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Basic Facts About the New Testament

The books of the new testament are titled in some older copies of the bible as “the Last Will and Testament of Jesus the Christ.” This part of the bible is comprised of 27 books penned by at least nine inspired writers (ten, if Paul was not the penman for the letter to the Hebrews). These books divide naturally into four basic sections, which deal with the gospel record (Matthew-John, which record the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus),…

An “Inspirational” Passage From Inspiration

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Tim.3:16-17) 2 Timothy 3:16 is one of the more recognizable passages in the New Testament. It is “the” text most often cited to affirm the “inspiration” of the Bible. The word inspiration in the common vernacular is defined as “the process that takes place…

Is the Gospel Still Relevant Today?

For the past two years there has been one unread text message on my phone. It is from August 7, 2018. My brother in Christ, Brandon, sent a message that simply says “Thanks!”. I met Brandon just a few days before that. He had met a Christian businessman in central Texas who moved out to San Angelo. After finding some online resources and studying for himself, Brandon reached out to his friend who reached out to me. Brandon was a…

Learning to Trust God

In his classic novel, Robinson Crusoe (1719), author Daniel Defoe has his leading character, Crusoe, cast upon a deserted island off the coast of South America following a violent shipwreck. For more than 28 years he languished under conditions that most would consider unbearable. On a certain occasion, however, the isolated Englishman reflected upon his circumstances — perhaps more deeply than he ever had. Defoe has Crusoe say: “I sat down to my meal with thankfulness, and admired the hand…

Revealing Truth

In a recent study, we considered the account of Isaac’s dwelling among the Philistines. During this time he concealed the truth of his relationship with Rebekah (Gen. 26:1-16). From the patriarch’s dishonesty, we noted that truth concealed is a friend of fear, robs men of freedom, and puts men in jeopardy. From the same text, we also learn valuable lessons about the truth when it is revealed. First, the truth revealed is restrictive. After learning that Isaac and Rebekah were…

Concealing Truth

Of the Old Testament patriarchs, Isaac is the most obscure. Outside the writings of Moses, Isaac’s name is found only 21 times in Scripture. Ten of these reference family lineage, five God’s covenant with Abraham and his sons, and two are figurative uses of his name for the nation. Apart from Abraham offering Isaac as a sacrifice, few know anything about his life. From a rarely read chapter about an obscure event in the life of the least discussed patriarch,…

Big Lessons From a Little Book

Of all the minor prophets Obadiah might be the most minor of them all. Keep in mind that this designation is neither about rank nor importance. The term “minor prophet” is simply a nickname earned by the sheer volume and length of these books. Of the 12, Obadiah is the shortest. This one chapter, 21-verse book is not only shorter than the other 11 Minor Prophet books, it’s the shortest book in all the Old Testament. There are a few…

A Spotted Speckled and Ring-streaked Faith

Animal husbandry is noted early in the Bible (Gen. 4:20). The most well-known Old Testament characters were keepers of livestock. Abraham (Gen. 13:5), Jacob (Gen. 37:12), Moses (Ex. 3:1), and David (1 Sam. 16:11, 19; 17:!5, 20) were all involved in animal husbandry. One of the most peculiar accounts in the history of the Patriarchs involves the animal husbandry of Jacob (Gen. 30). From this event in Jacob’s life, we learn the importance of a spotted, speckled, and ring-streaked faith.…

Saving Time?

In an 1895 Letter to the Editor in the Journal of Paris, Ben Franklin suggested a new system of sleeping and waking based on the sun rather than clocks. That same year New Zealand entomologist, George Hudson, proposed a two-hour time shift to allow himself more time to hunt bugs in the summer months. In 1902, William Willet recommended the British Parliament move clocks forward to “prevent the nation from wasting daylight.” But it was not until World War I…

Encouragement in Prayer

David’s trust in God as his Protector and Deliverer enabled him to overcome seemingly insurmountable difficulties. When his son Absalom became his greatest enemy (2 Sam. 15-18), David turned to God for encouragement. Psalm three is a lament for the increased troubles and discouragement of the deposed king (Psa. 3:1, 2; cf. 2 Sam. 16:7, 8). But David’s lament turns to praise as his trust in God lifts him above one of the darkest hours of his life. From Psalm…

Trusting in the Lord to Overcome

The treachery of his son Absalom (2 Sam. 15-18) occasioned David’s writing the Third Psalm. While this psalm has special relevance to a particular time in the life of King David, it also serves as a great inspiration for our faith as we endure the trials and tribulations in our own lives. David began this psalm highlighting the in-crease of troubles and the great discouragement that was cast his way: “Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are…

The House of The Lord

People often travel to faraway places and visit the ruins of kingdoms and empires that once were. But imagine witnessing ancient Egypt during the age of the Pharaohs or walking through the city of ancient Babylon during the days of Nebuchadnezzar. Even more awe-inspiring would be attending the gladiatorial games at the Colosseum or the chariot races at the Circus Maximus. Or what could com-pare to witnessing the grandeur of Trajan’s Forum with its shops, vendors, library, law courts, and…
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