Getting the Most from God’s Word: 9 Tips For Better Bible Reading

Be on the lookout for these 10 things as you read:

  1. Repetition of Words/Phrases
  2. Contrasts
  3. Comparisons/Similarities
  4. Lists
  5. Cause and Effect
  6. Figures of Speech – What imagery is being used?
  7. Conjunctions – Especially For, Therefore, & But
  8. Verbs – Past Present, Future, Active, Passive, Command?
  9. Pronouns – Who or what is the subject?

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The Danger of Superficial Distinctions

I. The Dangers of Superficial Distinctions (2.1-7)

My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?

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Seeing Grace in the Every Day. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

12:7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.

To prevent such spiritual pride from welling up in Paul, he was given a thorn in the flesh.

“to keep me from being conceited” – On the bright side, Paul fully understands the purpose of this “thorn” in his life. It was designed to keep him humbly dependent upon God’s grace as he lived and ministered under the gospel. The word conceited implies that that Paul might view himself as better than others, or that he might look down on others because they had not received the same spiritual experience he had.

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Sharing the Good News Well: 10 Principles on Evangelism from 2 Thessalonians 2

  1. Reflect & remember how the gospel has impacted your own life (v. 1).
  2. Know that God has entrusted you with the gospel message (v. 4). There is expectation that you share it. You are capable of sharing it.
  3. The gospel is able to stand on its own (v. 5). There is no need for us to change or update it.
  4. The gospel makes God glorious. Not you (v. 6).
  5. As you share the gospel, don’t attempt to force conversions. That’s the Holy Spirit’s job (v. 7).
  6. The gospel is best shared within the context of shared lives (v. 8). Invest yourself in other people.
  7. Live a life that builds gospel integrity (v. 9, 10). When our lives don’t mirror the gospel and God’s Word, we loose our credibility as we share.
  8. Sharing the gospel is personal (v. 12). Show people you genuinely care.
  9. Use the Bible (v. 13) It changes lives. Let God work.
  10. Rejoice when the gospel is received (v. 13). I have witnessed more applause for the service of the church florist than the repentance of a hardened sinner. This strikes me as inappropriate.

You Can’t Put A Pricetag On Peace

PHILLIPIANS 4.4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

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The Authentic Disciple: The Disciple’s Mission – Matthew 28:16-20

Doesn’t it seem like there’s never anything good to watch on TV these days? The shows you grew up with were probably much more enjoyable than what you see on TV today. Andy Griffith…Happy Days…I Love Lucille… Well, when I was a kid, we had the best TV shows. On Saturdays, it was Fishin’ with Red and Continental Championship Wrestling. But during the week I lived for shows like: Tour of Duty…Knight Rider…Dukes of Hazard…Air Wolf. One of my all-time favorites though has to be The A-Team. They were the best! Especially Mr. T. He wasn’t scared of anything or anybody, unless it involved getting on a plane. Here’s a little bit of a sample…

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The Authentic Disciple: Marks Of A Disciple – Ezra 7:10

Intro:

A few years ago my wife and I went to New York City on a vacation with a couple of friends of ours. The ladies bucket list consisted of an afternoon in Chinatown to shop. After a somewhat frightening shopping excursion in a Dodge Tradesman Santana van, my wife and her friend had some new loot. Their shopping bag – a 13 gallon trash bag.  At this point I notice that every woman in Chinatown is carrying a 13 gallon trash bag full of loot. They were clearly marked. It was unmistakable.

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The Authentic Disciple: Counting the Costs -Luke 14:25-35

A few years ago my wife and I went on a cruise with some friends and one of our stops was in Cozumel, Mexico, where my wife and her pal had planned to stock up on new diamonds for their wedding rings. In one of the shops we visited, my wife’s friend found a beautiful, large diamond, it came with a price tag of about $5,000! The salesman immediately discounted the ring for his new customer, to the tune of, let’s say, $1000. Our friend immediately became excited, but I looked at her husband and said, “That thing is a pile of junk.” Why? Things that are valuable cost something, because they’re worth something.

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A Leader’s Wisdom

Introduction

Who might you consider to be one of the world’s greatest leaders? Why?

We see great leaders throughout church history as well. The Bible contains many stories of leaders who God used to do incredible things. We tend to glamorize leaders sometimes, but we must remember that these men and women are, like us, flawed in areas. None of us are perfect, thus none of us are perfect in leadership. Moses was one of those. Moses displayed great leadership through his service to the Lord and leading the people of Israel. However, he wasn’t perfect and needed assistance as well.

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