Tag Archives: Bible

B90X2016D9 Rough sledding- Leviticus

Difficult reading today for sure.  I can see why it is hard to get through this book. This in no way keeps me from giving up, oh on the contrary, I dive in deeper.  It is not time to quit. It is time to be disciples and forge ahead.  To challenge ourselves to daily living in the presence of the Lord.

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So what does reading about skin diseases, bodily emissions, sex with relatives, mildew, various punishments, priestly rules, feasts and festivals, tell me about the presence of the Lord?  Both the presence of the Lord for them then and the presence of the Lord for me now?

Initially, it speaks of the Lord’s desire for our best.  We are the creation, he is the creator.  Typically the creator knows best.  The creator has the plan, the schematic, the ingredients, and the wisdom to know how the creation ought to work best.  All we have is what is written for us in the scriptures about Father’s love for us and His desire for us to live the best lives possible.  There was an old TV show called, “Father Knows Best.”  Anyone remember it? When in doubt, fall back on that saying.  One place says, “His ways are higher than our ways, his thoughts above ours.” Now this doesn’t exempt us from further study.  For me it is an invitation to understand Him deeper and more intimately.

Secondly, we have a lifetime on this planet of seventy or so years, give or take a few here and there.  It is the Lord’s desire that we live it healthily, well, fully blessed, and prosperous.  I would say that if some or many of the things listed as ‘don’ts’ are done, ones life would be pretty jacked up.  Regardless of what you think of the law, it was designed and spoken for the best of folks’ lives, not their suffering or torture.  The Lord gave the Law so folks could live well.

And lastly, even though we are on this side of the cross, there are some things listed and present in Leviticus that when ongoingly adhered to bring a blessing and grace on one’s life.  That is an continual presence of the Lord in our life.  A daily recognition of His wisdom and design for the best life today even though we don’t have Levitical priests helping us with sacrifices and skin inspections.

Father does know best.

B90X2016 Dia Dos- The Message

B90X2016 is now the seventh year CRBC has ventured through the entire Bible in 90 days.  It is not easy, I won’t sugar-coat the challenge.  It takes discipline like one has never had before.  But you know what?  It is only 90 days.  Anyone can alter their lifestyle and schedule for a ‘no more noble task’.  The additional depth of love for God’s word is unsurpassed.  The grasp of events, context, and understanding is like no other.

I have read three different versions of the Bible through the years.  The Complete Jewish Bible was a good one.  The author inserted Hebrew words in place of our English which brought additional insight.

We did the Chronological Bible one year.  Again that one provided context in the order of events which occur historically.  Since the typical English versions like the NIV are not in chronological order, it can be confusing trying to fit Job, some of the Psalms, and the prophets in their proper place historically.

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This year, I have chosen “The Message” by Eugene Peterson.   It reads like a story, which makes it so much more easily understandable and one can stick to it more attentively.  One of the problems with reading the Bible all the way through is the desire to want more information.  Many, many Christians have not read all of the Bible, so to do so they encounter information, names, and places they have never heard of.  There is a desire to want to look at maps, read footnotes or study notes at the bottom of the page, or try and pronounce a name.

While these things are all noble, they are pitfalls to accomplishing the reading.  The fruit of reading through the Bible in 90 days is not that one comprehends and understands everything they have read.  au contraire.  The goal is to read it all.  The Message allows one to read without distractions.  There are no verse numbers, there are no maps, there are no footnotes, there are no study notes.  It is just text.  It is just the story.

I love reading the Bible in big chunks like this for another reason- inevitably, I learn something new or have a greater understanding of something.  This task is akin to driving on the same road every day.  Even though you know where every pothole is, where to look, where to turn,  and what to look for, if you pay attention differently by looking at buildings and landscape differently, you can see and know new things.  The same with reading the Bible year after year.  There is something new on every page.  When one reads with the eyes of their heart, something new comes along.

The goal to B90X2016 – read the Bible.  You can do it.  It really isn’ that hard.

