Category Archives: Bible

Is your Bible Straving for Attention?

Quite a few people asked for “A Bible’s Diary” from Sunday morning’s sermon. Every place I found it online listed it as author unknown (if anyone know whom the author is, please let me know so I can give credit). Thank you to whomever wrote it. Here is the piece: • Diary of a Bible:
January: A busy time for me. Most of the family decided to read me through this year. They kept me busy for the first three weeks, now I am not as busy.
February: Someone used me for a few minutes last week. He had an argument and was checking references.
March: Grandpa visited us. He kept me on his lap for an hour as he read and studied.
April: I had a couple of busy days. The dad in my house was appointed a leader of something and used me to take his oath of office. Oh btw, I went to church for the first time this year – I love Easter!
May: I have a few grass stains on my pages. Someone pressed some flowers in me.
June: I look like a scrap book, I am stuffed full of clippings. One of the girls got married and before the wedding they looked up 1 Cor 13.
July: They put me in a suitcase today. I guess we are off on vacation. I wish they would leave me at home. The table is more comfortable than staying in this case for the rest of the month.
August: Back home, but still in the suitcase.
September: They finished unpacking and put me back on the table with two new books: True Stories and Funny Stories. I wish they read me as much as they do those books.
October: They used me a little today. One of them sick. Right now I am shined up and in the center of the table . . . an elder must be coming by.
November: Back on the table under the magazines.
December: Christmas is coming. Once they clear all the wrapping paper off of me, they may take me to church again.

This make you think, doesn’t it . . .

– Scott

1 Comment

Filed under Bible

What If . . .

When I was in elementary school at Escambia Christian School a local church puppet team would come every so often and perform during chapel. I do not recall all their shows, but one sticks in my mind – well part of it. The narrator posed the question, “What if . . ? Then the puppets would act out scenes depicting a “what if” scenario. The one particular thought I remember is this: A puppet dressed as Col. William Prescott commands his army at Bunker Hill, “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes.” As the patriots sit and wait, the British soldier puppets march in wearing sunglasses. I still laugh (at least chuckle) when I remember that scene.

But what if . . .

  • What if today were your last day?
  • What if the Lord were to return today?
  • What if? Would you be ready? Would you know without a doubt that you would spend eternity with Him in heaven?

1 John 5:13, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” We can know. We can have confidence.

Yet our sin separates us from God. My sin separates me from God and your sin separates you from God. (Isa 59:2). We need a way back to God. That way is His Son – “Jesus said to him, ” I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). When we are in Christ we can have confidence in our home in heaven.

Are you in Christ? Consider the words of Paul, ” . . . for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ ‘s, then you are Abraham’ s offspring, heirs according to promise.” (Gal 3:26-29 emphasis added by me – BSMc).

What if you gave your life to God today?

– Scott

2 Comments

Filed under answers, Bible, gospel

What Do We Know About

This morning on the way to the study, Lisa Mason on Birmingham’s 106.9 FM had the following “nearly impossible trivia:” –

The average person does this 15 to 20 times a month.  Most answers varied between eating out and washing hair. The correct answer was . . . drum roll please . . . quote lines from movies.

I started thinking. Do I know more movie lines than I do Bible passages? As a preacher, I hope the answer is, “No.” But I do quote movies, especially “The Princess Bride” a lot.  So I want to give you a test.  There are twenty fill-in-the-blank questions.  The odd ones are from movies and the even ones are Bible verses.  Which do you know best?  Don’t cheat on either one – no Googling, no Bibles or Bible apps.  Use your memory. Bonus point if you know the book, chapter and verse.

  1. “I’m going to make him an _______________ he can’t refuse.”
  2. “In the ________________ God created the heavens and the earth.”
  3. “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in _________________ anymore.”
  4. “You shall have no other _____________ before Me.”
  5. “Go ahead, make my ________________.”
  6. ” . . . _______________ this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
  7. “E.T. ________________ home.”
  8. “The Lord is my ________________; I shall not want.”
  9. “Round up all the usual _____________________.”
  10. “_____________ God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”
  11. “You’re gonna need a _________________ boat.”
  12. “My people are ______________ for a lack of knowledge.”
  13. “Houston, we have a ____________________.”
  14. “Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who _________ the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
  15. Stricker: “Surely you can’t be serious.” Rumack: “I am serious and don’t call me _______________”
  16. “But seek __________ the kingdom of God and his righteousness . . .”
  17. “I feel the need, the need for _________________”
  18. “For in Christ we are all children of God by _______. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
  19. “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, ______________ to die.”
  20. “If we have died with him; we will also ____________ with him;”

So, how did you do?

