away to wait for a more opportune time.
942.  At Nazerath, it appears the people were not mad at Jesus for His claims of being the Messiah, but teaching that Israel would not receive special treatment when God judges the nation.
943.  Jesus received a better welcome in Capernaum and stayed a while.
944.  Jesus is constantly asked whether He wants to heal; He always does.
945.  Jesus often withdrew for prayer even when others needed healing.  Jesus knew He had to maintain communion with the Father at all costs.
946.  Lk. 5:39- "But no one who drinks the old wine seems to want the fresh and the new.  'The old is better,' they say."  Is Jesus critisizing attatchment to traditional religious practices?
947.  Jesus' ministry was already underway when He called His disciples.
948.  Lk. 6: 35-36- "Love your enemies! Do good to them!  Lend to them! And don't be concerned that they might not repay.  Then your reward from heaven will be very great and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to the unthankful and to those who are wicked.  You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionite."  
949.  The parable of the blind leading the blind is in the context of a passage on forgiveness.
950.  The Roman officer first used his reason to understand Jesus' authority, then put his faith in Jesus.
951.  Whether one accepted or rejected God's plan depended on whether one allowed themselves to be baptized by John.
952.  In Luke, the picture of putting a light under a bed is linked to the parable of the soils.  If no fruit is produced, what one has from God will be taken from them.
953.  Moses and Elijah spoke to Jesus concerning Jesus' death.
954.  Jesus saw Satan's expulsion from heaven.
955.  The disciples, despite all their shortcomings, saw much that the prophets and kings wished to but did not.
956.  The scribe who knew which were the 2 greatest commandments still wanted to justify his actions.  Even those who do wrong can have some spiritual insight.
957.  When Jesus used the analogy of the house divided against itself, He was appealing to human reasoning to make people understand a spiritual truth.
958.  The religious leaders put burdens on others they do nothing to lift.
959.  The religious leaders will be held responsible for the murder of all the prophets.
960.  By refusing to setle the brothers' estate, Jesus was telling us to work things out ourselves according to the teaching we have already received from Him.
961.  In Jesus' parable of the master wanting to cut down the unfruitful fig tree and the master's gardener asking that the tree be given one more year, Jesus was illustrating His intercession for us and the patience of the Father toward us.
962.  In the parable of the great feast, those who were invited but refused to attend were preoccupied with good things which they loved more than their king.  Their priorities were wrong.  That is why Jesus tells us not to love anyone more than Him.  Before we become disciples, we must count the cost.
963.  The Law still has a place in the Kingdom.
964.  The one leper who returned to praise Jesus was a Samaritan.  Good traits are part of the ungodly's characters.  They still need to be saved.
965.  When Jesus said the last days would be as the days of Noah and Lot, He was saying people will be too preoccupied with their own lives that God does not enter into their thinking.
966.  Zaccaeus was a son of Abraham because once he knew what the Lord wanted of him, he did it.  Repentence in action.
967.  In chapter 20, Jesus states that Moses wrote Exodus and that David wrote the Psalms attributed to him.
968.  Before the End Times occur, the Church will undergo a great period of persecution.  The persecution will end before the End Times.
969.  Lk. 22:19- "By standing firm, you will win your own souls."
970.  Jerusalem will be conquered and trampled down until the Gentile age comes to an end.
971.  Jesus tells us to pray that if possible, we can escape the horrors of the End Time.
972.  Satan entered into Judas, then Judas went to the priests to betray Jesus.
973.  Jesus was resurrected with a real body.  That is why He will be able to drink wine in the coming Kingdom.
974.  Kings order people around, and then are called 'the friends of the people.'  Not so Jesus, who came to serve, not to be served.
975.  When the 12 disciples sit on 12 thrones with Jesus, they will judge the 12 tribes of Israel.
976.  Peter's faith will not fail, even though he denies Jesus (Lk. 22:32).  Peter will repent and turn to Jesus again.  This is because Jesus prayed for Peter.
977.  Did Judas choose to greet Jesus with a kiss because he was bitter at Jesus for not conforming to what Judas thought the Messiah should be?
978.  The Pharisees and the religious leaders wanted Jesus killed because He claimed to be the Son of God.
979.  Herod was only interested in a religious show.  He didn't care what Jesus had to say; he just wanted Jesus to perform a miracle in his presence.
980.  In Matthew and Mark, the veil is torn when Jesus dies.  In Luke, before Jesus dies.
981.  The crowd came to enjoy the show, but Jesus' conduct in death caused them to leave in sorrow.
982.  Joseph of Aramethea had been waiting for the Kingdom of God.
983.  God kept the 2 men on the road to Emmaus from recognizing Jesus.
984.  Jesus spoke from Moses and the Prophets to speak of Himself.
985.  The men recognized Jesus when Jesus broke the bread.
986.  Within the hour, they were back on the road to Jerusalem.
987.  When the 2 men returned to Jerusalem, Jesus had already appeared to Peter.
988.  Jesus showed He had a physical body.  They saw His wounds, touched Him and He ate food.
989.  The message of the Gospel is repentence.
990.  Jesus opened the disciples' minds to understand scripture.
991.  Jesus said Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms spoke of Him.
992.  The sending of the Holy Spirit by the Father and Jesus is the promise of the faith.
993.  Jesus told the disciples to stay in Jerusalem until they receive the Holy Spirit.
994.  The disciples worshipped openly after Jesus' assention into heaven.

