I really enjoyed writing this guest post! Lamentations is soooo under-rated. Click below to head on over to Guys With Bibles and read it!
Category Archives: Bible
Today I was able to enjoy the teaching of several godly men as they expounded the Scriptures. My church had a Bible Conference with D.A. Carson as the key-note speaker. It was wonderful to learn from him and it reminded me of a statement that someone uttered to me this summer.
“Kimmy, you should be a pastor.”
This statement was a result of me sharing some books/commentaries I had read and what I had learned from them. At the time I just laughed, because we both knew that she and I have very different views on women pastors.
As I thought about it today though, I began to wonder why she said that. Isn’t it possible for girls to have a love of theology without any ambitions to become pastors? Isn’t it right for girls to want to be well-versed in the Word of God and have an interest in Hebrew and Greek roots without wanting to be a church leader? Can’t I be excited to go to a Bible conference and sit under the teaching of learned men or listen to sermons in my FREE time? (Oh, the horror) As I thought about it, I realized I don’t know many (in fact, I’m not sure I know any!) girls my age who love to read books on theology at all. Why is that?
In the first chapter of (you’ll never guess what) When Sinners Say I do (oh, you guessed it? Drat), it talks about how everyone is a theologian. You can either be a good one or a bad one but like it or not, you do have theology. I think it’s important to study the Word and listen to those who preach sound doctrines in order for good theology to take root. If all you ever do is listen to the Christian radio announcers and you take your theology from them, you are going to be in trouble (not to mention overly bubbly).
But, as the book says a little farther on, good theology isn’t dark and mysterious, it is practical. We are “street theologians” as the author puts it. Theology needs to impact our thoughts and actions, our motives and emotions. What we think about God should influence and will influence every part of our lives.
I would encourage more young men and women to do more studying. Search the Bible deeper than what you learned in the Primer Sunday School class. There is always more to learn from the Word of God but we need to get off the milk and get to the meat of it.
“11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5:11-14
The past two years, I have read through the Bible in a year. It works very nicely. It reminds me to do it every day and I like schedules. I decided that this year, I don’t want to do it again. Some days, I don’t think I get as much out of it as I could, since I rush to get through the required amount for that day. I noticed this especially in the OT prophets. The chapters were long and some days I would have to read 3-4 of them.
I decided instead that I was going to do an intensive study on one book. Then I had the difficult task of decided which book. I finally narrowed it down to either John or Hebrews and eventually decided to go with Hebrews. After all, I could always do John next year 🙂
I sent out a message to every pastor I know asking for book recommendations and the response was great! The pastors at my new church eagerly opened their libraries to me and told me to take whatever I wanted.
I am sooo excited! I want to devote all of 2014 to Hebrews and read everything I can get my hands on! I want to listen to every sermon I can find on the book. All in all, it’s an overwhelming task, but I’m taking it one step at a time.
So here’s my prayer for the new year. I want to keep this excitement. I don’t want to get bogged down and lose my focus and determination. I want to learn more about salvation and propitiation.
I want this study to teach me more about my Savior.
There’s a lot of talk these days about believing in yourself. You know, You can do anything if you just believe in yourself and follow your heart. Everything is about self-esteem. People are so badly off because they have low self-esteem and if we could just boost that up, the whole world could unite in peace and harmony. Uh-huh.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think the problem is low self-esteem. As a matter of fact, I think the exact opposite. Do men destroy others because of LOW self-esteem? Was the Holocaust a result of low or high self-esteem? We seem to have no problem of low self-esteem. In fact, humans have a way of pridefully thinking of themselves HIGHER than they ought to. Hence all the follow-your-heart jazz.
Do you know what your heart is? The Bible tells us what our hearts are like in Jeremiah 17:9:
“The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?”
Do you really want to follow something that is deceitful and wicked? Because of the Fall into sin, our hearts can deceive us and we can’t even understand our own hearts.
In contrast to that, there is something, or rather someone, we should follow. As a matter of elimination, it can’t be someone who is human because all humans have hearts that are deceitful. So it must be Someone who is not human. May I offer a suggestion?
(1 John 1:5) This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
(Psalms 5:4) For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you.
(Psalm 18:30) This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
I think I will follow the Lord.
Have you ever noticed that although there are an abundance of boys named David, the name Solomon is much less common. And, to be honest, I wouldn’t name my son Solomon.
David sinned to be sure, but he was repentant(2 Samuel 12:13). The Psalms are full of David’s songs of repentance, even his song of repentance after he sinned with Bathsheba(Ps. 51). David sinned against the Lord, but he confessed his sin, and turned from it. He ended well.
Solomon is a different story. He started well. He made a righteous choice and asked God for wisdom and God added his blessings abundantly upon him. 1 Kings 10:23-25 says this:
“Thus King Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom. And the whole earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind. Every one of them brought his present, articles of silver and gold, garments, myrrh, spices, horses, and mules, so much year by year.”
The other parts of that chapter describe Solomon’s great wealth. Then comes chapter 11:
Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and did not wholly follow the LORD, as David his father had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. And so he did for all his foreign wives, who made offerings and sacrificed to their gods.
And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the LORD commanded. Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. Yet for the sake of David your father I will not do it in your days, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem that I have chosen.”
And the LORD raised up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite. He was of the royal house in Edom.
(1 Kings 11:1-14 ESV)
What a change. It just serves as a reminder to me that there is a difference between starting well and finishing well. I want to finish well.
Several years ago, my Mom read aloud Fanny Crosby’s autobiography to Caroline and I. I was struck by how much of the Bible she had memorized. She knew the Pentateuch, the Gospels, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, and many of the psalms by heart. She often memorized five chapters a week. Wow! Hence, I always smirked when people told me I could memorize Bible verses quickly!
You see, I can memorize about a verse a day. I do it as I exercise on the treadmill. The problem is, if you were to ask me to repeat what I memorized a year later, it would be completely gone. I might be able to stammer through some of the verses, but not a lot of them. I memorize by chapter or book. I repeat the verses over and over again. But, if I don’t recite it constantly, even while I’m memorizing something else, I’ll forget it. So, every once in a while, I come back to that passage and recite it; sometimes I’ll have Caroline listen and stop me if I miss a word. And, yes, I memorize word-perfect. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be as confident when I want to use that verse.
A lot of people ask, “Why all the trouble?” Here’s why: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11
For a more in-depth reasoning, I would recommend this great post by John Piper. http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/taste-see-articles/why-memorize-scripture