Jesus-focused bible reading

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. [Luke 24:27]
For the last 5 years I have been going through the bible one chapter each day, and I have posted my SOAP reflections to help others in their own reading.
For each of those reflections, I tied in a gospel quote or passage, to show how Jesus is revealed through every part of the bible.

Starting in Sunday, September 30, I am starting a new daily bible-reading plan.
This new plan focuses primarily on the Gospels/Acts, on Jesus and His life and teaching and impact in the world.

Continue reading ‘Jesus-focused bible reading’ »

a leader’s prayer

Give your love of justice to the king, O God, and righteousness to the king’s son. Help him judge your people in the right way; let the poor always be treated fairly. May the mountains yield prosperity for all, and may the hills be fruitful. Help him to defend the poor, to rescue the children of the needy, and to crush their oppressors. [Psalms 72:1-4 ]
A prayer of Solomon, appointed as a leader over the nation of Israel.
Facing that daunting task, he desperately seeks God’s help and guidance and wisdom and blessing.
What did you pray for when the Lord appointed you as a leader of something?
What strikes me here is his heart for justice, especially for the poor and needy; and what alarms me is how in time he looses his way as a leader – despite God’s help. Continue reading ‘a leader’s prayer’ »

hard passages!?

You are building a relationship with a non-christian, one that is genuinely reading the bible to understand better what you believe. Things have been going well, they are getting a positive sense of God’s love and Jesus’ mission. But then they happen along 1 Samuel 15, and crash into the opening words:

Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the LORD sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the LORD. This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’ [1 Samuel 15:1-3]

They are horrified – even the innocent? How does this fit with a loving God, how does this compare with Jesus’ mission? This sounds like ethnic cleansing?

How would you respond? How do you deal with challenges like these?

more prayer walking

This past Sunday a group of us walked and prayed around Bolton C. Falby Public School.
I have been enjoying it on my own, by it was an even greater blessing to do so as a group.
I thought about the people of Israel marching around Jericho, but was not praying that the school walls would come crumbling to the ground.
But there are walls that need to come down, spiritual and social and emotional and racial walls.
And not just walls in THEIR hearts, also in OUR hearts.
We were reminded again that “these people” are not a project, that we are not their liberators parachuting in to help or fix them.
They are people with dignity, people deserving of respect, people who need God and Jesus just like we do.
They are our brothers, our sisters, living in a broken world with us, needing God’s forgiveness, God’s hope, God’s help, God’s Son, God’s Spirit – just like us!
This is an opportunity to be blessed together, to grow together, to be empowered together! Continue reading ‘more prayer walking’ »

no mere man

“I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creation of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him.” – Napoleon

our world belongs to God

As followers of Jesus Christ, living in this world— which some seek to control, and others view with despair— we declare with joy and trust: Our world belongs to God!
These are the opening words of the Contemporary Testimony, a expression of faith adopted by the Christian Reformed Church.
I recently used some sections of this Testimony in a gathering, and had a number of people express interest in getting a copy.
Its worth reading!
Here is the link to the full document.