Bible studentHere we go with week #4. Hope you are all keeping up with your commmitments. Do you have a “Bible Reading Buddy?” I encourage you to find one, maybe family or friend, to hold you accountable and to interact with. I count all of you my reading buddies, because if I forget to post your schedule, I’m sure you’ll let me know (and I have to read ahead to do it well). Speaking of interaction, I would really like to hear your thoughts and insights, either in response to a question given, or in relation to other things in the week’s readings. Be blessed!

Category 1 – NT – Gospels

  • Day 1 – Matthew 8:1-13
  • Day 2 – Matthew 8:14-22
  • Day 3 – Matthew 8:23-34
  • Day 4 – Matthew 9:1-13
  • Day 5 – Matthew 9:14-26
  • Day 6 – Matthew 9:27-38

For category 1 readers , your question for possible reflection, application and comment on the blog is this: Consider Jesus’ sharing of the gospel message, calling disciples unto Himself in 8:18-22. Obviously He did nothing wrong, but people were turned away. What applications for church life and personal evangelism can you make?

Category 2 – NT History & Epistles

  • Day 1 – Acts 11:1-18
  • Day 2 – Acts 11:19-30
  • Day 3 – Acts 12
  • Day 4 – Acts 13:1-25
  • Day 5 – Acts 13:26-52
  • Day 6 – Acts 14

For category 2 readers , your question for possible reflection, application and comment on the blog is this: Peter’s denial of Christ, and Jesus’ gracious restoration of Peter is familiar to most. Consider the lessons Peter should have learned in Acts 10, described again in chapter 11, and compare it to his actions described in Galatians 3:11ff. What happened, and in what way can these events encourage and strengthen you?

Category 3 – OT Poetry & Wisdom

  • Day 1 – Psalm 18:25-50
  • Day 2 – Psalm 19
  • Day 3 – Psalm 20
  • Day 4 – Psalm 21
  • Day 5 – Psalm 22:1-11
  • Day 6 – Psalm 22:12-31

For category 3 readers, your question for possible reflection, application and comment on the blog is this: Consider the ways that God’s Word works on your heart according to Psalm 19. To encourage others, share a praiseworthy fruit of God’s word “changing” something in your life in one of the ways the Psalmist lists (like, “making wise the simple,” “enlightening your eyes,” or “rejoicing your heart”).

Category 4 – OT Historical & Prophetic

  • Day 1 – Genesis 41
  • Day 2 – Genesis 42-43
  • Day 3 – Genesis 44-45
  • Day 4 – Genesis 46-47
  • Day 5 – Genesis 48
  • Day 6 – Genesis 49

For category 4 readers, your question for possible reflection, application and comment on the blog is this: As I read the account of Joseph (which is my favorite OT account) it is very clear that Joseph had an abiding trust and hope in the goodness and sovereignty of God. But I have always wondered whether God was honored by the manner in which Joseph played on his brother’s emotions and fears. What do you think and why?

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About Brian Sayers

Brian has been an elder, and staff pastor, at Christ Community Church since September of 2000. He is a 1998 graduate of The Master's Seminary (M.Div).

2 Comments

  1. BethC on January 30, 2008 at 6:26 am

    On Matthew- Many people were drawn to Christ, yet repelled by his message- that He was the Son of God. They loved the miracles- the tricks etc. If Jesus just did His miracles and healed people etc. without claiming to be God, He would have been loved by everyone. For me, it made me realize that people may admire Christ in me (how I behave- steadfast, not emotionally turbulent etc.), but have no idea that it is Christ in me. They may not have known what I was like before I was a believer. We may have a good testimony- or at least what we let people see,which may be very attractive to people, but it is not the same as preaching the gospel. If no one is ever repulsed or offended by us, we may not be doing a very good job of preaching the gospel. Of course, we should preach in a manner that is not repulsive, but gentle and respectful- even if it is just a little at a time. Let the gospel be the only thing that is offensive.

