One of the beautiful things about the Bible is how it all comes together over so many different years and authors and genres. A key part of understanding the text is understanding the genre that is being read. We should read poetry like it’s poetry, narrative like it’s narrative, letters like they’re letters and history like it’s history.
These three chapters have always really confused me in the Bible. I’ve left reading them with my head puzzled more than once. And well, since we read them in the Chi Alpha Bookmark plan today, I thought I would say a few things about them that have helped me over the years.
- “Sometimes you’re doing to do everything right and still get pounded.” I’ll never forget Dick Brogden saying this at SICM a couple of years ago. Yes, that’s what happens sometimes. The Christian life isn’t always easy and sometimes you get pounded. That’s what happens to the Israelites when they go up to attack the Benjamites. They were doing the right thing in avenging the wrong. But, they still got pounded and that’s how it goes sometimes.
- The last verse of Judges, Verse 25. “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” This is what was happening here. Everyone was doing as they saw fit. Everyone did as they wished. And it was chaos. We can read the text and scream about what we read and wonder why it’s all happening. It’s because Israel forsook her true King, YHWH, and was doing as everyone saw fit. The narrator is not telling us that YHWH wanted these things to happen or that YHWH willed them to happen. The narrator is communicating that everyone was doing as they saw fit and it was chaos.
Hopefully, those thoughts help you as much as they have helped me over the years. Anything else you would add that has helped?
I got a text from a student last night linking to a video sermon. Much to my surprise it was my homeboy, Ryan Levis. I found myself very encouraged from it and thought I would share.
You can check it out here.
Ryan hits the nail on the head when it comes to the journey of desire. We must desire the Kingdom of God. We must desire the things of God. And as we long for them, we live for them.
I’ve found when the months grow cold, it gets harder for me to get up in the morning and have consistent devotional time. But, if I desire it, and build my night and day around it, it becomes more likely. I must go to bed at night, desiring to get up the next morning and spend intentional time with Jesus.
In my relationships, they go better when I am longing for Jesus and His kingdom. I’m nicer, I’m kinder, I give more grace and forgiveness (Ryan makes some excellent points about forgiveness in the sermon, btw!).
But it all starts with desire.
So, what are you desiring today?
1. I love how Paul calls Titus a true son in the faith. What a great reminder of the family of God and what our goal as disciple makers should be. To build the family and cultivate true disciples.
2. Stop fighting over meaningless controversies. Man, I could have used this as a Core Group leader…lol. Too many times I got caught in what I believed to be an academic exercise when it was just meaningless dribble. I wasn’t trying to understand anything better, I was just trying to sound smart or be part of a certain crowd. Meaningless.
3. Yes, Jesus coming back is our blessed hope, a truth I should long for more often than I do.
Amen, come quickly Lord Jesus.
We’ve been trying to teach our kids to pray. How to have conversation with God and listen to Him. Luckily, we’ve had a lot of help from their preschool, other friends and family, church life and what not. Our kids do seem to like praying and they are praying, I do believe that.
And well, Levi is on a bit of hot streak right now.
The other night he prayed for Katie’s headache to go away on his way to bed. It did. He got up the next morning so excited to ask Katie if it went away because God told Him it would. It did.
Then he prayed for my truck to stop acting up. It did. I think I should still replace the instrument cluster, but it’s working right now.
This got me thinking as to what I should do next…
And I realized there’s only one primary answer to that.
Ahh yes. The age old question of which Bible translation one should read. Much
blood ink has been spilled trying to decide this question. Maybe you’ve been wondering it yourself.
After all, there are a lot of different translations out there with a lot of different letters attached to them. Dynamic equivalents and word for word. Translated from the Greek and translated from the Latin. In the original Greek and Hebrew. Words of Christ in red or one without paragraph headings.
In can all be a little bit overwhelming.
So, let me give you the answer as to which one to get.
The answer is really quite simple.
Ever feel like you’ve gotten in a rut and can’t get out of it? Like there’s something you want to do or stop doing but you can’t or just haven’t?
I wish I wrote more stuff down.
I have gone in and out of my journaling life as a Christian. Some times I keep journals, sometimes I don’t. I used to write in my Bible and then I stopped. Not very consistent, huh?
I stopped writing my in my Bible because it got hard to preach out of it with all those notes in there. When I stopped doing that, I stopped writing things down all together. There was no reason for those two to go hand in hand, but they did.
I started a moleskine (I know I’m so trendy!). But I’ve wanted to begin writing in my Bible again. Something about having it all there tangibly and the physical act of writing is helpful for me. So I broke down and ordered this.
Lay flat, journaling Bible.
I feel like a big of a nerd considering I preordered it and how excited I got when it came. But, it’s all good.
The start of a new year encouraged me to break out of this rut and start a new trajectory.
I’m excited to see how this practice and discipline can help me continue to grow in a real devotional life this next year.
How do you intend on taking your real devotional life to the next level in 2016?
Semester Breaks are always a great time for me to read a couple of books that I’ve had waiting around just begging to be read. Now is one of those times, so here’s a small list I hope to tackle this break. I hope this will be the beginning of a list…
The Advantage by Lencioni – here Lencioni summarizes five of his other favorites and should provide many helpful insights!
Bloodlines by Piper – who knew Piper wrote a book on racism? I had no idea but I can’t wait to see how he helps us think about the gospel and race.
Center Church by Keller – this textbook has been on my list for a while and I hope it will help to cement some thoughts and action points concerning some of the future thoughts for XA at UVA.
Centennial by Michener – WATCH OUT! THERE’S A FICTION BOOK ON JOSH’S LIST. What should we do? Frankly, I’m not sure either but Scott Martin said I would enjoy it and he’s my boss (and he bought it for me!). So, let’s give it a go.
What’s current on your reading list?
I have long documented my love of Sour Patch Kids. They have been my favorite candy since I first went to a movie theater. I have always loved sour things and gummy things. Thus, Sour Patch Kids have always had a special place in my
heart stomach. My first year core group leader even loves these things. They were perfection in a bag. UNTIL NOW! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE MAKER OF ALL THINGS GOOD? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?