90 Days: Day 77

Finished John, read Acts 1-7.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

90 Days: Day 75

Finished Luke and read John 1-5.

Monday, March 15, 2010

90 Days: Day 74

Read Lk. 10- 20.

Bible In 90 Days: Matthew And Mark

For 1- 814, click the "Bible in 90 Days" link below.

815.  The geneology includes both godly and ungodly characters.  It is completely honest. Women are included too, including Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba.  Ruth and Rahab were Gentiles.
816.  Joseph could have had Mary stoned, but he was a just man, not wanting to disgrace her publicly.  To have obeyed the letter of the Law with bad motives, such as revenge, would have made Joseph unjust.
817.  How could people seek answers concerning prophecies of the Messiah, then try to thwart God's stated purposes?
818.  John the Baptist preached repentance and the Kingdom of Heaven.
819.  John warned that repentance must be demonstrated by actions, the bearing of fruit.
820.  Jesus' obedience led to His baptism by the Spirit.
821.  Satan, twisting God's Word, was trying to get Jesus to reveal who He was in illegitimate ways.
822.  Jesus responded to Satan using Old Testament scripture.
823.  Jesus preached repentance and the Kingdom of Heaven.
824.  Jesus told Peter and Andrew they would be fishers of men.  They must have desired this already in their hearts and then responded to Jesus' invitation.
825.  People from all over came to Jesus.  This benefitted the Apostles on their missionary journies later on.
826.  Mt. 5:6 is usually translated "...those who are hungry and thirst for righteousness..."  The NLT renders it "...those who are hungry and thirst for justice..."
827.  Mt. 5: 10-16 go together as one unit.
828.  The Law will remain until its purposes are fulfilled.
829.  One must follow the Law better than the Pharisees to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
830.  Mt. 5:21, 27, 31, 33, 38, 43: Jesus was dealing with corruptions of God's Law, not criticising the Law itself.
831.  Jesus is raising the standards of following the Law.
832.  Mt. 5:48- "But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect."  To be interpreted in light of 5: 43-47.  A good Wesleyan proof text.
833.  Chapter 6:1-18- Deals with following God with pure inward motives rather than concerning oneself with what the perceptions of others- in giving, prayer, forgiving from the heart and fasting.
834.  Interpret 6: 1-4 in the context of 5: 11-16.
835.  Mt. 6: 19-24- We are not to seek treasures on earth.  Then in v. 25, Jesus transitions to trusting God for all that we do need, like food and clothing.
836.  Mt. 5: 27, 34 controls the interpretaion of 5: 25-34.
837.  Mt. 7: 1-5 does not teach that we must not confront others about sin, but that when we do, we must deal with our own sin first so we can counsel correctly.
838.  Mt. 7:6 must be interpreted in light of 7: 1-5.
839.  Mt. 7:11 shows that there is goodness in men and women, but not a goodness that saves.
840.  Mt. 7:12- "Do for others what you would like them to do for you.  This is the sum of all that is taught in the Law and the prophets."
841.  Mt. 7:15-20- To identify a godly person, look at the fruit.
842.  Mt. 7: 21-23- Obedience to what God says is the test of discipleship.
843.  Mt. 7: 24-27- Hard times come to the wise and the unwise.  Only the godly will stand.
844.  Jesus touched lepers, a violation of the letter, but not the spirit of the Law.
845.  The Roman Centurion used his own reason to understand Jesus's authority.
846.  Israelites will not enter the Kingdom because they are Israelites.  But many Gentiles will enter.
847.  Concerning the man who wanted to bury his father before he followed Jesus, Jesus refered to the father as spiritually dead, not physically dead.
848.  The Pharisees understood that Jesus was claiming to be God when He forgave sins.
849.  The power to heal was proof of Jesus' authority to forgive sins.
850.  The parables of the wineskins and the cloth was to show that the Jesus' teachings were to be followed in a new way, not by way of the religious formalism of the past.
851.  Mt. 9: 37-38- Shows that God will not do certain things unless we first ask Him.
852.  Jesus told the 12 disciples to go only to the lost sheep of Israel, which is a different command than in Lk. 10 when Jesus told the 70 to speak to all.
853.  Judas was given the same power the other disciples were given.
854.  The disciples were to practice relying totally on God on their journey.
855.  The student and the slave share their master's fate.
856.  The world can kill the body, but only the Father can send the body and the soul to Hell.
857.  Its not that we are to actually hate our loved ones, but our love for them cannot be greater than our love for Jesus.
858.  How do we prove that Jesus is the Messiah?  See Mt. 11: 4-5.