– Scott

7 Comments

Filed under Bible, Bible Study

Church Growth the Bible Way

 

The last couple of posts cover church growth and congregational friendliness, today I want us to open the Book of Acts and see how the early Church grew.  Let’s just call this what it is: Church growth the Bible way.ipad 016

A quick survey of the book of Acts in the Bible and you quickly realize that the early church grew. No they increased, make that multiplied. Look at the early chapters and the growth of the church:

  • Acts 2:41, 47; “So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. . . . And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
  • Acts 4:4; “But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.”
  • Acts 5:14; “And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women,”
  • Acts 6:1, 7;”Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. . . . And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.”
  • Acts 8:4, “Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.”
  • Acts 9:31, “And the church in Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.”

There it is! The is a simple Biblical formula that made growth possible.
1. They had peace. Not peace with Judaism. Not peace with Rome. Not peace with the world. Definitely not peace with Satan. But peace with God through Christ and therefore with each other.
2. They were being built up. Encouraged, edified, taught by God’s word and by each other’s example.
3. They walked in fear of God. Yes, fear as in reverence and awe. But also fear as in “this is Creator who spoke the world into existence and who caused the immediate death of two who lied to His Spirit (cf. Acts 5).”
4. They walked in the comfort of the Holy Spirit. They had the promise of Acts 2:38-40. They understood the seal of guarantee that Paul talks of in Ephesians 1:13-14. Their spirit in tune with His produced the fruit of Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.
5. All this lead to the final words of this verse “it MULTIPLIED.”

How is the church growing where you are? Are you part of the problem or the solution?

– Scott

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible, church growth

Lead Me Not Into Temptaion, I Can Find The Way Myself.

Each and everyone of us faces temptations in one or more areas of our lives. I do not know what tempts you to pull away from or hide from God, but there is something, and you know what that something is. So does our enemy the devil! He knows my weaknesses as well as yours, and he will find a way to get you thinking about that something. Temptation may be a terrible subject for a Thursday morning, yet on the other hand this may be a good subject as we near the weekend.

There is good news; whatever temptations you face, you can win the battle to resist. Here are five (5) things that will help you and I win the battle against temptation if we will remember them.

photo credit: The Rocketeer via photopin cc

photo credit: The Rocketeer via photopin cc

  1. Remember that we are part of a SPIRITUAL Kingdom. Paul reminds us in 2 Cor 10:3-6 that our weapons are not physical because we battle in a spiritual arena. God gives us the armor we need to do this battle if we will but take it up and put it on (Eph 6:10-18). When I face physical temptations, remembering I am a citizen of a spiritual kingdom, will help me keep focus.
  2. Remember TEMPTATION is NOT SIN. Our Savior faced temptations (Matt 4:1ff) yet he faced them without giving in and did not sin (Heb 4:15). We cannot let tempting thoughts take root or make safe harbor in our minds / heart. When such thoughts enter, we must push them out and not act on those thoughts.
  3. Remember that sin is NOT REALLY PLEASURABLE. Advertisements, movies, and magazines all make sinful behavior appealing; Satan knows how to deceive. But whatever pleasure sin produces is temporary, transient, or passing. The Hebrew writer reminds us that Moses chose rather to suffer mistreatment with God’s people that to enjoy the “fleeting pleasures of sin” (Heb 11:25).
  4. Remember that God does NOT tempt. Take a look at Jas 1:13-15. Our own desires pull us into sin, the things that John calls “all that is in the world” (1 Jn 2:15-17).
  5. Remember that Temptation is Powerful. Some will fall as we learn from David with Bathsheba, Solomon and all his wives, Adam and Eve, and so many others in recorded Biblical history. One way to avoid falling into a sinful behavior is to avoid situations that tempt us. If David had been where he should have, he would not have seen Bathsheba, if Eve had walked away, well you get the point.

Just a few more quick observations for you when you face temptation:

I pray this helps you.
-Scott

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible, Christian living, Grace, sin

When Tragedy Strikes: Why do bad things happen?

From Thursday’s blog:

Many times when storms or tragedy strike, we find ourselves asking a question similar to this, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” I am not sure that anyone can satisfactorily answer that question for everyone. But the Bible does give us the answer, an answer that requires a strong faith and strong foundation.