  2. LydiaThorburn on January 31, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Hey,

    I know that this doesn’t really have anything to do with our Bible reading but I wanted to share this with you. It was one of those chain email thingys but it’s so worth your while to read it! Here it is:

    Science vs. God

    ‘Let me explain the problem science has with Jesus Christ’ The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.

    ‘You’re a Christian, aren’t you, son?’

    ‘Yes sir,’ the student says.

    ‘So you believe in God?’

    ‘Absolutely.’

    ‘Is God good?’

    ‘Sure! God’s good.’

    ‘Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?’

    ‘Yes.’

    ‘Are you good or evil?’

    ‘The Bible says I’m evil.’

    The professor grins knowingly. ‘Aha! The Bible!’ He considers for a moment.

    ‘Here’s one for you. Let’s say there’s a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?’

    ‘Yes sir, I would.’

    ‘So you’re good…!’

    ‘I wouldn’t say that.’

    ‘But why not say that? You’d help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn’t.’

    The student does not answer, so the professor continues. ‘He doesn’t, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer
    that one?’

    The student remains silent.

    ‘No, you can’t, can you?’ the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.

    ‘Let’s start again, young fella Is God good?’

    ‘Er…yes,’ the student says.

    ‘Is Satan good?’

    The student doesn’t hesitate on this one. ‘No.’

    ‘Then where does Satan come from?’

    ‘From…God…’

    ‘That’s right. God made Satan, didn’t he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?’

    ‘Yes, sir.’

    ‘Evil’s everywhere, isn’ t it? And God did make everything, correct?’

    ‘Yes.’

    ‘So who created evil?’ The professor continued, ‘If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.’

    Without allowing the student to answer, the professor continues: ‘Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?’

    The student: ‘Yes.’

    ‘So who created them?’

    The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question. ‘Who created them? There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized.

    ‘Tell me,’ he continues onto another student. ‘Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?’

    The student’s voice is confident: ‘Yes, professor, I do.’

    The old man stops pacing. ‘Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?’

    ‘No sir. I’ve never seen Him’

    ‘Then tell us if you’ve ever heard your Jesus?’

    ‘No, sir, I have not.’

    ‘Have you ever actually felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelled your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?’

    ‘No, sir, I’m afraid I haven’t.’

    ‘Yet you still believe in him?’

    ‘Yes.’

    ‘According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?’

    ‘Nothing,’ the student replies. ‘I only have my faith.’

    ‘Yes, faith,’ the professor repeats. ‘And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.’

    The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of his own. ‘Professor, is there such thing as heat?’

    ‘Yes,’ the professor replies. ‘There’s heat.’

    ‘And is there such a thing as cold?’

    ‘Yes, son, there’s cold too.’

    ‘No sir, there isn’t.’

    The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain.

    ‘You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don’t have anything called ‘cold’. We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest –458 degrees. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You
    see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can
    measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.’

    ‘What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?’

    ‘Yes,’ the professor replies without hesitation. ‘What is night if it isn’t darkness?’

    ‘You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it’s called darkness, isn’t it? That’s the meaning we use to define the word. In reality, darkness isn’t. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?’

    The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester. ‘So what point are you making, young man?’

    ‘Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.’

    The professor’s face cannot hide his surprise this time. ‘Flawed? Can you explain how?’

    ‘You are working on the premise of duality,’ the student explains. ‘You argue that there is life and then there’s death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we
    can measure. Sir, science can’t even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.’

    ‘Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?’

    ‘If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do’

    ‘Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?’

    The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.

    ‘Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavour, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?’

    The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided.

    ‘To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean.’

    The student looks around the room. ‘Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor’s brain?’ The class breaks out into laughter.

    ‘Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor’s brain, felt the professor’s brain, touched or smelled the professor’s brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir. So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?’

    Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable.

    Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. ‘I guess you’ll have to take them on faith.’

    ‘Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,’ the student continues. ‘Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?’

    Now uncertain, the professor responds, ‘Of course, there is. We see it everyday. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These
    manifestations are nothing else but evil.’

    To this the student replied, ‘Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God.
    God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.’

    The professor sat down.

    What do you think about that?

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