Recommended Resources: September 28, 2020

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Date: September 28, 2020

Book Recommendation from a Pastor

Before You Open Your Bible by Matt Smethurst

Recommendation by Pastor Francis Chow

How would you describe the relationship between your life and the Bible? Even though we are constantly exhorted and reminded about the critical role of Scripture in our Christian lives, I’m guessing that, like me, it’s still challenging. It’s challenging to always be consistent in reading. Even when we do, it’s challenging sometimes to understand or apply what we’re reading. There are many practical steps that we can take to grow in getting the most out of our time in God’s Word such as studying hermeneutics, context, or theology.

I appreciate Matt Smethurst’s book, Before You Open Your Bible, because he addresses an aspect of reading our Bibles that we can easily neglect—not just head knowledge, but heart postures. Do we open our Bibles prayerfully, expecting God to speak? Do we remember that the Bible is God’s self-initiated, gracious revelation to us? Do we recognize that the Bible is something meant to be studied diligently? These are some of the helpful questions that this book poses that prepare our hearts to hear from God, even before we dive into the text itself.

In particular, I appreciated chapter 8 on our need to approach the Bible communally. It grew my thankfulness for others who can help show me the truth of Scripture in different ways, especially pastors who help the flock understand and apply God’s Word.

This book is a short, easy read and would serve as a helpful discipleship resource as you read the Bible together with someone else. For example, you could read one chapter each day and try to apply that idea to your Bible reading for that day, and I trust that God will shape your heart to better receive and delight in the treasure chest of His Word.

 

Articles

7 Tips for Reading the Bible with Another Person

At times, reading your Bible may be hard, but you don’t have to do it alone. Sometimes it can be beneficial to read the Scriptures with another person. Here are some practical tips and blessings from enjoying God’s Word with another.

Holy Is Who You Are: A Missing Weapon in the War Against Sin

Having a biblical understanding of our identity shapes our pursuits and provides hopes during hard times. This article outlines ways we fight sign and seek Christ, because as saints redeemed by God, that is what have been made holy.

Wisdom and Knowledge

If we want to be wise as Christians in this world, we need the knowledge of God contained in God’s Word.. There is no way to microwave our maturity than to be devoted as students of the Scriptures.

The Blessing of (Good) Authority

We don’t have an issue with authority when it’s our own. We bristle when someone else’s authority encroaches on our own. But if we submit to God’s authority and see it as good, it gives us a framework for how to wield our own and be grateful when we see the benefit that can come from good authority.

In Praise of Uncomfortable Friendships

We often measure our friendships based on how well we get along with another person. While this indeed can be a blessing, we also need good friends who will care more about Christ and our growth than keeping our relationship comfortable. 

Becoming an Old Soul Christian

It is easy to get swept up with the latest fad, even in the Christian context. Yet we know God is our constant. He is our anchor and we can build our life on Him. Maybe we continue to be refreshed by HIs sustaining grace.

 

Music

Praise Him – The Village Church Worship

God is always God. He is worthy of praise. This song has us consider the manifold reasons we have for exalting Him.

Psalms LP

The Psalms were meant to be sung. Robbie Seay Band does us a service by putting melodies to the rich theological truths contained in the Psalms and invites us to participate in raising our voices to God.

 

Miscellaneous

Separation of Church and State?

As an addendum to Pastor Kim’s last sermon, Jonathan Leeman elaborates on the meaning of separation of church and state. This will provide further incentive in understanding our role as Christians as citizens on earth and, ultimately, citizens in heaven.

A New Podcast—Luther: In Real Time

Reformation Day is a month away. What better way to prepare than subscribing to this new podcast which walks you through the life of Luther leading up to his 95 theses and the aftermath of his courageous conviction.

Nothing Compares with Christ | Ep. 8 – Looking Unto Jesus | Paul Washer

In typical Paul Washer fashion, we are exhorted to look to Christ. There’s no better advice during a season where so many other lesser things are vying for our attention.