I find it interesting that Jeremiah asks a similar question in Jeremiah 12:1, “Righteous are you, O LORD, when I complain to you; yet I would plead my case before you. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive?” In other words, “Why do good things happen to bad people?”

There is a quick answer to the question “Why do bad things happen to good people?” from Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5:43-45, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

But what are the reasons bad things happen to good people?

Today we begin an answer.

First Bad Happens Because we Live in a World Cursed by Sin. We read in Genesis 1:31 at the end of God’s creation that in the beginning all was very good including mankind. Then only a couple chapters and a short while later

ABC 3340 Cullman Sky Cam Tornado 04.27.2011

ABC 3340 Cullman Sky Cam Tornado 04.27.2011

mankind sins against God and that sin brought its curse. Turn to Genesis 3:16-24, “To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.”

Because of man’s sin, pain and suffering entered his experience. Because of his sin, toil and sweat entered man’s world. Because of his sin, sorrow and death became a reality to mankind. The serpent was correct, Adam and Eve now understood (knew of) the good they had and the evil that resulted from their listening to him.

Because of sin, God removed man from the Tree of life. The Tree of Life was for Adam and Eve their source of immortality. Now without access to the Tree of Life both disease and the  pain of deterioration become known to them. Now even nature becomes an agent of potentially bad things. Death can now come to man via animals, accidents, bacterial infections, or viral infections. No person after Adam and Eve is immune.

Consider what the Preacher says in Ecclesiastes 9:2-3 , “It is the same for all, since the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil, to the clean and the unclean, to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As the good one is, so is the sinner, and he who swears is as he who shuns an oath. This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.”

Consider also the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:22, “For as in Adam all die . . .”

Bad Happens Because we Live in a World Cursed by Sin.

We will consider a second reason on Monday’s Morning Drive.

– Scott

4 Comments

Filed under Bible, tragedy

Journey Through Mark – 12

What a great journey we are on together. I am looking forward to each time we walk with Jesus. Today’s trek opens our eyes to more of the opposition Jesus faces and we see His ability to answer with loving truth. We also see more about the importance of our heart. As we journey in Mark 12, we witness the following events:

  • Mark 12:1-12 – The Parable of the Tenant Farmerslove
  • Mark 12:13-17 – Paying Taxes to Rome
  • Mark 12:18-27 – The Resurrection of the Dead
  • Mark 12:28-34 – The Greatest of Commands
  • Mark 12:35-37 – The Son of David
  • Mark 12:38-40 – The Danger of Showy Religion
  • Mark 12:41-44 – Two Coins in the Coffer

Let’s stop and listen again to Jesus answer the question about the Most Important Commandment. Jesus’ answer is that there are two important commandments of which there are no other that are greater than these two: 1) “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:29-30). 2) “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” Mark 12:31).

  1. Love God with ALL Your Heart. The heart is in their understanding, the part of you that feels. It is your emotional seat. You are to love God like you love your spouse, children, parents, and grandchildren.
  2. Love God with ALL Your Soul. Soul is from the Greek word “psyche.” This word describes the whole of Human essence – our breath or life. The soul is everything that we are.
  3. Love God with ALL Your Mind. This is the seat of intellect. Loving God is more than a feeling it is a thinking and rational adventure.
  4. Love God with ALL Your Strength. This is what you can do. Love God with your abilities and energies. Love Him until you have nothing else to love Him with and then love Him more.

This thought crosses my mind: If Loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength is the Greatest Command; then “What is the greatest sin?” Would it be failing to love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, soul, mind and strength?

The Second Command is to love your neighbor as yourself. There are two keys to following God: Loving God completely and loving mankind earnestly. (cf. 1 John 4:19-21).

If loving God is the most important command, how do I love God? John says to “Walk in His commandments” (2 John 6). That is we are to do His will. Which would include obeying Him according to His terms (cf. Mark 16:15-16), worshiping Him according to His authority (John 4:24), and living for Him daily (1 John 1:7 – walk daily in the light; 1 John 2:15-17 – love God and not the world)

If the second command is to love my neighbor, how do I love my neighbor? The obvious answer is: as I love myself. It means putting the interest of others before my own. Is not that the example Jesus gave in life and in death?

-Scott

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible, Christian living, Jesus, Love