Bible Posts

Good Things Happen to Other People

Do you ever have that feeling that good things only happen to other people? Your friends are the ones who take the cool vacations, your coworkers are the ones who get promoted, your neighbors seem to be getting new stuff all the time?

Much can be said about finding contentment in spite of all that, but have you ever noticed that we often read the Bible the same way? Good things happen to people in the Bible, not to us. Moses parts the sea, David conquers Goliath, Solomon gets to be the rich king, and Peter walks on water. Without realizing it, we can often read things and turn the whole story into a bit of a fairytale since nothing like that happens to us.

Consider the person of Abraham in the Old Testament. Along with Moses, he’s a big deal. Even today he is highly esteemed by Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike. Abraham had his own lucky moment through an unbelievable promise God gave to him. It is repeated often in the text, but we first find it in Genesis chapter twelve.

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Your King is Coming (Easter Thoughts)

Your King is Coming (Easter Thoughts)

This is the week we celebrate all the events leading up to Easter Sunday. It involves what is known as the “triumphal entry” into Jerusalem with Palm Sunday last weekend. Then we have Good Friday in a couple of days followed by Easter Sunday.

Let’s start with the events we celebrate last weekend. Here’s the reaction Jesus got coming into Jerusalem (take note that He was riding a donkey).

Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!  Blessings on the coming Kingdom of our ancestor David! Praise God in highest heaven!” (Mark 11:9-10)

Yet if you know the story, it won’t be long until this same crowd is chanting “crucify him!” (Mark 15:9-15). Which is confusing. How do we get such a swing in response in a matter of days?

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How to Process Election Results like a Christian

How to Process Election Results like a Christian

This post is part of a series looking at misquoted verses of the Bible. Click here to see others.

I’ve been hearing an idea a lot this week. “God is on the throne!”

This comes from Psalm 47:8, and I’d like to suggest it as a misquoted passage: “God reigns above the nations, sitting on his holy throne.” NLT

We often reassure ourselves that “God is on the throne” when the candidate or party we voted for loses. We throw up our hands in despair but encourage one another that this new leader we don’t like can’t do that much anyway.

Or, we use it to separate ourselves from the results. As in, “Who really cares who won, God is on the throne.” This particular usage relies heavily on privilege and the assumption that we are above the consequences of the election. It’s also a coping mechanism that often downplays how we really feel.

Neither of these uses captures the intent of Psalm 47:8.

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Bible Enneagram

Bible Enneagram

Like most people, I’ve taken a number of personality tests over the years. One of my favorites is called the Enneagram. While I don’t necessarily hold the same passion for it that many in the Christian community do (I’ve never done a sermon series on it), I find it helpful. More than the obvious strengths and weaknesses, it shows you what you look like when you are healthy, when you are stressed, and when you are unhealthy. The goal isn’t to be a different number, it’s to be the healthiest version of yourself.

My friend Tyler recently asked me what numbers I’d guess for different people in the Bible. It’s a fun mental exercise that challenges both your Biblical understanding as well as your understanding of the Enneagram system. For those of you who are familiar with the nine different personality types, I give you my very subjective list with an example or two for each number:

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Misquoted Verses of the Bible (Lk. 22:36)

This post is part of a series looking at misquoted verses of the Bible. Click here to see others.

I decided to dust off an older series and share my take on a significant passage that is often misquoted. I’m prompted to blog this after I recently received an email from someone asking for help understanding this passage.

The misquoted passage says: “If you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one!” (Luke 22:36).

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Bible Reading Plan

Bible Reading Plan

Are you one of those people who make New Year’s resolutions each January? If so, you might have considered attempting to read the Bible more strategically this year. For most people that try it, it’s hard to know where to begin and how to tackle it. People usually just pick a plan and then dive in. Depending on which plan you choose, you may get bogged down in some Old Testament section or fall behind in your reading. Either way, you often end up giving up altogether. Raise your hand if you’ve ever been there before. (I see those hands).

I’ve tried tons of different reading plans over the years (and even finished some of them!). Here’s a key lesson I’ve discovered: developing a habit of studying the Bible is more important than completing it in a set amount of time.

I’ve enjoyed different aspects of different plans over the years. Some were more intensive than others. For the first time, I’m offering you a plan I’ve created myself. It’s a variation on one of my favorite plans I’ve done in the past (see: Professor Horner’s Bible Reading System). I love the premise of his plan but it requires reading ten chapters a day. That’s a lot. So I’ve created a modified version that does five chapters a day using his as a starting point.

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