859.  All believers have in them the Kingdom of Heaven.  That is why they are greater than John the Baptist.
860.  The violent take the Kingdom, those that give their all to possess it.
861.  Jesus describes the generation He was addressing as one which tries to make God respond to their religious activity.
862.  Only the truly child-like will understand the Gospel.
863.  Jesus healing on the sabbath led to the 1st discussions among the Pharisees on killing Jesus.
864.  Anyone who performs the Fathers will is in the family of God.
865.  The parable of the farmer scattering seeds is to show that the most important element in Evangelism is the quality of the soil the seeds are planted in.
866.  Peoples' hearts are closed to the message of the Kingdom of God because they themselves have chosen not to see or hear.  So God cannot heal them.
867.  The Kingdom will have evil purged from it and then the righteous will truly shine.
868.  Unbelief on the peoples part prevented Jesus from performing miracles in Nazareth.
869.  Mt. 10: 34- 39 must be interpreted in the context of Mt. 15:1-9.
870.  Jesus expected the disciples to understand more than they actually did.
871.  Jesus's feeding of the 4 and 5,000 should have proved to the disciples that Jesus would protect all who trust in Him.
872.  After Peter's declaration as to who Jesus actually is, Jesus prepares them for what will happen to Him in Jerusalem.
873.  The motives of the disciples were mixed.  They had selfish ambition.
874.  Mt. 16:28- "And I assure you that some of you standing here right now will not die before you see me, the Son of Man, coming in my kingdom."  The Transfiguration.
875.  Mt. 17:5- "...This is my beloved Son, and I am fully pleased with him.  LISTEN TO HIM." (caps mine)  God was telling Peter and the others to believe Jesus when He speaks of what will happen to Him in Jerusalem.
876.  The disciples should have had enough faith to cast out the demon in the boy in chapter 17.  That is why Jesus is exasperated with them.
877.  Jesus speaks of cutting off members which cause us to sin in context of not tempting other people.
878.  When a fellow believer listens to counsel and confesses sins, that person is truly forgiven.
879.  The message of the unforgiving debtor- refusal to forgive will put you in your own prison.
880.  The disciples' reactions to Jesus' teaching on marriage worries them.  They still share the same attitudes toward women and marriage as the Pharisees.
881.  Jesus tells the rich young man only God is good.  Since Jesus is good, it follows that Jesus is God.
882.  Jesus only lists the final 6 commandments to the young man.
883.  The rich can be saved, but only by God.
884.  When Jesus spoke of His disciples sitting on 12 thrones, the disciples heard this with mixed motives.  That is why Jesus told them the least important will be the greatest.  20:1-16 is linked to 19: 27-30.
885.  When Jesus was praised by the little children as the Son of David in the Temple, they were speaking of Him as if He were God.  This is why the Pharisees were upset by the childrens' praise.
886.  When the Pharisees refused to answer Jesus' question concerning John the Baptist, Jesus refused to answer theirs.  He was not going to argue with them since their arguements were not rooted in sincerity.
887.  Jesus, in speaking of who the Messiah is, says not only is He the Son of David, but He is God as well.
888.  The Pharisees obey the letter of the Law, but ignore justice, mercy and faith.
889.  Mt. 23: 34-  Here Jesus speaks of sending prophets Himself, claiming to be God.
890.  The disciples asked Jesus when the Temple will be destroyed and the End come.  In their minds, it is one question.  But are they really asking two seperate questions?
891.  The key of endurance- LOVE.
892.  The End will come only after the Gospel of the Kingdom is preached over the whole world.
893.  When Jesus was annointed by Mary in Betheny, she understood that Jesus was to die, more so than the 12 disciples.  The events of the annointing drove Judas to betray Jesus.
894.  When the disciples saw that Jesus would not resist arrest, they were siezed with fear and fled.
895.  The shedding of innocent blood by Manasseh was the stated reason why God sent Judah into exile, so the land could be healed.  When Judas confesses that he has betrayed an innocent man, the priests respond-"Why do we care?...Thats your problem."
896.  If the wine mixed with bitter gall made one suffer less, perhaps that is why Jesus refused it.
897.  "Eli, Eli, lema sabacthani."  Said in Aramaic.  The Hebrew speaking Jews perhaps did not understand?
898.  The NLT leaves out the verses depicting Jesus' body being speared.
899.  After Jesus was raised from the dead, the priests were more concerned about covering it up rather than responding to the Resurrection.
900.  Jesus will be with us to the end of the age- the Holy Spirit in us, the promise of the Father. 

