Christians need breadth as well as depth as we read the Bible. As we enter a new year, why not resolve to start the habit of reading right through the Bible - not just once this year, but as part of a routine that will feed and sustain you for the rest of your life. Here are 3 tools to help you do so, and a copy of the Bible reading plan I use personally.
As we look at the visit of the Magi in Matthew 2, the obvious lead human characters in the story are Herod, the Magi, and Jesus himself. These are the lead protagonists and antagonists.
Whilst the Jewish priests are more flat, functionary characters, we mustn't miss the contrast Matthew deliberately paints between them and the Magi.
Michael Green comments:
In 1960, C S Lewis published a book entitled The Four Loves. It has become a classic. He explains that there are four different Greek words for our English word "love", and they have different meanings. There is the bond of love within a family, the love of friendship, erotic love, and charity. This latter, translating the Greek word agape (
I was recently asked a great question that made me go away and think awhile.
The question is a simple one: Jesus tells us to love our enemies. The devil is our enemy. So does this mean we should love the devil?
Here's the answer I gave:
That’s a great question. Certainly the devil is called “our enemy” in 1 Peter 5:8.
Let me give several answers, starting with the simplest, getting progressively more involved.
I most recently preached on Matthew 14:24-33 (the story of Jesus walking on the water) in January 2018. There is a debate with this story as to whether Peter's request to join Jesus on the water reflected his great faith and is something we should emulate (we too need to "get out of the boat"), or whether Peter was being foolish and reckless.
On Social Media
"Of making many books there is no end" (Ecclesiastes 12:12)
If that was true when Ecclesiastes was written, how much more true is it in the days of social media. Surely the writer of Ecclesiastes would comment: "Of the writing of opinions on social media, there is no end"!
This fifth talk draws the threads together, and asks how an orthodox understanding of the Trinity is good news for us. We look at how God's power, God's love, and God being knowable all hinge on God being Triune.
This fourth talk focuses on the work of the Holy Spirit, as he draws us into the fellowship enjoyed by Father and Son, so that God's greatest gift is himself as he shares his inner life with us.
This third talk continues to answer the question how there can be 3 distinct persons within the Trinity, and yet one God (rather than three). This week, I explain how the Trinity is a Trinity of 3 equal persons, each fully God, and yet in important ways the Father comes first. It may seem that this diminishes the Son (and the Spirit); in fact, this safeguards the full divinity of God the Son, and ensures that there is one God and not several.