Reading the Bible in a Year
With the new year comes a new chance to get on a Bible reading plan. As a family and at the mission we are doing the Chronological reading plan according to the folks at ESVBible.org. If you have never read the Bible all of the way through, or if you’ve never had the adventure of reading it through in the order that it happened, I suggest you check this out.
ESV Chronological Reading plan at ESVBible.org
ESV Chronological Reading plan as a printable and checkoffable worksheet.
I want to plug reading the Bible at the website: If you buy an ESV study bible they give you a free unlock for all of the study Bible notes online. You can also use the notes section to write your own notes and then every few months dump them to Evernote for archiving. It’s really cool to be reading the Bible and come across a digital note you made 2 years ago (and not be distracted by 1,253 other people’s notes at the same time.)
The other thing is don’t let this reading plan be an opportunity for pride or shame. If you miss a day, press on, don’t give up. If you work 5 days ahead, shut up and praise the Lord. I’m currently in the 5th year of a “through the Bible” reading plan that was only supposed to take one year!
Nothing grows you spiritually like reading the Bible deeply and responding daily.
WCAGLS Session 7: Mark Burnett
Session 7: Mark Burnett
This is the hollywood guy.
Interview. They always interview the people that are a little unpredictable.
He’s the guy that made the Bible show. And Survivor. And Shark Tank. And The Voice.
In doing what God called you to do, take the offense. Don’t be apologetic, don’t be hesitant.
Which takes us back to the theme for the day:
Be Strong and Courageous!
I might be running out of note-taking steam.
The Bible series beat the opening day of Hockey in Canada. “I thought hockey was the religion in Canada!”
It’s hard to get people to talk about the Bible sometimes, but it’s easy to strike up a conversation about the Bible TV show.
“Choose your travelling companions before you choose your road.”
This is a berber saying amongst nomads in Morocco. The travel is hard, but choosing the wrong companions is harder.
I want to raise up people, but I won’t keep energy suckers on my team. Unresolved emotional conflicts will suck your day dry way too fast. Not everyone is the right player on the right team.
He forces creative people and finance people to work together. He makes duos on all of his teams. He creates every management job as a co-job that has to work together with the other. One is worrying about the camera shot, the other is worrying about how much the pyrotechnics are going to cost and where to buy the safety harnesses.
“I don’t allow producers in the edit bay. That’s why we have editors!” He leads people just past an arms reach.
If somebody pitched a show to me without a timeline and a budget, I’d worry about how I was going to fire them tomorrow. That would be crazy and irresponsible.
It’s ok to dream big, but we have to make it.
“This is not a game. This is serious business.”
Every one of us could use a little of this guy’s liveliness and intensity.
“The Bible is the greatest love story in the world. We really wanted people to be a part of it.”
“Just because it’s Christian doesn’t give me license to make it crappy.”
I think it should be noted that he said crappy.
Mary did you know song, pretty amazing. Had to close the laptop and cry.
Bill closed it up with a benediction to go leverage your skills and go do stuff that will make an impact for Jesus.
I find that I’m terribly judgmental of this guy. I need to put that gun away. It’s so crazy how it’s so easy to judge, but this guy’s work is changing the freakin world!
Don't talk bad about the building or the customs!
There is a section in Acts 6 that shows how sometimes the things people argue about aren’t really the things they are thinking about.
Then they secretly instigated men who said,“We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.”
and they set up false witnesses who said, “This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law, 14 for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered to us.”
I can count three times these guys change their story. As you pick apart their words, it gets a little more revealing every time.
- Their story is that Stephen is against Moses and God. The Law is a big deal and it came from God to Moses, so those two are the sore spots in Judaism. You can talk ideas all day long, but don’t talk against them specifically
- Their story is that Stephen is against the holy place and the law. Ok, now we are getting more specific, and seeing that it isn’t really God or Moses that Stephen is talking about, but the holy place and the law. The building is a building. It represented a lot to the Jewish people, but at the same time the building they were in was far beyond God’s design and had a ton of improvements from an evil Gentile ruler. Kind of like hanging a “Brought to you by Jack Daniels and Victoria Secret” backlit electric sign on your church. Sure, it was intended to be a holy place, but it was funded and built up by evil.
