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In Mark 3:5 (part of today’s Bible reading) we’re told that Jesus was grieved by the hardness of the hearts of the Pharisees.

You would think that men who had spent their entire lives studying the Bible and teaching the Bible could grow so hardhearted.

But unfortunately, it still happens all the time. It’s so hard to know so much in your mind, but miss so much in your heart. This is especially true of those of us who have spent many years as a Christian, even attending Bible College or Seminary.

Yes, on this side of eternity, each of us continues to deal with a deceptive and sick heart (Jeremiah 17:9). But when someone is saved, God gives them a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26), one that is receptive to the things of God. And yet….

Application

As you continue reading with me through the New Testament this year, let’s remember to keep our heart soft. Part of keeping our heart soft is marking time with the Spiritual Disciplines (Bible Reading/Study, Bible Memory/Meditation, Prayer, Sharing your Faith, Giving to Support God’s Work, etc.). But just “doing the deal”, going through the motions of Spiritual Growth is no guarantee of Spiritual Growth, or even Spiritual life (Matthew 7:21-23). We must guard our heart (Proverbs 4:23) because that’s where our life comes from.

Well … it’s January 2. How’s your Bible reading going for the year? Do you have a plan? If you don’t, why not read along with me through the New Testament this year? It’ll only take about five minutes a day for five days a week. If you don’t think you have time, the Bible App can even read your daily reading while you’re going through your morning routine. Be sure to friend me on the Bible App so we can encourage each other through the year!

If you just have a desire or an “I really should” attitude toward reading the Bible without a plan, believe me, it won’t happen! I’ve been there and done that! (Do you need a couple of my extra T-shirts?) 😉

The plan I’m using goes through one chapter each day through the New Testament. It’s very manageable and you can read the first two chapters of Mark’s Gospel and already be up to date!

It’s never too late to start going through a Bible reading plan, but it’s always too early to give up! So join me! The goal is to get to know God better and to love Him more. So let’s grow to be more like Jesus in 2019.

Read the Bible with me in 2019! Our church is using Discipleship Journal’s 5x5x5 New Testament plan.

I’ll use the YouVersion App to track my progress. If you normally use that App, add me as a friend so we can read the Bible together!

With this reading plan, we’ll go through the entire New Testament in 2019; it’ll only take about Five minutes a day, Five days a week.

Reading through the New Testament is an attainable goal for anyone! If you’re a slow reader, the Bible App can even read to you as you go through your morning routine. By the time you rinse and spit, you’ll be done!

Reading through the Bible has been such an important part of my life for many years and I highly encourage every believer to make it a part of their life, too!

If you have any questions about how to get started, what Bible translation you should use, or anything else, please drop me a line. I’d love to connect you with the life-changing God through His life-changing Word!

I meant to post this yesterday, which was Reformation Day. Five Hundred (and one) years ago, the Reformation rally cry rang out, sola scriptura (Scripture alone). For so long, the “ordained” had kept the Bible out of the hands of the “ordinary”.

It was a very good thing that people like Martin Luther came along with a passion to make the Bible available to ordinary people in their ordinary language (which is the way that God always does!). People like William Tyndale died … yes … DIED … for trying to get the Bible translated into ordinary, everyday language of everyday people.

If you want a deeper appreciation for the Bible and how it was preserved and translated (especially the ESV), take ten minutes to watch this video.

Check out my sermon series on the Reformation


 

Such was the question posted by a Facebook Friend. It’s a great question — or series of questions. Here’s my response to his post.

 

For an “academic” answer to your question, I’m an inerrantist. I take it at face value as I read it, trying to take into account the author’s original message to the original audience in the original historical context in the genre it was written. And – not wanting to get into a translation debate – this requires that you use a modern language translation if you don’t know the original languages.

History (much of the OT, the Gospels and Acts) describes what happened.
Didactic (teaching like we find in the NT epistles) prescribes how things are supposed to happen.
Poetry (Psalms) uses imagery and figures of speach.
Apocalyptic (parts of Daniel and Revelation) uses very picturesque language and more figures of speech.

We can easily run into problems when we read an apocalyptic or history passage through a didactic lens. Taking into account the context (historical, culture, and genre) — as best as possible – will give us a proper theological framework to understand the passage in question.

Having said all of this, you don’t have to be an academicians, have a bunch of advanced degrees, and be fluent in the original languages to get the message God wants you to hear.

Adding to what [another commenter] said above, read [the Bible] as a love letter from a holy, merciful, just, gracious God Who relentlessly pursues His people in covenant.

 

Just as I posted my response, I saw an excellent article that was linked by the commentor. You may want tocheck it out!