23 July 2012

Something Borrowed

Had a great time at camp this past week!  Perhaps a post on that later.  For now, here are some notes from my Bible reading this morning.

In recording the events of Passover night, Exodus 12:35-36 says, “And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: And the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.”

Twice the Israelites were instructed to borrow silver and gold and raiment from their Egyptian neighbors when the Lord freed them from Egypt’s bondage (Exodus 3:22; 11:2).  According to the passage above, that’s exactly what they did on the night of the Exodus.

I’m certain I’m not the only one who finds the wording a bit odd. 

09 July 2012

Good is Not Enough

While on the boys’ trip, Brother James gave a devotion from this passage in Luke 21:24-26 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.  And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.  Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

He said it’s almost unfair for young people in our churches where the Bible is actually taught and there is some kind of expectation that as Christians we would at least attempt to live by what it says.  It is unfair in the sense that in almost any other church, the average young person in our church would be held up as a stellar example of a godly youth on the basis of all the things that he or she doesn’t do.  Our young people, as far as we know, don’t go to bars.  They don’t drink beer.  They don’t do drugs.  They aren’t involved in criminal activity.  They aren’t involved in immoral activity. 

We probably don’t do enough to express our appreciation to our young people for the fact that they don’t do those things.  But reading and studying the Bible and trying to do what pleases God, we are left with no other choice than to keep pointing out that if your Christianity is defined by all the things you don’t do, then it’s not enough to keep the devil from finding a place in your heart (Ephesians 4:27).

02 July 2012

Why God's Word Is So Important

Our pastor preached a classic sermon yesterday evening from Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth… (click here to listen).

There were two aspects of the message that stood out to me, especially.  First of all, the Ephesians 6 passage cross-references to 1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober… as well as Luke 12:34-35 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning.

So the two areas in which we must gird our loins with truth (God’s word; John 17:17) are (1) our thoughts and (2) our desires.  We often talk about allowing God’s word to govern our thoughts; allowing to rule over our lives; to light our path; to dictate our decisions; and so forth.  But what does that mean?  How does that work?

01 July 2012

Wycliffe Discovery Center

Took a group of kids to the Wycliffe Discovery Center in Orlando this past Tuesday.  Found out about it when perusing the Wycliffe website for missions class ideas.  Very glad we decided to make the trip.  The staff (several of whom volunteer) were all engaging and enthusiastic about presenting their burden for missions, and in particular Bible translation.  The kids all had a great time, and we all came away having learned something (which, they told us, was one of the rules).  

The first thing we did was get a couple of brief biographical lessons on John Wycliffe (the first man to translate the Bible into English) and Cameron Townsend (the founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators).  The rest of the morning was what they called an “A to Z Adventure.”  They split our group into smaller groups and moved them through various learning centers: language, culture, crafts, music, geography, and prayer.  All of this was focused on the country and people groups of Ethiopia, many of whom do not have ANY Bible portions in their language. 

After a break for lunch, each group moved systematically through the interactive museum, looking for answers in a scavenger hunt format. 

If you’re in the Orlando area, I would definitely recommend a visit.  I’ll be looking into taking a group of teens in the near future. 

DISCLAIMER: Wycliffe Bible Translators is NOT an Independent Baptist or KJV-only organization.  The music is a bit more bouncy than most of us believe is appropriate.  I decided on the trip anyway because (1) the focus in on missions, not modern English versions; (2) the music was a very small part of the program; (3) I don’t think our kids are at risk of being confused by the difference in our position on these two issues, if they even noticed. 

If you are interested in a similar type of ministry with a Bible-believing, Independent Baptist perspective, please see the website of Baptist Bible Translators Institute (BBTI) in Bowie, TX: http://www.baptisttranslators.com/.