Nov 17, 2008
The title says it all….
Nov 17, 2008
The title says it all….
A while ago I attended a conference on the Middle Ages. In one seminar we actually prepared several foods that would have been common in medieval times. We used pestle and mortar to grind cinnamon and fruit to make jam. We cut orange rinds and broiled them with honey and ginger to produce a sweet snack. We crushed almonds with water and other ingredients to create almond milk. And, finally, we prepared a whole chicken to serve as a main dish with rice. As we sampled these dishes, we enjoyed a tasty culinary experience.
When it comes to spiritual food for our souls, God has given us a varied menu that we can chew on and savor. In doing so, we can be filled and satisfied. The historic books, poetry, wisdom literature, prophecy, and other parts of the Bible strengthen us when we are weak, give us wisdom and encouragement, and nourish us for the day’s journey (Ps. 19:7-14; 119:97-104; Heb. 5:12). As the psalmist tells us: “How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Ps. 119:103).
So what are we waiting for? God has set before us a banquet of delectable spiritual food and calls us to come and dine. We are all invited! By Dennis Fisher
Thank You, Lord, that You call me to Your
table to feast on Your Word. I know that I need
it for my spiritual nourishment and to grow
close to You. I open my heart to You now.
The Bible is the bread of life, and it never gets stale.
Studying theology is for every believer, not just the elite.
Every Christian is a theologian. Theology is, after all, simply the study of God. It’s not just for scholars in academia, but also for retirees, teenagers, stay-at-home parents, and even the barista who makes your morning latte.
The following are some reasons I have found this practice to be fascinating, thought-provoking, and beneficial.
We have a greater understanding of the story of the Bible.
While theological conversation can sometimes devolve into pointless debate about apparent trivialities, at its best, it serves the church and helps the people of God better read Scripture. There is depth, meaning, and beauty on every page of the Bible, which theology can reveal to us.
We learn to speak and pray well.
Speaking about God, or talking to Him in prayer, is no small matter. The language we employ is important. Certainly, God can accept and use even our most inarticulate mumblings. But knowing Him better, like learning about a friend or a spouse, allows us to speak more precisely and effectively.
We understand other Christians better.
While theology has a reputation for being divisive, that doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, it can show us how many core beliefs Christians actually share. Also, it allows us to learn from believers of different opinions, experiences, cultures, and even centuries.
We become more discerning.
When a story about the Bible is in the news, or when the latest controversy about Jesus once again “just happens” to get coverage around Easter, familiarity with theology can help us think through these ideas in a faithful and analytical way. Then we can better understand and defend what we believe, and at the same time honestly consider ideas that may be worth exploring.
We draw closer to God.
It is said that theology should lead to doxology, which is a fancy way of saying that learning about the Lord should compel us to worship Him. This is the most important benefit of study. Consider how God made the world; the plan He set in motion to make things right after the fall; Christ’s sacrifice on the cross; the glories of the resurrection—when we examine these things, we better understand them.
It may strike us as odd now, but in the early years of the church, merchants and customers around town would openly debate their beliefs about God. They’d even promote their particular positions by making up little slogans and songs, which could be heard in the streets. These people took for granted that theology was for everyone, and they found it to be vital to their communities and their life with God.
Today, we have easy access to more information than ever before in history, far beyond anything those early Christians could have imagined. There are endless articles, posts, and books for a curious student of God’s Word to read. Don’t assume theology is only for an elite group of academics—you could miss out on the riches right before your eyes.
by Mason Slater
“So the wall was finished. . . . And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.” (Nehemiah 6:15-16)
There have been so many occasions throughout history when God worked mightily either to establish or to preserve America; there can be no doubt that God has uniquely blessed this country. There have always been those who would destroy, establish themselves as dictators, or who have scoffed at or hindered the American experiment in freedom, but in His grace and in His time and way, He has responded with victory.
Similarly, there were many times in the history of God’s chosen nation of Israel when mighty victories were accomplished. In the events surrounding our text, a ragged band of exiles had returned from captivity in Babylon and were attempting to rebuild the broken-down walls of Jerusalem. The detractors were many, saying it couldn’t be done—but it had to be done!
Satanically inspired opposition came through ridicule (Nehemiah 2:19; 4:1-3); threats of invasion (vv. 7-9); discouragement (v. 10); fear of attack (vv. 11-23); internal friction (5:1-5); diplomatic treachery (6:1-8); and lying prophets (6:10-14). But in the face of each threat, Nehemiah was equal to the task. “We made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night” (4:9), and eventually, as we read in our text, “the wall was finished.”
Nehemiah’s victory was preceded by his confession of his own sins and that of the people (1:6-11), and the purification and dedication of the people. It was followed by great rejoicing and blessing. Would that America’s present leaders and people would follow this godly example. JDM
Choose life… that thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey His voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto Him, for He is thy life, and the length of thy days.— Deuteronomy 30:19, 20.
GOD gently calls us every day:
Why should we then our bliss delay?
He calls to heaven and endless light,
Why should we love the dreary night?
Praise, Lord, to Thee for Matthew’s call,
At which he rose and left his all,
Thou, Lord, e’en now art calling me,
I will leave all, and follow Thee.
WILLIAM WALSHAM HOW.
OBEY His blessed call now, and, having obeyed it once, never again disobey any call within you, to do His will. While we mourn our neglect of past calls, our sorrow, which is still His gift and call within us, will draw down His gladdening look, which will anew call us unto Him. Pass we by no call which, however indistinctly, we may have, and He will cheer us with clearer and glacier calls. Our very sorrow and fear will be our joy and hope; our very stumblings our strength, and dimness our light, while stumbling or in darkness we feel after Him who is our Stay, our Light, our Joy. EDWARD B. PUSEY.
The communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14
I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. — He shall not speak of himself. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. — Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
Grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. — The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we would pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
John 14:16,17. John 16:13,14. Romans 5:5. 1 Corinthians 6:17. 1 Corinthians 6:19. Ephesians 4:30. Romans 8:26.
We know that all things work together for good to them that love God. Romans 8:28
Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain. — Ye thought evil against me: but God meant it unto good.
All things are your’s; whether … the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your’s; and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s. — All things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Psalm 76:10. Genesis 50:20. 1 Corinthians 3:21-23. 2 Corinthians 4:15-17. James 1:24.