- (This one is really the best.) Their story is that Jesus of Nazareth (whom they killed and claimed His body was stolen) is going to destroy the temple and change the customs of Moses. If their story that Jesus’ body was not really back from the dead but rather was stolen, then how is this possible? And have you seen the temple?! A man can’t tear that thing down anyway! I think it is so interesting that they bring that as an accusation because it’s either preposterous to think something is possible or there is some genuine fear.
All in all, the truth comes out that God isn’t really the point of this at all, but their building and their customs.
So Much More Than a Book
Sometimes I read something in the Bible that moves me so much I can’t contain it. Like right now when I’m sitting at a table at Starbucks and I can’t make my eyes stop watering, can’t stop my face from grimacing, can’t stop laughing at the glory and awesomeness of God! I’m sure if anybody notices me they’ll think I’m manic.
The next thing I pray is “GOD! PLEASE LET ME TEACH THIS AMAZING THING FAITHFULLY! PLEASE HELP ME TO EXPLAIN THIS TO OTHERS WITH THE POWER YOU JUST EXPLAINED THIS TO ME!”
And then inside there is a still, small voice that says, “No Dan, sometimes they are just for you.” and then I cry more.
ACTS Church? Really.
When someone tells you they go to an ACTS church, I’d like you to ask them if they are these four things, one at a time.
Does your church draw people in? What about it draws people in? What about it has magnetism? Are those good things that Jesus used to draw people to Himself? What if people never came to where you are waiting? If an Urban church opens, do the lost in the suburbs know about it?
This word means something connotatively as well as historically.
1. Does it work like a business? Is it run like a business? Does it feel like a business? Are the leaders of the church leading like it’s a business—like they are the leader? Is Jesus the head of it or is He CEO Emeritus?
2. Are the members of the church linked as if they are a single body with Christ as her head? Is there unity and togetherness at supernatural levels? Does it feel like a non-dysfunctional family?
Is it big? Is it huge? I mean, like 3,000 added in a single day huge?! (You didn’t think I was going to say that big was good, did you?) Are the poor riding with the rich? Is the worship band playing even though passengers are dying? What about life boats? Can people leave safely and survive on their own?
People like McDonald’s because it is consistently mediocre. People like the corner tavern burger because it’s unpredictable and likely to be astounding and delicious. Is your church stable? How so? What features are restful and certain and faithfully stable? What features are lulling people into thinking McDonald’s meat is real meat? Is your stability rooted in God or in the status quo and devotion to keeping things the way you liked them in 1972?
None of these are meant as a direct attack, but they are meant as a loose root on the trail to trip you up. It’s all too easy to take the easy and deadly way out when it comes to our ecclesiology. There is a lot that we do, not realizing we are eloquently reading the wrong directions. Check out the last chapter of each of the gospels and then read Acts.
It’s a beautiful thing. It’s attractive and corporate and titanic and stable in all the right ways, and I’m still looking for it.
Jesus, The Example Set
1 Peter 2:21 ESV
For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
Whatever we celebrate about Christ’s doing today, whatever joy we have in His resurrection and defeat of death, we can hold on to not only as a great work for our sake, but also as an example to follow.It was His relationship and submission to the Father that brought it all about. Let that one thing be our focus, our desire, and our imitation of Him. Any other activity, motive, or movement must take second place.
1 Corinthians 2:2 ESV
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
Revelation 2:4-5 ESV
But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. (Revelation 2:4-5, ESV)
I could go on. There are numerous places where Jesus emphasizes Himself as the point of it all and where the Apostle Paul, the Apostle John, and others state that whatever teaching they passed on, whatever other advice they gave, JESUS is the point and the fulcrum of all of it.
Celebrate the focussed Christ-Centered life today! Happy Easter!
Bible Study Method
I asked a mentor-friend of mine about learning to study the Bible better. Specifically my question was “What’s the big deal about learning Greek if you have a dozen different Bible translations at your fingertips?” He said that learning Greek was really good, but not everyone is wired for that. Here is what he said is good for just about everyone…
Something New, coming in 2013
Poor in the World, Rich in God, in Isaiah 56
Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely separate me from his people”; and let not the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.”
For thus says the Lord: “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.
“And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant— these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”
Even back in Isaiah, it was never God’s intent that your birth or your circumstances would affect your salvation. It is all about how you respond to God. Respond to Him and He’ll deliver. Don’t let any restriction in your life hold you back.
- Next Page »