Sep 112016
 

At the beginning of June we left the people of Israel at the edge of the land that God had promised to give them.

Moses, the man chosen by God to lead them out of Egypt and the one who had faithfully led them for 40 years, was dead and the people were on the brink of a new chapter in their story.

They had a new leader, Joshua, but the promise was an old one – they were to enter the land and to possess it.

And, from tomorrow (12th September 2016)  we’re going to pick up their story by working through the book of Joshua – and journey with them as they face the challenges of living in this new land. Many stories of success, but stories of failure and lack of obedience to God as well. Stories that encourage, stories that really challenge our thinking and understanding.

Deuteronomy leaves us with a note of confidence – in God and with the leader He has chosen:

Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses. Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, (Deuteronomy 34:9–10)

In the first chapter we see God’s promise to be with them.

joshua-1v9

Let’s see how it works out.

Jul 212016
 

Having just completed reading through Job we are now (starting tomorrow – 22nd July) turning our attention to two books in the Bible which tell the story of Jesus and the early church – both written by Luke (a doctor and sometime companion of Paul) to provide an accurate account of what happened while Jesus was alive and immediately after He returned to heaven.

Luke introduces his first book with these words:

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eye witnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. (Luke 1:1–4)

And he introduces his second book:

In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. (Acts 1:1–2)

So the book of Acts is presented as the “sequel” to the Gospel and telling the story of what Jesus continued to do – after His return to heaven – through his apostles and the power of His Spirit.

We will see stories of the birth of Jesus, a very little of His early life, His public ministry culminating in His death and resurrection. And we will see how the work that He started continued on as the church was born and started to grow. It is all centred around the person who died and was powerfully brought back to eternal life.

lk 24v6-7

As we read let’s be prepared to be challenged as we are confronted (again or for the first time) with the person and work of Jesus.

Jun 042016
 

This is a quick update for those following – or interested in – the #BCaD project.

For those not familiar with it, it is the challenge of reading a chapter from the Bible each day (Bible Chapter a Day) and posting about it on social media – a summary, a thought it sparked, a key idea.

Dave introduced it in October 2015 and since then we have worked through the five books of Moses – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy – as well as Matthew’s Gospel.

We’re not going straight through the Bible from beginning to end but alternating between the two Testaments and different genre.

I was speaking with Dave earlier this week and he asked me to take over BCaD scheduling – something I am very happy to do.

Bible Backgrounds Galatians

Our next book is Paul’s letter to the church at Galatia. This is the first of Paul’s letters we will have done and my plan is to work through them in the order they were written. Recognising that there is some disagreement over the order of the letters (and which were actually written by Paul himself) I’m going to follow the chronology from the revised edition of the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (page 699) which has:

  1. Galatians
  2. 1 Thessalonians
  3. 2 Thessalonians
  4. 1 Corinthians
  5. Philippians (ISBE actually splits this into two but we’ll do it in all together!)
  6. 2 Corinthians
  7. Romans
  8. Colossians
  9. Philemon
  10. Ephesians
  11. Titus
  12. 1 Timothy
  13. 2 TimothyBible Backgrounds Job

After Galatians we’ll move on to the book of Job – which explores, among other things, the sovereignty of God and questions about suffering.

Follow on social media using the hashtag #BCaD or join in with writing your thoughts and reflections.