Learning and Living the God-centered life

One Biblical Doctrine at a time…

Bible Reading Plans for 2009

Here we go “Learning and Living the God-centered Life” class with great options to get you started into Bible Reading for the 2009 year. Thanks to Between Two Worlds blog site for this article.

With this plan you read through the entire Bible once. So if not now when, and if not you then who?

The ESV Bible Reading Plans can be accessed in multiple ways:
  • web (a new reading each day appears online at the same link)
  • RSS (subscribe to receive by RSS)
  • email (subscribe to receive by email)
  • iCal (download an iCalendar file)
  • mobile (view a new reading each day on your mobile device)
  • print (download a PDF of the whole plan)
There are about 10 plans available. Go to that link to access each plan in any of the options above.

Here are the three I would recommend:

ESV Study Bible (ESV Literary Study Bible contains the same plan)

With this plan there are four readings each day, divided into four main sections:
  • Psalms and Wisdom Literature;
  • Pentateuch and the History of Israel;
  • Chronicles and Prophets; and
  • Gospels and Epistles.

The introduction explains:
In order to make the readings come out evenly, four major books of the Bible are included twice in the schedule: the Psalms (the Bible’s hymnal), Isaiah (the grandest of the OT prophets), Luke (one of the four biblical Gospels), and Romans (the heart of the Bible’s theology of salvation).

The list of readings from the Psalms and the Wisdom Literature begins and ends with special readings that are especially appropriate for the opening and closing of the year. The list of readings from the Pentateuch and the History of Israel proceeds canonically through the five books of Moses and then chronologically through the history of the OT, before closing the year with the sufferings of Job. The list of readings from the Chronicles and the Prophets begins with the Chronicler’s history of the people of God from Adam through the exile, followed by the Major and Minor Prophets, which are organized chronologically rather than canonically.

I plan to print out this PDF, which is designed to be cut into four bookmarks that can be placed at the appropriate place in your Bible reading. Read More...

7 questions for Dr. John Stott

Here is an article I came across from the Between Two Worlds blog site, which is a 2001 interview of John Stott by Art Lindsley. It's well worth your time. Here are the questions:

1. What are the top three needs of the church today?
2. What legacy would you like to leave with the leaders, with whom you have been involved?
3. Which is the most important book you have written?
4. What are the top five most influential books in your life?
5. How do you shape your devotional life?
6. How have you been so productive in writing?
7. What advice have you for us in learning to communicate across cultures?

Dr. John Stott is considered by many one of the finest theologians of the present era. If you will pay special attention to what has most shaped his Bible devotional plan. Read More...

Bible tour principles #10 and #11

Principle #10 - The first thing to know concerning the Prophetical Books is that the descriptions Major and Minor refer to length and not importance, but the reference to length is inconsistent; thus, the labels are unfortunate as they are prone to mislead.

The 17 Prophetical Books are often split into two groups; the Major Prophets and the Minor Prophets.

The distinction has nothing to do with the importance or significance of the content of each book- simply has to do with length. Isaiah has sixty-six chapters, Jeremiah fifty-two and Ezekiel has forty-eight-all Major Prophets-whilde none of the Minor Prophets are longer than fourteen chapters. So it is understandable why the distinction is often made. But, the distinction is a bit inconsistent.

Principle #11 - The second thing to know concerning the Prophetical Books is that there are three major categories: pre-exilic, exilic and post-exilic; through, three Prophetical Books do not fit into these categories.

Please refer to the Prophetic Chart below and note the dates as to the pre-exile, exile and post exile prophets.
Prophet Chart
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own.

To the Northern Kingdom of Israel before Exile to the Assyrians in 722 BC

God called Amos to prophesy against the northern kingdom of Israel prior to their exile to Assyria in 722 BC. After pronouncing judgment on the enemies of Israel, Amos stung the nation with a pronouncement against Israel itself. Because of their sins of dishonesty and oppression against the poor, empty religion, and pompous self-confidence, the nation was doomed to fall to the Assyrians. Like other prophets through, Amos concluded his work with a word of consolation that God would restore Israel to glory and strength. Read More...

A Christmas devotion

It is rare when our immediate family comes together at the same place at the same time. Butner (25) has his own job, apartment, friends and Anna (21) is living full time in Boone, NC. Therefore the opportunity to spend time and just enjoy one another seems to be the exception now and not the rule.

On Christmas morning I took time to read from Luke 2:7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. The previous day I heard a sermon by Erwin Lutzer called “Space, but no room.” In the message he said, isn’t it amazing that the very Son of God comes to planet earth and is not born in a fancy palace made for a king, but in a manager. The fact that when Jesus finally arrives into this world there is not a single room available in the inn. Isn’t that typical for many today in our culture? There is technology like never before, we have time saving devices for which most of the world would marvel, and yet we have little room or time for Jesus. However, we read in the Bible that the world did find a place for Christ. And the very spot in which they made room for Jesus was at the cross. Yes, when Christ confronts us with our sins then we can receive and bow before Him as Lord, or shout as they did back then, crucify Him, crucify Him! Allow me to make the point one more time there was no room for Him in the inn but there was room for Him on the cross.
And yet when you read the words of the Lord Jesus in John 14:1-3 one gets a glimpse of His grace and mercy;
John 14:1 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.
John 14:2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
John 14:3If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

As a point of interest, the word for place in John 14:2 and 14:3 is the Greek word “topos” which is the same word for room that we read back in Luke 2:7. So now connect all the dots and here the gospel message during this Christmas season. When Jesus comes there is no place for Him. However later on we see that the world does have a place for Christ and it is on the cross. And then we read in Romans 5:10 “...while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” And though we have no room for Him, except for room on the cross, He has a room that He prepares for us. What? How in the world can this be? Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Even though I would never want to make room for Him because of my sinful nature, yet now by His grace, through faith I now turn from my sins and turn to Christ alone. The room I didn’t have for Him is the room that He now prepares for me! Isn’t that amazing grace?

Bible Interpretation

At the front end of this video we see how many Bible studies are done in the home. This is NOT how to do Bible study. Notice in this clip how the facilitator is asking each of those participating how they feel or think about the Scripture that was read. Folks, the question is not what you think or feel but actually what is God saying to us through His word. The cardinal rule for proper Bible study is as follows: The interpretation of any Scripture is equal to what the author meant at the time he wrote it. Therefore it becomes our job through prayer and the Holy Spirit to use good Bible study methods in order to arrive at the author's intended meaning.