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A Living Document
In memorializing his grandfather’s work, Peter Croft wrote, “It is my deepest desire for the person who picks up their Bible, whatever version they use, to not only understand but experience the scriptures as living documents, just as relevant, dangerous, and exciting now as they were those thousands of years ago.” Peter’s grandfather was J.B. Philips, a youth minister who undertook a new paraphrase of the Bible in English during World War II in order to make it come alive to students at his church.
Like Phillips’ students, we face barriers to reading and experiencing Scripture, and not necessarily because of our Bible…
From Wisdom to Joy
The phone rang and I picked it up without delay. Calling was the oldest member of our church family—a vibrant, hard-working woman who was nearly 100 years old. Putting the final touches on her latest book, she asked some writing questions to help her cross the finish line. As always, however, I soon was asking her questions—about life, work, love, family. Her many lessons from a long life sparkled with wisdom. She told me, “Pace yourself.” And soon we were laughing about times she’d forgotten to do that—her wonderful stories all seasoned with true joy.
Wisdom leads to joy, the Bible teaches.…
Trusting the Bible
Billy Graham, the renowned American evangelist, once described his struggle to accept the Bible as completely true. One night as he walked alone in the moonlight at a retreat center in the San Bernardino Mountains, he dropped to his knees and placed his Bible on a tree stump, able only to “stutter” a prayer: “Oh God! There are many things in this book I do not understand.”
By confessing his confusion, Graham said the Holy Spirit finally “freed me to say it. ‘Father, I am going to accept this as thy Word—by faith!’” When he stood up, he still had questions.…
Sweeter than Honey
During “Chicago Day” in October 1893, the city’s theatres shut down because the owners figured everyone would be attending the World’s Fair. Some four hundred thousand people went, but Dwight Moody (1837–99) wanted to fill a music hall at the other end of Chicago with preaching and teaching. His friend R.A. Torrey (1856–1928) was skeptical that Moody could draw a crowd on the same day as the fair. But by God’s grace, he did. As Torrey later concluded, the crowds came because Moody knew “the one Book that this old world most longs to know—the Bible.” Torrey longed for others…
Decades ago, Dr. Jerry Motto discovered the power of a “caring letter.” His research found that simply sending a letter expressing care to discharged patients who had previously attempted suicide reduced the rate of recurrence by half. Recently, health care providers have rediscovered this power when sending “caring” texts, postcards, and even social media memes as follow-up treatment for the severely depressed.
Twenty-one “books” in the Bible are actually letters—epistles—caringly written to first-century believers who struggled for a variety of reasons. Paul, James, and John wrote letters to explain the basics of faith and worship, and how to resolve conflict and…
The Reason for Writing
“The Lord is my high tower . . . . We left the camp singing.” On September 7, 1943, Etty Hillesum wrote those words on a postcard, then threw it from a train. Those were the final recorded words we would hear from her. On November 30, 1943, she was murdered at Auschwitz. Later, Hillesum’s diaries of her experiences in concentration camps were translated and published. They chronicled her perspectives on the horrors of Nazi occupation side by side with the beauty of God’s world. Her diaries have been translated into sixty-seven languages—a gift to future generations who would read…
Never Give Up
“Time went by. War came in.” That’s how Bishop Semi Nigo of the Keliko people of South Sudan described delays in his church’s long struggle to get the Bible in their own language. Not one word, in fact, had ever been printed in the Keliko language. Decades earlier, Bishop Nigo’s grandfather had courageously started a Bible translation project, but war and unrest kept halting the effort. Yet, despite repeated attacks on their refugee camps in northern Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the bishop and fellow believers kept the project alive.
Their persistence paid off. After nearly three decades,…
Curling Up with the Good Book
The small country of Iceland is a nation of readers. In fact, it’s reported that each year it publishes and reads more books per person than any other country. On Christmas Eve, it’s a tradition for Icelanders to give books to family and friends and then read long into the night. This tradition dates back to World War II, when imports were restricted but paper was cheap. Icelandic publishers began flooding the market with new titles in late fall. Now a catalog of the country’s new releases is sent to every Icelandic home in mid-November. This tradition is known as…
When God Speaks
Lily, a Bible translator, was flying home to her country when she was detained at the airport. Her mobile phone was searched, and when the officials found an audio copy of the New Testament on it, they confiscated the phone and questioned her for two hours. At one point they asked her to play the Scripture app, which happened to be set at Matthew 7:1–2: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Hearing these words…
Someone Who Leads
Who do you think of when you hear the word mentor? For me, it is Pastor Rich. He saw potential in me and believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. He challenged me to expect great things from God as I obey Him. He modeled for me how to lead by serving in humility and love. As a result of his mentoring, I am now serving God by mentoring others.
The prophet Elijah played a critical role in Elisha’s growth as a leader. Elijah found him plowing a field and invited him to be his protégé after God had…
Do We Worship The Written Word Or The Living Word?
Do we worship the written Word or the Living Word? And what’s the difference? Today on Discover the Word, we’ll discuss the danger of regarding the Bible so highly that we relegate its Author to the back seat. Don’t miss the conclusion of their series about the “Word of God,” today on Discover the Word!
Sharpen Your Sword
Is your sword sharpened? And before you say you don’t own a sword, think again! Today on Discover the Word, we’ll talk about Ephesians 6:17, in which we’re told to use “sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God” against the enemy. We’re exploring the different ways the Bible uses the term “the Word […]
Washing With The Word
In Ephesians chapter five, there’s a strange sounding verse about husbands and wives and washing with the Word. It’s a difficult-to-understand use of a familiar term—“the Word of God.” Today on Discover the Word, the team looks at the meaning of this verse in its broader context. Join us today on Discover the Word!
The “Word Of Christ”
This week, be part of the Discover the Word group as they help us expand our understanding of the Word of God. Today on Discover the Word, we discuss the apostle Paul’s use of the term, the “Word of Christ,” a term that’s only used once in the Bible. But find out why it really is very significant, today […]
Going Back To The Basics – “The Word Of God”
When you hear the term “the Word of God” what comes to mind? Likely, you think “Bible,” right? But when you read the term “the Word of God” in the Bible, is it always referring to the Scriptures? Today on Discover the Word, we’ll go back to basics to help us broaden our understanding of “the […]