Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Whole Truth

 "Why are we using a book for our Bible Study, why can't we just use The Word?" "We need to just get back to the Bible"

Good question - a question that deserves an answer. Great statement - one which I can agree.

We often hear these things from well-meaning individuals who do hold The Word in the highest esteem as we all should.

Growing up in church I have attended mid-week Bible studies since I was a child. And during those 40 years, I have experienced many presentation styles and materials for Bible Study. The common factor and focus of all the studies was, of course, The Word.

Why the added material and expense of a guide? Why not just use The Word?  Truth is, you can - IF the Bible Study leader/facilitator is taking the time to fully exegete each passage before he or she leads the study. Using The Word without published study/teaching guides becomes problematic because so many fail to complete the task of inductive study beforehand.

For instance, take a passage from the Old Testament. What do you do with it? After praying for the Holy Spirit's illumination and guidance, seek to:

Step 1: Grasp the text in their town. What does the text mean to the original biblical audience?
Step 2: Measure the width of the river ( time, culture, context) to cross. What are the differences between the biblical audience and us?
Step 3: Cross the Principlizing Bridge. What is the theological principle in this text? Only this principle can cross the bridge.
Step 4: Pass the New Testament checkpoint. There is a checkpoint in the middle of the bridge that "cars" traveling from the Old Testament must stop at. Does the New Testament teaching modify or qualify this principle, and if so, how?
Step 5: Grasp the text in our town. How should individual Christians today apply the modified or qualified theological principle in their lives?
STEP 6: Discover how God wants individual Christians to share what they have learned from the passage.

The danger in not following the steps of sound hermeneutics - accurate interpretation, is that a Bible study group can end up with a 1-50 car pile-up at the Principalizing Bridge by trying to bring something that is time and culture bound to then and there into the here and now. Additionally, knowledge without application is, well, pointless.

While quite rewarding to the leader and participants and well worth the effort, this process is quite time consuming and if one desires to lead a Bible study without incorporating the use of a study guide, leaders guide or book, then that one must accept the responsibility to complete the task above in it's entirety.

It's very easy to let the words of a question or a statement roll off of one's tongue. However, the responsibility of doing the work must accompany the authority of making such statements and asking such questions. The two are inseparable. To arrive at the whole truth the work must be done, completely by the leader or with the aid of a credible leaders' guide. However it is done God's Word is worth it!

Monday, April 8, 2013



He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. He intended to go past them, (Mark 6:48 NLT)

Read the last line of the verse again. "He intended to go past them,..." What? Seriously? He was going to walk right by them. But...

How often are we just like the disciples, struggling in the middle of a problem and we fail to notice Jesus walking ON our problem.

The disciples saw Jesus walking through the wind and on the waves they were battling and if they truly saw him for who he is, they would have known that they would have been OK.

It's when our eyes come off of Jesus, when we forget WHO he is that we miss the BOOM!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


There is an old hymn running through my mind today. In it, is a line that asks a very poignant question.

"Is you all on the altar of sacrifice laid?"

Many times, we Christians, if asked that question, would all to quickly answer, "Yes!" However, when pressed further, our answer would soon become, "Yes, except for..."

Those three periods represent a lot. Maybe they represent a significant other, family, hobbies, dreams, ambitions and the like.

It really doesn't matter what it is because All - anything = less than All.

Have you laid YOUR ALL on the altar of sacrifice in order to advance God's Kingdom?

DAILY BOOM 4-2-2013

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him. But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them. (Mark 5:18-20 NLT)

Sometimes, instead of chasing the grand and glorious, we will be most effective for Christ where we are.