“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” (Galatians 5:1a NIV)
Daring to do what is right, not what fancy may tell you, valiantly grasping occasions, not cravenly doubting — freedom comes only through deeds, not through thoughts taking wing. Faint not nor fear, but go out to the storm and the action, trusting in God whose commandment you faithfully follow.
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Did you know that Psalm 118 is the middle of the entire Bible? Psalm 117, before Psalm 118, is the shortest chapter in the Bible. Psalm 119, after Psalm 118, is the longest chapter in the Bible. The Bible has 594 chapters before Psalm 118 and 594 chapt…
Almighty Father, You who are called the “Mighty Umpire” in this game of life, we are not sure what uniforms we should wear. While we may be Angels in spirit, in reality we are Giants of pride, Dodgers of responsibility and Tigers in ambition. When it c…
“They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. Let them give thanks to the LORD for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind, for He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” (Psalm 107:5-9 NIV)
Lost, hungry, thirsty, and exhausted, these wanderers typify the Israelites in exile. But they also typify anyone who has not found the satisfaction that comes from knowing God. Anyone who recognizes his or her own lostness can receive the offer of Jesus to satisfy these needs. Jesus is the way (John 14:6), the bread from heaven (John 6:33,35), the living water (John 4:10-14), and the giver of rest (Matthew 11:28-30). Have you received His life-giving offer?
— from “The Life Application Study Bible”
If our faith is something that really does not make a big difference, if it is actually not crucial that we or others believe, no wonder it seems boring to some of our young. Anything we don’t care about can’t be very interesting. The things we do care about, however, we inevitably talk about… If faith is real, it seeks expression. It will communicate and profess. It will have the energy of passion.
— John F. Kavanaugh in “The Word Encountered”
The Bible describes God as both transcendent and immanent. To hold an accurate view of God, we must live with the tension inherent in these opposing characteristics.
Transcendent means that God is far above and greater than His creation. He is and always will be infinite, independent, unchanging, and sovereign. God’s transcendence is evident in the following passages: Psalm 113:4-6, Isaiah 55:8-9, and Acts 17:24-25.
Scripture is equally clear that God is immanent. He is not an abstract deity removed from His creation. He is and always will be personal, relational, responsive, and engaged. The following passages express His immanence: Isaiah 49:15-16, Luke 12:6-7, Romans 8:15.
In many passages both immanence and transcendence are described. Here is one example: “The Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods [transcendence]… Come, let us bow down and worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care [immanence].” (Psalm 95:3,6-7)
— Tim Muehlhoff in an article entitled “A Balanced View of God” in “Discipleship Journal”, Sep/Oct 2006
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” (2 Timothy 3:16 NLT)
Scripture requires the activity of the Holy Spirit to speak. Words become the Word by the empowering presence and activity of the Holy Spirit. Modernity taught that most rational human beings, regardless of background, training, or character, were perfectly capable of unaided understanding, perfectly able to grasp and comprehend everything in the world simply by the use of reason. Scripture frustrates such limited knowing. Scripture opens itself up to us through the work of the Holy Spirit, whom we cannot rationalize or control, and modernity is high on control and rationalization. Thus, interpretation of Scripture is a communal, pneumatic affair — a work of grace — requiring considerably more than the lone, reasoning reader.
— Bishop Will Willimon, from his Peculiar Prophet blog
“God takes care of His people like a shepherd. He gathers them like lambs in His arms and carries them close to Him.” (Isaiah 40:11)We have been touched by God’s tenderness — all the tenderness of a gentle father. God doesn’t come quarreling and wrang…