Pay Attention to What You Hear

As I read prayerfully through the book of Mark, it often seems as if Jesus is speaking directly to me.  In Chapter 4, two statements caught my attention.  This first is:

“And he (Jesus) said, ‘Pay attention to what you hear:  with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.  For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.'”
Mark 4:24-25

Jesus had been telling parables to a large crowd, and then further explaining the meaning to the twelve disciples. He wants them to not only hear what He is saying, but understand it and apply it.  It makes me wonder, how often do I fail to pay “hear” the plain words of Scripture?  How often does my mind wander during the sermon?  How often do I fail to read a passage before our Sunday School or Tuesday morning Bible study?  How often do I not bother to study something on my own because I as so “busy”?  Not always, but often enough.

I take Gods’ Word for granted.  It will always be there for me.  Nobody will ever try to prevent me for reading it.  My Bible will never be confiscated.  I can always get to it tomorrow.  If I fail to listen, or to read, there will be time later.  Of course, I don’t know this to be true.  Persecution could come, or I could die.  I should be paying attention TODAY because it’s the only time I can be sure I have.

Not only that, these verses tell me a little more.  If I don’t bother to really listen the Word, my understanding will not only fail to grow and mature, it will wither.  I’ll be left with a childish understanding that is difficult to apply to adult life.  I’ll have become a practical pagan.

The time is now.  The words are clear.  The results will be good.  Pay attention!

For more lectio divina on the book of Mark see:

Come Here!

Immediately!

We Never Saw Anything Like This!

 

 

 

 

Is God Still Speaking?

I love reading!!!God speaks to us in many ways.  Some people see God in nature;  others in art;  still others in the lives of great saints.  As for me, I’m a word person and God most often speaks to me through words, and the things I am reading.  I don’t think that’s odd.  After all, didn’t God “speak” the world into existence with words?

“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”  Hebrews  11:3

Isn’t Jesus called “the Word”?

  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  John 1:1

Isn’t the Bible, our primary resource for knowing God, His Word?

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.  2 Timothy 3:16-17

This is not to say that there is plenty of unedifying reading material out there.  We have to use discernment in what we select;  but there are a plethora of good choices.  There are Christian writers of every ilk;  there are classics that educate us;  devotionals that feed our souls.  History and historical fiction can inform us; biographies inspire us;  poetry lifts our spirits.

So compose your own reading list.  Ask for suggestions from your Pastor and other Christians.  Take a look at books we’ve reviewed on our blog.  When you find a writer who speaks to you, see what else they’ve written.  Dive into some of those literary classics that bored you in high school or college.  And, of course, don’t forget your Bible.  Try different versions;  buy a commentary or a study Bible, attend Bible study.  God made us creatures who learn, and above all, He wants us to learn about Him.  Don’t miss the opportunities that are out there for you!

Mighty Reader Workbook Grade 1 – Book Review

Author Heidi Cooley takes 13 stories from the Bible, Both in the Old and New Testament and simplifies them in such a way as to make them easily understandable to young students.
Each story is broken down into lessons over a 6 day time period, with one per day. These lessons not only target reading strategies but also reading skills. She also manages to include activities that highlight writing with reading comprehension.
Overall, I think that this is a well-written and designed series. Parents are encouraged to participate in the lessons, which also help in building the child’s character.
Overall I give this book 5 out of 5 stars and fell that it is worth the investment, including in a Sunday School setting.

You may purchase the book at the link below.

https://www.lifeway.com/en/product/mighty-reader-workbook-grade-1-P005803242

 

I was given a free copy of this book for an unbiased review

Interactive Study Blog – Hebrews Chapter 10

For thousands of years, the priests of the temples sacrificed animals to atone for our sins. I cannot imagine how many animals were killed, but because they were not the perfect sacrifice, it never provided the perfect atonement necessary for us. We received the perfect sacrifice from Jesus Christ on the cross. The prior sacrifices were a constant reminder of our sinful nature and that we would never receive the complete atonement we craved. It took our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ, to provide the necessary perfect sacrifice. The moment He did the first covenant was abolished, and the new covenant, the atonement of our sins through the blood of Christ, was installed.

What a wonderful gist He gave us.

God Loves You And So Do I

Michele Edgel

Interactive Study Blog – Hebrews Chapters 8 & 9

Okay so this time I am doing 2 chapters because they seem to need it.

In chapter 8 we are told Jesus was the perfect sacrifice and how because of his crucifixion we no longer have to sacrifice for our sins as per the old covenant. In Exodus (25:40) God tells us that there will be a new covenant coming. When Jesus came and was crucified, that is the new covenant. A perfect sacrifice for an imperfect world.

