Interesting Facts About Mark

October 30, 2012

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(Taken from “The Essential Bible Companion,” written by Walton, Strauss, Cooper)

•For its length Mark relates more miracles of Jesus than the other gospels.
•Mark delights in a literary device known as “intercalation,” where one story is interrupted by another and the two mutually interpret each other. See the examples in 5:21-43 and 11:12-25.
•The motif of amazement is common throughout Mark, as people marvel at Jesus’ astonishing words and deeds.
•Most scholars think that Mark was the first gospel written and that Matthew and Luke used his gospel and other sources when they wrote.
•Some think Mark himself may appear in this gospel, that he is the young man who fled naked in the strange episode related in Mark 14:51-52. Unfortunately there is no evidence to prove or disprove this.

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Daily

October 28, 2012

Daily Bible reading is to your spiritual life what daily eating is to your physical life.


Decisions

October 25, 2012

20121025-000939.jpg(Teacher: Tim LaHaye)

Life is filled with decisions—little ones, big ones, and many in between. When the principles of God are well-known to a Christian, this simplifies the process of decision-making. That’s what Scripture means when it says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). The principles of God serve as a guide in reaching decisions.


The Difference Between Reading And Studying

October 21, 2012

“When I study the Bible, I prepare myself to talk to others. When I read the Bible, God talks to me.”
D. L. Moody


Bible Study Will Give You Joy

October 20, 2012

(Teacher: Tim LaHaye)

One of the blessings of the Christian life is joy, but often that joy is stifled by the problems of life. Our Lord said, “These things have I spoken unto you that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11). If you read the writings of mankind or look at the problems that surround you, your joy will turn to fear, dread, or sometimes depression.

During a financial recessionary period I attended a meeting of the church board of trustees. As I listened to the men talk it sounded like the Lord had gone out of business—all they did was forecast gloom, doom, and despair. Finally I asked, “What have you men been reading lately?” They replied, “The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News and World Report, The San Diego Union,” etc. So I replied, “You’ve been reading the wrong material!” It is the Word of God that puts joy in our heart regardless of the circumstances.


When Bad Things Happen To A Good Person

October 13, 2012

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Introduction to Job
(From the NIV Student Bible)

When Bad Things Happened to a Good Person
Nobody suffered more; nobody deserved it less

“Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” (Job 1:8)

How could it happen? All at once the world came crushing down on a single innocent man, a man named Job. It was the ultimate in unfairness.

First, raiders stole his belongings and slaughtered his servants. Then fire from the sky burned up his sheep, and a mighty wind destroyed his house and killed his sons and daughters. Finally, Job came down with a horrible, painful disease. What did I do to deserve such suffering?, he wailed.

A Cosmic Contest
The book of Job reads like a detective story in which the readers know far more than the central characters. The very first chapter answers Job’s main question: he had done nothing to deserve such suffering. We, the readers, know that, but nobody tells Job and his friends.

Unknown to him, Job was involved in a cosmic test, a contest proposed in heaven but staged on earth. In this extreme test of faith, the best man on earth suffered the worst calamities. Satan had claimed that people like Job love God only because of the good things he provides. Remove those good things, Satan challenged, and Job’s faith would melt away along with his riches and health.

God’s reputation was on the line. Would Job continue to trust him, even while his life was falling apart? This is the crucial question of the book: Would Job turn against God?

Job’s wife mocked him, “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!” (2:9). His friends were even crueler: they argued that Job was being punished, that he fully deserved the tragedies crashing into his life. For his part, Job struggled to do what seemed impossible: to keep on believing in a loving, fair God even though all the evidence pointed against such a God.

Job on Trial
It helps to think of this book as a courtroom drama, full of long, eloquent speeches. For most of the book, Job sits in the defendant’s chair listening to his friends’ harangues. He knows no airtight refutations; what they say about suffering as punishment seems to make sense. Yet he also knows, deep in his soul, that they are wrong. He does not deserve the treatment he is getting. There has to be some other explanation.

Like all grieving persons, Job went through emotional cycles. He whined, exploded, cajoled, and collapsed into self-pity. He agreed with his friends, then shifted positions and contradicted himself. And occasionally he came up with a statement of of brilliant hope.

Mainly, Job asked for one thing: an appearance by the one Person who could explain his miserable fate. He wanted to meet God himself, face to face. Eventually Job got his wish; God did show up in person. And when God finally spoke, no one — not Job, nor any of his friends — was prepared for what he had to say.

When We Feel Like Job
Sooner or later we all find ourselves in a position somewhat like Job’s. Our world seems to crumble. Nothing makes sense any more. God seems distant and silent.

At such moments of great crisis, each one of us is put on trial. In a sense we become actors in a contest like the one Job went through. This book records every step in that process with unflinching honesty. Job’s life stands as an example to every person who must go through great suffering.


What God Wants

October 13, 2012

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