901.  People publicly confessed their sins and repented.  Baptism was a public sign of repentence.
902.  Jesus taught every Sabbath in the synagogue.  He taught like one who has authority, not like the teachers of the Law.
903.  Because Jesus had no sin, the demons knew who He was.
904.  Jesus commanded the demons to be quiet concerning His identity.  It was not yet time to make a full and public pronouncement concerning His identity.
905.  Jesus expelled the demons and the people responded: "What new teaching is this?"  If theses acts are part of Jesus ministry while on earth, how does this affect our ministry?
906.  If Jesus expelled demons everywhere, just how widespread is demon possession?
907.  Jesus knew it was more important to spread the Gospel message rather than minister in just one place.
908.  Jesus' family thought He was insane, even Mary, who knew the Father's promises concerning Him.
909.  The Parables describe the Kingdom of God.
910.  In the parable of the soils, each individual has the ability to determine the quality of the soil he/she has.  Otherwise, why would Jesus tell a story about the soil of our hearts if we could do nothing about it?
911.  Jesus expected His disciples to understand the parables and have faith.
912.  The more openness to Jesus' message, the more understanding you will have.
913.  Jesus' hometown was offended that He performed miracles rather than being amazed and grateful. 
914.  Herod liked to hear John the baptist, but John's message disturbed Herod.  How typical is this among those we evangelize today?
915.  Jesus feeding the 5,000 with the loaves did not cause the disciples to exercise faith.  Their hearts were hard and they did not believe.
916.  When Jesus healed the man with a speech impediment by spitting, Jesus wanted to keep the healing secret.  Is this because Jesus was concerned the crowd would put their faith in the method?
917.  Satan wants us to look at everything from a human point of view. 
918.  When Jesus told the disciples He had to die and be raised again, they did not understand.
919.  We must have the qualities of salt and live in peace among each other.
920.  Children and the blind were looked down upon, which was why the disiples and the crowd thought they were a bother to Jesus.
921.  When James and John claimed they were able to drink the cup of bitter sorrow, they were boasting about their strength.  Little did they realize the Holy Spirit within them would enable them.
922.  The 12 disciples and the other followers had a dreadful feeling as Jesus went to Jerusalem.  They did not understand His message concerning His death, but they knew it was dangerous to go to Jerusalem.
923.  When we prays, one must forgive those we have a grudge against or else God will not hear our prayers.
924.  The Pharisees wanted to kill Jesus for chasing the money changers out of the Temple as well as for speaking parables against them.
925.  When the Pharisees asked Jesus about paying taxes to Caesar, they didn't try the direct approach but tried to trick Him through flattery.
926.  The Sadducees didn't know Scripture or the power of God.
927.  Jesus was more sorrowful for the seperation from God's precense while on the Cross than for the physical suffering.
928.  To end at v. 8 in chapter 16 is not to conclude the theme of the Resurrection as Jesus makes no personal appearence.  The shorter ending provided by the NLT is too abrupt an ending.   

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010

90 Days: Day 72

Finished Mark, read Lk 1.

Friday, March 12, 2010

90 Days: Day 71

Finished Matthew and read Mark 1-9.  Impressions on Matthew and Mark will appear on Monday.  Remaining posts on my impressions of my reading will only appear on Mondays.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

90 Days: Day 69

Read Mt. 5- 15.

Bible In 90 Days: The Minor Prophets

For 1- 723, click the "Bible in 90 Days: Impressions Link" below.

