Categories
Bible Christian

We Can Learn to Love the Psalms

Learning to Love the Psalms by W. Robert Godfrey (Reformation Trust Publishing; 2017)

In this most enlightening and informative book on the Psalms. Godfrey laments the fact that this vital part of holy Scripture which played such an important role in the life of the Jewish community for thousands of years, as well as for the Christian church for almost 1800 years has now fallen into a theological corner. In this book, Godfrey hopes to spark a new interest in the use the Psalter, both in corporate worship services, and in the personal devotions and prayers of believers everywhere.

Learning to Love the Psalms is neither a commentary or a devotional —- technically speaking. Yet the author both explains the occasions and use of the Psalms in ancient Israel —- like a commentary; but also shows how the theme of each psalm discussed can be used as a devotional and as a springboard to prayer and communion with the Father.

Godfrey describes the make-up and apparent theme and aim of each of the five Books that make up the Psalms in our Bibles today. After that description, the author details more of the interesting facts behind the psalms described (over 80 in all), how they tie into the overall theme of the Book in which they are found, and how modern-Christians can better understand and make more practical and spiritual lessons contained in each psalm. The book is written in a clear and entertaining manner, making it very accessible to the general reader; but with enough theological and expository insight to be very useful for pastors. Most highly recommended!

Categories
Bible Christian

A Christian Understanding of What Makes You You

WHO GOD SAYS YOU ARE by Klyne Snodgrass (Eerdmans Publishing Co.; 2018) covers a topic that sounds overwhelming and intimidating, but is rather an important core issue for every human – identity.  By “identity,” Snodgrass means what “makes me me;” and since we all have a divine Creator Who made us the people we are for some distinct purposes, there can be no more important question for anyone to answer, but especially Christians.  “Why did God make me like this, and does my life reflect who I really am?”  But rather than a stuffy anthropological or philosophical treatise, Snodgrass does a wonderful job of demonstrating and explaining this issue in compelling and inviting ways.

After establishing the fact that only Christians have the ability to truly understand themselves – as opposed to all non-Christians – because we know our Maker; then the meat of the book discourses on nine factors the author says comprise the total makeup of our true identities.  Quickly, those factors are:  Our body; our history; our relations (and relationships); our self-interpreting of our memories; our chosen commitments; our actions; our boundaries; our ongoing change in temperament and styles of living; and the future we see for ourselves.  The theme and goal of this timely book when “identity” is in so much confusion in the world, is that we can only truly understand ourselves by understanding the God Who not only created us, but loves us.  Highly recommended.

Categories
Bible Christian

An Explanation of Biblical Faith From George Muller

Oh, to have some of the powerful faith of George Muller! Below is an excerpt from a sermon in which he tries to explain his understanding of biblical faith. A goal to shoot for! From ReasonableTheology.org……………

Categories
Bible Christian Walking with Christ

One Another Texts: Hospitality

Hospitality is such an important practice for every believer, but especially in terms of being a missionary or a minister of the gospel, as well as for those who wish to serve those who minister the gospel to others. From Place for Truth……………….

Categories
Bible Christian Walking with Christ

A Pierced Ear

This devotion from pastor and author Mark Batterson is about open ears, ears open to God, and whose voice one listens to…………….

Categories
Bible Christian God the Father Jesus The Holy Spirit

With God, We are Never Alone

HEARING GOD (PART THREE)

This is the third article in the series of teachings from the book Hearing God by Dallas Willard. This article covers lessons learned from Chapter Three, “Never Alone.” 

Before discussing hearing God’s voice, a believer must first have an understanding and trust that God is present with them. This understanding of God’s presence usually grows in stages. First, there is a simple faith that it must be true that God is with us, maybe because of some unique past experience or the faith of others in this fact. But we might have no direct awareness of His being here with us specifically.

Then, through time and experience, we might move to awareness at times of a powerful feeling or impression of God’s presence. This type of understanding makes itself known at times when a number of people on a church project, for example, find that their thoughts and activities have been synchronized through a sense of God’s presence and intentions.

Finally, we perceive God acting in conjunction with our actions in a way that changes the circumstances not possible through simple human effort alone. But these three phases of the sensing of God’s presence are only the beginning because of our relationship with God as priests for Him and as His adopted children. God wants to relate to and converse with us actively. This leads us to what Willard defines as our full purpose in God: “A conversational relationship with God where we are consistently and deeply engaged as His friend and co-laborer in the affairs of the Kingdom of God.” 

Next time, we will look more closely at the idea of God speaking to us directly on a consistent basis.

Categories
Bible Christian God the Father Jesus The Holy Spirit

Hearing God (Part 1)

This article will be the first in a series in which I discuss the wisdom I have received (and am still receiving) from the book Hearing God by Dallas Willard. This book is all about how to develop a conversational relationship with God.

Willard says that when we look at all of the examples in the Bible of God’s intentions for His relationship with humans, God deals individually with each person. So, there is a tremendous amount of evidence in both Scripture and the history of the church of the existence of God’s personal guiding communication with us. But paradoxically, there is also a pervasive uncertainty about how hearing God’s voice actually works today. This leads to many believers having so little clarity on what they should expect God’s voice to be like and how to deal with it that it only leads to more confusion when His voice does come to them. 

To resolve this paradox that hinders people in their relationship with God, Willard says they need a clear understanding of God’s usual ways of guiding and communicating with us. Three ideas need to be reviewed before actually looking at specifics for communicating with God.

First, it must be recognized that God’s communications to us come in many different ways and forms. But we need to know about the methods that God has generally preferred to use in the Bible and Christian experience. Second, believers may have wrong motives for wanting to hear from God. An extreme preoccupation with our own security and comfort rather than a Christ-like attitude to commune with the Father or seek others’ wellbeing may result in God keeping silent with us. Third, our understanding of God’s communication will be flawed if we have the wrong conception of God’s nature and His intentions toward us. 

Categories
Bible Christian God the Father Jesus The Holy Spirit

God’s Eternal Plan for You

When I read articles like this one, I get so upset with myself for ever thinking that God doesn’t know about or care about my life! From Core Christianity……………..

God’s Eternal Plan For You

Categories
Bible Christian God the Father Jesus

Have You Ever Lost Trust in God?

If you have, it is OK. Almost everyone has at some point or other (even David and Paul despaired of being forgotten by God!). This brief article from Core Christianity ties in with my previous article titled “Remembering to Remember.” When things get tough, and God seems distant, that is when we need to remember both Who God is and what He has already done in our lives!

Categories
Bible Christian Jesus The Holy Spirit Walking with Christ

Experiencing Peace in the Midst of Anxiety

Only for the Christian is this possible, and only because of the indwelling of Jesus! From the Mental Health Grace Alliance…………………