Wednesday, August 22, 2012
I'm reading a biography of evangelist Dwight L. Moody in which he is quoted as saying that he doesn't take credit for his successes nor responsibility for his failures. He is not referring to sin in speaking of failings, but things he has attempted to do for God. It seems that the popular Christian attitude is to give God credit for all the good we've done, and to blame ourselves when things don't work out. Maybe we should treat our failures as God's way of saying that everything doesn't always work the way we'd like. We need to stop the blame game and stop feeling guilty. This doesn't mean we stop trying, or become apathetic, but it does mean we stop the self-flagellation. We trust our sovereign God for what we can't understand.
Saturday, August 4, 2012
I've been teaching a Bible study at the Saugus Senior for over ten years. An average of 20 people come each Thursday from various churches in town, very ecumenical group. And we go verse-by-verse through books of the Bible. I've devoted some of the summer to preparing my lessons by reading commentaries and focusing on how to teach (far diffent than sermon preparation) by asking questions of the text and inserting those questions in my lesson plan. I do not lecture; my goal is to bring out a lively discussion and together discover the truth of Scripture and how it relates to today. As I prepare I can't help think how the average believer would benefit from the kind of study I do. Commentaries aren't just for ministers; in fact, there is a whole category of devotional commentaries designed for laity...and which many pastors consult to help them relate deep truth to the average person. In a broken world it is a comfort to get my focus directed to higher principles from the authority of God's revelation. When the world distracts us it is important to re-focus on what is eternal.