The power of the Sermon on the Mount

Since reading Dallas Willard’s book, The Divine Conspiracy, about 20 years ago, the Sermon on the Mount has been more influential in my living and study and mindset than any other portion of Scripture, with the possible exception of Ephesians.

Can you tell I get something out of it?

This is the fascination and wonder I will always have with Scripture. Every time I move through even the most familiar passage, I am stunned with something new. It’s a joy that often leaves me asking, “When did they put THAT there?”

Walking with God

My journey has me in the Pentateuch right now and I am doing a subset study I call “they walked with God” based on a sermon I had three years ago. I knew I was just scratching the surface, so I am back to it now. I am looking at Adam, Enoch, Noah, and Abraham.

I am currently deep in the life of Abraham and really have a sense of walking on holy ground. Abraham is wonderfully imperfect. I identify so readily with his major screwups.

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The joy of studying Scriptures

I was able to have a conversation with one of my mentors in ministry this week because I learned from him the joy of studying Scriptures. Dr. Don Meyer’s class on Bible Study Methods was a seminal moment for me in my life and my lifelong love for Scriptures.

You can listen to the podcast HERE.

You can watch the conversation HERE.

We are unaware

I am working on a message to be given July 4 and the text I am working on is in Ezekiel 2. I have backed up into chapter 1 for context and found myself bogged down in weird visions and impossible interpretations.

Bible study and sermon prep is fun.

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But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ… (Phil. 3:20)

I am here on a passport and visa. This world is not ‘home.’ I represent a place I’ve never been yet the reality of that place dwells in me.

All that matters

Notes from Philippians 3

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. (Phil. 3:7-11)

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Swept up in his love

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, (Eph. 3:17-18)

I want my life swept up in the wonder of Christ’s love. To know the vastness of his love. To be lost in who he is. This is my prayer.

What Ephesians means to me

I am on a slow walk journey through Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. Many years ago the Lord had me spend an entire year in Ephesians as part of healing in my life.

This picture is from that Bible I used at the time. Then, the Bible I am currently using. I tend to mark things up quickly. 🙂