Chapter 9 goes into the rules of the old covenant in more detail. Now if you have ever read Leviticus (it took me 2 months) the rules and penalties for sin were pretty hard to keep track of.

I can tell you one thing for certain, if I had to sacrifice an animal every time I sinned – there would be no animals left on the planet.

Now God was gracious enough to give us a new covenant, but we didn’t follow the old one. I guess it is a good thing that with the new one we do nothing to receive His salvation.

Well these are my thoughts on these 2 chapters, what do you think? Leave a comment, let me know.

Remember

God Loves You And So Do I

Michele Edgel

Interactive Study Blog – Hebrews Chapter 7

This chapter explains that Melchizedek was such a great priest, that even Abraham gave him a tenth of his plunder. The Bible does not give his genealogy, which is a little unusual, but we can come to the conclusion that he is someone who it regarded in very high esteem. But no matter how great he was he did die, whereas Jesus is the Great High Priest eternally. It goes further to explain that only Jesus can intercede for us with God because He has a pure soul. This just restates the knowledge that only through the Son, Jesus Christ, can we have a relationship with the Father, God.

See you soon for Chapter 8

God Loves You And So Do I

Michele Edgel

Interactive Study Blog – Hebrews Chapter 5

Okay everyone – I am sorry this is taking so long to post between chapters, bear with me, we will get through this together.

In this chapter we are given more information about Jesus as the Great High Priest. At the end of the last chapter, we are introduced to this role of His and how He can sympathize with our weaknesses because, He himself, has suffered and triumphed over the same. We are told that a High Priest is selected among men (Jesus was fully human) and is also selected by God (Psalms 110:4). We are also being told that Jesus learned obedience through His suffering. The chapter ends with a warning that we are to constantly immerse ourselves in the spiritual food of the Word to mature in our faith or we are nothing more than infants in our comprehension of God’s many gifts. We should never let down our guard against evil, for if we do, it will slowly creep in until it permeates the very fiber of our life and faith.

Wow, this is something that I am not really good at. I have been studying the Book of Hebrews, but can I honestly say that I immerse myself on a daily basis? No I don’t, but I can always try to do better. How about you? What do you do to immerse yourself daily in God’s word? I want to know, leave a comment and tell me.

As always, thank yous o much for reading and following this and all the blogs.

God Loves You And So Do I

Michele Edgel

Interactive Study Blog – Hebrews Chapter 4

Here we go folks – Chapter 4 – Thank you for taking this walk with me. I look forward to your comments below.

This chapter opens with God’s promise of rest, but the rest referred to is not a rest from our physical labors, but rest of our soul through His salvation. The writer is telling us that there is still time for us to receive His grace of salvation. We go on to learn that God knows all, sees all and hears all – So, that means when we do things we think we are hiding from everyone – guess what – GOD KNOWS. If, at any time, we think we are pulling the wool over His eyes, we are only fooling ourselves. We may be able to hide things from our fellow humans, but we cannot hide anything from our Father. We are also reminded that Jesus was appointed the Great High Priest and is uniquely qualified to be in this position because He was able to resist temptation and show obedience to His Father. Jesus can provide us with not only immediate spiritual help but can be sympathetic to our problems. Now just to make this statement understood better – Just because Jesus can be sympathetic DOES NOT mean He likes it – Big Difference.

I feel that this chapter shows God’s amazing and gracious love for us.

Thank you God for all your amazing gifts, but especially for the gift of salvation through your Son, Jesus Christ.

God Loves You And So Do I

Michele Edgel

Over and Over

As for myself, let me say that I am a doctor and a preacher.  I am as learned and experienced as any of those who are so presumptuous and confident.  Yet I do as a child that is learning the Catechism.  I read and repeat in the morning and whenever I have time, the Ten Commandments, Apostle’s Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, the Psalms, etc.  I daily read and study the Catechism, and still I am not able to master it as thoroughly as I wish.  I must remain a child and a pupil of the Catechism, and this I do very willingly.

Martin Luther

If Martin Luther was willing to study  the basics of the faith over and over, shouldn’t each of us be willing to do likewise?

Just for (Lutheran) Fun

Yes, Lutherans do have fun!

How much do you really know about Lutherans?  Go to this website and take the quiz, How Lutheran are you?

http://www.gotoquiz.com/how_lutheran_are_you

Tell us how you did!

Don’t know the answers?  Then it is a great opportunity for studying!  Ask your Pastor or other Lutheran friends to help you learn the answers.