724.  Hosea received these messages from God during the time of Isaiah in Judah.
725.  The Lord will punish Israel but deliver Judah.
726.  Both Israel and Judah will be reunited under one ruler.
727.  God was avenging Jehu's killing of Ahab's family at Jezreel.  But I thought God ordered Jehu to act as he did.
728.  God will punish Israel, then redeem her.  Israel will call God her husband instead of master.
729.  Just as Hosea buys back Gomer, God will redeem Israel.
730.  The Lord's anger at Israel is directed toward the priests. 4:6- "It is all your fault, you priests, for you yourselves refuse to know me..."
731.  Hos. 4:8- "The priests get fed when the people sin and bring their sin offerings to them.  So the priests are glad when the people sin."
732.  Hos. 8:10- "But though they have sold themselves to many lands, I will now gather them together.  Then they will writhe under the burden of the great king!"
733.  Hos 8:11- "Israel has built many altars to take away sin, but these very altars became places of sinning!"
734.  Israel will be banished to Assyria and Egypt and cannot offer sacrifices to the Lord because all their food will be unclean.
735.  The people hate the prophets, even in the Temple, because the people are full of sin and plot to entrap the prophets.
736.  11:1- A prophecy of Christ in the midst of a history of Israel's sins.
737.  Hos. 13:11- "In my anger I gave you kings, and in my fury I took them away."
738.  13:13- Israel has been offered new birth, but Israel acts like a child resisiting its own birth.
739.  14:2- "Forgive our sins and graciously receive us, so that we may offer you the sacrifice of praise."

740.  Never again will God punish Israel with locusts.
741.  When the locusts destroyed all the crops, there was nothing that could be offered as a sacrifice in the Temple.
742.  God asks for a repentence in which hearts, not clothes, are torn.
743.  Joel 2:28-32- God's promise of sending the Holy Spirit upon all, and all who call on His name will be saved.
744.  All the armies of the nations will be judged for attacking Israel in the Valley of Decision.

745.  Amos was a shepherd.  He received messages from God during the time of Isaiah.
746.  A pronouncement of judgement upon Israel's neighbors.
747.  Israel caused the Nazarites to sin by making them drink wine.
748.  Amos 3:15- "My people have forgotten what it is to do right," says the Lord.
749.  Despite all the judgements God brought upon Israel, Israel would not repent.
750.  God is going to judge Israel for injustice.
751.  Israel thinks the Day of the Lord will be a triumph as the Lord destroys her enemies, but Israel doesn't know her own judgement is coming.
752.  The idle rich will be the first led away as captives.
753.  Amos asked the Lord not to destroy Israel with locusts or fire and the Lord relented.
754.  When Amos was ordered by the people to leave Israel, he refused.
755.  The Lord swore by His own name that He will punish Israel for injustice.
756.  Israel can't wait for the Sabbath to end so it can resume its evil ways.
757.  Israel will suffer a famine of hearing God's Word.
758.  God asks Israel if she is more important than other nations.  Has not God worked for other nations as well?
759.  God will sift Israel like wheat; not one true kernal will be lost.


760.  Edom will be destroyed for what it did to Israel.  History will no longer remember Edom.
761.  Israel will be a place of refuge for those who escape God's wrath on other nations, as well as a refuge for God's people.


762.  The sailors experience turned them to God.
763.  The whale swallowing Jonah was God's way of saving Jonah.
764.  The Assyrian king understood repentence.
765.  Jonah knew God was merciful, but did not want mercy for Israel's enemies.


766.  Who does God blame for idolatry in Israel and Judah?  Samaria and Jerusalem, the capital cities.  Lachish was the first city in Judah to introduce idolatry, so it is to blame for Jerusalem's apostacy.
767.  The prophets will be punished and will admit they did not hear from God.
768.  Israel will one day defeat her enemies and give the plunder to God.
769.  What does the Lord require of us?  To do what is right, to love mercy and walk humbly with our God.
770.  No one can trust their own family members.
771.  Micah confesses that he has sinned and will be punished.  But the Lord will restore him and punish his enemies.
772.  The Lord's restoration of Israel will show surrounding nations just how powerless they really are.
773.  The Lord will not be angry at His people forever because He loves mercy.

774.  Judgement against Nineveh.  Its wealth will be plundered.  It enticed other nations into idolatry.  All who suffered its cruelty will celebrate its downfall.

775.  No matter what punishment God inflicts on His people, Habakkuk will praise the Lord.
776.  Habakkuk's prayer in chapter 3 was to be sung and accompanied by musical instruments.

