Useful Links
Coming soon, information to help you get the most out of the world's most important book!
Coming soon, who said studying the Bible couldn't be fun?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Other Weblogs...

A few other weblogs of mine that you might enjoy:

Another time, I'll post a similar short list of other people's blogs that you might want to look at.

Technorati Tags:

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Teaching Faith

I dscovered a useful, short free email course that gives some interesting tips on how to improve the way you teach the Bible to groups.

The course author is Glenn Brooke. I recommend taking a look at his eblog too. On his website, he also sells a more in-depth ebook on the subject. Click here for more information on both the free course and the $29 book.

When you join his email list, you get access to a few other useful resources too.

Technorati Tags:

In proportion to your faith...

There is a fascinating passage in the Letter to the Romans: In chapter 12, the Apostle Paul exhorts his readers to exercise the individual gifts they have each received.

It is an essential topic - for the church is not desined to become an arid cloister of spiritual clones. Instead, its calling is to be a vibrant, colourful community, where a patchwork of ministries dovetail together in harmony to serve all who come to it.

Hoever, his advice is tinged with a subtle warning - eah is to serve in proportion to their faith. Not to think too highly of themselves, lest they should be a vitim of presumption; neither should they afflict themselves with that pernicious false modesty, that - irony of ironies - takes a special pride in being of too little use to anyone else.

This lays another equally important question before s - what is this proportion? How do we know whether we're over-estimating or underestimating the level of faith we have?

The answer is simple enough - do you have peace? A driven overachiever or a guilt-ridden worm won't.

Technorati Tags:

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Faith in a nutshell

We have seen that verse before: Hebrews ch.11 v.1 Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen.

There is more to this statement than meets the eye. In fact, that's the whole point. The evidence of faith overrules what the eye sees. We may not be able to perceive the hand of God in a situation, but if we have heard His voice, if we deep down in our hearts know that He has already acted on our behalf. If we have written evidence in the Bible that guarantees His intervention on our behalf, and have accepted it by faith.

Then it will come to pass. No matter how big or how small. If the Almighty has already spoken, the matter is settled - all that is needed is for the reality we live in to come into line with His inexorable will. We have a part to play in this. Not to force His hand - as attempts to do this are foolish; but to get ourselves in line with His revealed will first and foremost - to be the person transformed by a life of faith.

Technorati Tags:

Monday, October 09, 2006

A Faith with a Purpose

They formed an angry, threatening crowd. They were going to throw him over a cliff. Why? Because his claims were so preposterous! What did he mean, "These scriptures have been fulfilled - today?" That could only be true if he was the Messiah!

He looked through them and walked straight past the mob. He was right, a prophet is not welcome in his home town...

There's an old saying. Familiarity breeds contempt. Sometimes we overlook precious Bible truth because we have grown up with a scripture.

It is easy to memorise and quote Ephesians ch.2 v.8-9 "for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one would boast." - but what about the verse that follows?

This is the passage that answers the big question - why?

Why does God give salvation freely - why are there no preconditions? What does God get out of this?

The answer is simple. Each of us has a destiny that only we can fulfill. By receiving that gift of faith, it opens the door to exploring that purpose - but note the order. We are saved to do good works. We do not do good works in order to be saved.

In fact, the whole point is that without experiencing that freely available, life-changing grace through the gift of faith, we would be unable to achieve those good works. In essence, that is the heart of legalism - trying to do good in our own strength, and failing - so we hedge ourselves with more rules to safeguard whatever we can, and fail more...

But by faith, we can achieve that purpose - not because we have to, but because we want to, it's in our nature - to do otherwise would be to deny the reality of what we have become - not by our own efforts, but through His Spirit transforming and empowering us.

Technorati Tags:

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Faith's Textbook

Faith comes by hearing the message...

We know where to go to find faith. It's not as if we live in a generation where the word of the Lord cannot be found. It's the world's best seller!

Even in the days of Jesus, learned men in his community had access to scriptures that pointed cearly to Him as the long-aaited Messiah. But possession of those scriptures was not enough. Reading them was no guarantee of eternal life. It was applying those words by faith that made a difference.

The faith offered was a gift, paralleled by the words - one without the other is of no use - it either leads to a loveless legalism or credulous antinomianism. Either way, it falls short. But in partnership, fiath brings the word to life and applies it to our circumstances, lifting us above the mundane and bringing us into the presence of the Almighty.

Technorati Tags:

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Beginning Faith's Journey

Faith is a gift. We can do nothing to earn it. This gives us immense relief, for if it could be earned, then we could be certain to do whatever we could do that would disqualify us from receiving it.

It comes to us purely because God is good. We do not understand why He calls us and bestows this gift on us, laying Himself vulnerable for more hurt. But we can experience and appreciate this gift for what it is and what it does.

There is one thin e can be sure of though. He does not give his gifts merely to make us comfortable. His gifts come with a practical purpose. Faith empowers us. We are no longer the helpless recipient of unmerited favour. Now we are an integral part of the solution He has mapped out - we become an agent of God's grace in ourselves - extending his favour to others that they too might be drawn to Him and experience a life of faith.

Technorati Tags: