Category Archives: Bible

Three Messages on the Holy Spirit via @RickAtchley Part 2

Every time Rick Atchley finishes a series I think, “That was his best one yet!” But then he starts another one that is just as good if not better. Here are the last 3 messages in his series focusing on the Holy Spirit:

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Erich’s note: make sure you download the Discussion Questions to extend the impact of each message.

Your turn… What are your thoughts on this series so far?

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Three Verses Reminding Us to Put God First

We often struggle with divided loyalties; failing to keep the main thing the main thing. These verses remind us to always put God first:

  • “You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3
  • “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
  • “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37

Your turn… What are some other verses that remind us to always put God first?

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Three Bible Study Resources

Here are 3 resources you’ll find helpful when studying the Bible:

Erich’s note: take some time today to browse around all the great options and tools these websites provide to help you dig deeper in your study of God’s Word.

Your turn… What are some other online resources you use for Bible study?

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Three Things MERCY IMPACTS

On Easter Weekend, Rick Atchley at The Hills Church, began a 6 week series called The Point of Impact. You can watch the messages and find resources to extend the impact of each message (daily devotionals and discussion questions) by visiting this page. Week 2 focuses on The Impact of Mercy by looking at the encounter Matthew had with Jesus in Matthew 9:9-13. This lesson highlights 3 things MERCY IMPACTS:

  • The way we hear scripture.

You are reading the Bible wrong anytime you come up with an interpretation that writes some people out of the story. Do not miss the significance of Jesus challenging religious leaders to go reread their Bibles. It is possible to be an expert in scripture and a dunce in the Word.

  • The way we see people.

We tend to view people based more on how we are different rather than how we are alike. Mercy calls us to realize “there is no difference” because nobody is that good; we are all sick and in need of mercy. So, don’t get offended by hypocrites at church, because sick people are supposed to be in a hospital. If there are no sinners in our church we need to shut the thing down. Be careful of being critical of the critical because “everyone needs compassion, a love that’s never failing.”  We need mercy too.

  • The way we follow Jesus.

Not everyone will like being like Christ. But when you’ve been impacted by mercy you change whether others like it or not. We read this story and ask, “What did Jesus see in Matthew?” We should also ask, “What did Matthew see in Jesus?” Matthew saw someone who understood “despised and rejected.” He saw someone that cared more about the future than the past. He saw someone who was willing to be the solution instead of gripe about the problem. A man like that is worth following.

Erich’s note: you can find the Daily Devotionals and Discussion Questions for this lesson here, The Impact of Mercy.

Your turn… What impact has mercy had on your life?

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Three Ways Our Hearts Remain Good Soil

I recently finished listening to a great series by Robert Morris, Senior Pastor of Gateway Church, called You Are Here. In the final lesson he focused on the type of heart we need to better receive God’s Word so that transformation can continue to happen. As their study guide says, “We all want God to be the center of our lives, and we want Jesus to be the Lord of our lives. In order to produce good fruit in our lives we must have hearts that receive the Word of God so it can produce 30-, 60- and 100-fold. Our hearts remain good soil when we aim to for them to be humble, holy and heavenly.” Take a moment to reflect on these three ways our hearts can remain good soil. We need to have…

  • A Humble Heart

Scriptures to review: Matthew 13:10–15; Ezekiel 36:26; Isaiah 57:15; Daniel 10:12; Psalm 10:17

  • A Holy Heart

Scriptures to review: Isaiah 57:15; 1 Peter 1:15–16; Leviticus 20:26 (NLT); Matthew 15:1–2, 7–8, 12, 15–20

  • A Heavenly Heart

Scriptures to review: Isaiah 57:15; 2 Corinthians 4:18; Colossians 3:1–2; Isaiah 55:10–13 (NLT)

Your turn… What is the Holy Spirit saying to you through this lesson and these scriptures?

 

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Three Things We Can Learn from Noah

Yesterday I saw a report that said the recent movie Noah has sparked a massive spike in the reading of Genesis. It is great to hear that the film has caused many to turn back to scripture to reflect on this powerful story even more. With that in mind, here are 3 things we can learn from the life of Noah (or better yet, 3 things we can BE):

  • Be DIFFERENT than the crowd

In a world that was full of evil, Noah was different. God liked what he saw in Noah. Scripture tells us that “Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord… Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God” (Genesis 6:8-10). Noah was different because of his faith (he simply did what God told him to do without complaining or arguing). I love how The Message puts it in Hebrews 11:7, “By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God.” God calls us to be different and it begins with our faith walk…

  • Be FAITHFUL even when it’s tough

Noah was given an incredible task that no doubt must have seemed humanly impossible and he didn’t give up — “Noah did everything just as God commanded him” (Genesis 6:22). He remained faithful and obedient even in the midst of what might have seemed like a crazy task that would take him more than 100 years to complete (imagine the ridicule he must have received from others in the community). But Noah remained faithful and took on a huge enterprise, one board at a time, to save his family from the flood. And once it was completed he was on the ark for over a year. You might not have realized that, but Noah and his family and all of those animals were on this big boat for 1 year, 1 month, and 10 days! So, for 1 year, 1 month, and 10 days Noah and his family and all of those noisy, smelly animals floated around in a boat bigger than a football field. Yet Noah remained faithful even when it wasn’t fun and sometimes we give up when someone hurts our feelings or discourages us just a bit. Be faithful to God’s way even when it’s not fun. Even when it’s not easy. Even when the storms of life come your way…

  • Be THANKFUL for God’s work

Notice what Noah does once he gets off the ark, Noah built an altar to God. He selected clean animals and birds from every species and offered them as burnt offerings on the altar. God smelled the sweet fragrance and thought to himself, “I’ll never again curse the ground because of people. I know they have this bent toward evil from an early age, but I’ll never again kill off everything living as I’ve just done” (Genesis 8:20-21). 

Noah’s first response wasn’t to worry about what to do with all of these animals, his first response was to worship! The faithful response to God’s saving activity is always worship.  Noah recognizes that God is more important than he is and so he offers him a sacrifice as an act of worship and thankfulness.  We should be thankful for the amazing things God does for us even in the midst of storms…

Your turn… What are some other lessons we can learn from the life of Noah?

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Three Passages that Frame the Story of Noah

So, a lot has been written about Noah the past few days since the release of the movie. Today I thought I would simply share 3 passages that frame the story of Noah (spend some time reflecting on these today):

  • Genesis 6:5-7

The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.”

  • Genesis 6:8-9

But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LordThis is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.

  • Genesis 8:1

But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.

Note: you can read the rest of the story in Genesis 6-9 and Hebrews 11:7 to learn about his obedience, his faith, God’s covenant, and Noah’s sinfulness in the end. Here are three other passages worth looking at relating to Noah and God’s love and His judgment: 1 Peter 3:19-212 Peter 2:4-6 and Matthew 24:37-39.

Your turn: What scriptures stand out to you the most from the life of Noah? What do you learn from these 3 passages?

 

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Three Versions of the Bible I Enjoy the Most

Here are 3 versions of the Bible I enjoy reading the most (the links take you to Bible Gateway’s overview page for each version — take a moment to read about how these 3 versions came about):

Erich’s note: I discovered The Voice translation last year. Take a look at their website for more details (I believe you’ll enjoy reading from it — right now it’s the version I’m using in my morning quiet time readings).

Your turn… Which versions of the Bible are you enjoying reading the most at this time?

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Three Bible Study Books by Timothy Keller

I mentioned the God’s Word For You series in a previous post called Three Devotional Resources. Today I want to highlight 3 of the Bible Study Books from this series by Timothy Keller.  I’ve really enjoyed working through these recently and I think you will as well:

First in a new series of expository guides to the Bible, Timothy Keller’s Galatians For You is a personal or group curriculum that walks you through the book of Galatians, showing how the gospel message changes the whole of our lives.

Second in a new series of expository guides to the Bible, Timothy Keller’s Judges For You walks you through the book of Judges, showing how the flawless God is at work in the most flawed situations and the most failing people.

Join Dr Timothy Keller as he opens up the first half of the book of Romans, helping you to get to grips with its meaning and showing how it transforms our hearts and lives today.

Your turn… Have you read any of these yet? If so, take a moment to share your thoughts.

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Three Bible Reading Plans from YouVersion

The New Year is a great time to commit to reading the Bible on a daily basis. The YouVersion Bible App provides hundreds of great Bible reading plans. Here are 3 I’m currently going through:

Sometimes it seems like the only way to keep up with all the demands on our lives is to run at maximum capacity—and then some. But there is another way, one where we have room to breathe and space to respond to what God brings our way. This reading plan features a variety of devotional readings, video teaching from Craig Groeschel, and videos of everyday people living with margin in their lives.

Erich’s note: you can watch this 4 week series by Craig Groeschel here, Margin.

In this BibleX study, you will explore the wisdom books of Psalm, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job. You will study portions of Scripture, learn the key points by viewing a short video, and grow by applying the Scripture’s teachings to your life. BibleX is a free resource to help expand your knowledge of the Bible.

Erich’s note: I shared more about YouVersion and BibleX here: Resources from LifeChurch.tv

You might think, rich is the other guy. Rich is having more than you currently have. If that’s the case, you can be rich and not know it. You can be rich and not feel or act like it. In fact, most of us are richer than we think. We just aren’t very good at it. It’s one thing to Be Rich. Andy wants to help us all be GOOD at it!

Erich’s note: you can watch this 4 week series by Andy Stanley here, How to Be Rich or buy the book here, How to Be Rich.

Your turn… What are some other Bible readings plans we should take a look at?

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