How often have you heard someone say (or have you said it yourself)? "Well, umm, I know that I should be reading my Bible every day. I really want to, really I do! Really, I mean it." There is the guilt plainly laid out. However, feeling guilty about not reading the Bible doesn't make that person actually read the Bible.
Deep calls to deep. By going deep we are not referring to knowledge. Rather, we are talking about going deeper in our relationshipw with one another. Developing deeper relationships with other men. "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." It is only as we learn to openly and confidently bare our souls and open our lives fully to our brothers that we can learn to go deeper.
There seems to be a way of thinking nowadays that thinks that we are to ask God for help by closing our eyes and speaking to God, either silently or out loud. Then ask God in our mind or with our voice for help. Some people may "pray" in this way for days, weeks, months, or many years, often with no affect.
Time and again I've heard various preachers and other Christians say "the Bible clearly says....." Now stop, think a minute. What are they really saying. When someone says the words "the Bible clearly says..." it is usually in the middle of a discussion or speach where they want to prove that he (the speaker) is right. For example one might say, "the Bible clearly says that women are to submit to their husbands" OR, on the other side, another might say, "No, the Bible clearly says that both are to submit to one another."
I've gone to various churches for countlelss years. I've heard many sermons. The focus of each message seems to boil down to a few specific things. Although it is very subtly worded, it basically says, "In order to be saved, you have to believe some very specific things (the correct doctrine). God is a great and wonderful loving God. If you believe these things, and say this specific prayer, then You can go to heaven when you die. (and it just so happens that this "correct doctrine" so happens to be the same as "we" (the church) believe.
We all make mistakes. But if we fix out mistakes immediately it's almst as though we never made the mistake. This weekend we had gone camping on a friend's property. When we had finished camping and departed for home I left my camera at my frien's house. After we had arrived home my friend called and told me that I had left my camera at his house. He offered to drop if by my place after work on the next day. With that I began to think about how my camera would then be left in his car all day.
We just got back from camping this weekend. We have a friend who we've known from church for about 7 or 8 years. Last weekend he had made his 12 acres available to the church for a camping weekend. Previous to the weekend he had spend countless hours mowing fields (to be used for parking and camping) pruning back many trails, hauling tables and chairs from the church, setting up a volleyball court and other games. However, it turned out that there were other church events happening during this same weekend.
There has been much talk today about whether or not the Bible is the Word of God, whether or not the Bible is inerrant, authorative, the final authority in all things relatiing to faith... In this post I won't address any of those issues. The one issue I will address is if the Bible is reliable. But, before we can attempt to answer that question we must examine what we mean by reliable. First, let us look at what the dictionary says about the definiton of reliable:
It seems that whenever I decide to develop a character trait in me that God brings a lot of circumstances into my life to test my resolve and to make it real in me. For instance, the latest principle is to do everything without grumbling and complaining . But how does one do that? So I have just been trying to refrain from grumbling but I still feel the grumblies within me .
Men want meaning and significance of their lives, however they often don't know how to achieve it. They think that they have to do something grandiose or that they have to make themselves look good or they try to win it by good personality . All those things are meaningless dribble. True meaning and significance can only be achieved by being real and honest about who you are and what you are doing. It is in learning to connect with people in a real and meaningful way, putting aside all pretense of trying to look good or trying to be the best.