B90X Day One

Genesis 1:2 tells us the Spirit of God (ruah) hovered over the waters.  What did that look like?  Have you ever tried to recreate that in your mind?

The theme for B90X 2016 at CRBC is “The Presence of the Lord.”  As we read through the Bible this time around, ask Father to show you his presence in the story.  Where does he show up?  How does He interact with the folks the story is written about?

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How is His presence tangible, real, manifested, or obvious? How does the Lord present himself in a story?  How does that presence minister to folks? Is it a blessing? Sometimes it is not.

Right out of the gate, the Holy Spirit is present with us.  He hovered.  He was right there.  His presence is so thick, it covers and hovers.  The word for hover there has all sorts of meanings.  It can also mean brooding, gently moving, or even, fertilizing.  Fertilizing?  That is cool.  Fertilizer has to come in contact with something for it to have an effect.   And what an effect it can have.  Whatever the fertilizer touches is affected.  It can’t be the same.  The same with the Holy Spirit.   Whatever it touches is never the same.  I don’t want to be the same- touch me Holy Spirit.  Help me grow, help me be more like Jesus, help me to know you more intimately.

For a complete schedule of the readings go here.  We’d love for you to join us on the journey.

Stats on Bible reading from YouVersion

biblesI am a bit old fashioned, in that, I still like my paper Bible.  As a church pastor, I occasionally ask folks to hold up their Bibles.  More and more folks are turning to electronic versions of their Bibles.  IPhones and Droids are becoming the tool of choice for Bible reading.

Because folks are accessing the web for Bible reading, this has allowed for keeping stats on which Bible books are read.  The number of hits on a book, chapter, or scripture are tracked and we are left with some really interesting data.  Interesting sociological points can be gleaned from this information.  However, that is not the point of this post.  Rather, I am just going to jot down a few of the highlights which interested me.

First, YouVersion has topped over 100 million members.  That is pretty cool.

Here are the books accessed most and the highest viewed scripture in each:

1. Psalms ( you could have guessed that one) 74,044,741  views and its most popular verse is Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord; and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

2. Matthew 44,986,813 views and its most popular verse is Matt 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

3. Proverbs 43,288,764 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” Prov. 3:5

4. Romans 32,569,657 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” Romans 12:25

5. John 29,571,356 (any guesses here, I am not even going to write it out?!)

6. Luke 26,355,373  ”Give, and it will be given to you, Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap.  For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38

7. Ephesians 22,736,846 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Eph 4:32

8. 1Corinthians 20,392,129 “Love is patient, and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant.” 1 Cor 13:4

9. Isaiah 20,205,218 “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Is 40:31

10. Lastly, Genesis 19,055,482  ”Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Gen 2:24

Interesting stuff.  Can you interpret anything out of this?
How does this list compare to your most read books or favorite verses? Have you navigated away from a paper Bible to an electronic version? How has that helped you in your Bible study or scriptural acumen?

Prayer for our Kids Day 27 – Passion for God

“Lord, please instill in my children a soul that follows hard after You; a heart that clings passionately to You” (Psalms 63:8).

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I almost feel like we should have prayed this first and then continued to pray it along with each other day’s topic. To have a heart that clings passionately to Father, in my opinion, is the root of all Godly behavior. Is there anything more important than having passion for Father? Everything else in our lives will fall into place when we have passion for Him first. We will genuinely seek His will and search His Word, we will have a desire to act lovingly towards all, and have a heart for His kingdom. If we are passionate about our creator everything else follows naturally.

I want to continue to pray each of these attributes over my kids for the rest of their lives and eventually my grand children’s lives, but praying for a passion for Father will be something I try to pray every day from this day forward. I can’t think of anything that would make me happier than seeing their passion for Father affect every aspect of their life in ways that only Father can.

May our children’s passion for Him not be wavering, but may it be consistent and may they cling to Him and all His truth, love, grace, and mercy.

Guest Post- Rachel Theobald