“Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful, But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law does he meditate day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2).
These days there are self-help books and web-sites everywhere we turn. Everyone has advice to better health, a better marriage, better kids or better finances. Have you noticed, as I have, that even much of the Christian self-help stuff is really from the world’s wisdom and not God’s.
People tend to be turned off to the Bible, here called ‘the law’, because we don’t like laws. This generation pulls back from rules of any kind. We like our independence and preferences. We like to do things “my way”. But these verses are telling how a man or woman can be blessed by God.
If we want to be blessed by the world, go to the self-help gurus. But you want God’s blessing, here’s how we do that: delight in God’s advice and ponder these things day and night.
Tags: Bible, blessings
I’m writing this on Sunday evening. Sunday night is when the new NASA rover Curiosity is scheduled to arrive and land on the planet Mars, after an eight-month journey through space. This landing will be the most complicated space maneuver ever. A series of things all have to happen flawlessly in exact sequence, all ordered by on board computers, or the whole project will be a tragic loss as it crashes into the Martian soil.
NASA has put together a 5-minute video summary of this project and all that has to happen on entry into the Martian atmosphere entitled ‘7 Minutes of Terror’ on the official JPL/NASA website. The entire entry and landing takes just 7 minutes. But, because it takes 14 minutes for the radio signal to reach back to earth, the scientists will be biting their nails, not knowing if everything was successful or a failure.
That all reminds me of the timelessness of God’s word. Although it was written centuries ago in a different time and land, it’s truths still speak to my specific needs today. Whether Curiosity lands or crashes, we won’t know until Monday. But God’s word is sure to stand the test.
The next time you read the Bible, expect God to speak life to your situation now in the 21st Century. That’s because the Holy Spirit who inspired the writers long ago, lives inside of you as a believer today.
Tags: Bible, curiosity, Mars, NASA
One of the privileges of being a pastor is that I get to officiate at baby and family dedications. Usually nothing out of the ordinary happens, but every now and then a memorable event takes place.
Like the time we dedicated Patrick and Michelle Eggering’s new son, Chandler. The space shuttle Challenger was in the news at that time and I guess my mind crossed the two, and as I was praying for the baby, I called him “little Challenger” instead of “little Chandler”. I didn’t even know that I misspoke until they informed me later.
It turned out to be prophetic as little Chandler indeed turned out to be a strong-willed challenger.
Although we all misspeak from time to time, the Bible is God’s Word and He cannot misspeak. God’s word cannot return void. His promises can be taken to the bank. Let’s take God’s word at face value!
Tags: Bible, humor, word
When the preacher’s car broke down on a country road, he walked to the nearest roadhouse to use the phone. After calling for a tow truck, he spotted his old friend, Frank, drunk and shabbily dressed at the bar. “What happened to you, Frank?” asked the good reverend. “You used to be rich.”
Frank told a sad tale of bad investments that had led to his downfall. “Go home,” the preacher said. “Open your Bible at random, stick our finger on the page and there will be God’s answer.”
Some time later, the preacher bumped into Frank, who was wearing a Gucci suit, sporting a Rolex watch and had just stepped out of a Mercedes. “Frank,” said the preacher, “I am glad to see things really turned around for you.”
“Yes, preacher, and I owe it all to you,” said Frank. “I opened my Bible, put my finger down on the page and there was the answer – Chapter 11.”
Your answer is not in doing things the world’s way. Your answer will be doing things God’s way. One verse at random won’t do it, you’ve got to take the whole armor of God if you want to succeed in God’s kingdom.
Tags: Bible, direction, success
Last month’s National Geographic magazine had an interesting article on the King James Version of the Bible, which has more copies in print than any other book in history. The article talked about the great lengths King James went to in establishing a version of the Holy Scriptures that anyone could read. James was from Scotland and was acquainted with commoners and not a great fan of royalty, although he was one himself.
The church world was divided between two competing versions of Holy Scriptures. The Geneva Bible was loved by Puritans but was anti-royal. On the other hand, the Bishop’s Bible was pro-royal. King James set out to establish a version of scriptures that was neutral but accurate in scholarship.
The result was what we know today as the King James Version of the Bible. Although the traditional English style of writing in 1611 has changed over the years, the poetic flow of this version is still my favorite. Although I preach from the NIV (New International Version), I still revert to the KJV for daily devotions. What do you think of the King James Version of the Bible?
A few days ago some workmen removed a hundred-year old time capsule entombed in the limestone wall of the DeKalb County Courthouse. In that box were items placed there 100 years ago when the courthouse was first constructed. I was interested in the find since my great grandfather, Isaac M. Diehl, was one of the County Commissioners at the time.
They are getting ready to replace the time capsule with items of today to be sealed for the next 100 years. There will be business cards, papers, and even a CD from a Christian singing group. But no Bible. So, one of the area pastors purchased a new NIV Bible and went to the courthouse for approval to have it included. Someone at the courthouse thought that since this was the 21st century maybe it would be more appropriate to include a copy of the Koran.
So, the pastor contacted me for approval to have the DeKalb County Ministerial Association (I’m currently the President) endorse having the NIV Bible included, thinking that might have more clout than just one pastor. Obviously, he got our vote. Great idea.
What do you think about including a copy of the Koran?
Tags: Bible, Koran, time
“On the fifth day of Christmas my True Love sent to me: Five Golden Rings.”
In this ancient song the Five Golden Rings represent the first five books of the Bible, known as the Books of Moses or the “Pentateuch”. The Books of Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy record the beginnings of God’s dealings with man. They provide the history of man’s fall and paint a compelling visual story of what happens when man walks away from God.
Those Golden Rings also provide a descriptive example of God’s efforts to lead man back into a redeemed relationship with Him in the midst of a fallen world. God revealed His perfect will for man through the giving of the Mosaic Law. But He also provided the plan for redemption for sin through the model of the Passover Lamb. He also demonstrated His deliverance power when He delivered His people from the encroaching Egyptians by parting the Red Sea, then closed it on the enemy. Grace is also manifested in the account of the flood and His choosing Noah, the life story of Joseph and God’s provision, and His answer of the Israelite’s prayer by sending Moses.
The five Golden Rings, the Books of Moses, don’t conclude until we arrive at the Book of Revelation. Thanks to God for sending His word.
Tags: Bible, grace, Moses, Pentateuch