The ESV website offers a full range of Bible reading plans if you haven’t picked out yet for next year!
Archive for December 31st, 2008
“I believe that the challenge of living with popular culture may well be as serious for modern Christians as persecution and plagues were for saints of earlier centuries. . . .”Enemies that come loudly an visibly are usually much easier to fight than those that are undetectable.” –Ken Myers
“In a Roper survey that reveals as much about human nature as it does about media consumption, 96 percent of people polled claimed they watched less television than the average person.”–Craig Cabaniss
“What if we began to test all our media consumption from the nightly news to our entertainment programs to our video rentals? And furthermore, what if the standard was looking for what might be beneficial instead of what might simply be permissible (1 Corinthians 10:23)?” –Philip Patterson
–All quotes from Worldiness, “God, My Heart, and Media”
Paul often began his letters to churches with a blessing of grace upon their lives. He ended His letters often in the same way. He began by saying “Grace to you!” and he ended by saying “Grace be with you!” I believe that is a great way to look at a new year. We have just experienced a year where God’s grace has flowed to us. And now we begin another one where we long for God’s grace to be with us!
Grace be with you as you may be dealing with illness or an unaffectionate spouse. Grace be with you as you go to a job you may not like, face uncertain economic times or as you facee persistent struggles with tempations of anger, anxiety, or lust. Grace be with you as you muster up courage to talk with a family member of friend about Christ or as you trust God for wisdom and strength to explore new ministry in the church.
Every time we pick up and read Scripture, there is grace flowing to us. And every time we lay it down and go about daily life, there is grace that stays with us! Grace be with you today!
When it comes to what we do with the Bible, H. P. Parker gives this memorable illustration that points to the need for both knowing and applying Bible truth:
As I looked out into the garden one day, I saw three things. First, I saw a butterfly. The butterfly was beautiful, and it would alight on a flower and then it would flutter to another flower and then to another, and only for a second or two it would sit and it would move on. It would touch as many lovely blossoms as it could, but derived absolutely no benefit from it. Then I watched a little longer out my window and there came a botanist. And the botanist had a big notebook under his arm and a great big magnifying glass. The botanist would lean over a certain flower and he would look for a long time and then he would write notes in his notebook. He was there for hours writing notes, closed them, stuck them under his arm, tucked his magnifying glass in his pocket and walked away. The third thing I noticed was a bee, just a little bee. But the bee would light on a flower and it would sink down deep into the flower and it would extract all the nectar and pollen that it could carry. It went in empty every time and came out full (A. Naismith, 1200 Notes, Quotes and Anecdotes [Chicago: Moody, 1962], p. 15.)
John MacArthur has said, “Some Christians, like that butterfly, flit from Bible study to Bible study, from sermon to sermon, and from commentary to commentary, while gaining little more than a nice feeling and some good ideas. Others, like the botanist, study Scripture carefully and take copious notes. They gain much information but little truth. Others, like the bee, go to the Bible to be taught by God and to grow in knowledge of Him. Also like the bee, they never go away empty.”
So are you a butterfly, botanist, or bee?