777.  Zeph 1:12- "I will search with lanterns in Jerusalem's darkest corners to find and punish those who sit contented in their sins, indifferent to the Lord, thinking he will do nothing at all to them"
778.  Zeph. 2:1-2- The Lord warns Judah to repent before He brings judgement upon her.  The Lord's appeal is directed at those who are humble and uphold justice.
779.  The few surviviors in Judah will live in the houses of the destroyed Philistines as the Lord will visit His people with kindness and restore their prosperity.
780.  Moab and Ammon, the descendants of Lot and his daughters, will become as Sodom and Gomorrah.
781.  The Lord punished other nations so they would repent and follow the God of Israel, but they would not repent.
782.  Zeph. 3:9- "On that day I will purify the lips of all people, so that everyone will be able to worship the Lord together."

783.  The people do not prosper because they have rebuilt their homes before rebuilding the Temple.  The rebuilt Temple will be smaller, but it will be more glorious.

784.  The nations used by the Lord to punish Israel and Judah went beyond what the Lord intended, incurring the Lord's wrath.
785.  Jerusalem will have so many people that many will live outside the city gates.  The Lord will be their gate of protection and the Lord will be the glory inside the city.
786.  Many nations will become the Lord's people after the Lord restores Israel.
787.  Chapter 3- The Lord rejects the accusations of Satan against the high priest Jeshua.  The Lord takes off his filthy clothes, as taking away his sins, and gives him clean ones.  This is a prophecy of good things to come, the coming of the branch, Jesus.
788.  Zerubbabel laid the cornerstone of the Temple and he will complete it.  The Lord tells us not to despise such small beginnings.
789.  Chapter 6- A prophecy of Christ.  He will rule as priest and king with no disharmony between the two roles.
790.  Chapter7- A call from God to be more concerned about justice than religious formalism.
791.  Among the nations, Israel is a symbol of what it is to be cursed; now it will be a symbol of blessing.  The Lord did not change His mind concerning judgement; He will not change his mind concerning this.
792.  When the Philistines are punished, they will no longer eat meat with the blood still in it or other forbidden foods.  Then they will join God's people as the Jebusites did.
793.  Zech. 9:9-10- A prophecy of Christ entering Jerusalem and of His kingdom extending over the whole world.
794.  Zech. 10:2- "Household gods give false advice, fortune-tellers predict only lies, and interpreters of dreams pronounce comfortless falsehoods.  So my people are wandering like lost sheep, without a shepherd to protect and guide them."
795.  Zech. 11:4-17- A prophecy of Judas?
796.  Zech. 12-13- A prophecy of Christ.
797.  The Lord will punish all of Judah's enemies by making Judah a stumbling stone for them. No one who comes against Judah will remain unscathed.
798.  When the Lord comes, the natural sources of light will disappear, but there will be continuous light.  Zech. 14:7- "...Only the Lord knows how this could happen..."
799.  Life giving waters will flow out of Jerusalem into the Dead Sea and into the Mediterrianian.
800.  The Lord will be king over all the earth and only His name will be worshipped.
801.  All nations that refuse to worship in Jerusalem will be denied rain.
802. All pots and pans in Jerusalem will be made holy for the preparing of sacrifices.
803. There will no longer be traders in the Temple.

804.  The Lord demonstrates His love for Israel by loving Jacob and turning Esau's land into desert.  Edom says it will rebuild, but will be stopped by the Lord.  Then Israel will realize God's power reaches beyond Israel.
805.  The Lord will not answer the prayers of priests who offer unworthy sacrifices (the lame, blind and sick).
806.  Mal. 1:11- "But my name is honored by people of other nations from morning till night.  All around the world they offer sweet incense and pure offerings in honor of my name..."
807.  God made a covenant with the Levites which required right living on their part.  They once turned sinners to God.  But later, the Levites showed partiality in their interpretation of the Law, leading people into sin.
808.  The Lord will judge those who married women who worshipped idols.
809.  The Lord will punish the inhabitants of the land for divorce.
810.  The purpose of marriage is to produce godly offspring.
811.  The Lord says divorce is as cruel as putting on a victims bloodstained coat.
812.  The people cheated the Lord by failing to bring their tithes to the Lord so there would always be enough food in the Temple.
813.  The Lord reminds the people to obey the Law of Moses.
814.  Mal 4: 5-6- A prophecy of John the Baptist: "His preaching will turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the hearts of children to their parents.  Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse."