Christianity 201

September 25, 2020

From Grazing in a Field to Feasting at a Table

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:33 pm
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The Lord is my shepherd…
…You prepare a table before me…
Psalm 23

Sometimes the search for new authors to introduce here takes me to some rather unusual places. Rabbi Pesach Wolicki serves as Associate Director of the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding & Cooperation in Jerusalem www.CJCUC.com. In the title for the post from which today’s quote is drawn, he asks the question, Since When do Sheep Sit at a Table?

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies

This is the standard translation of Psalm 23 verse 5. A glance at one of the numerous Bible translation websites that provides lists of all the many translations shows very little difference from this exact version. However, a close and careful reading of the Hebrew original of this verse reveals that not only is this standard translation imprecise; but the deeper meaning of the verse is lost in these translations.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

The Hebrew word NEGED does, in fact, usually mean “in the presence of” it also means “opposite” or “against”. In other words, NEGED often implies a confrontational stance. The fact that this nuance is what is intended in our verse is clear from the phrase before it:

You prepare a table before me

The word for before me – LEFANAI – also means “in front of” – but not ever in a confrontational way. If our verse meant that the Lord provides a table before me, which is also in front of my enemies, the same word should have been used for both. The choice to change from one word to another tells us that the implication and connotation of the two words is different.

Complicated? Let me sum this up and make things simple.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; can easily be understood as a kind of peace offering. A table is set before me and my enemies for us to sit together and peacefully resolve our differences. But the change from LEFANAI – before me – to NEGED – opposite / in front of tells us what is really going on. To understand further we must understand what preparing a table means in Scripture.

From there he continues looking at the table imagery — I encourage you to read the full article — and also the phrase which follows, about anointing with oil. Then he returns to the earlier topic.

…I’d like to draw our attention to a remarkable transition that took place in our Psalm. And we may not have noticed.

Remember the beginning of the psalm when the Lord was described as a shepherd? Well, if the Lord is a shepherd, then we are sheep. In fact, in verse 2 the psalmist refers to himself grazing in green pastures. This is not exactly something most humans would find too appetizing. The Hebrew word in verse 2 for “He lays me down in green pastures” YARBITZEINI is actually a word that refers throughout Scripture only to animals laying down. (e.g. Genesis 49:9,14; Exodus 23:5)

In other words, in the opening verses of Psalm 23 we are sheep and the Lord is a shepherd.

And then here in verse 5 we are sitting at a table. We are drinking from a cup. What happened to the animal imagery? Since when do sheep sit at tables and drink from cups?

But it is this transition that teaches us deeper lesson of Psalm 23.

At times we are as fully dependent and as clueless as sheep. This is not a very mature relationship with the Lord. We are sheep. We wander. We seek comfort. Our goals are not much beyond food and a comfortable place to lay down or drink. Sheep are not beasts of burden. They do not serve the shepherd or bear any of the burdens of his work. They are selfish beings who are being cared for. The Lord’s relationship to us is focused on keeping us safe and well fed.

But this is not the ideal relationship to God. There is a higher, more meaningful relationship to Him. We are no longer sheep. We are human beings created in His image. We are aware. We battle our enemies. We defeat them with the help of the strength and confidence that God provides for us. He does not do all the work. We are his anointed agents to defeat evil.

 

August 11, 2016

Yet

Today we’re paying a return visit to A Simple Christian. The author is unnamed, but is a pastor at Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos. Ca. You may click the title below to read this at source.

17 For though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit appears on the vine, Though the yield of the olive fails and the terraces produce no nourishment, Though the flocks disappear from the fold and there is no herd in the stalls,  18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD and exult in my saving God. 19 GOD, my Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet swift as those of deer and enables me to tread upon the heights.  NABRE – Hab 3:17-19

Yet – 3 Powerful Words of Powerful Faith.

Anything done out of love is important, however small it might appear. God has come to us, even though we are miserable creatures, and he has told us that he loves us: “My delight is to be among the sons of men.” Our Lord tells us that everything is valuable—those actions which from a human point of view we regard as extraordinary and those which seem unimportant. Nothing is wasted. No man is worthless to God. All of us are called to share the kingdom of Heaven—each with his own vocation: in his home, his work, his civic duties, and the exercise of his rights.

Nothing is wasted!   What marvelous words are uttered by St Josemaria!

Words that resonate with the Habbakuk’s conclusion of his book. Let me paraphrase!

“Life Sucks!  YET I will rejoice in the Lord! YET I will exult in my saving God!”

For as our souls, our very lives are entrusted to Him (something the Holy Spirit does, because Jesus paid the price to make it happen on the cross!) everything has meaning, and we begin to see how all things can indeed work for good, for those who love God.

That’s a hard thing to trust God for, especially when we think of him as the deists did in the centuries following the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment.  Because they couldn’t trust the God they couldn’t see, they reasoned he left town,  Because they couldn’t understand that God was there in darkest points of history, they assumed he wasn’t there, and that He didn’t care and abandoned those He promised to walk with, those He promised to support, and heal, and strengthen.

Nothing is wasted.

Man is that hard to hear! For there has been much that I can’t count as beneficial without coming to the same conclusions.  Where are you, my God?  Why did You abandon me?  Why did I have to go through this?  Why do I see it repeated?

Nothing is wasted.

Not even the times of emptiness.

Not even the times where I cry out in anger, in pain, in fear.

Those words talk of dependence, of the greatest level of what we call faith.  The point where rock bottom we realize He is hear, and just go, “Lord, I can’t anymore, all I have to cling to are Your promises, the promises I can’t believe are true for me.

“Yet, I abandon myself to you, I will depend on what I can’t see, what may be beyond my logic, but what you promise is real.

“You are here… I can see that today…when I couldn’t last week, and may struggle next month to see it.

“You are here!”

So I will praise You, So I will rejoice in a God who wrote those promises through prophets, and etched them in the hands of His Son.

Yet… a powerful word.

One I need to pull out and use… often.


April 25, 2016

God Won’t Give You More Than You Handle?

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:31 pm
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I’ve linked and reblogged material from Stephen Altrogge many times at Thinking Out Loud, but this is the first time we’ve borrowed his material here. He is one of my favorite bloggers, even though we come from rather different doctrinal tribes, and I think this is the best refutation of a popular Christian belief (mostly based on a misreading of I Cor. 10:13) that I’ve seen. To read this at source, click the title below:

There’s A Good Chance God Will Almost Kill You

When someone is going through a tough time we like to say, “Don’t worry, God won’t give you more than you can handle.” It sounds nice and is semi-inspirational, kind of like saying, “Whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger!” Kind of a Christian bootcamp, I’m in the Lord’s army, suck it up fella you’re gonna make it, saying. God won’t give you more than you can handle! You’re going to get through this! Bite the bullet, buckle down, suck it up, push through, dig deep, unleash your animal, huzzah, hip hip hooray.

One slight problem with this line of thinking: God will often give us more than we can handle. In fact, there will be times when God practically kills us.

In 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 Paul said:

For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.

God nearly crushed Paul and his apostolic companions. He allowed them to be so afflicted, so burdened, so overrun, so overwhelmed, so beaten down that death seemed like a real possibility. He brought them to the end of their resources and then kept pushing and crushing and grinding until Paul and his friends felt they were under a sentence of death. Did God give Paul more than he could handle? Yeah, I guess you could say that. God nearly killed Paul, and there will be times when he does the same thing to us.

Why does God do this? Is he some sort of sick sadist who enjoys tormenting helpless men and women? No, not at all. God burdens us beyond our strength so that we will be forced to utterly and completely depend on him. God gives us way more than we can handle so that we’ll stop trying to live a self-sufficient life apart from God. He brings us to the brink of death so that we’ll rely on the One who can raise the dead.

When we’re overwhelmed, beaten down, and worn out, we’re in a good place. We’re finally seeing ourselves as we truly are: weak, helpless creatures who desperately need God. When we acknowledge our pervasive weakness we can then receive the overwhelming, sustaining, empowering, conquering grace of God. When we put our face in the dirt before God we’ll discover the spring of His grace running just under the surface.

If you feel overwhelmed don’t take comfort in your ability to handle it all. Don’t try to figure out how you’re going to make it through the darkness. On your own you won’t make it. You can’t handle life. It’s too hard and too heavy and too oppressive. But we serve a God who causes old women to give birth and gives life to dry bones and raises the dead. Run to God in your weakness and bone-tiredness and despair. Rely wholly on him. Throw aside any foolish confidence you have in yourself. Drink deeply of his overwhelming, overflowing grace.

Will God give you more than you can handle? You better believe it. In fact, he might almost kill you. But he brings us to the brink of death so that we’ll trust in his ability to raise the dead.

 

April 2, 2016

Unmitigated Faith

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:33 pm
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Today we pay a return visit to the blog Forward Progress, written by Michael Kelley. I spent several minutes reading different things he has posted lately and encourage you to do the same by clicking the title below and then clicking the “blog” tab at the top of his page. I found this one very powerful.

One Phrase That Clarifies the Nature of Faith

What is faith?

Is it a feeling? Is it based in intellect? Is it a gift? Is it a choice? “Faith” is one of those words that we use frequently, but it’s often difficult to actually define. Fortunately, the Bible does that defining for us:

“Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

That’s the definition. But couched in that definition is the recognition that faith is only as good as the object of that faith. I read at one point Tim Keller describing a scenario like this:

“The faith that changes the life and connects to God is best conveyed by the word “trust.” Imagine you are on a high cliff and you lose your footing and begin to fall. Just beside you as you fall is a branch sticking out of the very edge of the cliff. It is your only hope and it is more than strong enough to support your weight. How can it save you? If your mind is filled with intellectual certainty that the branch can support you, but you don’t actually reach out and grab it, you are lost. If your mind is instead filled with doubts and uncertainty that the branch can hold you, but you reach out and grab it anyway, you will be saved.

Why?

It is not the strength of your faith but the object of your faith that actually saves you. Strong faith in a weak branch is fatally inferior to weak faith in a strong branch.”

This quote clarifies the nature of faith. Faith does not guarantee a certain outcome in a given situation, because ultimately faith is dependent on the object of that faith. For the Christian, faith is about trusting God and His character to do what is good and right and true, even if that outcome does not appear to be good and right and true to us.

There is a phrase, from a story in the Bible, that further clarifies the nature of faith. This single phrase moves us past thinking of faith as triumphalism where if we believe strongly enough then we will get the outcome we desire.

Here’s the phrase:

“Even if He does not…”

Remember the story? Let me take you back to the scene where thousands upon thousands of loyal subjects bowed before a golden statue, either because they revered their leader, or they feared the proclamation he had made – that anyone who did not bow before his idol would be thrown into a furnace.

Three figures stood apart, starkly visible in the midst of the crowd of those who has prostrated themselves. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not bow, and they were called on the carpet for it. After being given one more chance to change their minds, and knowing the consequences of their stand (literally), they responded with that statement:

“Nebuchadnezzar, we don’t need to give you an answer to this question. If the God we serve exists, then He can rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He can rescue us from the power of you, the king. But even if He does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up” (Daniel 3:16-18).

“Even if He does not,” they said. And with those 5 words, the three faithful Hebrews pointed out that ultimately, our faith is not dependent on our circumstances; it’s dependent on the character of God. That we trust not so that we can achieve a certain desirable outcome, but because we believe God is trustworthy and will do the right thing on our, and His, behalf.

This phrase reminds me of another moment in time, with another faithful Hebrew, who also knew that faith was grounded in God’s character. This Faithful One knelt before His Father, knowing that He, too, would soon face His own circumstance of pain. And kneeling there in the garden, He prayed for deliverance – that the same God who allowed not one hair on the heads of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to be singed would once again intervene. But at the same time, He expressed His unwavering faith in the God who does what is right, all the time, knowing that even if He does not, the outcome would still be the best. So Jesus, too, prayed:

“Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from Me—nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42).

And so it was that God, once again, did what was right. Jesus went to the cross. In so doing, He showed us that faith is founded in God’s character, not our preference, and that He always does what is good and right and true, even “if He does not…”

 

November 26, 2013

Dependence on God for Daily Sustinence

Filed under: Uncategorized — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:37 pm
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God Provides

Today we introduce you to a new voice here, Pastor Jesus Figueroa, who was born in Tijuana, Mexico and today pastors a 700 member church in Los Angeles. I really like the format he uses, beginning (as we do here sometimes) with a variety of translations, then some devotional thoughts, and then related verses.  I strongly encourage you to read this at his blog, Word for Today,  and then take some time to look at other articles.  Click here to read: Give Me Only My Daily Bread.

Two things I request of You (Deprive me not before I die):Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches— Feed me with the food allotted to me; Lest I be full and deny You, And say, “Who is the Lord?” Or lest I be poor and steal, And profane the name of my God.

Proverbs 30:7-9 (NKJV)

3rd Devotional Most Read; (Origanally posted 11/25/12)

Daily Reading Plan

Dan 7:1–8:27, 2 Thess 1:1– 12, Job 41:21–34

Bible Versions:

Proverbs 30:7-9 (MSG) 7-9 And then he prayed, “God, I’m asking for two things before I die; don’t refuse me— Banish lies from my lips and liars from my presence. Give me enough food to live on, neither too much nor too little. If I’m too full, I might get independent, saying, ‘God? Who needs him?’ If I’m poor, I might steal and dishonor the name of my God.”

Proverbs 30:7-9 (NIV) “Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

Proverbs 30:7-9 (NLT) O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die. First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.

Thoughts of Devotion:

As we read this portion of Proverbs we see a great example of a model prayer. The psalmist asks the Lord to guard him from the extremes in life. His request is that the Lord only gives him his portion of daily provision. No more, no less! Imagine for a moment, praying to God to not give you more. This sounds a bit irrational, someone might ask, “Why pray those prayers?” Even if we begin to meditate closely on our prayers, I’m scared to say that very few follow this prayer. But I firmly believe that these prayers are the ones that will free us from greed. At the root of it all, the psalmist understood the danger in falling blindly into one of these extremes of life. The two extremes, abundance and famine. We must understand this morning that God has his set and balance provision for us, so we may be protected from covetousness in our life.

The prayer of the psalmist reminds me of the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples saying, “Give us this day, our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). Understand a clear truth, when one prays as Jesus taught, this frees us from coveting what we don’t have. On the contrary, we can give thanks to God for always faithfully providing what we need. In other words, our needs not wants!! In my opinion this is praying without covetousness in our hearts.

We must decide this morning to trust in God. Psalms 37:25 says, “I have been young, and now am old;

Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.” God never forsakes you, HE can surely, without a doubt supply all your needs. There’s no need for us to have to worry, or even fall into covetousness just to desire more things, we really don’t need. On the contrary, the danger is in having so much that we might fall into the pride of auto-sufficiency and sadly forget about God.

Let us pray to the Lord today that we may see life with the eyes of Jesus. A perspective where we live with contentment. The abundant life that Jesus offers us on a daily basis. Not dominated by obtaining more, or complaining for not having enough. A life where we are grateful for what we have today. I invite you this morning to raise praise to God in gratitude for his daily provision in your life. Thank you Lord!

Foundational Scriptures:

Matthew 6:11 (NKJV) 11 Give us this day our daily bread.

Job 1:21 (NKJV) 21 And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

2 Corinthians 6:10 (NKJV) 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

Ecclesiastes 5:10 (NKJV) 10 He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver;Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity.

Mark 4:19 (NKJV) 19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

Deuteronomy 8:12-14 (NKJV) 12 lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them;13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; 14 when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage

December 28, 2012

Continue to Come as a Child

Oswald ChambersIn our generation the most enduring devotional resource has been My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers. Many years ago a bookseller named James Reiman undertook to rewrite the entire book in more modern language, so that the type of sentence construction employed all those years ago wouldn’t be a barrier to people getting to the depth and riches of the material.

A year ago we ran a few Oswald Chambers Quotations, and  you can read a short biography of him here,  and also at Wikipedia.  It’s worth noting that Chambers never “wrote” My Utmost, rather, after his death his wife, who was a stenographer, transcribed notes from his talks.

The sample devotionals below are from the website utmost.org  and are the  readings for yesterday and today. Click the calendar page on the site for the permanent links to each.

Where the Battle is Won and Lost

’If you will return, O Israel,’ says the Lord . . . —Jeremiah 4:1

Our battles are first won or lost in the secret places of our will in God’s presence, never in full view of the world. The Spirit of God seizes me and I am compelled to get alone with God and fight the battle before Him. Until I do this, I will lose every time. The battle may take one minute or one year, but that will depend on me, not God. However long it takes, I must wrestle with it alone before God, and I must resolve to go through the hell of renunciation or rejection before Him. Nothing has any power over someone who has fought the battle before God and won there.

I should never say, “I will wait until I get into difficult circumstances and then I’ll put God to the test.” Trying to do that will not work. I must first get the issue settled between God and myself in the secret places of my soul, where no one else can interfere. Then I can go ahead, knowing with certainty that the battle is won. Lose it there, and calamity, disaster, and defeat before the world are as sure as the laws of God. The reason the battle is lost is that I fight it first in the external world. Get alone with God, do battle before Him, and settle the matter once and for all.

In dealing with other people, our stance should always be to drive them toward making a decision of their will. That is how surrendering to God begins. Not often, but every once in a while, God brings us to a major turning point— a great crossroads in our life. From that point we either go toward a more and more slow, lazy, and useless Christian life, or we become more and more on fire, giving our utmost for His highest— our best for His glory.


Continuous Conversion

. . . unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven —Matthew 18:3

These words of our Lord refer to our initial conversion, but we should continue to turn to God as children, being continuously converted every day of our lives. If we trust in our own abilities, instead of God’s, we produce consequences for which God will hold us responsible. When God through His sovereignty brings us into new situations, we should immediately make sure that our natural life submits to the spiritual, obeying the orders of the Spirit of God. Just because we have responded properly in the past is no guarantee that we will do so again. The response of the natural to the spiritual should be continuous conversion, but this is where we so often refuse to be obedient. No matter what our situation is, the Spirit of God remains unchanged and His salvation unaltered. But we must “put on the new man . . .” (Ephesians 4:24). God holds us accountable every time we refuse to convert ourselves, and He sees our refusal as willful disobedience. Our natural life must not rule— God must rule in us.

To refuse to be continuously converted puts a stumbling block in the growth of our spiritual life. There are areas of self-will in our lives where our pride pours contempt on the throne of God and says, “I won’t submit.” We deify our independence and self-will and call them by the wrong name. What God sees as stubborn weakness, we call strength. There are whole areas of our lives that have not yet been brought into submission, and this can only be done by this continuous conversion. Slowly but surely we can claim the whole territory for the Spirit of God.

April 23, 2012

Christian Life is not a Solo Performance

I took some liberties with that title, this appeared at the blog of Justin Buzzard who is lead pastor of Garden City Church in Silicon Valley. Just think, someone in his church may have written the software that allows you to read this. Or maybe not. Anyway, this appeared at his blog under the title, God Is Most Glorified In Us When We Are Most Dependent On Him, and as always you’re encouraged to link.

I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. -Job 42:2

Some of us have been duped into thinking that the Christian life is meant to be lived in our own strength.

We’re Westerners. We like to be strong. We grow up thinking that things depend on us and our abilities. We import all of this into our Christianity, we believe we’re meant to follow Jesus on the basis of our own resources.

In short, we settle for a natural life when we could be living a supernatural life.

God calls his people to live supernatural lives—to live in expectant and full dependency on the living God, believing and trusting that what seems impossible to us is possible with God.

Just as a toddler is meant to depend on his father and mother for everything, we’re meant to depend on our Heavenly Father for everything. Again, we’ve been duped. We thought we were supposed to grow out of this toddler phase. No. The whole of the Christian life is meant to look like the toddler phase in terms of dependency—we are to always depend on God for everything.

Why?

Because God is God and we are not.

To live a natural life is to live a prideful life. When you live life based on your own resources, sight, and strength, you declare that you don’t need God.

To live a supernatural life is to live a humble, thrilling, and God-honoring life. When you live life based on God’s resources, sight, and strength, you declare that God is God and you’re banking everything on his ability to come through.

Abel, Abraham, Caleb, Rahab, Gideon, Daniel, Nehemiah, Mary, the apostle Paul, and the early Christians whose lives are recorded in the book of Acts all lived supernatural lives. Who they are and what they did makes no sense apart from radical dependence on God.

We were never meant to trust in our five loaves and two fish. We are meant to live as though, at any moment, God can turn five loaves and two fish into something we never dreamed of.

Don’t settle for a natural life. Live a supernatural life. Read your Bible and see that that’s the only kind of life we’ve been called to live.

I believe that God is most glorified in us when we are most dependent on him.

To the degree that you live dependent on yourself, you dishonor God. To the degree that you live dependent on God,  you glorify God.

I want to give God a lot of glory with my life. Don’t you?

Let’s repent of our less-than-supernatural way of life. Let’s live supernatural lives. Let’s depend, supernaturally depend, on God.

This is the heart of the gospel. The good news of the gospel comes to us in our complete inadequacy, a message of supernatural grace and transformation for the undeserving. That’s how the Christian life starts and it’s how the Christian life is meant to continue, knowing our inadequacy and Christ’s total adequacy to forgive, satisfy, lead, help, supply, love, and move mountains.

I’m concerned about the loss of faith that moves mountains. I don’t think this is a faith intended for a select few. We know the living God, the God who calls us to live as though he is real, sovereign, near, wise, good, and attending to our prayers.

Could there be anything that the Enemy is more eager to do in the Western world than trick us into living natural lives with smallish faith in a smallish God?

We’ve settled for Me-sized visions for our lives and our churches when we’re meant to move forward with God-sized visions.

I’m done with me-sized living. I don’t know how I got to confusing Christianity with me-sized living, but I did. A few years ago I repented of that and asked God for the grace and power to trust him like he’s meant to be trusted. I’m figuring it out, having fun, and realizing that living a supernatural life is a lot more interesting that the life I once lived.

God is most glorified in us when we are most dependent on him. God is most glorified in us when we are most dependent on him. God is most glorified in us when we are most dependent on him.

Beat that into your head. Beat that into your leadership. Don’t settle for anything less.

~Justin Buzzard

Christianity 201 is a repository of some of the best devotional and Bible Study material in the Christian blogosphere. Selections come from a variety of doctrinal and theological viewpoints. You’re encouraged to read articles at source, and if you like what you read, click that blog’s header to discover more about the writer and consider subscribing.