The divine visitor

“Reading Scripture is like hosting a divine visitor. Patristic reflections on Abraham’s welcome of the three visitors by the oak of Mamre remind us that when we interpret the Scriptures, we are in the position of Abraham: we are called to show hospitality to God as he graciously comes to us through the pages of the Bible.” — Hans Boersma, Scripture as Real Presence.

Review: The NIV Study Bible

My big confession: I have never been a fan of study Bibles.

I have always wanted Bibles with significant margins so I can put in my own notes. With the coming of digital Bibles and resources, I have utilized the marking tools and notetaking tools of Logos to build my own system. When I study the Bible, I want to study the Bible and I have always felt the notes in any study Bible are so limiting because we may only read them and not dive deeper.

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Our grand invitation

Matthew 7:13–14 (NIV)
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

I recently finished up another journey through the Sermon on the Mount and come away once again with awe. The Kingdom of God is so grand and powerful and our King invites us into this incredible life.

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Disordered faith

Matthew 6:28–31 (NIV)
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

Whenever Jesus gets to that phrase… “you of little faith”… (and he does it a lot)… I feel small. How come I don’t have enough faith?

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We are called to work AND pray in the battle to overcome evil systems

I am working through one of my favorite chapters in the Bible: Acts 19. It has always drawn me and what I love about the study of Scripture is that each trip through a passage can yield new insights and nuances. This trip through has been no different.

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The power of humility

“If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”
5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
6 He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. (Luke 17:3-6, NIV)

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We settle for so little

11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Heb. 5:11-14)

These thoughts from N.T. Wright:

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