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Archive for December, 2018

Dusty-Bible-350x350

It’s my goal in 2019 to read the Bible from cover to cover – from Genesis 1 through Revelation 22 – again. My plea is that you would join me. It’s a great discipline to begin and maintain.

Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” It’s indispensible to the Christian life. Much of the confusion we see in the church and in the world is a direct result of a lack of biblical knowledge as well as a lack of submission and obedience. Regular Bible intake will help solve that problem.

I’ve been using the 5 Day Plan for the last three years and it’s worked well for me. You can find it here. Ligonier lists around ten plans, all of them excellent and with different degrees of difficulty.

What’s the best read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year plan? The one you use!

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Merry Christmas!

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” (Luke 2:8-15)

Christmas wouldn’t be complete without this:

May you truly understand the significance of what took place a little over two thousand years ago – the incarnation of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas from Karen and me!

 

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declaration

Sunday, December 9th, the Chinese Communist government arrested one hundred members of Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, China. Other arrests have taken place since then. Among those arrested were Early Rain’s senior pastor Wang Yi and his wife Jiang Rong. They have not been heard from since their arrests. Wang Yi is a well-known and influential pastor, both inside and outside of China. Since February, the Chinese government has ramped up its crackdown on the Chinese church (yes, even those churches who are registered). Good information can be found at China Partnership, Steve Childers’ website, China Aid, and World magazine. All of these sources have reported that persecution has spread to other churches, pastors, and schools.

Several months ago, Pastor Wang Yi wrote a letter to to his church in the event that he was detained for more than 48 hours. It’s called “My Declaration of Faithful Disobedience,” and you should read it. After you’ve read it, pass it on to others so they can read it. We in the United States need this kind of wisdom and maturity. You can read his declaration here.

The last elder of Early Rain Covenant Church, Li Yingqiang, wrote this letter to the church hours before he was arrested, on the subject of how the church should respond to persecution.

Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in China, that they would remain faithful, obedient, and bring glory to God.

Please pray also for the the church here in America. We need this kind of wisdom and thinking.

 

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Well-Driven Nails

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“The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd.” (Ecclesiastes 12:11)

Tony Reinke is tired of apologizing for God. In an interview with Drew Dyck, he says God isn’t a kitten; He’s a tiger and we dare not be bored with Him. We can easily be bored with a “god” we can control and who is safe. You can read it here.

“The essence of theology is grace; the essence of Christian ethics is gratitude,” according to R.C. Sproul. His article in Tabletalk explains how appreciation for God’s grace inevitable leads to gratitude, love, and service. It’s a good, short read.

I absolutely love this story! In “An Open Letter to the Preacher Writing a Sermon,” Lewis Allen makes this simple point: grace is very often slow. Then he illustrates it through a man named Neil.

Jordan Standridge gives ten lessons we can learn from the life of John Chau, the young missionary who was recently killed as he attempted to make contact with a remote tribe in India. You can read it here.

The Bible doesn’t pay much attention to our feelings. Michael Kelley explains why here. We shouldn’t ignore our feelings, but we can never act upon them or judge truth by them.

 

 

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