February 15, 2016

Finished Reading the Bible!

Posted in Personal impact/anecdotes tagged , , , at 12:00 am by sanguinemare

After reading the Bible (almost) every day for the last ~7 years, I’ve finally done it, as of a couple days ago!  This is a pretty huge milestone for me, since I’ve always wanted to actually have read through all of the Word to know what it actually says.  There are definitely some books that confuse me (not sure why Song of Songs is in there, for example, and still not fully resolved with how I feel about Job or Revelations), but I feel a little better about understanding the history of God’s people and how we are to live life, as well as to recognize when someone is taking Biblical words out of context, or claiming something is in the Bible when it’s not.  While I obviously cannot remember everything in the Bible, I do think it is important for all who profess to be Christians to take the time and try to read through it all at some point in their lives, just to have a better grasp of who God is and what’s going on.

Anyway, just wanted to share that milestone, and to encourage people that yes it can be done!  Even if it takes years to accomplish!  (Some days, I literally only read 1 verse to write about, because I was just too exhausted and/or that was it in the section).  Good luck!

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February 14, 2016

Quotes from Today’s Service

Posted in Personal impact/anecdotes, Sunday school/service tagged , , , , , , at 7:12 pm by sanguinemare

Here were some quotes that really hit me from today’s service (and one from a previous week) – underlined parts are just my own emphasis:

“Men will never worship God with a sincere heart… until they properly understand how much they are indebted to His mercy.” – John Calvin

“Legalistic remorse says, ‘I broke God’s rules,’ while real repentance says, ‘I broke God’s heart.‘” – Tim Keller

“For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.” – Ezekiel 18:32

Reflecting on these, I think the common theme is men’s hearts, or more specifically, the state of my own heart.  I’ve been on a bit of a spiritual low lately, and these were a good reminder to reflect how cold my heart has become, and that maybe part of that is in not fully appreciating God’s Mercy and Grace to us.  Which perhaps is also why I often find myself on the legalistic side of Tim Keller’s quote, where I feel bad about breaking God’s rules, but maybe not to the level of understanding that it’s deeper than that.  Breaking God’s rules is not just something a naughty kid has done to a parent, but rather, something that breaks God’s heart because He knows that this path is one that will be of heartache to me, and I am doing it of my own volition.  Sin is breaking us both from the potential that He has given us to be, and the ability to draw near to Him, and both of those break His heart.

The last quote I think is helpful encouragement, in light of all this.  It’s a reminder that God is not simply the wrathful God that people so easily brush Him off to be, in the Old Testament especially – the one who just wants to see people burn and die – but rather he is a loving God who wants people to repent of their sins, to turn to him, and thus, to truly live.